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Nijyo

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Posts posted by Nijyo


  1.  

    most of the best 90s rock is a bit of a downer.

     

     

    That's where I think you'll find the most difficulty. Songs from straight-up "rock" bands in the 90s often were deliberately designed to not be anywhere near danceable, much less be party music.

     

    Adapting pop songs to your group's style will probably be much more profitable.


  2. Please don't get me wrong, I come from a jazz-rock fusion background where skill on your instrument is paramount, I just don't see the young listeners today ever giving it much thought in the near future.

     

    Personally, I think everything goes in cycles. What is old becomes new again. Look at the neo-disco scene and the bands that are aping the New Wave sound. I don't know when it'll happen, but I'm reasonably confident that "neo hair metal" will be a thing at some point.


  3. I'm probably going to pick up a Kramer Pacer Vintage as a backup guitar in Jan or Feb.

     

    That plan was almost overridden this weekend when I stopped in a GC that I hadn't visited in quite a while and missed, literally by a couple minutes, picking up an 80s Kramer Nightswan for a song. Some other guy had walked in the door just before I had, it caught his eye, and even though I "hung around" for another 45 minutes, he never let it out of his hands. Ah well.


  4. There are certainly a variety of good and bad aspects to this modern trend. My $0.02:

     

    Yes, by allowing people to record and post your live performances on YouTube (and what not) you're losing some control over your IP and image marketing, but, on the other hand, you're getting enthusiastic marketing by fans essentially for free (the value of which can be quite high). The flip side is that if you're an ass on stage that night, it's going to live forever (and, in the modern day, walking off stage because people are recording could certainly be perceived as falling into that latter category -- be careful).

     

    It certainly depends on the type of act you're in, too. If you're Loreena McKennitt and you're doing some sort of auditorium show, a bunch of people moving around trying to get good shots or videos can be really distracting to the rest of the audience. The positive for that sort of fanbase is that they're likely to be much more receptive to the request, particularly if its phrased as benefiting the other members of the audience and not solely the band.

     

    On the other hand, look at the 183920137201 Steel Panther cellphone vids. Not only do they encourage people to do it (how many "bootleg" clips of them at a Hard Rock show exist on YouTube? Surely more than grains of sand on a beach), but they often acknowledge and participate in the phenomenon, because audience interaction is a big part of their live show.

     

    A long time ago, in high school, an older theater student (whose name has been lost to an atrophied neuron cluster) gave me a bit of advice that's stuck with me throughout my life with regards to live performances: It's not about you (the performer), it's about the audience. I think, to large extent, that advice applies with regards to this topic. Would I, personally, go to a show and spend any time taking pictures or recording video? No, not really, because it would interfere with my perception of being in the moment for that short amount of time. Are there *tons* of people who, having paid to come to that same show, want to preserve that experience in some sort of digital format? Yes, obviously, absolutely.

     

    Therefore, in my mind, as a performer, there's really no benefit to *me* in trying to enforce my way of experiencing a show on the many people who prefer to experience it another way.

     

    It's not dissimilar to the 90s and 2000s, where instead of embracing digital distribution, many large labels desperately clung to physical distribution. Can I understand why they did that? Sure, but they were still just "pissing into the ocean", instead of adapting and surfing the oncoming wave.


  5.  

    There's also the advantage of not dealing with paper, the iPad being able to scroll, sports score updates, etc.

     

     

    I suspect he meant using an iPad with a non-purpose-designed stand. Just getting one ye olde black metal stands and resting an iPad on it.

     

    Definitely has the advantage of being a standardized part (both on the part of the stand and the iPad), for easy replacement in case of either breaking.


  6. I agree with ya Chord! "It's just like that" doesn't work for me either. BUT, sometimes it is "Just like that". his guitar might be off a millimeter in the neck pocket, or at the bridge, maybe both. Having the saddle all the back on the E string is the compensation for the tiny boo boos in manufacturing.

    I have a Douglas tele that I bought a 3 barrel compensated tele bridge for, and the only way to get the intonation in, was to reverse 2 of the saddles. Is it "correct"? No, but it's perfect. Some guitars are "just like that".

     

    Yeah, pretty much. I mean, I love this RG, but it's not exactly "custom shop" quality (though it is pretty nice for an RG-lettersalad, which is why I picked it up so long ago, much nicer "overall" than I had come to expect from a sub-$500 guitar).


  7. Hi All,

     

    I finally got around to playing with this again last weekend. I swapped out the string for another one (my usual .009 slinkies) and it didn't change anything at all (which is a good thing, as, overall, the instrument sounds fine to my ears now).

     

    As Caffeinated Cat, knotty and badpenguin's experiences seem to suggest, that's just how this guitar seems to be.

     

     


  8. Thanks for the replies, all.

     

    The action is good and I'm not getting any buzzing, but I've jotted down the few other suggestions and I'll give them a look this weekend.

     

    If I remember, I'll also get that picture for DeepEnd!

     

    Thanks again.


  9. So, I've got this Ibanez RG(lettersalad) from about a decade ago (seems to be an Edge III trem, but I've got it blocked with a Tremol-No) For a while now it's been bugging me with a thousand tiny cuts of annoyance. After reaching my limit I finally went in and fixed up all the little things that needed fixing.

     

    In the process I found that the intonation for the 6th string was pretty far off, so I adjusted it to get it as close as I can for this particular instrument. The result being that the saddle for that string sits *much* further back (that is, towards the tail) than the rest of the strings (which also have their intonation set up correctly -- or, again, as correctly as I can get them; probably over-pickiness on my part there, though).

     

    This huge disparity in the saddle position of 6 vs 5-1 seems weird to me, though. Is it a sign of something else being set wrong? Or are some bridges just like that?


  10. I've had that happen a few times and there is a solution but I can't remember what it was...maybe hitting the back button on the browser or something...or maybe it was hitting ctrl-C before posting.

     

    For anyone reading this, Chris and Jeremy from Nucleus are going through the "punch list" of fixes. Traffic has increased 4% per month since the acquisition so the downward death spiral has stopped, but as you all know, there are fixes that need to be done - it would be nice if Europeans could post :sm-drool:

     

    Someone asked why we don't do an "HC is Back!" marketing campaign. I don't feel the time is right yet. A marketing campaign called "HC has Regained Consciousness!" isn't quite as compelling :) But we'll get there.

     

    Though a marketing campaign of "HC has Acquired Sentience!" would dovetail nicely with the Terminator movie release ;)


  11. There's a lot of similarity in the discussion here with the comics industry.

     

    Bear with me.

     

    In an alternate life, I was a digital comic artist. Not a great one, but already I digress. Throughout the entirety of the 2000s it was a constant discussion as to how the industry had basically killed itself through the "big money" marketing of the 80s and 90s. It was nearly impossible to get into a job at one of the big two (DC or Marvel), and the typically work-for-hire contracts basically left you with no rights to your work.

     

    Add to that the fact that comics were no longer a limited-run commodity unless you are of the few that were collectors or otherwise *needed* the physical copies. CBR readers made digitally scanned comics into basically infinite-run, no-value widgets.

     

    Many years of arguing and angst and drama followed. Some folks were adamant that *somehow* the industry would find a way to return to the "old ways".

     

    The end result was, however, that by the late 2000s, "indie" was the way to go. Why? Because it became very apparent that the key to success as an artist wasn't doing something no one had ever done before (100% original ideas are pretty hard to come by, no matter which direction you push). Rather, the key was to do something well and, most importantly, connect with your fans on a much more personal level that people had been used to doing before.

     

    Again, why? The answer in comics lay at the graphed intersection of overhead and revenue. Sure, your revenue as an indie (especially at the start) is not at an astronomical level, *but neither is your overhead*. As a matter of fact, it takes surprisingly few "superfans" to support a single, indie, DIY artist. You won't be getting rich, but your chances of making a living are much higher because you don't have to support a huge infrastructure (meanwhile, folks like Penny Arcade, who started with two guys, a scanner, and some really rudimentary HTML skills, are now the head of a company that runs the 3rd largest gaming convention in the US).

     

    So how do you develop these superfans? By connecting to people early and often. Okay, fine, but how do you do that?

     

    Well, the first thing is that (in comics) you follow the mantra of "significant and consistent" content updates. This means comic strips or pages in the comic world. It used to be "frequent, consistent, and significant", but it became apparent through the years of experience that "frequent" wasn't as firm a term, or as obvious concept, as was first believed. In music, this seems to be moving towards individual song releases on a regular basis, with the albums being collections that are sold later, with add-on features for extra value (see: Jonathan Coulton)

     

    But secondly you needed to really connect with your early fans. Laboring in obscurity for a while is the role of nearly every artist when they start out, of course. Throwing content into what seems like an endless, uncaring void is emotionally and mentally tough, but when you do start getting those nibbles, you should leap to connect. Social media is key to this (Twitter, FB, etc).

     

    Let's say you have some fans now, and a few "superfans" (those who focus on you as one of their primary fandoms, and buy nearly everything you put out -- getting to this stage can take a long time, endurance has always been the name of the game in art; see also the 10-year "overnight success"). How do you turn that fandom into revenue?

     

    For a long time, the answer in comics (aside from providing ad-space on your own site, which only worked if you were already wildly popular) was "merchandise". Fine art prints, selling original art, other things like that and, of course, t-shirts, t-shirts, t-shirts. So much of the latter that some of the traditional comic strip artists (people with King Syndicate Features contracts, for example) would denigrate the new breed of cartoonists as being "glorified t-shirt salesmen." They wanted nothing to do with the business side of things.

     

    Some folks went to Kickstarter, though this was primarily for selling collections, and so didn't work particularly well for facilitating regular, consistent revenue streams (not a few artists also got in over the heads by overpromising and underdelivering).

     

    Fortunately, in the last couple years a new platform has emerged, called Patreon. Patreon essentially lets you "subscribe" to an artist's output. Different artists handle this different ways, but in essence it's a way to create a more consistent revenue stream than just relying on merchandising or advertising. It's still somewhat new, but many artists both in and out of the comic world have praised the platform for basically changing their lives, both creatively and financially, for the better.

     

    From there, you have a lot of possibilities for growth, but many of them facilitated in great part by the fact that you own the IP to every thing you've made. There's news running around over the last few weeks that a company called TokyoPop was doing portfolio reviews at a large convention. This particular company was infamous for their horrible contracts before their last reorganization, and word on the street is that their new ones aren't much better. However, there are other players in the market that are happy to form distribution partnerships with established indie brands and have very reasonable contract terms that benefit both parties. (It's also possible to distribute both digitally and physically on your own, which comes with its own set of pluses and minuses).

     

    By now, reading through this, the parallels with the current state of the music industry should be pretty obvious. Artists who don't want anything to do with the business side, contracts that leave the artist with barely any rights, merchandising the crap out of your IP. Sound familiar? That world and those who cling to it are dying. Indie and DIY is the way its all going.

     

    The only stand-out difference is that in comics the "gig" is analogous to appearances at conventions. If you've never seen it, the way this works is that the artist pays a flat rate for a table at a comic (or similar) convention and sells merch, does sketches, custom art, interacts with new and long-time fans, etc. (Pay to play?! Kind of...)

     

    The key there being that the table cost will vary, and that cost will determine what you need to do to make the appearance "worth it". That is, how far away is it (travel overhead)? What's the table ("booth") cost? How big is the Con(vention)? e.g. If it's a small convention, with a small table cost and it's an hour away, I don't have to merch the hell out of every interaction in order to get "value" out of the appearance. *But*, is the attendance so small that, in the overview, my exposure to new and existing fans would also be small, and, so, my weekend might be better spent making new content to release? But, again, on the other hand, these small cons are often where the really hardcore fans like to go and discover new, hidden "gems" from people, so... (There's also "guest" appearances, but that's much later and a whole different calculation)

     

    Anyway, I've gone on long enough already. If you want to watch a really interesting documentary on how this has happened in the comic industry (and, as an aside, the book publishing industry is still in the throes of where comics were about 5 years ago), I highly recommend the documentary "Stripped", by Dave Kellett and Fred Schroeder (full disclosure: I was an early kickstarter supporter of the film). They've presented that documentary to many big-name studios and organizations (not the least of which are Pixar and Lucasfilm) and it's applicability ranges far beyond just comics.

     

    The bottom line? As some have said, there's rarely (if ever) been a time in history that has more potential for artists to make a living doing what they love, but, it requires a whole different way of thinking than it did even 15 years ago.


  12. The other cans I like a lot in the studio are the Sennheiser HD280's... they're not quite as accurate as the KRK's' date=' but they are nearly as comfortable and have similar levels of isolation, making them very good for use when tracking.[/quote']

     

    I also like these, though both pairs I've owned over the years were really uncomfortably tight on my head when I took them out of the box. Apparently some folks will put them on basketballs for a few days to break them in. I did the same with a cardboard box I had laying around and it made a huge difference when it came to wearing them for extended periods of time.

     

    They also for some reason really like to end up on my floor, but that's a whole different issue :p

     


  13.  

    Thanks Nijyo! As Phil says, I'm on the other side of the pond, but the prices are about the same here - ~€500-600 for a 4-7 year old 8 core machine with >=16gb of ram. I'd probably cheap out a bit and go with 4 cores, but we're in the same ballpark here, pricewise :thu:

     

    I'm surprised that the prices are that close between markets, but that's very good news. I liked those old Mac Pros. The new ones seem so much less expandable, and their "intro model" price for a new one is really much too rich for my blood ($3000 for the lowest priced model? Yeesh).

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