#108 - End of Year recap, what we've learned and where we're going
#108 - End of Year recap, what we've learned and where we're going
What a year... I'm looking back at 33 posts or so I wrote in 2021 and it seems like a lifetime away that went by in a blink. Feel free to write or include a comment. Here goes......
If there was an overall theme for this year, it might be about "change". Change is inevitable good or bad. Did the digital revolution really improve human consciousness? Does your cellphone work in your house? Mine doesn't. I have to communicate on zoom in a fixed location in my home. Somehow I find myself longing for the landline and a portable phone. At least I didn't have to stand in the rain outside to make a call.
That said... Trying to hold back or hold onto the past only seems to drives us deeper into hole we can't get out of.... Regardless if it was faster, cheaper and sounded better to record on tape, the pandemic taught every musician or wannabe that you don't need to get a good tone or sing in tune. Fix it with a plugin. It seems no one has time to practice their instrument. Sadly, this year I have accepted that and plan to install Protools so every wannabe can spend hours fixing one note. Is it any wonder the music business is going down the tubes? Where are the musicians creating the music? Have they locked themselves in a bedroom to create thousands of takes and learned to edit? They could have just practiced a bit.
And what about other feats of clever devices that don't really support the craft of audio engineering. The years we spent learning and creating immersive audio or HD audio has been tossed to the side by companies like Apple who have decreed everyone must have "Spatial" audio. Considering there is no requirement beyond checking a box with your distributor, just what is Apple doing to the sound and charging $299 for a new pair of earbuds. Spending a billion dollars on ad campaigns might force a few of us to test the water and ask, "so, just what are the specs". Or we can just forget it and move on as we did with surround sound. Sad.
Call it lies or misleading information - it doesn't matter. It's about a money machine for the world of high tech. Don't get me wrong. I love technology... but not at the expensive of the truth. What we thought was 'true' is not. One and one may no longer equal two.
Another example, starting off 2021 was the Capital riots. Never in my lifetime could I conceive of something like that happening. Along with that came the realization how divided the country was while I live in my isolated world of music which was also crumbling - but maybe this is for the best. We were shocked into opening our eyes.
NFTs are coming... they reared their heads in unbelievable amounts. Scarcity of art sold to collectors who seemingly care or see it as an investment vehicle. It doesn't matter. It's coming to music and it could benefit the artist. At least that is the hope. At the same time, we know that labels bought up music ownership from Bob Dylan to Bruce Springsteen. That's just the beginning. It's cashout time for legacy artists. Good for them!
We hope this trend trickles down to the niche artists one day too because social media has proven to be an ineffective tool for connecting communities or turning promotion into new sales. Without the concerts and conventions for music and audio, we have missed the interaction of humans... face to face or voice to voice. Instead, many have chosen to use venom on social media. If you want to see it in action, visit some of the audiophile threads where people post really mean things about people who can hear a difference in cable. Most of us wonder why can't they accept that others might hear a difference. Who cares anyway. It should be our choice to buy as we like. Why should we have this dominance of "I'm right and your wrong, therefore you don't exist". Literally, one of those bozos told me I wasn't an audio engineer with all intentions of pissing me off and hid behind his faceless identity. Cowards. So I quit the groups and forums. Many of us did. I can't wait to meet you all again at a music weekend, show or convention.
But all is not grim. Despite not having done a session for more than a year we are surprised at the activity coming to us. Recording music is more than capturing a song and selling it. It's a gathering place for a community. Inside the studio walls, it's a place where friends gather to exchange ideas and create. We've had a lot of things on the back burner that finally saw the light of day.
We launched two new youtube channels... finally. One for sleep, relaxation and meditation. Here's our latest video.
And the second channel for storytelling. We want you to know the artists behind the music... what drives them to create. These are not faceless people behind their songs. They have stories to tell - stories that captivated me and is the reason why I work with them.
We're creating videos and plan to start a podcast in the next two months. We opened up a substack.com newsletter/blog for DSD-Guide where we hope to offer subscriptions for teaching audio and how to classes for anyone interested in learning about sound. We're meeting with publishers about audiobooks and talking to composers who can offer background music.
I'm so very proud of many of our Blue Coast Artists who have pushed themselves to new heights of exposure. Fiona Joy Hawkins started her youtube channel and within months was able to attract thousands of subscribers. Jenna Mammina continues to do her livestream 11:11 two times a day and fill a gap for community of music lovers who want to be part of something. So many other artists who have done put themselves out for the community they've built.
And we can't forget Jenna's song Dream being placed on Amazon's Best of 2021 music list. Thank you to Monarch for however you got the music infront of so many strangers! And our brief brush with fame when Evan Price brought the International Space Orchestra to our studio to record parts for Kid Cudi.
And I must thank the OTR/Blue Coast crew who worked tirelessly, many foregoing pay to help keep us afloat. Patrick, Robby, Miles, David, Ali and the others who've helped have been amazing.
And to this end of 2021, let's not forget those we've lost this year... Dino - my bandmate/friend/chinese new year future predictor/ - you're always here. Sonny Simmons, Chick Corea, Al Schmitt and the countless others who passed and influence my work to this day.
Thank you to everyone who support us, bought a download, made a donation and believe in what we're doing.
Here's to a happy, healthy and prosperous 2022!
Let's keep music alive!
Love to all,