The biggest challenge I face with mastering is staying positive about the two causes of change in our music business: technology and the Internet.
Advances in technology have put tools in the hands of every artist, although the experience and know-how may be lacking. So, a part of my business is education. Educating a prospective client is one of the best ways to gain their respect and loyalty. Since the choice for the client is between getting a great sounding master or buying some software that has flashing lights, cool knobs, and promises, the right decision is not always clear.
On The Internet
We’re seeing a proliferation of new indie labels often run by artists. The role of education is essential. Standard operating procedures for a major label are not on the radar for indie labels and musicians. There’s a reason majors don’t mix and master at the same studio. But, budgets have shrunk and everybody is trying to cut corners. I have to impress the value of quality upon indie labels and artists. A great sounding catalogue will get better reviews and build a fan base, not just for one band but others released by the label. So through knowledge, education, and kindness, we can maintain a positive balance in these two areas. If you lose a job over the Internet because someone far away is cheaper, you can still win by making some new friends on Facebook, and adding contacts to your email list. Hopefully, when the potential client does have a budget, they’ll be back. Or maybe they’ll tell somebody else about you. Both the Internet and technology will usually give you
that opportunity to turn things around and stay positive. Being conscious of your checks and balances, not in terms of the bottom line, but in terms related to the Internet and technology is one of the secrets to success in this new business environment.