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Author Topic: "We can no longer take risks..."  (Read 9694 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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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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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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Bubba#$%Kron

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Re: "We can no longer take risks..."
« Reply #15 on: December 12, 2010, 11:20:57 pm »

Its the same as if you went into Mcdonalds headquarters and tried to push "your" new hamburger idea on them!!   Even if you could supply Filet Mignon's for cheaper than what they get meat for now, and ask to take a ridiculously low cut of profits- they would still tell you fuck off!!!!      As long as they control the distribution channels, they control the game!!

Sure we have ways of doing self promotion these days, but its still like trying to compete with Mcdonalds with 30 Hamburger stands in their sea of 100,000 locations.    Musicians are like super models now, they just so happen to be a pretty face, sound good, and follow directions well- they are all industry trash from stage moms/dads!!     Isn't technology awesome?!?!?
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ratite

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Re: "We can no longer take risks..."
« Reply #16 on: December 13, 2010, 09:39:01 am »

Fletcher wrote on Sat, 11 December 2010 14:23

This link was sent to me by my entertainment attorney...


"As your (entertainment) attorney, I advise you to take a hit out of the little brown bottle in my shaving kit. You won't need much, just a tiny taste."


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Fenris Wulf

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Re: "We can no longer take risks..."
« Reply #17 on: December 15, 2010, 07:55:52 pm »

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

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.

I found it. Now I'm frightened.  Shocked  Wait until ClearChannel gets hold of this. They've already replaced local DJ's with pre-recorded DJ's, now they can replace pre-recorded DJ's with computers. They can even use computer-generated text and replace political commentators. Nobody will notice the difference.
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Tomas Danko

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Re: "We can no longer take risks..."
« Reply #18 on: December 16, 2010, 08:25:35 am »

MagnetoSound wrote on Sun, 12 December 2010 12:01

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





Ha! Smile

Well, it was a tech demo where you walked around in a 3D town and the VO told you hints about where places were and so on. I figure they used his voice because 1. there is a lot of recorded material to use in order to train the engine, 2. his voice is very unique and 3. his voice is very well known.

I can only imagine what other stuff they did with the engine and his character, that never made it outside the lab.

-:Let's see if the engine matches up well with some TV recordings, so enter these words: "I did not have sexual relations with that woman...""  Twisted Evil
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Spindrift

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Re: "We can no longer take risks..."
« Reply #19 on: December 16, 2010, 02:38:00 pm »

Fenris Wulf wrote on Wed, 15 December 2010 16:55

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

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.

I found it. Now I'm frightened.  Shocked  Wait until ClearChannel gets hold of this. They've already replaced local DJ's with pre-recorded DJ's, now they can replace pre-recorded DJ's with computers. They can even use computer-generated text and replace political commentators. Nobody will notice the difference.


Yes, and they've just been acquired by Google. Now we're really screwed!
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Tomas Danko

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Re: "We can no longer take risks..."
« Reply #20 on: December 16, 2010, 02:44:54 pm »

Spindrift wrote on Thu, 16 December 2010 19:38

Fenris Wulf wrote on Wed, 15 December 2010 16:55

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

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.

I found it. Now I'm frightened.  Shocked  Wait until ClearChannel gets hold of this. They've already replaced local DJ's with pre-recorded DJ's, now they can replace pre-recorded DJ's with computers. They can even use computer-generated text and replace political commentators. Nobody will notice the difference.


Yes, and they've just been acquired by Google. Now we're really screwed!


DON'T BE EVIL!  Shocked


Anyway, we bought like ten licenses and we're about to look into getting a deal on a huge license pool (hundreds and hundreds). Perhaps this won't be possible with the new owner, as opposed to a small private company.
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Geoff Emerick de Fake

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Re: "We can no longer take risks..."
« Reply #21 on: December 16, 2010, 05:41:12 pm »

Wireline wrote on Sat, 11 December 2010 08:12


Not a rant - a question, because I honestly do not understand the thought processes behind racing down the proven highway to obsolescence.
You are not allowed to put "thought process" and "record company" in the same sentence...
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mgod

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Re: "We can no longer take risks..."
« Reply #22 on: December 18, 2010, 12:03:15 pm »

Wireline wrote on Sat, 11 December 2010 07:52

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?

Of failing to justify their bonuses before failing upwards to their next career.
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wwittman

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Re: "We can no longer take risks..."
« Reply #23 on: December 24, 2010, 01:17:21 pm »

Meanwhile...

There is absolutely nothing about the music business of 1985 or so that wasn't better for musicians, producers, engineers, songwriters, and the listening public than what we have now

Say whatever you want about record labels...
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bob ebeling

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Re: "We can no longer take risks..."
« Reply #24 on: December 25, 2010, 06:52:02 am »

Same as it ever was?
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Bob Ebeling
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mgod

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Re: "We can no longer take risks..."
« Reply #25 on: December 25, 2010, 01:05:24 pm »

wwittman wrote on Fri, 24 December 2010 10:17

Meanwhile...

There is absolutely nothing about the music business of 1985 or so that wasn't better for musicians, producers, engineers, songwriters, and the listening public than what we have now

Say whatever you want about record labels...

1985 is another century - to some extent just before Wall Street discovered that records were a better risk than movies.
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jrmintz

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Re: "We can no longer take risks..."
« Reply #26 on: December 27, 2010, 10:34:27 pm »

And shortly after Reagan ended the record master tax shelter.
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Hank Alrich

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Re: "We can no longer take risks..."
« Reply #27 on: December 31, 2010, 12:23:21 pm »

A good buddy of mine is head of A&R for a minor major label. 2009 was the first year in memory that this label has lost money. The head honcho, who essentially inherited the label, is freaking out - he tells A&R "Only bring me artists with name recoginition". So my buddy does that and it's the biggest seller for them for 2010.

In conversation about the present attitude my pal says, "I guess rich people just aren't that hungry".

Amen. What's the new label development paradigm? Don't plow the field, nor plant the seeds, nor water the crop and tend to the weeds, just show up for the harvest.

Yeah, that'll be the ticket... to irrelevant oblivion.
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