Archive for the ‘Music Industry’ Category

Apple Doesn't Care About Media Professional People

I was pretty stunned by the news of Apple’s new cylindrical Mac Pro.   Because of it’s amazing speed?   Because of it’s ground breaking design?

No…..because of it’s ability to immediately piss off thousands of Pro Tools users around the word with its exclusion of internal expansion….namely PCIe slots.
Audio professionals have been waiting for an updated Mac Pro for YEARS now.   Apple neglected to updated the highly sought after computer for a long time.  When they released specs on a new machine last year, it came with lackluster reviews, mainly because the specs where barely any different than a 5 year old model.

Now, with the release of the new Mac “Trash Can”, Pro Tools HD users are left completely in the dust.  Without PCIe, Pro Tools users will have to purchase costly Thunderbolt expansion chassis, adding thousands of dollars to the purchase price of the computer. …IF Pro Tools HDX even supports or works well with this technology)

Video and 3D modeling users are in a worse predicament since a replacement video card is completely out of the question.

Unfortunately, we are in the age of laptops and disposable computers.  Expansion and upgradeability have been tossed out the window.   Consumers are expected to buy a new computer almost every year.   My Mac Pro in the studio that runs Pro Tools HD  is going on 7 years old.  It’s still working like a champ, but it’s about time to switch.  That kind of longevity is being phased out buy money hungry corporations like Apple who only care about what’s being sold CURRENTLY…..not what they have sold already.

Another little piece of information that came to me today was the exclusion of OMF export in Final Cut Pro X.

I have a client that needs me to do an audio mix on a film trailer.  I asked my client to send me a DV video file (unfortunately the best format for Pro Tools) and export me an OMF so I have the individual tracks and audio elements.  “What’s OMF?”, he asks?    I have yet to use FCPX so I went out to the internet to find the menu options for exporting OMFs in FCP.   To my surprise, I find that Apple thought it would be a GREAT idea to remove the OMF/AAF export feature from FCPX altogether!

I’m speechless!

You can NOT do a decent audio mix in video editing software.

How does Apple expect people to give audio to a professional to mix?  How does Apple expect FCP to be taken seriously and used in the pro world?

They don’t……they can’t…..They don’t care.

Apple has officially showed their true colors.   Their main customers are teenagers, hipsters, and fanboys buying iPhones and tablets.   All of those media professionals that kept their company afloat during the tough times are being put out to pasture.   Without us, Apple would have died a quick death in the mid late 90’s.

So, maybe it’s time to take the hint a leave you behind Apple.  We’ve had a good run.  The studio will be upgrading soon when Pro Tools 11 comes out.  And since Avid has made some big changes as well, we will have to fork out 10’s of thousands of dollars in upgrades.  A PC may be at the studio when we upgrade.  I guess my Hackintosh I built for home few years ago was foreshadowing the future and making for the perfect transition from my G5 to a shiny new Windows box running Pro Tools 11.

EDIT 06-14-13

Here’s a really great article on what the Mac Pro means for engineers and “Pros”


EDIT 7-22-13

Found this great image while browsing Reddit that perfectly exemplifies my issue with the new mac pro.

New Mac Pro 2013

New Mac Pro 2013


Music….is still a baby

Posted: December 21, 2011 in Music Industry

Music…. is still a baby, in the grand scheme of things.  This post is a bit different than the normal gearhead stuff I usually post.

While tearing down a session today I was listening to Throwing Copper by Live.  I got to thinking, “they don’t really write songs like this anymore”.  Which then lead to, “NO ONE writes songs like this anymore.” Live came up in the era of “alternative”.  Alternative USED to mean exactly what its name implies.  It was a break from the usual rock formula.  You had countless bands that were doing things no one had heard before.  The Pixies, Mudhoney, The Flaming Lips, The Melvins, and even groups like Soul Coughing, The Beastie Boys, and Cake were all breaking new musical ground.  It was ground that retained some of the standard rock ethos, but was utilizing totally new sounds, structures, dynamics, and textures.  A lot of those bands stayed true to their roots over time.  But some bands, like Live went from this…

To this….

It’s not necessarily their fault.  Music changes, times change, fans change, and tastes change.  In order for an artist to stay current they must adapt to the current climate, which alienates the old die hard fans.  But if they stick to their old base, sometimes they run out of songs too soon, don’t gain any new fans, and some fans say they’re tired washed up musicians doing the same old tunes.  It’s a lose, lose situation.

I would say that MOST artists that want to keep making money will change their style over time to keep up. And obviously, there will be a new crop of bands with a new style just waiting to be the next “thing”. Unfortunately, as time has progress, that “thing” keeps getting more and more pop, and consequently, more and more formulaic.

Am I just like every other person who thinks that THEIR generation’s music was the “good stuff”?

I don’t think so.
My favorite eras of music are from the 80’s,  90’s and some 70’s thrown in there.  Granted, there are bad types of music from all of those eras…disco, 80’s ballads, boy bands.  But that’s pretty much ANY era of music.

So, while listening to that Live song and winding up mic cable, I had this thought: “Pop Music has evolved so much in such a short span of time for the human race.”

So for me to say that those generations are “golden eras” isn’t too much of a stretch.  In the 80’s and 90’s  we had evolved past the point of technological brick walls and music that was too bubblegum to accurately express people’s troubles and emotions.  But we hadn’t yet gotten to the point of pitch corrected, timing manipulated, manufactured monstrosities.

It was a good time.

Granted you are free to disagree and I respect that!  But, one thing is for sure; we haven’t even scratched the surface of what music will be and what it will evolve into.  I only wish I could be alive to experience it, and I can only hope that the current trend of “melding” pop genres doesn’t make music implode on itself.  Well, scratch that.  I DO hope that happens!  We’re about due for a new music revolution.  The stagnant murky pool known as pop music has really only gone through two REALLY big explosions caused by, in my opinion, the Beatles in the 60s and Nirvana in the 90s.  Damn…I guess that means we’re still a decade away.

I’ll be waiting.