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The Hidden Costs of DIY
Old 28th March 2018
  #1
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Thomas W. Bethe's Avatar
 
1 Review written
🎧 15 years
The Hidden Costs of DIY

The Hidden Costs of DIY

In today’s world it seems like everyone wants to do everything themselves. We have clients that we have worked with for years and now they have decided to DIY the same things they relied upon us to do in the past. There were never any complaints or problems but everyone now seems to wants to “save their money” and don’t see the need to pay someone else to do what they “can do” themselves. EXCEPT that they are deluding themselves because they are still spending money only now it is hidden in their day to day work and they are spending their time and materials doing what we did for them. I believe in the long run it will cost them more or they will grow tired of doing it and either give up or do it in the fastest cheapest way possible.

Today everyone who has access to the internet seems to think they are a “genius” and if they can watch a YouTube video they think they know how to do even the most daunting tasks. I would assume that if things continue the course we may, in the near future, see YouTube videos on how to do minor surgery and car transmission tear down and rebuilding (Oh wait, rebuilding a transmission is already on YouTube, my bad)

The same thing goes for audio and video. More and more people are filming on their cell phones and recording audio on a Zoom type “chip” recorder. I believe there is a major motion picture coming out that was all filmed on a cell phone. See The Feature Film That Blew Everyone Away at Sundance Was Shot on an iPhone 5s

This is all well and good but it means that companies such as mine who used to make a living off doing all this stuff for others can no longer survive.

FWIW.

Last edited by Thomas W. Bethe; 28th March 2018 at 07:55 PM..
Old 28th March 2018
  #2
Lives for gear
 
🎧 5 years
@ Thomas W. Bethe insanity is the hidden cost of DIY. Am I alone in having a staunchness against literally doing everything myself?
Old 28th March 2018
  #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Thomas W. Bethe ➡️
There were never any complaints or problems but everyone now seems to wants to “save their money” and don’t see the need to pay someone else to do what they “can do” themselves.
Musicians who buy studio services are primarily those who dedicate their entire waking lives to playing and performing. They literally don't have time to learn how to run their own studio to make their music, so they pay someone else. These are the people you should go after if you are a studio owner looking for clients.

Quote:
EXCEPT that they are deluding themselves because they are still spending money only now it is hidden in their day to day work and they are spending their time and materials doing what we did for them. I believe in the long run it will cost them more or they will grow tired of doing it and either give up or do it in the fastest cheapest way possible.
You don't get it. Most people who have home studios are not professional musicians. Instead they are piecemeal amateur hacks who couldn't perform an entire song from start to finish if their life depended on it. They basically compose small song bits as they go along and then string them together until they finally come up with something they think is a song. They often use 'beats' obtained for a small charge from the internet because they have no idea how to make an effective beat themselves. As a studio owner, you will never be able to help these people in any way that is cost effective, so forget about them. They are in their own world, a world you don't seem to understand.

Quote:
Today everyone who has access to the internet seems to think they are a “genius” and if they can watch a YouTube video they think they know how to do even the most daunting tasks.
That's a bit of an exaggeration. Most people put things on YouTube for one reason: They can. Very few people do it because it is the "genius" thing to do. Rather they found out that their friend did it, so now they want to do it too. In many cases, it's for the fun of it, in other cases, it's for the sake of being creative and showing off. Today society is driven by technology and making a song or video in your own home using cheap technology is, well, just the thing to do in a technological society. Why some studio owners think they should have a monopoly on the use of technology when it is available for use by everybody is beyond me.

Quote:
I believe there is a major motion picture coming out that was all filmed on a cell phone. See The Feature Film That Blew Everyone Away at Sundance Was Shot on an iPhone 5s
Can't wait to see it.

Last edited by Deleted User; 28th March 2018 at 08:21 PM..
Old 28th March 2018
  #4
Gear Guru
 
Thomas W. Bethe's Avatar
 
1 Review written
🎧 15 years
No recording studio here. We do audio mastering and restoration.

I am always looking to help the DIYer and to help them with the part of their process they are having problems with but since I am in business I have to charge for that help.

I was talking about WATCHING YouTube not putting things on YouTube. You did not read what I wrote. No one thinks they have a monopoly on technology but if your business is based on providing that "technology" to others and no one needs your services then it is not good.

I have seen some amazing work done by DIYers. I have also seen some crap. If what you want to show the world is the best you can do then it pays to hire a professional. If all you want to do is to put something up on YouTube then go for it.

DIYing is hurting the people who provide the technology to others in a professional manner.

FWIW
Old 28th March 2018 | Show parent
  #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Thomas W. Bethe ➡️
I am always looking to help the DIYer and to help them with the part of their process they are having problems with but since I am in business I have to charge for that help.
And if they don't want your help? That's the situation. Very few of them are complaining about not needing your help. Many of them think you are irrelevant. Sometimes facing up to reality is a positive. Sometimes it is the only thing you can do.

Quote:
I was talking about WATCHING YouTube not putting things on YouTube. You did not read what I wrote.
I did read what you said. I used the example of posting YouTube videos because it was more in line of being a 'daunting' task as you put it. Nothing in my overall analysis changes.

Quote:
No one thinks they have a monopoly on technology but if your business is based on providing that "technology" to others and no one needs your services then it is not good.
At some point it sounds like sour grapes. Technology changed. Times changed. Your business has suffered and you don't like it. I've been victimized by technology changes as well, but realize that I can't change the world, so I adapt. Not always for the better, but at least for the best I can do. I've lost out on technology paradigm shifts too. But I trudge on.

Quote:
DIYing is hurting the people who provide the technology to others in a professional manner.
Ditto for what I said above. Many of us hurt but we move on.
Old 29th March 2018
  #6
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kafka's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Yeah, but people like recording, even if it just sounds like a demo. It's a fun creative outlet. Don't worry about it taking away business. They were never going to buy anything from you anyway.
Old 29th March 2018 | Show parent
  #7
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Thomas W. Bethe's Avatar
 
1 Review written
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Frank_Case ➡️
And if they don't want your help? That's the situation. Very few of them are complaining about not needing your help. Many of them think you are irrelevant. Sometimes facing up to reality is a positive. Sometimes it is the only thing you can do.



I did read what you said. I used the example of posting YouTube videos because it was more in line of being a 'daunting' task as you put it. Nothing in my overall analysis changes.



At some point it sounds like sour grapes. Technology changed. Times changed. Your business has suffered and you don't like it. I've been victimized by technology changes as well, but realize that I can't change the world, so I adapt. Not always for the better, but at least for the best I can do. I've lost out on technology paradigm shifts too. But I trudge on.



Ditto for what I said above. Many of us hurt but we move on.
Sounds like you have everything covered. GREAT!

I don't which is why I posted this topic.

I think that technology is GREAT and I use it every day.

I think technology used by people who do not understand how to use it effectively or what it is all about is not the best for them or what they are trying to convey. A badly done audio/video/print message is actually worse than no message at all, IMHO.

Cheap or free software for audio and video production has added to this ongoing lack of understanding of what one can do with the technology. I see the same type faces on so many YouTube videos because that is what come with the presets on the software. I see people saying they use 16 plugins on their mastering and when they list them they are the plugins that come with the software. Doing professional level work is not about using presets and cheap software but is understanding what and how to achieve the best possible results for their clients and then using the best possible tools to achieve that end.

A lot of stuff that goes up on YouTube is not prime time material. Why would anyone put up something that is not their best? I get the idea that a lot of what goes up on YouTube is someone's quick attempt at video or audio production so they can say on their Facebook page "I have some material up on YouTube".

If it is done for fun GREAT if you are trying to convince someone you are a professional a lot of it falls short.

I have always tried to be professional about everything I produce. I don't get into areas that I don't understand and leave that to other professionals. Things like animation, large scale video productions, multi-track audio and SFX are best left to professionals in those fields. If I need someone to do something I am not conversant in I hire someone who is to do it. I don't see that as a problem.

My mentor works with some of the biggest ad agencies in this area and produces material for on air use. His production standards are very high and he takes pride in always providing more than the client needs. He has grown his business by being a professional in all areas he serves. He was the first in this area to introduce digital recording and editing for both video and audio. He is now at 6K for all his shooting and plans to go to 8K soon. He has literally pushed this market into adopting HIS standards and others engaged in the same occupation have either had to meet his standards or go under. He does not get involved with local musicians because, as he says, he wants to get paid.

I want to work with professionals and not with some kid in his bedroom who advertises on the WWW that he has a studio and uses someone else's pictures to "entice" others to use his services.

FWIW
Old 29th March 2018 | Show parent
  #8
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Brent Hahn's Avatar
 
1 Review written
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Thomas W. Bethe ➡️
[Your mentor] does not get involved with local musicians because, as he says, he wants to get paid.

I want to work with professionals and not with some kid in his bedroom...
Sounds like your mentor is still mentoring, at least by example, and you're not listening.
Old 29th March 2018 | Show parent
  #9
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Thomas W. Bethe's Avatar
 
1 Review written
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Brent Hahn ➡️
Sounds like your mentor is still mentoring, at least by example, and you're not listening.
I am listening but 95% of the people who contact us are not professionals and want things done super cheap. They seem to think that because places like Fiverr and some on line mastering places do things cheap that is the going price. It really gets to me when I get a phone call and the person wants me to do their mastering for $5 a song "cause that is what the going rate it" EXCUSE ME.

Anyway I hope all the people who have all these great ideas on this topic are making a ton of money and are having to turn clients away in droves. I am not in that position.
Old 29th March 2018 | Show parent
  #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Thomas W. Bethe ➡️
No recording studio here. We do audio mastering and restoration.
Mastering these days has an interesting problem. Just like there has been an explosion of home recordists, the same has occurred for mastering engineers. Twenty years ago you may have been the only game in town in your area. Today, thousands of ME's exist, and most will assist you across the internet without any trouble. When a client whittles it down to the best ME's, they still wind up with a hundred that 'appear' to be good without knowing for sure. Then to choose the best of the best, they whittle it down to a half dozen or so at what they consider a reasonably acceptable price point.

I am willing to pay for mastering services, so potentially I could be your next client. So how do you prove to me that you belong in that final six which I choose from the ME pool for the entire planet. That's a daunting task, for sure. And as a client, it's a daunting task just picking out the right ME. In fact, it scares me, knowing that anybody and everybody on the internet can claim to be the promised Savior ME that everybody has been looking for. In the past, I primarily relied on word of mouth from sources I trust. I also like it when the ME has real billboard 100 'Hit Experience'. I'll pay more for that, if I have a song that deserves it. But in the end choosing an unknown ME is a crap shoot, and I don't like that when significant dollars are involved.
Old 29th March 2018 | Show parent
  #11
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Thomas W. Bethe's Avatar
 
1 Review written
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Frank_Case ➡️
Mastering these days has an interesting problem. Just like there has been an explosion of home recordists, the same has occurred for mastering engineers. Twenty years ago you may have been the only game in town in your area. Today, thousands of ME's exist, and most will assist you across the internet without any trouble. When a client whittles it down to the best ME's, they still wind up with a hundred that 'appear' to be good without knowing for sure. Then to choose the best of the best, they whittle it down to a half dozen or so at what they consider a reasonably acceptable price point.

I am willing to pay for mastering services, so potentially I could be your next client. So how do you prove to me that you belong in that final six which I choose from the ME pool for the entire planet. That's a daunting task, for sure. And as a client, it's a daunting task just picking out the right ME. In fact, it scares me, knowing that anybody and everybody on the internet can claim to be the promised Savior ME that everybody has been looking for. In the past, I primarily relied on word of mouth from sources I trust. I also like it when the ME has real billboard 100 'Hit Experience'. I'll pay more for that, if I have a song that deserves it. But in the end choosing an unknown ME is a crap shoot, and I don't like that when significant dollars are involved.
All good points.

We try and go out of our way for all of our clients. We want to make sure that what they get is what they want and are happy with the results. Unfortunately today the first question asked by most people when calling or writing is usually "how much" instead of "how good can you make me sound".

There are, at present, probably 10 to 100 times the number of mastering engineers to the number of people who need their services in the US of A and it is getting worse. Add in LA$DR and other AI programs and their is a serious problem. I imagine that within 10 years, maybe less, all the middle tier mastering studios will be history and the only ones that will be around are the top end studios and the bargain basement (literally) operations. Too bad it was GREAT profession while it lasted and we did a lot of mastering for a lot of really nice, really talented people.

I am starting to know how the horse drawn buggy and buggy whip manufactures felt in the early 1900's after the automobile came out. Similar problems.

FWIW

Last edited by Thomas W. Bethe; 31st March 2018 at 12:54 PM.. Reason: Spelling
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