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R/E/P => R/E/P Archives => Budget? Budget? We Don't Got No Steekin' Budjet => Topic started by: Dave Martin on February 05, 2006, 10:26:57 am

Title: Is this music/recording thing just a hobby?
Post by: Dave Martin on February 05, 2006, 10:26:57 am
Here's another question for y'all; a bunch of you have said (on the artist threads) that you don't perform live (and don't want to perform live), but a lot of you also mentioned that you're still creating new songs and such; here's my question: Why?

Who (especially those of you who don't do live gigs) are still searching for success as a singer, singer/songwriter or as a  songwriter? And why are you doing so? How are you going about it? Do you have a plan?

Or has the music simply become a really fun hobbyto you? Your neighbor has a bass boat or an RV and you have a studio? (Not that there's anything wrong with that).
Title: Re: Is this music/recording thing just a hobby?
Post by: hargerst on February 05, 2006, 10:29:34 am
I have a deck boat AND an RV.  I'm gonna be using each of them a lot more.
Title: Re: Is this music/recording thing just a hobby?
Post by: Tidewater on February 05, 2006, 10:46:44 am
Hobby.. hmm.. not that I am aware of.

It's more of an obsessive/compulsive disorder. I always have, and I guess I always will.

momentary pirate action:
I lied before. I play some Saturdays for at least a li'l while with some bluegrass guys. I am not a blugrass player.. we get in some country blues for me. It's just a jam. I never use a capo. Quite a challenge following them.
piracy fended off

I get at least some personal satisfaction from doing my own thing.


M
Title: Re: Is this music/recording thing just a hobby?
Post by: Tim Halligan on February 05, 2006, 11:15:29 am
OK, I might have mentioned before that I'm a post production AE...

Occasionally I write jingles for clients...

I also write instrumental music for the "creative outlet"...

...and occasionally - when I've got enough material that doesn't suck - have a tilt at the production music companies...but I've limited it to the Australian and UK "big" PM labels. No success so far BTW.

I have scored for the odd doco, and more than a few corporates in the past as well...it's possibly what I do best : write for picture.

I'm too damn old - early 40's - and too damn ugly to become an artist - either as a solo act or within a band - to even be considered by the mooks in the "real" music industry.


Cheers,
Tim
Title: Re: Is this music/recording thing just a hobby?
Post by: Consul on February 05, 2006, 11:36:06 am
I'm 29 years old, and my primary hobby is that I collect hobbies.

In amongst homebrewing beer and mead, home cheese making, and my own brand of Iron Cheffery, I also do electronics projects, computer work, and play on some musical instruments, though nothing virtuosic. I used to draw my own webcomic, but stopped some time ago, although I've been thinking of restarting. Somewhere in there, I'm writing a script I plan to make into a low-budget offbeat indie movie (my first degree track was video production, which was a bad idea in hindsight).

Am I planning on getting rich, or even just making a living with any of these? No, they're just hobbies. This summer, I'm returning to school to study alternative energy engineering (a mech. engineering degree). That's what I plan to make my living in, since I know I don't want to do I.T. work anymore.

Can these hobbies supplement my income? Sure, why not? I have a plan I'm going to implement with my home creation of music, and if it gets me enough to pay for my homebrewing and cheesemaking hobbies, and maybe the occasional convention trip, I'll be happy.

This is why I'm using the electronics hobby to build up the home studio hobby. Paying for studio time is simply not worth it to me, for a hobby. I've heard plenty of great-sounding albums and demos from people you've never heard of recorded at home with less-then-ideal gear, and if they can do it, then so can I. Only I'll have better gear because I can build mine.

In short, I have more time than money. I use that to my advantage.

I hang out here because of the free exchange of information. Not in very many places are professionals in the recording field willing to share their knowledge with others, even hobbyists like me. I figure as long as I listen to people who know more than I do, then my recordings and experiments will start to improve. Will they be pro-level? Probably not, but I'm more concerned about writing good songs anyway. My only wish is that someday, I can return the favor and be the one providing the information in a free exchange like this one.

And now you know... The rest of the story.
Title: Re: Is this music/recording thing just a hobby?
Post by: Consul on February 05, 2006, 11:53:34 am
I'd like to add something to my rant.

I'm a hobbyist who plans to make his progressive rock/pop stuff available to the world. If just one person comes along and says he/she likes it, it'll be worth it to me.

But that's not really what I want to add, only the lead-up to it. You see, I find new music by searching around on the web and downloading from band websites I stumble across, as well as places like Ampcast.com and others like it. The vast majority of what I find is not interesting to me, or even in any way likable, but occasionally I stumble across a real diamond, like Shapiro. These discoveries make it all worthwhile. Then I buy their CDs or otherwise show my support if no CDs are available.

Why do I go through all this trouble to filter my own unsigned bands? Because I have zero confidence in the ability of any label, large or small, to deliver to me the kind of music I like to listen to. It's worth it to me in order to find those diamonds that I know the executive mooks would pass up in exchange for some pretty young thing who can barely sing but looks great in Spandex. It is unlikely that any labels could ever win me back now, because I've had such success in sifting through the coal myself.

I support other hobbyists, and I can only hope that my stuff will be good enough for someone else to show their support for me.
Title: Re: Is this music/recording thing just a hobby?
Post by: floodstage on February 05, 2006, 12:12:26 pm
Music is not a hobby but it's not my sole source of income either.I have 2 jobs

I remodel and flip houses - about 60% of my income
I also record others - about 40% of my income
Title: Re: Is this music/recording thing just a hobby?
Post by: Trumpetman2 on February 05, 2006, 02:33:38 pm
Dave Martin wrote on Sun, 05 February 2006 10:26

Here's another question for y'all; a bunch of you have said (on the artist threads) that you don't perform live (and don't want to perform live), but a lot of you also mentioned that you're still creating new songs and such; here's my question: Why?

Who (especially those of you who don't do live gigs) are still searching for success as a singer, singer/songwriter or as a  songwriter? And why are you doing so? How are you going about it? Do you have a plan?

Or has the music simply become a really fun hobbyto you? Your neighbor has a bass boat or an RV and you have a studio? (Not that there's anything wrong with that).


Well, since you seem to be really interested in this I'll give you my side of the story - I put myself through law school (1975) by being a professional musician.  In those days I had to put up w/a lot of crap and disrespect BECAUSE I was "only a musician," Well, I have been a lawyer since 1978 and I make A LOT of money now and have "standing" in my community...so, do you think I'm going to go back to being a performing musician?  I don't think so...

Now, I own my own studio, I play the music I want and how and when I want, and let me tell you, I can still blow a better horn than probably 80% of the "professional" cats that are out there - I know, I have been lead trumpet player for some pretty good bands in DC, the Thad Wilson Big Band for one.  Additionally, I will also tell you that the "vanity CDs" I make are quite liked and sought after by some fans....I have one guy who has collected all of my "productions,"  hell, even I dont have all...(I've erased a few I'd like to forget), so, is it a hobby?  Maybe.  Do people get to hear what I paly?  You bet! Very Happy  dowe  
Title: Re: Is this music/recording thing just a hobby?
Post by: Mark Gensman on February 05, 2006, 05:35:16 pm
Trumpetman2 wrote on Sun, 05 February 2006 19:33

Dave Martin wrote on Sun, 05 February 2006 10:26

Here's another question for y'all; a bunch of you have said (on the artist threads) that you don't perform live (and don't want to perform live), but a lot of you also mentioned that you're still creating new songs and such; here's my question: Why?

Who (especially those of you who don't do live gigs) are still searching for success as a singer, singer/songwriter or as a  songwriter? And why are you doing so? How are you going about it? Do you have a plan?

Or has the music simply become a really fun hobbyto you? Your neighbor has a bass boat or an RV and you have a studio? (Not that there's anything wrong with that).


Well, since you seem to be really interested in this I'll give you my side of the story - I put myself through law school (1975) by being a professional musician.  In those days I had to put up w/a lot of crap and disrespect BECAUSE I was "only a musician," Well, I have been a lawyer since 1978 and I make A LOT of money now and have "standing" in my community...so, do you think I'm going to go back to being a performing musician?  I don't think so...

Now, I own my own studio, I play the music I want and how and when I want, and let me tell you, I can still blow a better horn than probably 80% of the "professional" cats that are out there - I know, I have been lead trumpet player for some pretty good bands in DC, the Thad Wilson Big Band for one.  Additionally, I will also tell you that the "vanity CDs" I make are quite liked and sought after by some fans....I have one guy who has collected all of my "productions,"  hell, even I dont have all...(I've erased a few I'd like to forget), so, is it a hobby?  Maybe.  Do people get to hear what I paly?  You bet! Very Happy  dowe  


Do you think it is impossible to be a successful attorney and still play music?

I have been playing for 47 years nearly constantly. Through college, through the service, through a twenty five year career as a commercial real estate broker, through fifteen years owning my own mortgage company, member of my local chamber of commerce, etc. and I STILL play every weekend I can.

I don't seem to notice a lack of respect when I tell folks I am in a band and am also a professional businessman.

I never looked at being a performing musician as "going back".. It's what I am. I could close a million dollar deal and not get the same joy I feel from a standing ovation after a killer sax lead.. The job pays the bills, the music pays the soul.
Title: Re: Is this music/recording thing just a hobby?
Post by: Tidewater on February 05, 2006, 06:17:32 pm
He's a music attorney..

GET HIM!  Mad

Smile

M
Title: Re: Is this music/recording thing just a hobby?
Post by: Tim Halligan on February 05, 2006, 07:23:05 pm
DivideByZero wrote on Mon, 06 February 2006 07:17

He's a music attorney..

GET HIM!  Mad

Smile

M




LMFBO!

Very Happy Laughing Very Happy
Title: Re: Is this music/recording thing just a hobby?
Post by: Trumpetman2 on February 06, 2006, 08:48:22 am
Do you think it is impossible to be a successful attorney and still play music?

I have been playing for 47 years nearly constantly. Through college, through the service, through a twenty five year career as a commercial real estate broker, through fifteen years owning my own mortgage company, member of my local chamber of commerce, etc. and I STILL play every weekend I can.

I don't seem to notice a lack of respect when I tell folks I am in a band and am also a professional businessman.

I never looked at being a performing musician as "going back".. It's what I am. I could close a million dollar deal and not get the same joy I feel from a standing ovation after a killer sax lead.. The job pays the bills, the music pays the soul.

In 1978 I was fresh out of law school and still a working musician.  I got my first job w/a pretty major law firm a short time after...one morning the senior partner walked into my office and told me that one of their big clients was at the Hilton last night and saw me, the young hot-shot lawyer who was handling his case, on a bandstand "blowin a horn" until 2 AM.  I was told to pick what I wanted to do - play the trumpet, or be a lawyer!  So, as you can see society does have certain perceptions and "expectations" of certain professions, and certain activities are not deemed "compatible" with these professions.  If you think that is far fetched, let me give you this example - you are having delicate eye surgery tommorrow morning; you have the choice of two doctors; one went to bed early; the other, is a musician and was playing untill 2-3 am...which would you have perform the surgery?

Being a musician is not a bad thing, but unfortunately, society IS generally biased...I see this every day in the cases that come to me.  And you think corporations aren't the same?  I remember in about 1975 having bought my first new car, the insurance company denied me coverage "because I was a musician."

In any event, I get great satisfaction when people enjoy my CDs and ask for more...I also get great satisfaction (and money) when I win some case, issue or whatever, so, I guess I have the best of both worlds....hey, don't hate me cause I'm successful..after all, isn't that what we all want? Very Happy
Title: Re: Is this music/recording thing just a hobby?
Post by: Tim Halligan on February 06, 2006, 09:36:26 am
Trumpetman2 wrote on Mon, 06 February 2006 21:48

Do you think it is impossible to be a successful attorney and still play music?
<snip>
....hey, don't hate me cause I'm successful..after all, isn't that what we all want? Very Happy


I don't think it's impossible, nor do I hate you.

And, as a musician and a lawyer, I imagine you're actually a pretty handy guy to know.

But let's face it...as a musician and a lawyer, you gotta expect the jokes...  


Very Happy Very Happy Very Happy


Cheers,
Tim
Title: Re: Is this music/recording thing just a hobby?
Post by: Trumpetman2 on February 06, 2006, 09:48:07 am
 Smile Tim:  Of course...and I know ALL the lawyer jokes in the book.  I also was a bit tongue-in-cheek when I mentioned the "hating" part.....plus I AM having a ball in my studio, particularly for the freedom it gives me.  At times. if the guys don't show, I'll record trumpet and percussion myself and create something a bit off-beat....(pun intended!).


Take care and hope you also are getting what you want from music!!! Very Happy  
Title: Re: Is this music/recording thing just a hobby?
Post by: Tidewater on February 06, 2006, 10:47:11 am
 Laughing

Takes a dynamic kind of person to do many things well. No problem with that.

I enjoy doing as much as I can. I like learning as much as possible, and you can't just sit around.


M
Title: Re: Is this music/recording thing just a hobby?
Post by: John Ivan on February 06, 2006, 11:52:34 am
Well, I wasted my 20's partying my ass off. I also worked my ass off learning musical instruments though. From about 5 years old forward, all I did was sit in front of the drum kit, play guitar, bass and sing in our basement. I also tweaked around on the audio gear laying around the house. {lots of it}. It even turned into a big issue at home and at school. I simply would not go to school anymore starting at 15. The last year I spent at school, I spent in the music building. The band Director was a great guy who looked the other way for a long time but I finally was kicked off the property for good and started playing for a living.

I knew nothing about the Business end of all this and like I said, wasted a lot of time.. In my 30,s, I started coming out of my Coma and got Married. Then we had our Boy. ;-}. I never stopped playing music,except for two years ago when we moved, I came apart !! I lost it. I stopped for about 10 months, {I did about 3 gig's per month. Compared to 4 or 5 nights per week, is 0}.. Well, I guess I needed this because when I moved back to Michigan to take my current gig, I felt like playing again. The guitar felt good to me.

I am now, perhaps for the first time in my life, having the gut's and work ethic to write everything that comes into my head. I used to be afraid of this. Not any more. I am in the first year of making record's for the band and myself. I want the band to do one record every year,{multiple writers} and Me to do one record every year {just me doing everything}

I have no Idea what will come of all this but I know I can't stop, never could stop completely. This is all I know and I must say, the more I look around this world, the less interested I am in other things.

I do have silly hobbies. When I was 17-18 and in Florida I started doing a little flying and wanted badly to get my Private to fly. This is the only other thing I can imagine doing for a living and It's WAY to late in my early 40's.

I am reading a lot about basic Electronics and might finally this year go to school to look closer at this... I don't know........
Title: Re: Is this music/recording thing just a hobby?
Post by: covert on February 06, 2006, 11:56:23 am
Tough question.  How do you define a hobby?  I got into making music because doing it made me happier than I was when I wasn't doing it.  There was a time when I thought, or at least hoped, it would be my life's work.  The realities of that seemed to fade away, butt I still take some hope from the existence of Bob Pollard.

The recording side of things sort of snuck up on me.  I've always been the guy that could figure out a pa, or a tape rig.  I've earned my living as a theatre tech, and done some tv work.  

I'd like to get to the point where the recording thing pays some, at least for itself.  So, the IRS would call it a hobby, I guess it's a hobby with pretensions.
Title: Re: Is this music/recording thing just a hobby?
Post by: Dave Martin on February 06, 2006, 05:36:54 pm
ivan40 wrote on Mon, 06 February 2006 10:52

 
I do have silly hobbies. When I was 17-18 and in Florida I started doing a little flying and wanted badly to get my Private to fly. This is the only other thing I can imagine doing for a living and It's WAY to late in my early 40's.



Nah, it's not too late - when did Steve Morse get his commercial license (after the Dregs), and start flying for a regional airline? And then quit that to do Deep Purple?

My dad retired from his 20+ years as a corporate pilot last year - at 71. And he could still pass as Class A physical - it was the companies insurer's who forced him out, since he was essentially the oldest commercial pilot who was still flying a King Air without a co-pilot in the state... If you love to fly, then you should fly. And if you love to play, then you should play - no reason to not do both...
Title: Re: Is this music/recording thing just a hobby?
Post by: smorgdonkey on February 06, 2006, 07:52:46 pm
I would loosely define my 'music thing' as a hobby but it is more accurately a passion.
I think that I am a very good songwriter but that is MY opinion, even though many people say that they think that I am too, I don't put any weight in what they say really. I feel that I KNOW where I am in that capacity. I don't feel that the current 'industry' really has a place for me because I see what sells and I know I don't have much in common with that and I know that the industry is purely driven on sales presently.
As far as playing and recording the songs that I write and arrange...I do that out of a drive to see the vision come to something tangible. I guess it is like a painter who does not want to leave a canvass unfinished. I also enjoy sharing my songs with people because there is often a mesage/story/perspective in there and even when listeners don't connect with that they seem to be able to immerse themselves in the 'mood' of the song.
I do have a plan:
-Keep on living.
-Stay open to inspiration and write based upon that.
-Record whatever I can that is produced by the former.
   
Title: Re: Is this music/recording thing just a hobby?
Post by: Roadster on February 06, 2006, 08:04:04 pm
You know what? I have asked myself these same questions for several years now. And although I might be inclined to do a dissertation on the subject one day, I think I'll just spare you that here.  Smile
I do what I do at home, simply because I can now. It's never a question anymore of why. It's more like, how much can I accomplish before my hands wear out or the hearing goes? (Or both!)
It's my musical memoirs. And they've been pretty fluid. With no agenda, no commitments or expectations from anyone, it simply revolves around experimentation, zoning out, and uncovering my creative side with no regard to an audience, the industry, or any marketing strategy.
It works for me in spades. I've become way more motivated in my later years than I ever had been in the role of human jukebox.
Title: Re: Is this music/recording thing just a hobby?
Post by: maxim on February 07, 2006, 04:41:14 am
why do dogs lick their balls?

darren wrote:

"If just one person comes along and says he/she likes it, it'll be worth it to me."

that's the truth
Title: Re: Is this music/recording thing just a hobby?
Post by: Trumpetman2 on February 07, 2006, 07:40:40 am
Roadster wrote on Mon, 06 February 2006 20:04

You know what? I have asked myself these same questions for several years now. And although I might be inclined to do a dissertation on the subject one day, I think I'll just spare you that here.  Smile
I do what I do at home, simply because I can now. It's never a question anymore of why. It's more like, how much can I accomplish before my hands wear out or the hearing goes? (Or both!)
It's my musical memoirs. And they've been pretty fluid. With no agenda, no commitments or expectations from anyone, it simply revolves around experimentation, zoning out, and uncovering my creative side with no regard to an audience, the industry, or any marketing strategy.
It works for me in spades. I've become way more motivated in my later years than I ever had been in the role of human jukebox.


VERY WELL SAID!  Exactly my feelings, hell with marketing, industry, the so-called "talent scouts," the record labels, the club owners, or anyone else.  I see my recordings as my musical memoirs also... Smile
Title: Re: Is this music/recording thing just a hobby?
Post by: Roadster on February 07, 2006, 11:10:50 am
Trumpetman -
Thanks!
I may have been able to cut to the chase even further perhaps by simply saying "swan song"?
Title: Re: Is this music/recording thing just a hobby?
Post by: sonic dogg on February 09, 2006, 08:18:13 pm
Interesting question. Thanx Dave!

 Everytime I write down all the resons I did or didnt do this or that, it bums me out.And then I realize its all for a reason. I guess it all came down to life choices back in the day....ya know, pay the rent... feed the kids....fix the car...show up at work on time...OR  play yer ass off at some smokey venue with ya-yas everywhere, dig deep into the wheres and whys of making this stuff stick to a piece of mylar, get up at noon, howl at the moon.....

 I chose to feed my kids AND try to keep a hand in it ..I've always owned recording gear of some sort, or a PA,or both...I've always recorded my own bands and some projects for a bit of cash....I've always had a talent for it...I just didnt pursue it and thats what makes me a hobbiest. But NOT a noobe!

 I still play out weekends with the cover band...We're really tight and have a great time.  Practice is once every three months or so...We're booked for 45 dates this year already...

 I still have 24 tracks of decent gear though the tape machine is now a stand-alone harddisk...Most things are still analog.I believe in certain parts being as good as you can afford while other parts of the chain only have to be as good as you are clever.
 
 I DO still record records with my other band. Seven years and lots of songs. I mix at a pro facility, I want to produce songwriters but cant seem to find the time. But I will.

 Because I couldnt stand my life without music in it.
Title: Re: Is this music/recording thing just a hobby?
Post by: Consul on February 10, 2006, 10:49:26 am
sonic dogg wrote on Thu, 09 February 2006 18:18

I believe in certain parts being as good as you can afford while other parts of the chain only have to be as good as you are clever.


That has to be one of the best lines I've ever read on these forums. Thank you.  Thumbs Up
Title: Re: Is this music/recording thing just a hobby?
Post by: ktownson on February 15, 2006, 01:26:01 pm
I thought I was reading my own biography until I saw it was Consul's name on the post.

I have always had a passion for music, though not blessed with an abundance of talent. Son of a band director, started playing in rock bands in high school, always thought record producing would be a great job.

Ended up in television instead, but always kept a hand in music recording. In 1980 I bought a Portastudio and found a passion. Recorded a lot of friends along with a few of my own songs, did a few jingles, made some backing tapes for theatre, but never found the opportunity to make it a career.

Now, rapidly approaching 50, the passion still burns, but with the urgency of middle-aged realizations that time is running out. I'll probably never go pro, too hard to start over (unless I win a lottery) so I'll stick with my computer-based recording rig, buy a few cool toys as the budget (and wife) allows, and make CDs for my friends and family.

My gift in life seems to be the ability to get "pretty good" at anything I take up. So I've tinkered in music, electronics, computers, home repair, stained glass, concrete sculpture, graphic design, beermaking, drawing comics, making funny T-shirts, etc. I'm designing and building a house right now.

I gave up the rock star dream many moons ago, but I still have some musical ambitions I need to satisfy before I end up in a rocking chair, diapered and drooling. Fortunately, it's a hobby I think I can enjoy for decades to come.

Title: Re: Is this music/recording thing just a hobby?
Post by: Consul on February 15, 2006, 03:32:04 pm
It seems we are each a tried and true jack of all trades.  Smile

Sometimes, I feel that even at 29 I've completely missed the boat, and that my only option now is to build my home studio and do it myself. I have no money to pay for real studio sessions, and no studio worth their reputation would have me anyway.

"Do what you can, where you are, with what you have."
Title: Re: Is this music/recording thing just a hobby?
Post by: doc willie on March 02, 2006, 02:51:35 pm
Roadster wrote on Mon, 06 February 2006 18:04

You know what? I have asked myself these same questions for several years now. And although I might be inclined to do a dissertation on the subject


It may have already been written. Wayne Booth, a professor of English, wrote a book called "For the Love of It" that may be of interest to those in this discussion. He took up cello in his 30's, and writes about why someone would do this even though he know he will never be as good as any second year conservatory student. He meditates on all these issues, and it strikes a chord with those of us who persist inspite of serious LOFT syndrome.
Title: The meaning of Music/The meaning of Life
Post by: midnightsun on March 04, 2006, 06:32:49 pm
This is a great thread.... I've enjoyed Dave's, Mark's, and Trumpetman2's comments and all others.  

Music consumes my life and I have no desire to make a living participating in it.    In fact over the years when I have played in bands where money and profit became important, it seemed that the magic and creativity was lost and music became more like a chore.     Now I find the same to be true with my recording studio.

I am a surgeon and this gives me the necessary cash infusion to support my music/audio habit.    Part of the reason why I became a surgeon is that it was a job where I could listen to music most of the time.   Of course, sometimes in the operating room it is necessary to shut off the music.   90% of the time music helps the operating move along.   It keeps  people calm and relaxed and the beat keeps things moving along.   The iPod has been great.   I have various play lists for various operations.  

Music is one of the activities in my life that is not a chore.   I don't like the term "hobby."    I also consider it to be more off an obsession or necessity.   Any give day I might tell two or three people they have a bad cancer, then take a child to the operating room who was hit by a car, and then pronounce someone else dead.    It is not that I feel inspired musically when I come home.   I just need music to put my soul at ease.    

I have a nice recording studio and hand pick talent that I am interested in recording.   I continue to struggle with the need to find logic to what I am doing.    There is no utility is what I am doing in music, it is simply a passion.    I have fantasized becoming a music producer/engineer as I wind my way out of medicine/surgery.   In fact, I am at the point where I want to start backing off.    
Title: Re: The meaning of Music/The meaning of Life
Post by: compasspnt on March 04, 2006, 11:28:12 pm
midnightsun wrote on Sat, 04 March 2006 18:32



Music is one of the activities in my life that is not a chore.   I don't like the term "hobby."    I also consider it to be more of an obsession or necessity.   Any given day I might tell two or three people they have a bad cancer, then take a child to the operating room who was hit by a car, and then pronounce someone else dead.    It is not that I feel inspired musically when I come home.   I just need music to put my soul at ease.  





Jon,  this is an amazing post.

Sometimes those of us who do music for a living forget that people out there are hearing what we do, and taking emotional refuge in it.

Much respect to you for what you do.


Title: Re: The meaning of Music/The meaning of Life
Post by: Dave Martin on March 05, 2006, 12:51:07 am
midnightsun wrote on Sat, 04 March 2006 17:32

Music consumes my life and I have no desire to make a living participating in it.    .............

Music is one of the activities in my life that is not a chore.   I don't like the term "hobby."    I also consider it to be more off an obsession or necessity.      


You know, this is one of the reasons that I wish the word 'amateur' had not been co-opted to mean 'un-professional'. The word amateur comes from the Latin "amator:" lover, devoted , devotee, enthusiastic pursuer of an objective.

Not too long ago, an 'amateur musician' was simply one who loved to play music. It sounds as though you've balanced music and the rest of your life in a way that's healthy for you.

I admire you for that.

Title: Re: The meaning of Music/The meaning of Life
Post by: John Ivan on March 05, 2006, 01:48:28 am
good point Dave. Oh and, thanks for the words of encouragement about flying Smile . I really should do it.

Ivan..................................................
Title: Re: The meaning of Music/The meaning of Life
Post by: maxim on March 05, 2006, 05:22:06 am
dave wrote:

"... I wish the word 'amateur' had not been co-opted to mean 'un-professional'. "

the two are not mutually exclusive

... i mean, 'amateur' and 'professional'
Title: Re: Is this music/recording thing just a hobby?
Post by: hmm... on March 05, 2006, 08:40:03 am
It's interesting - I do this (songwriting, and production of) because it's fulfilling.

And when I don't, for any length of time (2-3 days, week), something seems missing.  

The moment I pick up the guitar or sit at the piano, I am either writing something brand new, almost by itself...although sometimes it is just playing something I've already written of course.  

And, then the 'post writing' part always happens ... I'm doing something else, but singing parts of the song I just wrote in my head...many times without realizing it or intending to...and 'filling in the blanks', automatically.  Gee, ... I wonder to myself, did I just extend that verse with a pre-chorus?...that thing's GOT to go back on to tape (hard drive).

So i play and record because it is a part of me, and somehow keeps me whole.

I always think...it's not a hobby ... it's a need, a release, a requirement and something good for me.  and, sharing it with others comprises some of the most special moments of shared joy, interest, connection and fulfillment I've had.
Title: Re: Is this music/recording thing just a hobby?
Post by: Tom C on March 05, 2006, 01:41:10 pm
Dave Martin wrote on Sun, 05 February 2006 09:26

Here's another question for y'all; a bunch of you have said (on the artist threads) that you don't perform live (and don't want to perform live), but a lot of you also mentioned that you're still creating new songs and such; here's my question: Why?



Because I like it Smile
I enjoy the act of composing and mixing and are now doing the
first steps in mastering.
And as others already mentioned, if someone sends me an email
that he or she likes a song it makes me happy.

Quote:


Who (especially those of you who don't do live gigs) are still searching for success as a singer, singer/songwriter or as a  songwriter? And why are you doing so? How are you going about it? Do you have a plan?



I already made a comforable living when I started with music,
and in fact having some kind of success in me mind would
hinder me doing the things the way I like them.
When my music pays for some of my equipment it's an additonal
plus, but not more.

Tom
Title: Re: Is this music/recording thing just a hobby?
Post by: Roadster on March 05, 2006, 05:50:30 pm
If you take the number of musicians in the world and factor
in the chances of anyone even becoming a "one hit wonder" let
alone the chances of duplicating that success?

It's probably easier to win the lottery...which of course would
allow you to live like a rock star.  Smile (If that's what
you're living for.)

So one might conclude that, yes, it's just a hobby.

So you have a hobby you love. Works for me!
Title: Re: The meaning of Music/The meaning of Life
Post by: Dave Martin on March 05, 2006, 07:29:28 pm
maxim wrote on Sun, 05 March 2006 04:22

dave wrote:

"... I wish the word 'amateur' had not been co-opted to mean 'un-professional'. "

the two are not mutually exclusive

... i mean, 'amateur' and 'professional'


Of course they aren't. but in the modern world, folks think that they are the same thing.
Title: Re: The meaning of Music/The meaning of Life
Post by: maxim on March 05, 2006, 09:42:34 pm
dave wrote:

"Of course they aren't. but in the modern world, folks think that they are the same thing."

i am so in agreement with you

i suppose this is why you started this thread

does working in nashville make you bring this up this even more?

one the one hand, great inspiring and inspired "amateur" musicians and songwriters, on the other the most cynical "professional" hit factory since disney
Title: Re: The meaning of Music/The meaning of Life
Post by: Dave Martin on March 05, 2006, 10:08:59 pm
maxim wrote on Sun, 05 March 2006 20:42

dave wrote:

does working in nashville make you bring this up this even more?



I don't think so, other than the fact that this is where I live and work. I know a surprisingly large number of professional musicians who are also, in the purest sense of the word, amateurs. They'll charge double scale all day long to sit in the studio and play what they need to play, and then go out and play in some little bar somewhere simply because they love to play.
Title: Re: The meaning of Music/The meaning of Life
Post by: maxim on March 06, 2006, 12:48:02 am
dave wrote:

"I know a surprisingly large number of professional musicians who are also, in the purest sense of the word, amateurs."

i must say that is the thing that makes me (among many others) want to make a trip to nashville one day
Title: Re: The meaning of Music/The meaning of Life
Post by: Bob Olhsson on March 06, 2006, 12:08:36 pm
Dave Martin wrote on Sun, 05 March 2006 18:29

...in the modern world, folks think that they are the same thing.
It's always fashionable to call something "professional."
Title: Re: Is this music/recording thing just a hobby?
Post by: PookyNMR on March 06, 2006, 12:55:53 pm
I do music for a living.  I do like to keep it very diversified though.  I can kind of relate to the professional-amateur theme.  I find I have too many musical interests to put myself in one spot too long.  I love playing live, I love running FOH, I love recording, I love to compose and/or arrange.  In some ways I think I may be short changing myself by not being a specialist in one area, but what do you do when you have so many different things burning in your heart?  At least the wife and kids aren't starving... yet...   Smile

Title: Re: Is this music/recording thing just a hobby?
Post by: Consul on March 06, 2006, 04:16:28 pm
I think the problem is not so much that "amateur" means "unprofessional," as that is technically correct. Rather, the problem is it has come to mean "substandard" or "low-quality," which couldn't be further from the truth in many instances.

Even Anthony Bourdain, the rather ascerbic professional chef, recognizes the "talented amateur" in the world of cooking, admitting that you don't need to be a professional in order to be good. Yet, in many fields, including cooking, this is not the prevailing view at all.
Title: Re: Is this music/recording thing just a hobby?
Post by: maxim on March 06, 2006, 05:46:16 pm
darren wrote:

"admitting that you don't need to be a professional in order to be good."

just like nonna used to make...

most professional chefs admit that the best food they've eaten was at home, growing up
Title: Re: Is this music/recording thing just a hobby?
Post by: Consul on March 06, 2006, 05:57:08 pm
Hehe... See also, my signature line.  Very Happy
Title: Re: Is this music/recording thing just a hobby?
Post by: Dave Martin on March 06, 2006, 11:53:23 pm
Consul wrote on Mon, 06 March 2006 15:16

I think the problem is not so much that "amateur" means "unprofessional," as that is technically correct.


I would respectfully disagree with that statement and would suggest that a more accurate synonym for "amateur" would be "non-professional" rather than "unprofessional".
Title: Re: Is this music/recording thing just a hobby?
Post by: Michael Durovic on March 07, 2006, 04:03:41 am
hi all,
as I'm just 23, professional sound-tech (without degree), I'm not supposed to ramble here (with long-life-experience hobbyists mixed with highly professionals) but...

synonymous (if I do write it right, LOL ) means standing instead of something because it's similar (at least in german) and therefore non-pro or un-pro can't replace amateur in it's original meaning.

as appendix I'd like to stress out that a professional or professionalism to me means that even if a band treats you like a dog you still do like your job because you like the things to do.

If a pro isn't a amateur too, he chose the wrong job. (what probably many did in our business, because it's a game with images, minds, hearts)

If a hobbyist doesn't get to the stage of an amateur he'll probably quit soon.

I do have a wife. I'm a sound pro (of course not compareable to most guys 30s upward), I once had the necessity to write songs for keep going (used it as "ease")(no critique on the doctor, he doesn't want to be a pro so it's gonna work for him probably the rest of his life) then discovered it is type of unhealthy to my mind (because I wanted to be a pro too) and since then I use music as my way of thinking. I really do just know what I think when I hear it Wink

all my respect to you seasoned humans, wished I were born some decades earlier... (seriously)
Title: Re: Is this music/recording thing just a hobby?
Post by: Tidewater on March 07, 2006, 06:25:18 am
If a band treats me like a dog, they may never want to record again, after their ears stop ringing.

Smile


M
Title: Re: Is this music/recording thing just a hobby?
Post by: Consul on March 07, 2006, 02:20:04 pm
Dave Martin wrote on Mon, 06 March 2006 21:53

I would respectfully disagree with that statement and would suggest that a more accurate synonym for "amateur" would be "non-professional" rather than "unprofessional".



Okay, I can live with that.  Cool  At any rate, this is all semantics and straying from the original question.

You know, Mixerman over on his board makes mention of how important a producer is. We're talking a good producer, who has a real vision for the music, and not some crank from a label. He actually makes a very good point: That an experienced set of ears can hear things in the music that the band misses. You know, that whole "forest/trees" issue.

So when I'm sitting in my home studio producing myself, how can I get some input on what I'm doing from others, to help me stop examining trees and give the forest a look? A full-fledged producer is out, simply because of cost, but maybe there's a way someone in their home studio can seek some guidance from outside his goldfish bowl.

Social networking may be the latest buzzword, but there really is some value to it, if it's applied correctly.

More later...
Title: Re: Is this music/recording thing just a hobby?
Post by: Fibes on March 07, 2006, 02:42:17 pm
Quote:

but maybe there's a way someone in their home studio can seek some guidance from outside his goldfish bowl.



There's a forum at the Marsh for song critique moderated by Aardvark,  Bob Olhsson,  Eric Sarafin and dwoz i'm sure you'd get some crits over there.

Or you could post a link right here to your stuff.

FWIW an outside producer is not always needed, especially when you have a great engineer and your own vision. Then again there are some folks who are "budding" producers who will tell you it's the end all be all.

Too many cooks sometimes yields salt soup.
Title: Re: Is this music/recording thing just a hobby?
Post by: Consul on March 07, 2006, 02:56:29 pm
But what happens when you are the musician, the engineer, and the one with the vision? People like Larry Fast and Jean-Michel Jarre were able to pull off some nice stuff that way, so it's not impossible, but Larry has at times talked about the input he got from other people and how it helped him along.

Forums like this one are useful for critiques, and can often help, but I was thinking of something a little more one-on-one, with someone of appropriate ilk. I write prog rock stuff, and as a result, I would not go to Joey Ramone for a critique. Adrian Belew, on the other hand...

That's just an example, but I think it gets the idea across.
Title: Re: Is this music/recording thing just a hobby?
Post by: Fibes on March 07, 2006, 03:14:13 pm
Sometimes the best crits come from music listeners.

Other times it's from pros.

I'm lucky to be surrounded by talented folks who aren't afraid to speak their mind and also know when something is intentionally a certain way.

Think of some folks who you'd trust to listen and throw a little listening party with whatever refreshments you think they might require.

Personally it's Vodka or Belgian Ale for me.

Heck, rent a studio for a few hours that has an engineer/producer you dig and just do some listening on a different system with him/her listening with you. Some of my best "light bulb" moments are when other folks are standing over my shoulder.

Title: Re: Is this music/recording thing just a hobby?
Post by: Consul on March 07, 2006, 05:06:53 pm
Wow, someone who gets what it is I'm trying to say!  Cool

I suppose there are plenty of options for those like myself. Like I said earlier, I'm really not planning a living in this, but a large part of being an amateur is self-improvement, and feedback from others is an important aspect of self-improvement. This goes for both audio quality as well as the songs themselves.

I think I'll stop there for now, because what I want to say next needs its own thread.
Title: Re: Is this music/recording thing just a hobby?
Post by: Fibes on March 07, 2006, 05:18:32 pm
Consul wrote on Tue, 07 March 2006 17:06

Wow, someone who gets what it is I'm trying to say!  Cool



Good luck man, and yes, I get what you say because I do what you do. The reason I got into recording is partly to do my own stuff but also to provide a place locally for musicians that wanted THEIR records to be THEIR records.

Now i hardly have the time to pick up a guitar unless i'm playing on the session.

look at my sig, it's my band, my production and the biggest PITA i could imagine. Nevertheless i'm glad I did it.

Next time we're gonna pay Terry. Hahahahaha.
Title: Re: Is this music/recording thing just a hobby?
Post by: Tidewater on March 08, 2006, 12:50:42 am
 Laughing

Next time? I thought you swore off 'next time'..

Surprised

Hey, didn't you shoot your drummer?


M
Title: Re: Is this music/recording thing just a hobby?
Post by: willpowrd on March 08, 2006, 05:21:15 pm
Consul wrote on Tue, 07 March 2006 16:06

...I'm really not planning a living in this, but a large part of being an amateur is self-improvement, and feedback from others is an important aspect of self-improvement. This goes for both audio quality as well as the songs themselves.


Self-improvement, feedback from others and continued learning is part of being professional, too.  If you aren't learning you're getting stale and that usually means opportunities go elsewhere.
Title: Re: Is this music/recording thing just a hobby?
Post by: Tom C on March 09, 2006, 08:53:22 am
Consul wrote on Tue, 07 March 2006 13:56

But what happens when you are the musician, the engineer, and the one with the vision? People like Larry Fast and Jean-Michel Jarre were able to pull off some nice stuff that way, so it's not impossible, but Larry has at times talked about the input he got from other people and how it helped him along.



If you want to be better than average, you have to be better
than average in composing, performing, recording, mixing and
mastering.
The probability of this is very rare, and now imagine you want
to become VERY good in all this.

There are VERY few talents around that can do this.
And no, JMJ is not one of them (he'd lots of feedback from
Michel Geiss).

On the other hand I think it's a good idea to try to become as
good as possible on all these topics, e.g. you'll make much
better mixes once you have some mastering experience and know
what to avoid Smile

And that's the point when you'll know what should better be done
by experts to get the most out of your work.

Tom
Title: Re: Is this music/recording thing just a hobby?
Post by: Consul on March 09, 2006, 02:04:32 pm
Tom Crowning wrote on Thu, 09 March 2006 06:53

If you want to be better than average, you have to be better
than average in composing, performing, recording, mixing and
mastering.


The mastering is best left to someone else, I think.

As for recording and mixing, time is on my side. There is no schedule from a label to adhere to. It's all about my musical memories and my hobby, after all. I'm not even out to release an album. I just plan to put songs up on a website as they are finished.

Quote:

There are VERY few talents around that can do this.
And no, JMJ is not one of them (he'd lots of feedback from
Michel Geiss).


Well, I mentioned that Larry Fast had lots of outside input, and I have no doubt that JMJ did as well.

Title: Re: Is this music/recording thing just a hobby?
Post by: maxim on March 10, 2006, 04:02:54 am
tom wrote:

"If you want to be better than average, you have to be better
than average in composing, performing, recording, mixing and
mastering."

i don't think that's necessarily true

if you are better than average at all of those, you would be truly exceptional

you can be better than average that any one of those and just average at the rest, and still be better than average

but who wants to be average, anyway


Title: Re: Is this music/recording thing just a hobby?
Post by: Tom C on March 10, 2006, 04:41:15 pm
maxim wrote on Fri, 10 March 2006 10:02

tom wrote:

"If you want to be better than average, you have to be better
than average in composing, performing, recording, mixing and
mastering."

i don't think that's necessarily true

if you are better than average at all of those, you would be truly exceptional

you can be better than average that any one of those and just average at the rest, and still be better than average

but who wants to be average, anyway





What you say is true, but when you think of all these steps in a
production as some kind of chain then your chain is as good as
the weakest part of it.
Some parts may be not as important as others, but I think in
general that's true for most productions.
If not there wouldn't be specialists around for nearly everything.


Tom



Title: Re: Is this music/recording thing just a hobby?
Post by: grizzly joe on April 18, 2006, 10:53:47 pm
music is art.
recording is capturing art
Title: Re: Is this music/recording thing just a hobby?
Post by: maxim on April 19, 2006, 12:11:35 am
capturing art is art
Title: Re: Is this music/recording thing just a hobby?
Post by: bilco on April 19, 2006, 12:43:38 pm
This music/recording thing is my PASSION.  It's how I define who I am....

In order of passion, not necessarily competence:

Songwriter/Bassist/Recording Newbie/Acoustic Guitarist

Of course, the majority of folks in my day world view me as:

Husband/Dad/9-5 Workerbee Drone/He does something with music, but I don't know or care what it is

I could get by without recording in my life I guess; giving up bass playing as a sideman would be kind of hard and mean less $ coming in.

Giving up songwriting would be denying who/what I am and what I feel my purpose is, the one thing I think I am better than average at.

bilco
Title: Re: Is this music/recording thing just a hobby?
Post by: trevord on April 19, 2006, 10:10:47 pm
as far as the "pro" vs amateur debate goes...

I am an ASIC chip designer..
My last completed chip was an full implementation of the AAC in hardware (think Ipod) now i do digital control of CMOS based analog.

The point is...
not every "amateur" is ignorant of the industry (or audio theory).
Not everyone involved in the audio industry is involved in "recording", someone designs the chips you record with - are they (we) pro?

Personally, I am interested in a very narrow segment of the vast spectrum that is the "audio industry" - that is - computer based music synthesis and composition .... AND
design of digital audio ASIC's.

In the old days a "pro" in audio would be expected to know everything technical about the equipment they used - that was part of being pro.. but now the field is split
a good example..
any pro engineer 20 or 30 yrs ago was expected to know the push pull circuit for a power amplifier and be able to debug a problem in a simple high power amp if something happened. Then mos-fets hit and compound transistors and all of a sudden your "power amp" is a big black chip you bolted to a heat sink and connected to a power supply and the biggest  caps you could find.
Does that means building/designing power amps is lost - no...
it means engineers who liked power amps more than recording are now designing in silicon and they only do power amps
and engineers who liked recording more than fiddling with power amps now have more reliable power amps (which they don't have to repair as much).
Point is..
people who would have ended up in one field before are now split into more and more specialized roles (good or bad is a different story) all these roles are important and should be respected.

I know the majority of you are cool guys and most of this is just good natured BS but spare a thought for the poor sucker who is in a cube slaving over verilog 10 hrs a day wishing he was in a studio some place.

trevor
Title: Re: Is this music/recording thing just a hobby?
Post by: Ryan Leigh Patterson on April 21, 2006, 04:08:11 am
music/audio had paid me just enought to keep me chasing the bloody carrot...

I'm also a banker.... ouch.... it's a new hobby of mine, I figured that if I was going to take up any new hobbies, they might as well involve some sort of income, to make up for the lack of money my chosen profession provieds me with...

however, I forsee the inevitable happening once the big banker dollars start to roll in...


Musician  - "My Mr.Engineer, how your console has grown"

Me - "All the better to mix you with my dear"

Musician "My Mr Engineer, how your outboard conmpressors have grown"

Me - "All the better to compress you with"

Musician - "My Mr Engineer, how your mic collection has grown"

Me - "All the better to record you with"

Musician - "My Mr Engineer, how you patience with my crappy no budget, no talent, sorry excuse for a band has shrank"

Me - "All the better to kick your sorry ass out of my studio with"

Musican "but you used to record us for so cheap"

Me " yeah, but now I don't have to...... "

hmmm... I might be getting a tad jaded Embarassed



ohh sarah vaughn just poped up on itunes...ahhhh...

Embarassed  Embarassed