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#859309 - 11/21/10 07:17 PM Scammers in Nashville's Music Industry  
Joined: Nov 2010
Posts: 7
Eddie Garcia Offline
Casual Observer
Eddie Garcia  Offline
Casual Observer

Joined: Nov 2010
Posts: 7
TN
DELETED

(Important Note, if you are a new writer or artist and you'd like to learn how not to be ripped off, please take the time to read the rest of this post. Eddie's deleted text is irrelevent to the discussion so just ignore that part of it. Please do your research before spending money on your music to be sure you are not being scammed or paying more than fair market value for a given service. -Brian Austin Whitney, Founder, Just Plain Folks)


Last edited by Brian Austin Whitney; 03/14/12 10:10 AM.
#859329 - 11/21/10 09:36 PM Re: Scammers in Nashville's Music Industry [Re: Eddie Garcia]  
Joined: May 2006
Posts: 7,724
Colin Ward Online content
Colin Ward  Online Content

Top 25 Poster

Joined: May 2006
Posts: 7,724
Saint Petersburg. FL
His website is all fluff.


Colin

I try to critique as if you mean business.....

http://colinwardmusic.com/

http://rosewoodcreekband.com/


#859331 - 11/21/10 10:22 PM Re: Scammers in Nashville's Music Industry [Re: Colin Ward]  
Joined: Apr 2006
Posts: 6,051
ben willis Offline
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ben willis  Offline
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Joined: Apr 2006
Posts: 6,051
Ft. Myers, FL. USA
One of the best things about JPF web site is that we weed through and expose scammers and phonies. We do a damn good job of it.

I would caution about naming names because the thread becomes public record and libel suits can occure. Just my thought.

#859364 - 11/22/10 12:56 AM Re: Scammers in Nashville's Music Industry [Re: ben willis]  
Joined: May 2001
Posts: 6,697
Ray E. Strode Online content
Top 40 Poster
Ray E. Strode  Online Content
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Joined: May 2001
Posts: 6,697
Brunswick, Ga. USA
Humm,
This name isn't exactly a surprise. I may have sent him somethig several years ago but I don't think I ever heard back.

My Publisher has related stories to me of folks that spent oodles of money on a 2 song demo of their talent to pitch to record labels. 10 to 20 thousand dollars if I'm not mistaken. Some have morgaged their house to put out a CD. He advised them not to do it, they did it anyway.

There are better ways to do it for far less money. You can canvass the studios and get prices for their services. Look before you leap! Ask plenty of questions.


Ray E. Strode
#859378 - 11/22/10 01:19 AM Re: Scammers in Nashville's Music Industry [Re: Ray E. Strode]  
Joined: Jul 2010
Posts: 3,710
Dan Sullivan Offline
Top 100 Poster
Dan Sullivan  Offline
Top 100 Poster

Joined: Jul 2010
Posts: 3,710
MI
It's probably good to remember that a fool and his money are soon separated.


Write from your heart, not what you think others want to hear.

https://dansullivan2.bandcamp.com

http://www.cdbaby.com/cd/dansullivan2
#859429 - 11/22/10 01:24 PM Re: Scammers in Nashville's Music Industry [Re: Dan Sullivan]  
Joined: Jul 2010
Posts: 29,275
"Tampa Stan" Good (D) Offline
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"Tampa Stan" Good (D)  Offline
Top 10 Poster

Joined: Jul 2010
Posts: 29,275
Tampa, Florida since 1973
Back in My Formative Years, I got a Cassette Course in Songwriting from Producer Bob Monaco (3 Dog Night/Chakka Kahn/Gladys Knight, etc.)& the Best of the 8 I listened-to was headed "Getting Screwed" in the Music Biz.

Bob's Gist was "You can either carry a chip on your shoulder FOREVER & let it poison ya/or...you can forget-about-it...& Carry-On." The Screwing Part is, alas, almost Inevitable in this Business...since there are SO many "Layers" ya gotta go-through to get to whatever passes for "The Top"..and each layer knows a LOT of ways to take your loot.

For me...Get a LOTTA Books..read-UP. Write a LOT of Stuff, you'll NEED that "Follow-Up HIT" FAST when Lady Luck finally Smiles...OR face becoming a "One Hit Wonder" as soon as your hit fades. & lastly, have FUN at it, because I don't think a LOT of folks ARE making much money AT the Music Business these days.

Hopefully I'm wrong, eh? Good Luck in Your Struggles!
Best Wishes & a Big Guy-Hug,
Stan

#859476 - 11/22/10 04:48 PM Re: Scammers in Nashville's Music Industry [Re: "Tampa Stan" Good (D)]  
Joined: Jan 2009
Posts: 4,742
Marc Barnette Offline
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Marc Barnette  Offline
Top 100 Poster

Joined: Jan 2009
Posts: 4,742
Nashville, Tn.
It's more like the "Road to Hell is paved with Good Intentions." There are not as many scammers as much as people who actually believe that they can get you a deal, a big cut, etc. They are delusional but are out there.

When the music industry faded away from people making money from sales, many of the former publishers (some using the names of established companies Paramount" through obscure legal and trademark ways "changing a letter or spelling" and get themselves into positions of influence.

There is no end to dreamers and dreams. Now there is an entire sub service generation of companies preying off those people. If you look them in the eye they are as emphatic as the day is long of how genuine they are. And in their mind they are.

But the reality is that they are far removed from the actual business and are reduced to selling "picks and shovels" to miners with overworked played out claims.

The key is relationships. Always look into anyone you are potentially in. In a town like Nashville it is relatively easy to do since everyone knows everybody else. If a company won't provide references, a list of who they work with, and give you a way to check up on them, I would stay away.

And while no one wants to bad mouth anyone else and everyone has bad experiences from time to time, The names of the "scammers, overpromisers" and people with shoddy work or ethics, always come out.

This is one of the more well known instances, there are others. Just be careful in anything you do. Approach this entire industry methodially and do as much on your own as you can long before you look to anyone else to help you do things you should be doing on your own.

It is a cool town and business. Just got to avoid dead ends.

Good luck to you all. There are always some people keeping an eye out for you.

MAB

#860166 - 11/25/10 05:34 PM Re: Scammers in Nashville's Music Industry [Re: Marc Barnette]  
Joined: Apr 2001
Posts: 8,574
Mike Dunbar Offline
Mike Dunbar  Offline


JPF Mentor

Joined: Apr 2001
Posts: 8,574
Nashville Tennessee
Exactly, Marc.

Now, while spending ten grand for a couple of songs is WAY over the top, I know of one member here who did just that even after being warned and even begged not to. That's the extreme example.

For most other situations, it's as Marc says. There are a lot of promoters, producers, pitchers, publishers etc. in Nashville, as well as all of the other music centers, who want to be part of the game. Sometimes they are folks who once were successful, sometimes they are folks who just wish they were. Most would like nothing more than to make someone a star. They just can't. Maybe they don't have the juice themselves, maybe it's because their clients can't carry the mail, most likely it's both.

I liken it to selling sports equipment. If I'm buying golf clubs and a guy steers me away from the cheap set and shows me a set that Tiger Woods (or his wife smile ) uses, then I buy that set and still whiff the club over the ball more than I hit it, whose fault is that? The guy sold me perfectly good clubs, but the cheap ones would have missed the ball just as well as the expensive ones. It's caveat emptor...let the buyer beware. What the guy did was perfectly legal, just not good advice. So, I've learned to get my advice about what golf clubs I need from a golf instructor, not a saleman. Similarly, I'd rather ask my wife if a shirt looks good on me than to ask the salesman at Sears.

Now, Eddie's case in point may be good. He's offering evidence that seems to back it up. Hopefully he won't have to prove it in court. But we have also seen the other side of the coin. Legitimate businesses called into question by folks who thought that their songwriting/musicianship/star potential was much better than it proved to be. Those businesses' names were wrongly tarnished. That's why I recommend "scam-proofing" youself. Do your homework. Ask questions. Assemble a team. Don't believe your own press releases. Learn to be honest. Learn to be honest both with others and, more importantly, with yourself.

Don't bet the rent money on your home team just because you want them to win. Study the game before you start playing with the big dogs.

All the Best,
Mike


You've got to know your limitations. I don't know what your limitations are. I found out what mine were when I was twelve. I found out that there weren't too many limitations, if I did it my way. -Johnny Cash

It's only music.
-niteshift

Mike Dunbar Music

#860313 - 11/26/10 03:50 PM Re: Scammers in Nashville's Music Industry [Re: Mike Dunbar]  
Joined: Jan 2009
Posts: 4,742
Marc Barnette Offline
Top 100 Poster
Marc Barnette  Offline
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Joined: Jan 2009
Posts: 4,742
Nashville, Tn.
Sounds like you have done this before.

I have a friend who is a Grammy Award winning producer. Very good guy and VERY talented. he does these custom projects and gets around $35,000 for them. They sound amazing, like a Grammy Award winner would. But are they going to make the singer a star?

Since the people that can afford him are usually the over forty housewives, it is simply not going to happen. Now does that mean they have wasted their money? Well if you looked at it as a dumping of $35,000-$65,000 (for the full project) you might say so. But what if they had a show at a smaller theater in Branson, or Myrtle Beach, made their own CD's and had a pretty respective following? Then it is a little different matter.

You have to guague what you want and what you expect. Do your homework and talk to people who have already done what you are interested in doing.

MAB

#860507 - 11/27/10 01:49 PM Re: Scammers in Nashville's Music Industry [Re: Marc Barnette]  
Joined: Aug 2010
Posts: 135
Wyndham Offline
Serious Contributor
Wyndham  Offline
Serious Contributor

Joined: Aug 2010
Posts: 135
Seagrove NC
Vanity publishing comes in many different artistic venues.I know of prominent lawyers or doctors who's wives have art galleries.These function as a social neutral ground where adversaries can meet and greet but the artist are just wall covering. The artist accept this in hopes of better things, sometimes it works.
Wyndham

#860588 - 11/27/10 09:55 PM Re: Scammers in Nashville's Music Industry [Re: Wyndham]  
Joined: Aug 2009
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Sausagelink Offline
Top 500 Poster
Sausagelink  Offline
Top 500 Poster

Joined: Aug 2009
Posts: 703
My sister was involved in an auto accident a few years back. She was not at fault. It was the hardest thing to convince her the other guy's insurance company was not her friend. She's like that. It's happened over and over. She tends to believe people who stand to profit from her decisions more than people who have no profit motive at all.

#860871 - 11/28/10 11:40 PM Re: Scammers in Nashville's Music Industry [Re: Sausagelink]  
Joined: Jul 2010
Posts: 6
scottshockershafer Offline
Casual Observer
scottshockershafer  Offline
Casual Observer

Joined: Jul 2010
Posts: 6
Indianapolis, IN
Someone from said person's office called me and talked to me. They were wanting $10,000 upfront to produce a 3-4 song demo. It was ridiculous to me because the demo of songs that I sent the "manager" were actually recorded in a 48 track Studio with Pro Tools, ect. so it's not like I sent him a home recording. When I mentioned this, the guy kind of turned it around and said that their "package" included demo shopping and their firm had connections, yada, yada, yada. The phone call had song shark written all over it. I was just thinking the whole time I was listening to the pitch: "If I had $10,000 cash...I would record a new ALBUM...not a 4 song demo!" But they must get some people to bite because they're still in business.

#860887 - 11/29/10 12:36 AM Re: Scammers in Nashville's Music Industry [Re: scottshockershafer]  
Joined: May 2001
Posts: 6,697
Ray E. Strode Online content
Top 40 Poster
Ray E. Strode  Online Content
Top 40 Poster

Joined: May 2001
Posts: 6,697
Brunswick, Ga. USA
Aw, yes,
The P.T. Barnum effect is still in force. For about $10,000.00 you should be able to record a whole Album with 1000 Cd's and perhaps 1000 Publicity Photos. It is hard to believe these type people still exist.


Ray E. Strode
#861741 - 12/02/10 03:45 AM Re: Scammers in Nashville's Music Industry [Re: ben willis]  
Joined: Nov 2010
Posts: 7
Eddie Garcia Offline
Casual Observer
Eddie Garcia  Offline
Casual Observer

Joined: Nov 2010
Posts: 7
TN
Love Ft Myers and the Sanibel/Captiva area.

My posts are factual and truthful, so I am not afraid of any suits. The claimant has the burden of proving the posts were false and untrue.

The truth stands with me as does my Savior, Jesus Christ.

#861742 - 12/02/10 03:48 AM Re: Scammers in Nashville's Music Industry [Re: Mike Dunbar]  
Joined: Nov 2010
Posts: 7
Eddie Garcia Offline
Casual Observer
Eddie Garcia  Offline
Casual Observer

Joined: Nov 2010
Posts: 7
TN
DELETED

Last edited by Eddie Garcia; 01/20/12 06:45 PM.
#863495 - 12/10/10 03:48 AM Re: Scammers in Nashville's Music Industry [Re: Eddie Garcia]  
Joined: May 2002
Posts: 201
chapman Offline
Serious Contributor
chapman  Offline
Serious Contributor

Joined: May 2002
Posts: 201
Kentucky USA
Marc Barnette is my hero.


Chapman Jones
-------------
http://www.chapmanjones.com
#863545 - 12/10/10 10:27 AM Re: Scammers in Nashville's Music Industry [Re: chapman]  
Joined: Nov 2006
Posts: 8,463
BIG JIM MERRILEES Offline
BIG JIM MERRILEES  Offline

Top 20 Poster

Joined: Nov 2006
Posts: 8,463
Edinburgh, Scotland. UK
These boards are full of scammers being exposed....another one is no surprise.....The seedier side of the recording industry has unleashed a billion dollar industry...anything involving ego and vanity will be and is exploited. There are folk offering to make you a hit song from your simple poem....they will pitch this masterpiece to record companies etc.....they will turn your badly recorded demo into a hit single...they will get you work and make you millions....they will send youlists of people to contac who will love your music....they really dig your demo songs on Ourstage or Soundlick or Facebook or Youtube etc....in a pigs eye. Then when you write nasty things about them...they will sue you for every penny you have. Life sucks!!!!!

#864450 - 12/13/10 10:49 AM Re: Scammers in Nashville's Music Industry [Re: BIG JIM MERRILEES]  
Joined: Apr 2001
Posts: 18,053
Brian Austin Whitney Online content
Brian Austin Whitney  Online Content


Top 10 Poster

Joined: Apr 2001
Posts: 18,053
Indianapolis, IN USA
The problem with Marc's scenario is that often people with "credentials" that can include hits, grammy wins and all sorts of other accolades, can still be 100% scam artists. If the person in question is suggesting in any way that by spending that type of money they are more likely to become famous or get a record deal (whatever the hell that even means these days) when they clearly have little talent and no chance of career commercial success, then you cross over into 100% scam artist land. And the really smart scammers are experts at subtle suggestions or impressions on clueless wannabe's who get caught up in it all. The grandmas that are being taken are often sad cases that mortgage their homes, max credit cards, take out huge loans etc. to feed these vampires. Sorry.. but if a 55 year old mediocre singing, mediocre writing housewife comes to spend 35K with your friend and he doesn't make it clear that though they will be getting a polished pro level recording, that it is not, in their experience, going to lead to anything beyond having an extremely costly vanity project, then morally that's a scam. Most scams in the music industry, by the way, are perfectly legal.

There are legal ways of making a living and there are honest ways of making a living and there's a big difference between the two. Of course if you honestly advise or spell out the reality of the situation, and the client who has gotten this CORRECT info about what the worth of the project really is once completed, then go for it. But I've heard too many horror stories not to become ill when I hear people spending stupid money for an overpriced overblown recording. It's like, in a way, an unscrupulous bartender over-serving a drunk. Just because they WANT the drink, and you SELL the drink, it doesn't mean you should give them what they want.

Brian


Brian Austin Whitney
Founder
Just Plain Folks
jpfolkspro@aol.com
Skype: Brian Austin Whitney

"Don't sit around and wait for success to come to you... it doesn't know the way." -Brian Austin Whitney


#864541 - 12/13/10 04:56 PM Re: Scammers in Nashville's Music Industry [Re: Brian Austin Whitney]  
Joined: Apr 2001
Posts: 8,574
Mike Dunbar Offline
Mike Dunbar  Offline


JPF Mentor

Joined: Apr 2001
Posts: 8,574
Nashville Tennessee
Brian,

Great post.

Morality.

There's another ball of wax.

Is profiting on vanity immoral? At what point is a chocolate maker immoral? Should chocolate be banned? How about vanity presses? How about cosmetics? Conversely, is being vain immoral? Are overeaters immoral? At what point? How about people who are proud of their looks? When we get into morality and ethics, we find that people disagree as to both degree and responsibility. I think that we here can, however, agree that in the music business there should be responsibility taken by both the client and the service, but what are those responsibilities?

What is the moral responsibility of the producer/publisher etc? I suspect that we would get many different, often conflicting answers to that (just look to our discussions about filesharing for a clue). Some would answer with the old "money/capitalism is evil" routine. Some would say "anything that is legal is moral." There can be no line drawn on which we would all agree...none...at least not until the second coming.

What is the moral responsibility of the client/singer/songwriter? That's a question I've never heard asked, but here again, we would get a wide variety of often conflicting answers, with never a line of agreement drawn.

Now, I know there are extremes (such as the $35,000 example) to which we would almost all agree...but there will be some who will not, not even the extemes.

Since we can't agree on morality, we need to depend on personal responsibility. As a group here, we need to do what we do...educate.

The fact is: there are people who deal unethically, according to my defintion. There are producers/publishers etc. who, will IMO rip off their clients. There are (and yes...there are) songwriters/singers and their agents who will IMO rip off producers/publishers. And, everybody IMO rips off the bass players smile I recommend that folks do their homework, educate themselves.

Of course, if people really want morality I recommend this:
http://www.yourmorals.org/

And this:
http://www.biblegateway.com/

All the Best,
Mike


You've got to know your limitations. I don't know what your limitations are. I found out what mine were when I was twelve. I found out that there weren't too many limitations, if I did it my way. -Johnny Cash

It's only music.
-niteshift

Mike Dunbar Music

#864653 - 12/13/10 09:29 PM Re: Scammers in Nashville's Music Industry [Re: Mike Dunbar]  
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Herbie Gaines Offline
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GREAT Post Mr Mike ! ! Is it immoral for me to make money when I sell a car ? If it seems the payment is too high for the client should I throw them out ? Should I try and send them to a cheaper car ? or do what they want ? People have to live lifes lessons in order to "get" certain things . It's all VERY grey, NEVER black and white !


Herbie
JPF Chicago Chapter Coordinator
http://www.herbietunes.com

#888815 - 03/29/11 08:06 PM Re: Scammers in Nashville's Music Industry [Re: Herbie Gaines]  
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What about Hilltop Records? They get your name from either the copyright office or from a PRO.

#888858 - 03/30/11 12:26 AM Re: Scammers in Nashville's Music Industry [Re: sylvia semel]  
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Brian Austin Whitney Online content
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The reason why it is immoral is because these vampires we often find in the music industry portray that they are giving qualified expert advice when in fact they are lying. Telling a 60 year old Grandma with no demonstrated talent (and anyone with any level of professional experience can tell the difference) that spending that money is likely to lead to success of any kind is immoral because part of what they are charging for is their knowledge and experience of how commercial music really works.

If that Golf salesman had been a former Tour Pro and he said that if you buy this set of clubs, (which he is selling for 100 times market value) will allow that 37 handicap golfer to enter and win the Masters and the ignorant customer trusts his expertise because the former Tour Pro knows all about these things, then that is immoral because it's inherently dishonest, just as these music industry vampires are.

If a chocolate manufacturer tells the fat customer that their chocolate has no calories and in fact will make them lose weight, the more they eat until they will look like a super model and wear a size 1 dress size, then they are being dishonesty and immoral. The ignorance of the customer may be great, but if the expert in the transaction (and who presents themselves as such which the creator of the product would be) makes outrageous claims that they know are not going to happen, then they are immoral and in some cases might be breaking the law as well.

If I were asked to testify, I would call anyone charging 35,000 for a song demo while telling someone it would lead to a record deal if the artist in question could not sing or write, I would call it immoral and fraud both all day long. I guess surprisingly Mike would be fine with it. Again, there's a difference between immoral and illegal. Charging 10X or 100X market value while suckering people about the expected results of the use of the product or service is immoral whether it's demos or golf clubs or chocolate or anything else. In some cases it might even cross over into illegal. Frankly, anyone conducting this type of action should be exposed by those of us watching out for people. It's simply the decent thing to do.

Brian


Brian Austin Whitney
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Just Plain Folks
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"Don't sit around and wait for success to come to you... it doesn't know the way." -Brian Austin Whitney


#888884 - 03/30/11 03:09 AM Re: Scammers in Nashville's Music Industry [Re: Brian Austin Whitney]  
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Originally Posted by Wyndham
Vanity publishing comes in many different artistic venues.I know of prominent lawyers or doctors who's wives have art galleries.These function as a social neutral ground where adversaries can meet and greet but the artist are just wall covering. The artist accept this in hopes of better things, sometimes it works.
Wyndham


Worked for Yoko. She met John at a gallery featuring her work.



#888886 - 03/30/11 03:13 AM Re: Scammers in Nashville's Music Industry [Re: Brian Austin Whitney]  
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Mike Dunbar Offline
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Brian,

"I guess surprisingly Mike would be fine with it."

Wrong.

For one thing, I went to bat trying to stop the woman from mortgaging her house for three (later two) song demos, as you might remember. I both begged her not to and refused to do any work for her myself to keep my opinion completely void of any conflict of interest.

For another, you were the one who added details which weren't in my examples. Details in which the chocolate maker or golf club salesman etc. were making unfulfillable promises and/or flat out lying...promises which were not in my examples. Every one of my examples, with your additional details, I would call immoral.

So, sorry, Brian, but you were wrong. I most definitely, demonstrably and historically am not "fine with it."

Mike.


You've got to know your limitations. I don't know what your limitations are. I found out what mine were when I was twelve. I found out that there weren't too many limitations, if I did it my way. -Johnny Cash

It's only music.
-niteshift

Mike Dunbar Music

#888888 - 03/30/11 03:20 AM Re: Scammers in Nashville's Music Industry [Re: Brian Austin Whitney]  
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Originally Posted by Brian Austin Whitney
I would call anyone charging 35,000 for a song demo while telling someone it would lead to a record deal if the artist in question could not sing or write, I would call it immoral and fraud both all day long


I studied accounting a tech school. They told me accountants start out at about $50,000 or something. Some people thought they'd get out and start out that way. I was smarter than them I guess. I knew the odds of getting a $50,000 job with a tech school accounting certificate weren't too good.

Later I met a guy who was attending GED classes who said he was planning on becoming a brain surgeon. Uh huh................

#888907 - 03/30/11 09:16 AM Re: Scammers in Nashville's Music Industry [Re: Sausagelink]  
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This is the exact reason I spent 5000 of my own money 10 years ago to set up a digital studio. I and my co write, record, and produce all our own tracks. It takes only a little time to learn the basics and the rest is left to musicianship of which guess what? You could learn how to play an instrument well enough to record. Do that and you can save you self tonnes of money in the future and have all your own control.

Realistically you could do it for about 3500 now for a good system and guitar.

The basics you need are:
Medium spec computer (600-800)
Music hardware like Digidesign Rack 003 (1000)
Monitors - Mackie or alike (400)
Keyboard - Any midi device (50)
Pre amp - 200 - Mine is a dbx
Sounds - Kompact (600)
Mic: Decent compressor mic 300
Guitar: Decent one 500

JD


My Band Northfield
Our Videos
#888928 - 03/30/11 01:14 PM Re: Scammers in Nashville's Music Industry [Re: JamesDF5]  
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Marc Barnette Offline
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JD,

It depends on your purpose for the song. All of that is true,and you can get all of that. If you are, however writing and shooting for songs to be pitched to people in an industry, the problem that YOU have is that you are not playing on the hit records that are on the charts and don't know the new licks and techniques that industry pros listen for.

The people paying for reasonable demos using the same people who play on those songs on the radio are actually spending much less the money (around $500-$600 a song) and are using those same people.

That is the difference.

MAB

#888930 - 03/30/11 01:15 PM Re: Scammers in Nashville's Music Industry [Re: JamesDF5]  
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Dan Tindall Offline
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Question is - is it immoral to post the same or similar negative opinion about some guy all over the internet?

Dan smile

#888931 - 03/30/11 01:19 PM Re: Scammers in Nashville's Music Industry [Re: Marc Barnette]  
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Originally Posted by Marc Barnette
JD,

It depends on your purpose for the song. All of that is true,and you can get all of that. If you are, however writing and shooting for songs to be pitched to people in an industry, the problem that YOU have is that you are not playing on the hit records that are on the charts and don't know the new licks and techniques that industry pros listen for.

The people paying for reasonable demos using the same people who play on those songs on the radio are actually spending much less the money (around $500-$600 a song) and are using those same people.

That is the difference.

MAB


In a sense the recording of the demo is the exact opposite of writing the song? One requires isolation for originality, the other the opposite?

Dan smile

#888933 - 03/30/11 01:34 PM Re: Scammers in Nashville's Music Industry [Re: Dan Tindall]  
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Dan,

No. It is about knowing your market and the nuances included in each. What happens in this market is that demos are much more song supported as opposed to the sound of the demo. Both are important, but what you find with in the town demos are what they DON'T play and what they DO play. You will find solos or melodic approach that don't take away from the lyrics or support the melody in a lot of ways that most people wouldn't think of.

Many things are unbelievably simple and understated. Outside demos tend to showcase the talents of the individual players and while they might make an interesting showcase for some shredder guitar player or techie proficient keyboard player, they are not the same as the techniques involved.

Using a Midi sound steel guitar sample played by a tele B Bender, is fine live but sticks out like sore thumb when you are being played in among two dozen demos with Doug Dugmore or Hal Rugg, who play for George Straight. Using a Violinist that plays with a symphony orchestra is not going to have the same techniques as Larry Franklin, who plays on those same sessions. They are different approachs.

And when people try to have someone who does have "country credentials" in New York. LA or others, they are usually also often behind the times in what is happening now. They are in a different area so their nuances and influences are by very definition not going to be the same as the people who do this every day.

The key is in finding the unique take on a song in the writing then reinforcing that by the instrumentation, the players and the total demo is in the pocket. And you are not havin songs played in a vacum. There are hundreds going on at any one time. if you go read a post I just did on the "Professionals" thread on these pages and see what a song goes through to even be pitched, you can gain some insights on how important the demos are.

You are also up against the artists themselves. Their demos sound amazing in most cases and they wrote those songs. So if yuo think a homemade demo,no matter the equipment,can even be considered, you haven't listened to hundreds of songs in a sitting.

It is all about context. That is why being in certain circles,making those relationships and understanding how the game is played is so important.

MAB

#888939 - 03/30/11 01:56 PM Re: Scammers in Nashville's Music Industry [Re: Marc Barnette]  
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Dan Tindall Offline
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Originally Posted by Marc Barnette
Dan,

No. It is about knowing your market and the nuances included in each. What happens in this market is that demos are much more song supported as opposed to the sound of the demo. Both are important, but what you find with in the town demos are what they DON'T play and what they DO play. You will find solos or melodic approach that don't take away from the lyrics or support the melody in a lot of ways that most people wouldn't think of.

Many things are unbelievably simple and understated. Outside demos tend to showcase the talents of the individual players and while they might make an interesting showcase for some shredder guitar player or techie proficient keyboard player, they are not the same as the techniques involved.

Using a Midi sound steel guitar sample played by a tele B Bender, is fine live but sticks out like sore thumb when you are being played in among two dozen demos with Doug Dugmore or Hal Rugg, who play for George Straight. Using a Violinist that plays with a symphony orchestra is not going to have the same techniques as Larry Franklin, who plays on those same sessions. They are different approachs.

And when people try to have someone who does have "country credentials" in New York. LA or others, they are usually also often behind the times in what is happening now. They are in a different area so their nuances and influences are by very definition not going to be the same as the people who do this every day.

The key is in finding the unique take on a song in the writing then reinforcing that by the instrumentation, the players and the total demo is in the pocket. And you are not havin songs played in a vacum. There are hundreds going on at any one time. if you go read a post I just did on the "Professionals" thread on these pages and see what a song goes through to even be pitched, you can gain some insights on how important the demos are.

You are also up against the artists themselves. Their demos sound amazing in most cases and they wrote those songs. So if yuo think a homemade demo,no matter the equipment,can even be considered, you haven't listened to hundreds of songs in a sitting.

It is all about context. That is why being in certain circles,making those relationships and understanding how the game is played is so important.

MAB


I see - the demo has to hit a certain base level of artistic production quality to make it sound at least as good as all the competition?

Dan smile

I read the 'professionals' post btw - blimey, the music 'industry'!

Last edited by Dan Tindall; 03/30/11 02:01 PM.
#888945 - 03/30/11 02:39 PM Re: Scammers in Nashville's Music Industry [Re: Dan Tindall]  
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Dan - the point Marc is trying to make is that Nashville demos are played by the same people who are playing on the records when they're released. If you have someone who is not playing on the records when they're released play on your demo then they will not have the same style, tone and feel as the other demos, and will be rejected because "they just don't sound right."

Someone had a post a while ago about "the wrecking crew" which was a small group of guys in the 50s and 60s who played on basically every hit record by every artist. From what I understand its the same thing today - the same players playing every song. These guys do demos too and if you choose not to use them then you're at a disadvantage against the other thousands of songs being pitched.

You can make a GREAT studio at home, but its the people playing on the records that make the difference, not the studio itself.


#888946 - 03/30/11 02:43 PM Re: Scammers in Nashville's Music Industry [Re: Dan Tindall]  
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Originally Posted by Dan Tindall
Question is - is it immoral to post the same or similar negative opinion about some guy all over the internet?

Dan smile


Dan, that was the point of my post above concerning morality. I've seen people on the internet called "scammers" for selling professional quality recordings to people whose songs are not professional quality. This, to me, is not a scam...is not wrong unless the recording service is making promises they can't or won't keep. A recording business promising that could make you, or anyone, a star would be a scam. A business "fishing" and claiming that they believe in your songs is nearly always a scam (unless they offer to work "on spec"). But offering a high quality service to the general public is not a scam, no more than a chocolatier offering a product which may be bad for me, or a sporting goods store offering a product which may be beyond my skill. The difference is, as Brian points out, when they make false promises.

Now, some negative opinions about businesses may be rooted in one's political persuasion. Someone who does not, for example, like the capitalist system may think any business that is "high end" is immoral. But then, if they pronounce a particular business by name on the internet as scammers, it very well may hurt that business. But, is the anti-capitalist immoral? Not necessarily, in my opinion, though they may be libelous.

I think it is a poor business decision for a writer or artist whose product is not ready to use a business that caters to the professional...unless the writer or artist understands that going into the deal and wants it anyway. In my recording business, for example, I try to get writers and artists to be more budget minded and go with simpler recordings. More often than not, they want the more professional, if not the full blown pro quality recording.

All the Best,
Mike





You've got to know your limitations. I don't know what your limitations are. I found out what mine were when I was twelve. I found out that there weren't too many limitations, if I did it my way. -Johnny Cash

It's only music.
-niteshift

Mike Dunbar Music

#888998 - 03/30/11 07:43 PM Re: Scammers in Nashville's Music Industry [Re: John Cook]  
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Originally Posted by John Cook
Dan - the point Marc is trying to make is that Nashville demos are played by the same people who are playing on the records when they're released. If you have someone who is not playing on the records when they're released play on your demo then they will not have the same style, tone and feel as the other demos, and will be rejected because "they just don't sound right."

Someone had a post a while ago about "the wrecking crew" which was a small group of guys in the 50s and 60s who played on basically every hit record by every artist. From what I understand its the same thing today - the same players playing every song. These guys do demos too and if you choose not to use them then you're at a disadvantage against the other thousands of songs being pitched.

You can make a GREAT studio at home, but its the people playing on the records that make the difference, not the studio itself.



Which is why all the songs sound the same? smile

No, genuinely, that is interesting - explains a lot.

Slightly off topic - Bob Dylan's 3 seminal 'electric' albums 65-66 have always seemed to me be be (in date order) good, better, and sounds like The Monkees - Blonde on Blonde annoys the hell out me, and I reckon it's because it was mostly recorded in Nashville, then (as now) the home of perfection. I guess I just like my music a little less well-honed...

My wife, on the other hand, utterly disagrees and thinks it sounds like a 'proper record'...

Dan smile

#888999 - 03/30/11 07:52 PM Re: Scammers in Nashville's Music Industry [Re: Mike Dunbar]  
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Originally Posted by Mike Dunbar
Originally Posted by Dan Tindall
Question is - is it immoral to post the same or similar negative opinion about some guy all over the internet?

Dan smile

Now, some negative opinions about businesses may be rooted in one's political persuasion. Someone who does not, for example, like the capitalist system may think any business that is "high end" is immoral. But then, if they pronounce a particular business by name on the internet as scammers, it very well may hurt that business. But, is the anti-capitalist immoral? Not necessarily, in my opinion, though they may be libelous.



I'm sure the top music execs don't lose much sleep over my opinion of them! smile

Dan smile


#889016 - 03/30/11 08:53 PM Re: Scammers in Nashville's Music Industry [Re: Dan Tindall]  
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Marc Barnette Offline
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Dan,

There is an interview out with Carol King. A comment is made that many of the songs of the 50's and 60's all sounded the same. Songs like Under the Boardwalk, Up on the Roof, and dozens more of that era, were the same writers all writing in the same rooms in the Brill building.

Motown had a dozen musicians that played on over 300 number one records. The "Wrecking Crew" was the LA outfit that played on almost every hit record coming out of the 60's, 70's and 80's in rock and pop.

The nature of the music industry is that you create a community, use the people who are successful and do it over and over again.

If you are a business like Apple, GE, Facebook, Google, you don't constantly monkey with the formula. You use the things that work and make them work over and over.

So they all sound the same eh? That pretty much makes me laugh. a few songs people hear on the top of the charts might sound similar, but if you think that, you are not listening very hard.

MAB

#889018 - 03/30/11 09:28 PM Re: Scammers in Nashville's Music Industry [Re: Marc Barnette]  
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Originally Posted by Marc Barnette
Dan,

There is an interview out with Carol King. A comment is made that many of the songs of the 50's and 60's all sounded the same. Songs like Under the Boardwalk, Up on the Roof, and dozens more of that era, were the same writers all writing in the same rooms in the Brill building.

Motown had a dozen musicians that played on over 300 number one records. The "Wrecking Crew" was the LA outfit that played on almost every hit record coming out of the 60's, 70's and 80's in rock and pop.

The nature of the music industry is that you create a community, use the people who are successful and do it over and over again.

If you are a business like Apple, GE, Facebook, Google, you don't constantly monkey with the formula. You use the things that work and make them work over and over.

So they all sound the same eh? That pretty much makes me laugh. a few songs people hear on the top of the charts might sound similar, but if you think that, you are not listening very hard.

MAB


No, I can tell dubstep apart from hip-hop...which charts are you talking about?

Popular music does fall into a few bland super-genres, and much of it has a similar tonality and style - and a near identical mastered sheen.

Those 60 tunes from the great music factories - well, they do blur one into another.

How hard should I listen to music which is designed to make money and shift units - it's throwaway, right? How much analysis does it warrant?

Dan smile

#889034 - 03/30/11 11:11 PM Re: Scammers in Nashville's Music Industry [Re: Dan Tindall]  
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Originally Posted by Dan Tindall

How hard should I listen to music which is designed to make money and shift units - it's throwaway, right? How much analysis does it warrant?

Dan smile


Dan, for a guy like you, the answer is none. You're involved in a different style. I'd recommend listening to as little popular music as possible.

When I was a folk musician, trying to take it seriously, I didn't listen to any recorded music at all. I had given away my television, didn't own a record player, recorder or radio. All the music I heard was live, except for what came on a jukebox or on someone's car radio. I refused to use either a pickup on my guitar or reverb on the sound system. If the room was small enough, I didn't use a sound system. This, by the way, is all true.

If I were still in folk music(and selling out by recording it), I would avoid digital reverb. I'd probably record everything binaural or with the ORTF systems and use room ambience.

So, in my opinion you should avoid anything that is remotely pop.

All the Best,
Mike


You've got to know your limitations. I don't know what your limitations are. I found out what mine were when I was twelve. I found out that there weren't too many limitations, if I did it my way. -Johnny Cash

It's only music.
-niteshift

Mike Dunbar Music

#889043 - 03/30/11 11:38 PM Re: Scammers in Nashville's Music Industry [Re: Mike Dunbar]  
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Or rock, country, blues, folk, rap, hip hop, world, accapella, techno, anything that has strings, keys, reeds, voices, instruments, or anything. They all sound alike. Create your own sound and world. That is what everyone else has to do.

MAB

#889125 - 03/31/11 10:32 AM Re: Scammers in Nashville's Music Industry [Re: scottshockershafer]  
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This is what I ran into. I just had a cd recorded in a studio who does lots of big name artists cds. The cd sounds great. This compoany told me they wouild need to redo my cd becuase my voice was too loud in comparison to the m,usic. I told them I had 2 that they made and one my voice was louder than the other. Then he came up with that it was for representation as well as redoing the cd. Crzy that people like this are still out there

#889132 - 03/31/11 11:42 AM Re: Scammers in Nashville's Music Industry [Re: Marc Barnette]  
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Originally Posted by Marc Barnette
Or rock, country, blues, folk, rap, hip hop, world, accapella, techno, anything that has strings, keys, reeds, voices, instruments, or anything. They all sound alike. Create your own sound and world. That is what everyone else has to do.

MAB


Invaluable advice.

#889156 - 03/31/11 01:28 PM Re: Scammers in Nashville's Music Industry [Re: Dan Tindall]  
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Lindsey,

For every legitimate person involved with anything on the Interenet there are thousands of people trying to figure out ways to separate you from your money. Look at it ALL as a scam until they prove to you they are not.

MAB

#889812 - 04/03/11 10:27 AM Re: Scammers in Nashville's Music Industry [Re: Marc Barnette]  
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good advice!!

#889968 - 04/04/11 07:00 AM Re: Scammers in Nashville's Music Industry [Re: Jan A.]  
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Brian Austin Whitney Online content
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I guess my point is Mike, that I hear about scammers telling newbies that their experience or name on their project will help them in some way, or that the high price comes with a better shot at success when it's clear the material is amateur. I think an honest high end studio would make it clear that the resulting recording is not likely to lead to commercial success, but it will sound as good as possible, then they've been honest and move forward. They are the experts in the eyes of the newbie. Moral people tell the truth, even if the rent is due.

I turned down a large sponsorship last month because I told them there wasn't enough time for them to benefit in the way they wanted. It was a LOT of money. But I was honest and they didn't do it. I guess I just hold morality over opportunism.

Brian


Brian Austin Whitney
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Just Plain Folks
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"Don't sit around and wait for success to come to you... it doesn't know the way." -Brian Austin Whitney


#890020 - 04/04/11 12:10 PM Re: Scammers in Nashville's Music Industry [Re: Brian Austin Whitney]  
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"I guess I just hold morality over opportunism."


As do I, Brian.

What I don't want is for the moral businesses to be tainted by the immoral, or for people to make the pronouncement that a business is a scam because they charge a higher fee.


You've got to know your limitations. I don't know what your limitations are. I found out what mine were when I was twelve. I found out that there weren't too many limitations, if I did it my way. -Johnny Cash

It's only music.
-niteshift

Mike Dunbar Music

#890035 - 04/04/11 12:39 PM Re: Scammers in Nashville's Music Industry [Re: Mike Dunbar]  
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Marc Barnette Offline
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Marc Barnette  Offline
Top 100 Poster

Joined: Jan 2009
Posts: 4,742
Nashville, Tn.
Brian,

That is not the responsibility of the studio. There's is to make the best sounding recordings they can do and treat the customer right. That is not a song critique service. People have to do their own homework. That is the problem with all of this. People don't do research, don't shop around, don't attend seminars, workshops or get into communities where they can find people to be straight with them on their material.

And a lot of those same kinds of people go for those idiotic "Nigerian General" scams too. Heck, what was Bernie Madoff? He scammed a few people too.

We all try in our own way to do education. Good Lord I know I do. But a lot of people WILL NOT be disuaded.They believe in their dreams and NOBODY IS GOING TO CONVINCE THEM DIFFERENTLY.

It is not that there are scammers out there. That is in every walk of life, every business, every corner of humanity and always have been. It is that the dreamers who adhere to these kinds of things sometimes are their own worst enemy. Not only do they go for these different scams, but they defend them all of the time.

When you sit across from someone who sold the farm and think she is going to get a record deal at 45 years old AND continues to spend mohey at the same studio to the tune of $100,000 over a three-four year period, only to have been told over and over and over again that their material was too weak, they were too old and had been tried to be steered every way to slow down or not do that, who is at fault there?

And that is what we all deal with continually. You had 50,000 plus people who contribute to the JPF awards and I can assure you that about a third of those felt that was going to take them to riches and glory. I know that because they show up at my seminars and workshops depressed because they did all this and they didn't get some big payoff out of it. And no matter how many times you tell them that is not what you do, explain the rules and be exactly who you are, they still don't get it.

About half of what I do is damage control from people who have done just that. So I don't have quite the sympathy for people who fall for schemes, scams or some get rich quick approach. These pages are filled every single day with the "Have you ever heard of...." and fill in the blank of the latest "Pitch service" that promises for X amount of dollars they are going to promote them to some radio station or get them a concert tour in Japan."

It is not like the information is not out there. It is not like people such as myself go hoarse from screaming at the top of our lungs about this stuff. They still do it. They still parade into publishers,song pluggers, pitch services, demo studios like Lemmings and throw money at something thinking they are going to make it in the "BIG TIME" With hideous songs,terrible recordings and dealing with shysters.

I say it is "Buyer Beware." If it sounds too good to be true, it is. A little common sense goes a long long way, but when you are a dreamer and your personality is craving attention, craving success, jumping at anything shiney, common sense is the last thing that comes into play.

MAB

#890042 - 04/04/11 12:54 PM Re: Scammers in Nashville's Music Industry [Re: Marc Barnette]  
Joined: Apr 2001
Posts: 8,574
Mike Dunbar Offline
Mike Dunbar  Offline


JPF Mentor

Joined: Apr 2001
Posts: 8,574
Nashville Tennessee
Brian,

It is definitely not the studio's responsibility to filter their clients based on their opinions. Tiny Tim, Bob Dylan, William Hung, Yoko Ono, Jimi Hendrix, Mrs. Miller, Taylor Swift, and hundreds if not thousands of other well known, successful artists are the proof of that. A top quality studio should deliver top quality sound, period. If they have been successful in that, they shouldn't have to hide it. It is when a studio promises something they can't deliver that it becomes immoral and possibly illegal.



You've got to know your limitations. I don't know what your limitations are. I found out what mine were when I was twelve. I found out that there weren't too many limitations, if I did it my way. -Johnny Cash

It's only music.
-niteshift

Mike Dunbar Music

#890145 - 04/04/11 07:17 PM Re: Scammers in Nashville's Music Industry [Re: Mike Dunbar]  
Joined: Apr 2001
Posts: 18,053
Brian Austin Whitney Online content
Brian Austin Whitney  Online Content


Top 10 Poster

Joined: Apr 2001
Posts: 18,053
Indianapolis, IN USA
Marc,

You would put nigerian scammers and Bernie Madoff in jail right? But those are the two entities you used as an analogy to studios overcharging people who don't have a clue?

If the studio makes NO claims of any kind that the producers involved with all their experience making hits, or the A list session guys who played on all the hits will rub off to the commercial success possibilities for the recording they are doing, then no problem. But I haven't found many examples of that. Instead it's clever use of name dropping, success dropping and awareness of what buttons to push to dupe people out of a lot money. Usually older people desperate to gain that success they knew they could have had if not for having raised a family or worked 3 jobs to feed their kids all their lives. So as a last gasp they mortgage their homes because they believe using those all stars will immediately elevate them into Garth Brooks, George Jones, Patsy Cline, or Taylor Swift immortality.

You call that good business, I call it immoral. I think Mike creeps down the middle of it but leans your way. Studios, especially large successful ones, no just what to say to the ignorant masses to financially and emotionally ruin them for personal gain. Ack. It happens a lot. I have chosen not to act that way and perhaps I am the only one who has been hurt by not taking people's money. But I try very hard to educate and alert as many people as possible before they fall into the hands of those who would mislead, or take it to the edge as far as possible without crossing the line for personal gain. Mike has a built in sense of where that line is for himself. So do you and so do I. I can only hope people fall into your hands and not those many many people who have a much more lax line or no line at all. Perhaps reading this post will make a few folks think twice and if so, it was more than worth it.

Brian


Brian Austin Whitney
Founder
Just Plain Folks
jpfolkspro@aol.com
Skype: Brian Austin Whitney

"Don't sit around and wait for success to come to you... it doesn't know the way." -Brian Austin Whitney


#890287 - 04/05/11 12:15 PM Re: Scammers in Nashville's Music Industry [Re: Brian Austin Whitney]  
Joined: Feb 2011
Posts: 190
John Cook Offline
Serious Contributor
John Cook  Offline
Serious Contributor

Joined: Feb 2011
Posts: 190
Studio's are out to make money, just as any other business is. My fiancee and me went furniture shopping yesterday and worked with a great salesman who laid it on pretty thick, and I listened, Sara and me talked, and chose the set that WE wanted, not the expensive one that the salesman thought we should buy. I don't see those name dropping with their studio doing anything different. I'm sure if Tom Cruise had bought the bedroom set we were looking at, the salesman would have told us. He wouldn't SAY it would make us a movie star, but it's always implied. But we've done this analogy to death already. Its sales, pure and simple, and it happens in EVERY business.

I agree that moral business practices are important, and I've left an employer because their practices went beyond where I thought the line was, but that doesn't mean I couldn't see it from their perspective. As long as you are honest about what you are and are not doing then I don't see the issue.

If you extend the analogy to studios, then as with every other business its buyer beware. As long as all they're promising is a good recording then I don't see any problem with it. If people don't do the research and find a smart way to spend their money then shame on them. This is the internet age and if you don't take ten minutes to google the studio and find some positive feedback then you're a fool and there's nothing we can do to help. I don't see why studios should be held to any higher moral standard than those in any other business.

At the end of the day the studio is in business to make money by recording people's songs, not to critique them and its not their perogative to judge people for the songs they have written or want to record, just as its not your mechanic's perogative to judge you on the cleanliness or type of your car when you take it into the shop.

Brian - I agree that many of the marketing practices (not just from studios but from all over) are often toeing the line between honesty and dishonesty. But, as consumers, we have the ability to counter those practices by doing the research from home, on sites like this and by simply searching the internet. We have the power to avoid these folks, but there will always be slick sales people who over-promise and under-deliver, and others who are willing to believe their promises. All we can do is educate people and you do a GREAT job of that through the board and through JPF as a whole. I would also like these scammers out of the business, but all I can do is talk to people and vote with my dollars by giving my money to someone legitimate.

#890565 - 04/06/11 10:49 AM Re: Scammers in Nashville's Music Industry [Re: Brian Austin Whitney]  
Joined: Dec 2006
Posts: 5,310
niteshift Online content
Top 50 Poster
niteshift  Online Content
Top 50 Poster

Joined: Dec 2006
Posts: 5,310
Sydney, Australia
Hey Brian,

I think the problem here is, not the topline studios. The Sony's and the Fox's and the Universal's and their subsiduaries will never name drop. Neither will they tout for business or suggest that the use of their studios will make you a star. That's if you can even get a booking of course, and are willing to spend professional industry rates, upwards of $1k a day. Likewise for post production services. The rates are the rates, and every mastering studio anywhere, of any worth has always worked with the 'big stars".

The problem, as I see it, are the middle and lower ranking studios who suggest or infer, that they have "contacts". It's not their job to have contacts. It's their job to record music. It's not really even their job to produce it. Its' yours. They will of course provide a "producer" at additional cost. And this is where the problems lie.

If you are not in a position to be able to run a recording session, or hire someone form your team to do so, you shouldn't be anywhere near a recording facility.

My best advice to not be scammed would be to hire someone completely independent of the work you think you may wish to do, and get them to assess the available options. That could even be done free via a JPF post. Just ask....

This is where I'm at.
This is where I want to be.
This is how much I'm willing to spend.
Am I being practical with cost vs outcome ?

I think all the various JPF studio folks, when their opinions were added up, and an average taken, would give a fairly clear and consice opinion of what was reasonable, and what is outragous.

cheers, niteshift

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