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Author Topic: "We can no longer take risks..."  (Read 9693 times)

Fletcher

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"We can no longer take risks..."
« on: December 11, 2010, 12:23:45 am »

This link was sent to me by my entertainment attorney... it would be funny - if it wasn't so close to the truth.

The revolution will not be televised...
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CN Fletcher

mwagener wrote on Sat, 11 September 2004 14:33
We are selling emotions, there are no emotions in a grid


"Recording engineers are an arrogant bunch.  
If you've spent most of your life with a few thousand dollars worth of musicians in the studio, making a decision every second and a half... and you and  they are going to have to live with it for the rest of your lives, you'll get pretty arrogant too.  It takes a certain amount of balls to do that... something around three"
Malcolm Chisholm

compasspnt

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Re: "We can no longer take risks..."
« Reply #1 on: December 11, 2010, 12:30:30 am »

It's not "close" to the truth.

It IS the truth...
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Blackie Pawless

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Re: "We can no longer take risks..."
« Reply #2 on: December 11, 2010, 06:10:37 am »

Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to Music City USA.
Enjoy your stay.
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Scott Baggett

Wireline

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Re: "We can no longer take risks..."
« Reply #3 on: December 11, 2010, 09:12:51 am »

I saw that from someplace else...my question is, since everyone in the biz seems to have pretty well identified labels' reluctance to do anything that the other labels are not doing, and since the labels are claiming they are all suffering huge losses, wouldn't it make sense for one of the majors to break out of a proven failure of a business model and do something a bit differently?

What is holding them back from changing the way they conduct business?  Most certainly (as it appears) everyone else involved in the production end of things has changed to suit their wants and wishes, with varying degrees of success and failure.

Perhaps putting out products a tad more sophisticated than the current crop of label forgettables might reveal pleasant results?

Not a rant - a question, because I honestly do not understand the thought processes behind racing down the proven highway to obsolescence.
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Ken Morgan
Wireline Studio
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Jay Kadis

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Re: "We can no longer take risks..."
« Reply #4 on: December 11, 2010, 10:48:59 am »

"What is a 'record label'?"

Tim Halligan

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Re: "We can no longer take risks..."
« Reply #5 on: December 11, 2010, 10:50:21 am »

Wireline wrote on Sat, 11 December 2010 22:12


What is holding them back from changing the way they conduct business?


Fear.


Cheers,
Tim
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Wireline

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Re: "We can no longer take risks..."
« Reply #6 on: December 11, 2010, 10:52:54 am »

Tim Halligan wrote on Sat, 11 December 2010 09:50

Wireline wrote on Sat, 11 December 2010 22:12


What is holding them back from changing the way they conduct business?


Fear.


Cheers,
Tim


Of what - being successful?
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Ken Morgan
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McAllister

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Re: "We can no longer take risks..."
« Reply #7 on: December 11, 2010, 11:29:08 am »

Fear of being different.
If you try something old and fail, it's because the market sucks.
If you try something new and fail, it's your fault.

If a label goes sideways and tries something new, everyone will watch to see it fail. If it succeeds, then the others will not use the successful concept of trying something new & different - they will try and do exactly what the first one did.

"I will not know my opinion on it if I am the first person that has heard it."

Awesome.

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DarinK

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Re: "We can no longer take risks..."
« Reply #8 on: December 11, 2010, 10:05:15 pm »

My understanding is that big labels still feel that they live or die based on radio response.  Corporate radio will not play anything that does not do well in focus groups specifically selected to appeal to advertisers.  And a large focus group will always tend towards the most middle-of-the-road &/or familiar stuff.  In a focus group situation, mostly neutral with some positive response is way better than some very positive & some negative, because radio stations do not want to risk a song causing someone to change stations.
(I've heard/read this explanation from a few sources, including Bob Ohlsson and some old college radio friends who have worked for radio & record labels.  Lots of label people would love to sign better & different artists, but without radio support there's so little chance of profit that they can't do it.)
Shorter version:  blame Clear Channel, and the government for allowing media consolidation to a ridiculous degree.

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jrmintz

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Re: "We can no longer take risks..."
« Reply #9 on: December 11, 2010, 11:20:51 pm »

Wireline wrote on Sat, 11 December 2010 09:12

wouldn't it make sense for one of the majors to break out of a proven failure of a business model and do something a bit differently?


Not to a corporate accountant.
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Fenris Wulf

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Re: "We can no longer take risks..."
« Reply #10 on: December 12, 2010, 02:20:59 am »

And has anyone noticed that digital speech synthesis doesn't sound any more natural than it did 25 years ago?
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Nick Sevilla

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Re: "We can no longer take risks..."
« Reply #11 on: December 12, 2010, 02:24:07 am »

Fenris Wulf wrote on Sat, 11 December 2010 23:20

And has anyone noticed that digital speech synthesis doesn't sound any more natural than it did 25 years ago?


But yet singers sound more and more synthesized on their records...

This merits some thought...perhaps.
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Tomas Danko

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Re: "We can no longer take risks..."
« Reply #12 on: December 12, 2010, 06:52:47 am »

Fenris Wulf wrote on Sun, 12 December 2010 07:20

And has anyone noticed that digital speech synthesis doesn't sound any more natural than it did 25 years ago?


This is totally not true.

Check out Phonetic Arts and some of their tech-demo. Their runtime library can be trained to sound ridiculously well. Google just bought them, so I guess we picked the right system for our text-to-speech work since we were not the only ones thinking Phonetic Arts does it best.

The runtime can have the voice go from a slight whisper, to yelling in an angry manner in real-time during one and the same sentence. I use the offline (not runtime) stuff myself at work though, it doesn't sound nearly as convincing but it's only for autogenerating placeholders anyway.

There is a tech demo where they trained the system with Bill Clintons voice, and it sounds like Bill Clinton telling you where to go and what to do.

I figure a lot of time when synthetic speech is being used, people actually do want it to sound like synthetic speech and therefore use ancient stuff.

Cheers,

Danko
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MagnetoSound

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Re: "We can no longer take risks..."
« Reply #13 on: December 12, 2010, 07:01:15 am »

Tomas Danko wrote on Sun, 12 December 2010 11:52

it sounds like Bill Clinton telling you where to go and what to do.




Ooh ... just the way I like it.  Sad


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jrmintz

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Re: "We can no longer take risks..."
« Reply #14 on: December 12, 2010, 06:37:41 pm »

Musicians tend to forget that labels are not monoliths that are risk-averse, they are groups of people who are risk-averse. The personal risk to someone at a label going out on a limb can be huge. An unexpected success is as dangerous to someone's career as an unexpected flop. The bean counters upstairs will want to know why you didn't predict the success in your quarterly plan. Don't you know what you're doing? The true answer, of course, is that hits are flukes and nobody can really predict them, but you can't say that in a corporate setting. The system rewards timidity and punishes non-conformity - it's ultimately much safer to do nothing. Aside from a handful of companies 'innovation' is an advertising buzzword, not a pathway to the future.
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