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Topic: Sample libraries and the death of Broadway

  1. #1

    Sample libraries and the death of Broadway

    No doubt we\'ve all seen the musicians of Broadway on the picket line. They are suffering and against the increasing tendency of Producers to use \"artificial\" or/and \"computerized\" music instead of flesh and blood musicians.

    Naturally, sample libraries are at the very core of producing music that sounds realistic enough to be used in mass entertainment.

    I was wondering if anyone feels any remorse for what seems like impending doom for musicians? Maybe they can get day rate on the way to extinction, by being recorded for a new sample library.

  2. #2

    Re: Sample libraries and the death of Broadway

    I have every confidence in the world that live musicians will always be a necessary part of the entertainment world. As good as they can be sample libraries can\'t even come close to the nuances and expression of a live player. They are the soul of musical expression.

  3. #3

    Re: Sample libraries and the death of Broadway

    the whole point is us makin producers realize they have the $$$ to pay for the musicians.

    Thats ALL that this is about, and we all know it.

    Its all its ever been, even the arguments about Samples replacing live musicians. When we all know that live will NEVER be replaced by samples.

    its about the guys making music for producers at the reduced rates. As much as I know I\'m an extension of that as a music provider, if the budget allowed, I would hire (and will hire) live musicians over samples anyday.

  4. #4

    Re: Sample libraries and the death of Broadway

    You can reproduce instruments but not musicians.
    Off course considering phrases, loops etc you can - but this is maybe where the new \"jobs\" will be. Musicians have to get involved with sample producers and also to become the best programmers of the sampled instruments - because musicality will still and always be the key in any music. [img]images/icons/smile.gif[/img]

    It is the same with graphics: Give two persons Photoshop and ask them to create a picture: one can draw - the other can. The result? [img]images/icons/rolleyes.gif[/img]

    Music is also about emotions and you can\'t \"buy\" these - and maybe it wouldn\'t be so nice if you could. [img]images/icons/shocked.gif[/img] Great artists, in classical or any other music style have often suffered much in some way along their carreer or before. I think Bach had 22 kids and many of them died when they were babies. How was that? Wanna have his life?
    I wouldn\'t.

    Nah - I believe real art is a mix of technique, musicality, taste, culture and soul.

    Fortunately [img]images/icons/wink.gif[/img]

  5. #5

    Re: Sample libraries and the death of Broadway

    These days, the average person seems to want everything faster and cheaper. But it\'s not just live musicians who are suffering. It\'s our whole lifestyle.

    I can\'t convince my son that it\'s worth waiting five minutes for a good burger at the fish and chip store, instead of an instant piece of mush at MacDonalds (ugh!) Gimme a break.

    My daughter has no idea what dripping hot buttered popcorn really tastes like. She thinks the only good popcorn is what comes out of a paper bag left in the Microwave oven for 3 minutes and 45 seconds.

    My brother laughs at me when I make espresso coffee - he\'s happy with a freeze dried instant. Espresso is a \'waste of time and money\'.

    My sister insists that she can\'t remember what a REAL tomato tastes like anymore. The ones you get from the supermarket sure look great, they\'re just flavourless.

    I have to fight to explain to the kid next door that MP3s don\'t sound as good as the original, and the guys who wrote the songs deserve an income.

    Record companies find it much more financial to plop out another Britney than they do to groom and market something a little more evolutionary. Who can blame them - they\'re in it for the best share price.

    Many ad agencies would sooner buy a library track than employ a composer (let alone an orchestra!)to score a piece to picture. It\'s quick, \'safer\' and the client \'can\'t tell the difference\' (until he hears \'his\' track on another ad!)

    We\'re living in a world which is increasingly driven by conservatism, uniformity and considerations of \'economic rationalism\'. In the face of this paradigm, it is a daunting task to champion the virtues of all that is artistic.

    Just as countries like Australia lose brilliant minds to overseas investors because we simply won\'t take the risk of investing locally, the whole world is probably losing great artists and artisans to this increasingly conservative era.

    Luckily for us, there\'s always the occasional stubborn genius who is so driven by his muse that he couldn\'t give a tinker\'s cuss about where his next meal is coming from, and just has to keep banging his head against the door until someone finally opens it.

    More of these guys, please [img]images/icons/wink.gif[/img]

  6. #6
    Senior Member Bruce A. Richardson's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 1999
    Dallas, Texas

    Re: Sample libraries and the death of Broadway

    Guys, you are WAY off base. I work in theater a lot. The strike is not about samples replacing musicians. It has absolutely NOTHING to do with samples replacing musicians.

    The strike has to do with what are called minimum hires. This means a producer can write a musical for a five-piece jazz combo, but the musicians union will still require payment for (I believe) a 24-seat orchestra. It means a theater must hire and pay these musicians to literally sit on their butts and eat bagels.

    Minimums suck. This is not about putting musicians out of work. This is about forcing artistic decisions upon a producer. If anything, it\'s holding back the development of the theater musical as an evolving art form, because the musicians union in New York would like to see it stay in the 1940s forever.

    Really, in theater, music is the very least progressive element, PRECISELY because the musicians union has such a stranglehold on producers and such an investment in the status quo. The most progressive theater never happens on Broadway--because there\'s no way to break the stranglehold the unions have over the process.

    I have had to lead many a union crew in New York. Trust me, you have no concept of the amount of crap you eat at the hands of those goons until you have gone through it. I have literally sat through a negotiation with two armed bodyguards sitting either side of the union boss (read: Mafioso). Outside, my show was being held hostage by the Teamsters, who had jammed up four solid blocks of NYC around the venue with their trucks. The teamsters were all just standing alongside their trucks, beating tire tools against their open hands and glaring at the entrance of the venue. My trucks were hopelessly gridlocked in. My drivers were threatened, and one actually left his truck and split--right in the middle of Sixth Avenue!!

    Don\'t belive those \"poor little abused\" stories from the unions. You\'ve never gotten a screwing until you\'ve had a good union screwing.

  7. #7

    Re: Sample libraries and the death of Broadway

    Bruce is absolutely right. The musicians union is totally misrepresenting the issue to gain public sympathy. The producers are not, and have no intention of, using samples or virtual orchestras. They know the public will not pay $80 or more for tickets to see a show without a live orchestra. As Bruce said, they just want to force producers to hire musicians that are not needed. Typical union B.S.

  8. #8

    Re: Sample libraries and the death of Broadway

    I wouldn\'t go to a concert without live instruments, I love watching the orchestra perform...its almost as much fun as listening!

  9. #9

    Re: Sample libraries and the death of Broadway

    The strike has been settled. The larger theatres will have smaller orchestras. But to clarify one point Bruce made. There already is a provision for special situations on the size of orchestras. They are reviewed individually to allow artistic freedom. \"Mama Mia\" is an example. They requested to not use a 24 piece orchestra since the music of ABBA could best be performed with a 9 piece band. It was approved.

  10. #10

    Re: Sample libraries and the death of Broadway

    \"nowadays, producers can shop the world and hop on a jet to get to a low priced orchestra.\"

    This is how the London Symphony Orchestra started showing up in so many movies and other projects. Back in the \'70\'s, an arranger I worked with a lot in Nashville started going to England for his album projects. He said he could go to London and hire the London Symphony players, take his whole family and have a month long vacation for what it cost to hire a studio orchestra in America. I don\'t know how their pay compares now, but it was just a small fraction of union scale in the United States. I say this in no way to belittle one of the world\'s great orchestras. But, if the economics had been right in the 70\'s, we wouldn\'t be discussing the LSO sound nearly as much today. Some of the greatest musicians in the world are studio musicians. The pay is much better than even our major symphonies. But, when you are a free lance musician and the work slows or stops, you are in trouble.


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