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Not sure what to do...
Old 3 weeks ago
  #1
Gear Guru
 
Thomas W. Bethe's Avatar
 
1 Review written
🎧 15 years
Not sure what to do...

I have not done a live audio or video recording for the past 12 months. My equipment is in storage and has not been used during that time. I am wondering if this will ever end or has the COVID-19 pandemic ruined the live recording business? I am contemplating closing down my remote business entirely and selling off all my audio and video equipment. It seems that every time the people in charge issue a date for reopening it gets pushed farther ahead into the future. I have been doing live recording for 50 years and never had such a long "dry spell".

Just wanted to vent!
Old 3 weeks ago
  #2
Lives for gear
 
1 Review written
🎧 5 years
The thing about making predictions about the future is they so often turn out looking extremely stupid in hindsight.

At the risk of me looking extremely stupid, I think-

we're coming to a point in a month or so where the effects of the vaccines and people having had covid will sort of tell us where we are. The vaccines were opened up to 18 year olds and up a couple of weeks ago here. It takes about a month and a half for the vaccines to be fully effective. This is why I'm saying it may be another month or so before we see the real effects.

Also think the vaccine will have the effect of making people more comfortable about interacting with known, close associates.

Since not everyone will have had the vax or natural immunity due to prior infection, I tend to think venues will continue to have to enforce lower capacities in order to socially distance which will continue to impact live music at least until overall infections decline to such a point that the distancing rules are dropped.
Old 3 weeks ago | Show parent
  #3
Gear Guru
 
1 Review written
🎧 5 years
i'm pretty sure that in rural areas, it will take (a lot) longer before the 'new normal' will emerge and new opportunities might arise (if ever)...

...so closing down parts of the business and focusing on one specific area may be the smartest thing to do!


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iGgtfz5qaaU

Last edited by deedeeyeah; 3 weeks ago at 07:52 PM.. Reason: link added
Old 3 weeks ago
  #4
Gear Maniac
 
PuebloAudio's Avatar
 
🎧 5 years
Shakespeare survive 2, that’s *TWO*, plague shutdowns. Be assured live performances will resume eventually. The question is when?

I kind of view this pandemic closure like the annual August dull-drums when there is almost no work in the classical arena. This is the time not to fret, but to re-evaluate biz methods and gear value. Does my current gear give me an edge over my competitors? If not, and since you don’t know when biz will re-open, wise journeyman might sell those to beginners. Sales of that gear can then fund future purchases of gear which will be more streamlined to your biz, meet modern delivery requirements, and timed just before performances resume. It had been my economic findings that having tools which materially outperform your competitors (meaning clients will hear the benefit and recommend unrequiteably) factor into making a sustainable career.

Sell that which is not generating income (except those precious, timeless pieces) and then hold, bidding time with an ear to the ground..
Old 3 weeks ago
  #5
Lives for gear
 
Plush's Avatar
 
5 Reviews written
🎧 15 years
Sell off all old formats and anything needing maintenance. Sell large pieces of gear with an eye towards eventual miniaturization. Dump no mics. No dumping of great preamps.
Old 3 weeks ago
  #6
Lives for gear
 
James Lehmann's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
The pandemic will pass.

What won't pass is the fact that during the pandemic everyone and their granny have been buying up mountains of cheap mics, preamps, interfaces, knock-off compressors, monitors, you name it, so that they can record at home.

The big-box retailers like Thomann have never had it so good.

And one look at the deluge of new registrations and posts on this Forum this past year will testify to the whole sea-change.

Because what this emerging breed of bedroom-warrior/sound-engineer is discovering is that the recordings they're able to make with even very basic gear are perfectly 'good enough' for their Instagram/Facebook/Twitter followers who only listen to mp3's and aren't actually purchasing their music anyway. Heck, I've got friends who have made some excellent-sounding live Zoom jams over lockdown with very basic gear.

Methinks we need to upskill and re-tool - although in which direction I am no longer sure.
Old 3 weeks ago
  #7
Gear Guru
 
Karloff70's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Don't worry, it's only another two weeks to flatten the curve.
Old 3 weeks ago | Show parent
  #8
Lives for gear
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by James Lehmann ➑️
Because what this emerging breed of bedroom-warrior/sound-engineer is discovering is that the recordings they're able to make with even very basic gear are perfectly 'good enough' for their Instagram/Facebook/Twitter followers who only listen to mp3's and aren't actually purchasing their music anyway. Heck, I've got friends who have made some excellent-sounding live Zoom jams over lockdown with very basic gear.

Methinks we need to upskill and re-tool - although in which direction I am no longer sure.
Here's a typical example of that sort of mic hardware: https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=ZL9ezugCl-Y

Lewitt announces LCT 140 AIR stereo pair
Old 3 weeks ago
  #9
Gear Guru
 
Thomas W. Bethe's Avatar
 
1 Review written
🎧 15 years
I am not worried about the bedroom warrior doing remote recordings. What I am worried about is the live concerts not returning or returning in a format that does not call for anyone to record them.

At the local college all the concert venues have built in audio and video self recording setups (all HD video) so the students and faculty can do their own recordings or the college can do them, if needed.

Many of the local churches have gone out and spent big bucks on "streaming" setups including HD video cameras and hall microphones so they no longer need me.

I guess it is the law of "Diminishing Returns" and I am not sure I want to spend anymore money for equipment if my services are no longer needed. The DIY craze is hitting me BIG TIME. One of my previous concert recording clients told me that they are more than happy to do their own recordings and the money they save can be used for "other things". The stuff they put up on line is amateurish to say the least but I guess no one really cares about quality anymore. FWIW
Old 3 weeks ago
  #10
Lives for gear
 
🎧 10 years
A financial reality for venues and performing groups is that returns to public concerts are likely to be at lower than 100% seating capacity for some time to come...at least until 'herd immunity' is conferred via mass vaccination. How long this will take before being reliably verified is unknown...but Britain seems to be showing the way here ?

The result of this will be cost-cutting wherever possible: to performer fees, promotions budget, venue staff....and 'ancillary/non-core' services such as location recording and video.

However, you might be able to short-circuit this...if you can make a convincing case to the performers and venues that by recording (video + audio) them and making short 'show reels' or 50-90 second cameos, these will become more effective promotional tools than posters, flyers, radio ads etc.

Thus, repurposing their curtailed promotions budget to utilise your offered services.

Also, redirecting your workflow from whole concerts to much shorter edits....

Last edited by studer58; 3 weeks ago at 02:17 PM..
Old 3 weeks ago
  #11
Lives for gear
Can you find a way to enter another competitive space with the equipment and skills you have? For example, business videos and podcasts?

Maybe look at Antoine DuPont and the like for traditional ideas. . .and even as viable leads to potential clients.

Help local business leaders stand up their own YouTube channels and podcasts to grow their businesses. Conduct interviews yourself to promote them.

Successful entrepreneurs simply don’t have the time that idle musicians have. They need your help and can pay for it.


There are countless opportunities for profit. But follow your own heart.

Ray H.
Old 3 weeks ago
  #12
Lives for gear
 
1 Review written
🎧 5 years
As we start into the summer months in the USA, the most logical place for live events to return would be outdoor venues because of the free flow of air, more space and sunlight being an excellent natural disinfectant.

But the return to live events probably won't be this logical.

I did notice that several children's theater groups plan to have summer camps. They won't have live performances. Instead, they say they plan to record them and give the parents a recording. I haven't seen any details about how the recording will be made.

One local college is putting on a musical this weekend with a live orchestra in front of a live audience with socially distanced seating, but the other area colleges aren't allowing in person audiences that I can see.
Old 3 weeks ago
  #13
Gear Guru
When hiking and you find yourself at the end of the path, you take a different path.
Old 3 weeks ago | Show parent
  #14
Lives for gear
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim Williams ➑️
When hiking and you find yourself at the end of the path, you take a different path.
Does that have any convergence with the saying attributed to Einstein: 'Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results' ?
Old 3 weeks ago
  #15
Lives for gear
 
1 Review written
🎧 5 years
When a vein of gold plays out, time to find another vein.

Besides outdoor performance, we might start to see piano and stringed instrument performances start to come back first.
Old 3 weeks ago
  #16
Gear Maniac
I've taking Studers approach. Convinced my local ensembles to justify continued solicitations for support by performing online. Can point to a higher number of page views, then prior ticket sales sadly. A page view is better than a ticket which you can't even sell, and he is correct not all gray-haired audience members will come back.


Maybe this is not all bad. Performers are rising to a new challenge, and they tell me donations have indeed rolled in. So I bought more cameras and increased my fee!
Old 3 weeks ago
  #17
Lives for gear
 
🎧 15 years
It's been a long year. Some level of risk-aversion behaviour is going to continue, especially among older folks who make up the core of the audiences and donor-groups for major arts orgs. All those orgs know this and thus streaming is here to stay. Older folks might be vaccinated, but those of us with underlying medical conditions are are still more at risk of serious complications if we get a breakthrough infection. With the orgs I work with, I figure older prime-donor folks WILL come back to live shows, but they probably won't come back to as many as they used to (like season tickets etc), and will probably avoid some of the more crowdy venues when they can. So I think there will be shows, just maybe not as many as there were. The % of seats sellable and sold issue that JC brings up is a major concern of my people--like how do we make tour economics work with 50% of seats sold?
Old 3 weeks ago
  #18
Lives for gear
 
🎧 10 years
When it comes to entertainment venue occupancy (even including churches, cathedrals, outdoor venues) there will have to be a global legal and insurance business shakedown of what constitutes "risk" : acceptable vs unacceptable risk, who and what conditions raise or lower it, is there a universal waiver of liability if the public attends an event, etc.

If I attend an event wearing a mask with spaced seating and contract COVID, is it provable I caught it there ? If I attend an event unvaccinated, am I under suspicion as a potential infection source. Is a venue liable if an event becomes labelled as a super-spreader source a few weeks later ? Is all potential litigation and blame off the table if one attends an event...either as a potential spreader or a 'victim' of the virus ? With so many variables, I don't see how a 'probable cause' or 'malicious intent' case could be fought or defended.

In the absence of any such clear lines of cause, fault, blame, responsibility...and without the dubious safety-net of litigation, people are going to vote with their feet and according to their age, existing medical conditions and perceived risk status...as philper outlines above.

I predict it'll be at least 2 years hence before a sufficient number of test-case concerts, attended by "the Bold and The Vaccinated" have been held and outcomes analysed, before any sort of future roadmap landscape can be plotted for concert attendances. That will include things like the emergence of (and vaccine response to) variant strains, how long herd immunity is maintained, etc.

Countries like Aust and New Zealand will take longer...effectively virus free now, once they (inevitably and necessarily) reopen to international travel will be the real test of their vaccination-only derived herd immunity.

For these 2 countries, now tentatively opening a 'travel bubble' between each other, the transitition between the currently prevailing covid-extinction/elimination paradigm and the impending 'living with it as a manageable risk' one is going to evoke considerable existential angst...when the time comes, wish us luck !

The world is currently deep in the Rumsfeldian jungle of innumerable "known and unknown unknowns"
Old 3 weeks ago
  #19
Lives for gear
Quote:
Originally Posted by Thomas W. Bethe ➑️
I have not done a live audio or video recording for the past 12 months. My equipment is in storage and has not been used during that time. I am wondering if this will ever end or has the COVID-19 pandemic ruined the live recording business? I am contemplating closing down my remote business entirely and selling off all my audio and video equipment. It seems that every time the people in charge issue a date for reopening it gets pushed farther ahead into the future. I have been doing live recording for 50 years and never had such a long "dry spell".

Just wanted to vent!
I'm in a similar situation, but live events.

I took a 9-5 job during the pandemic to make ends meet. I enjoy the job enough to keep doing it for a while, and having a stable paycheque is nice too.

Now I'm wondering if I even want to do events/recording any more. Perhaps I just need to get my feet wet to see if I still enjoy it.

Chris
Old 3 weeks ago
  #20
Gear Guru
 
1 Review written
🎧 5 years
can we now please go back to discussing effects of the pandemic on our business and our personal work and not turn yet another thread into a 'discussion' on various medical and political strategies to deal with the pandemic?!
Old 3 weeks ago | Show parent
  #21
Gear Guru
 
Thomas W. Bethe's Avatar
 
1 Review written
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by deedeeyeah ➑️
can we now please go back to discussing effects of the pandemic on our business and our personal work and not turn yet another thread into a 'discussion' on various medical and political strategies to deal with the pandemic?!
Yes I second that. There are other places to discuss the politics of the pandemic.

We did do a remote filming yesterday for a local rock artist in his basement studio. All COVID-19 protocols were followed. This is part of an on going documentary that the artist is doing. It was our first on location filming in months. It felt good to get back to doing what I love. FWIW!!!
Old 3 weeks ago | Show parent
  #22
Lives for gear
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Thomas W. Bethe ➑️
Yes I second that. There are other places to discuss the politics of the pandemic.

We did do a remote filming yesterday for a local rock artist in his basement studio. All COVID-19 protocols were followed. This is part of an on going documentary that the artist is doing. It was our first on location filming in months. It felt good to get back to doing what I love. FWIW!!!
I'll be doing similar this week...the audio capture is the main focus, but a couple of cameras rolling in the background to round out the project with a homespun 'making of' mini-documentary, kind of an informal add-on.
Old 3 weeks ago | Show parent
  #23
Lives for gear
 
1 Review written
🎧 5 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by studer58 ➑️
I'll be doing similar this week...the audio capture is the main focus, but a couple of cameras rolling in the background to round out the project with a homespun 'making of' mini-documentary, kind of an informal add-on.
Sometimes this low key stuff turns out to be the most interesting.
Old 3 weeks ago | Show parent
  #24
Lives for gear
 
🎧 15 years
No matter what anyone believes about personal choice or experimental medicine, the way that the few in-person gigs I have to do now are happening is thru all participants A: being vaxxed and B: being tested. The people involved in these gigs have voted with their feet on this issue, and it's my choice to either be vaxxed+tested and get to do the work or not do those things and continue staying home all the time. It might finally to be discovered that on balance not getting vaxxed and working and hoping for the best was really the same level of risk that getting the new vax and working and hoping for the best, yes, I know, we'll see, eventually. I don't have "eventually": I need to work now. What I see is that the music+live show biz as a whole is betting on the vaccines, so if I want to be in this business as what is has now become then I get the vax.
Old 3 weeks ago
  #25
Gear Addict
 
🎧 5 years
Maybe I'm too optimistic but it seems to me people are desperate for live social events - and music is best done socially, IMO - so once the pandemic passes (and it will pass) live concerts will make a healthy comeback. Don't sell all your gear just yet. You made it this far. You might as well see it to the finish line.
Old 3 weeks ago | Show parent
  #26
Gear Guru
Quote:
Originally Posted by studer58 ➑️
Does that have any convergence with the saying attributed to Einstein: 'Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results' ?
I'm trying to be nice here. It's been a very tough year for music performance. Pretty much everyone took a hit. I last played out over a year ago. Musicians are first fired, last hired.

The fact that many studios took the time off to get gear worked on has been good for my business but I still don't like it.

I sure miss the 1970's when music was bigger than movies, TV or pro sports. To quote Bernie, "It was HUUUUUGE". Too bad many of you missed it. It was a good ride.
Old 2 weeks ago
  #27
Lives for gear
 
hbphotoav's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
I've had a bit of a thaw recently... it started with an edit of a concert (and some rehearsals) that I recorded for a local pianist client in 2013. We worked for five sessions to get the 78 minutes under control.

Then came an elementary school client with a Covid-informed location recording session (the first work for them since March last year) for a Covid-informed video of the big "spring program" for this year (last year's was simply cancelled). Three days of tracking 15 tunes across 5 classes (K-4), each class broken into 2-3 Covid-informed groups, distanced and paper-masked, with upper grades lending an assist where necessary. Something like 70 vocal takes to sort through and cut together over the 15 music beds. Gotta say, the MKH8040s (ORTF) and AT4050 (fig 8, centered, same plane) in the small "music room" with tiered seating ended up sounding better than I could have imagined. The little darlings sang their little butts off, and the mixes were pretty dang good (they're dancing to their respective tracks this week for the video recording, with the "usual" video guy).

Then a pal and former freelance employee of mine (treat those freelancers well!) who owns a meetings production company (who also saw his annual AV schedule go up in smoke 13 months ago) called about a Covid-informed organ concert at a local church. Could I bring cameras for him to switch, and mics for me to record... two separate events, events, of the same concert. Well, yeah! Gefells went up after listening to the room; client OK'd the soundcheck (with a big smile), and two full day rates were notched.

Then, the pianist called again, for four more sessions to edit and tweak a concert that a local college had recorded to tape in 1995, which had been mastered to CD several years later. We finish it up this week, to be duplicated for her family.

Add four Sundays of five at my "paying" Sunday morning mix gig in a new room that finally got straightened out last Saturday... the three previous Sundays were several shades of "suck" as the multi-room routing and network programming was being worked out ("soft" open target was Palm Sunday... contractor only missed by a month). Yesterday was almost a pleasure. Got the new Midas M32 pretty much dialed in, and a nice little d+b Audiotechnik PA rig at about 85% of where I'd like it (and about 2000% better than the week before) and found out the weekly stipend allotment to mix was increased by 50%.

There may be a light at the end of this tunnel.

Cheers, all.

HB


Did I mention that our FIT refund check (after last year's 80% dip in income) also came in the mail today? I may just drink a second beer tonight.

Of course, the local property tax reassessment (after a 35% tax rate hike this year) also came in. House appreciated $100K, they say. In a Pandemic year. On second thought ... hold that second beer.

Ah... 2020/21. The years of suck.
Old 2 weeks ago | Show parent
  #28
Gear Guru
 
Thomas W. Bethe's Avatar
 
1 Review written
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by hbphotoav ➑️
I've had a bit of a thaw recently... it started with an edit of a concert (and some rehearsals) that I recorded for a local pianist client in 2013. We worked for five sessions to get the 78 minutes under control.

Then came an elementary school client with a Covid-informed location recording session (the first work for them since March last year) for a Covid-informed video of the big "spring program" for this year (last year's was simply cancelled). Three days of tracking 15 tunes across 5 classes (K-4), each class broken into 2-3 Covid-informed groups, distanced and paper-masked, with upper grades lending an assist where necessary. Something like 70 vocal takes to sort through and cut together over the 15 music beds. Gotta say, the MKH8040s (ORTF) and AT4050 (fig 8, centered, same plane) in the small "music room" with tiered seating ended up sounding better than I could have imagined. The little darlings sang their little butts off, and the mixes were pretty dang good (they're dancing to their respective tracks this week for the video recording, with the "usual" video guy).

Then a pal and former freelance employee of mine (treat those freelancers well!) who owns a meetings production company (who also saw his annual AV schedule go up in smoke 13 months ago) called about a Covid-informed organ concert at a local church. Could I bring cameras for him to switch, and mics for me to record... two separate events, events, of the same concert. Well, yeah! Gefells went up after listening to the room; client OK'd the soundcheck (with a big smile), and two full day rates were notched.

Then, the pianist called again, for four more sessions to edit and tweak a concert that a local college had recorded to tape in 1995, which had been mastered to CD several years later. We finish it up this week, to be duplicated for her family.

Add four Sundays of five at my "paying" Sunday morning mix gig in a new room that finally got straightened out last Saturday... the three previous Sundays were several shades of "suck" as the multi-room routing and network programming was being worked out ("soft" open target was Palm Sunday... contractor only missed by a month). Yesterday was almost a pleasure. Got the new Midas M32 pretty much dialed in, and a nice little d+b Audiotechnik PA rig at about 85% of where I'd like it (and about 2000% better than the week before) and found out the weekly stipend allotment to mix was increased by 50%.

There may be a light at the end of this tunnel.

Cheers, all.

HB


Did I mention that our FIT refund check (after last year's 80% dip in income) also came in the mail today? I may just drink a second beer tonight.

Of course, the local property tax reassessment (after a 35% tax rate hike this year) also came in. House appreciated $100K, they say. In a Pandemic year. On second thought ... hold that second beer.

Ah... 2020/21. The years of suck.
CONGRATS!!! Sounds like the log jam is broken and you are getting back to work.Wonderful news...
Old 2 weeks ago | Show parent
  #29
Gear Guru
 
1 Review written
🎧 5 years
first live gig in front of an audience in a couple of months here too: 'atom string quartet' at the jazzfestival basel, switzerland
Attached Thumbnails
Not sure what to do...-20210427_194430.jpg  
Old 2 weeks ago | Show parent
  #30
Gear Nut
Quote:
Originally Posted by deedeeyeah ➑️
first live gig in front of an audience in a couple of months here too: 'atom string quartet' at the jazzfestival basel, switzerland

Try 14 months...!

Fear : I'm the only one in the hall with the public.!..2 masks! extreme distanciation. 3 metres all around ! .. but ......ecstasy!

Montreal les Grands Ballets Canadiens https://grandsballets.com/en/perform...detail/echoes/

Ray
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