Yeah I’ve Gone all Geeky and Started Building PCs again.
Look I’m a good musician although I say so myself, as do others… ( I’m also a good tech geek too. ) But, unless I sign a recording contract and sell myself to a department of the music industry – which I’m not prepared to do – I’m not going to be able to make the income that I desire and that I deserve with my music. It’s just not going to happen, because of the way things are these days.
I’ve been designing & building computer equipment for a year now; but I haven’t released any music in that time. – I’d rather be doing both; but I think I’ve submitted myself to the music industry’s con-job by following my artistic dream. It got to the point where I seemed to be working almost 24/7 to personally just about break even, while making money for the industry.
‘See, when the internet was young, really young, minor musicians started to realise that they could use it as a way to get heard. – Hence the indie scene’s rise to prominence in the 1990s, amidst a plethora of new acts which were at the time just as successful as those acts that were signed to labels. But just like had happened before in a different but related instance, when a small number of talented bloggers rode the crest of the blogging wave and made a lot of money… And so every man, woman, and their dog, jumped on the bandwagon and got further into debt: Every budding artist, talented or otherwise, jumped on the indie bandwagon. – The result = noise; lots of noise. – Every act drowning out every other act. None being heard; none making any money.
The Great Rock ‘n’ Roll Swindle
The Sex Pistols were aware of the tactics of the industry back in the 1970s. That was a long time ago
(I was 13; so that tells you it was a really long time ago.)
but they’re still out to make a fast buck any way they can today, although their game-play has become somewhat dirtier lately.
By the start of the 21st Century the music industry had caught up with reality, and they had realised what was going on. A few sly folks amongst them realised how they could get onto a winner and make a lot of money at the expense of artists: –
The word went out from the industry that anyone could make it in the music industry, provided they had some level of individual unique talent, and if they were prepared to give 101% of themselves, their time, their effort, their money… And so arose the myth that the penniless musician who is struggling to make a crust can work their way up to stardom and riches with the right attitude and total dedication… Which is true to some extent; but only for the select few. Not everyone can be the best. If everyone rises to the top then there’s no point having a bottom. If everyone is a successful musician then who are the audience?
I Want Money!
The music industry were having a field day: Everyone and their dog was giving the music industry everything + more to attain the status of successful musician. The music industry lapped up all the offerings and gave away nothing, absolutely nothing. It paid the striving artists a pittance for their gargantuan efforts, utilised everything that it could make use of, and left many talented people penniless but heard: So many people heard by dedicated listeners that the number of artists being heard became nearly as numerous as their audience.
Some of us rose above the noise by being specially unique, but were soon copied by everyone else who hadn’t already given up. We that remained were the ones with stamina, determination, perseverance, and talent… Yet we that remained were still to all intents & purposes broke. Only those who had sold their sound, their soul, their being, to the ever-richer music industry, were gaining success by singing tunes manufactured for them, all based upon a template of the ultimate pop-song that has getting-heard-guarantee. – That appeals so greatly to the human animal-instinct and base-nature that if popularised above all other sounds; those others being equally suppressed, is sure to sell because it has built-in appeal and because everything else is prevented from gaining the necessary traction for success.
– And when I feel that I’m being used I get out of the situation any way I can. – This time I’ve fallen back on my geek – streak.
In early 2018 my equipment was getting old, and anything that I’d bought or built new in the last couple or three years wasn’t substantial enough to be of proper use because I’d tried to do things on the cheap. I needed to get my geek on and renew pretty much everything, and I realised that I needed everything that was replacing the old equipment to be unique. The best way forward was encapsulated in the proverb: “If you want something done properly [in a particular way and to a certain standard], do it yourself.” A self-build or three was on the cards; and I was experienced at self-builds – for myself and for others. Creating anything musical at that time was akin to creating a masterpiece and throwing it into a dark chasm in the hope that something positive happened as a result. – And so I decided to build equipment, computerised equipment, computers (PCs), for myself and for others if I could find a market.
Here Comes the Geek – Speak: –
And so it came about that I designed and built ( + recently rebuilt ) “Idol’s Budget Premium PC” – which I had on sale for a while at under £300GBP… But that wasn’t really a hot-potato; even for a budget model it was rather gutless, and changes in component availability soon made it unviable to continue with.
That cost me the best part of £500 to design, prototype, test, debug, Etc. – About the cost of releasing 1 track musically.
I also designed and built the “Idol Worx Plus”; but I refused to offer such a sucky design for sale and only built the one. – Another £500 odd.
I spent a lot of time and resources designing and building the “Idol Tower”. (Which isn’t a tower.) This was intended to be a one-off build just for me – built to be everything that I need and want, and ended up as exactly that in the third quarter of 2018. No sooner had I built it than I updated the graphics card. I’ve no idea of the cost of design but it wasn’t cheap. Building it cost me the best part of £800.
In January 2019 I got hold of a used Opteron CPU for next to no money. I was planning to do an Opteron build; but that’s been cancelled. It may yet happen nevertheless; but I don’t hold out much hope. That little escapade cost me just shy of £100.
All-in-all the production-costs of an EP spread over the year, and some reasonable equipment + a couple prototypes and a little in the way of indeterminate assets to show for it.
I’m still going to build a slightly-retro AM3+/SkyLake generation PC – to make up for not doing the Opteron build in a way – Also because I was left with 16GB DDR3 RAM, and since I could get hold of a new cheap unused AMD FX 8-core CPU and a non-costly AM3+ motherboard it gave me an excuse to build for the sake of building.
Too Many Machines
I currently have 3 working computers in the studio: One of them is the Idol Worx Plus – which although I think is sucky, it acts as a useful little assistant to the Idol Tower. I also have my recent rebuild of the Idol Budget Premium Plus; the original prototype which I dropped and busted the case. The original PSU was a no-namer and was unreliable, plus the system drive was a hybrid drive, which didn’t perform much better than a standard hard-drive, plus it probably got damaged when the box was dropped… So I ended up using same motherboard, RAM, and same Win 10 installation, with new SSD, PSU, and case.
Believe it or not I’m running folding@home on it exclusively, and it generates 2500 points odd towards my daily tally.
What Y’Gonna Do –
What do I intend to do with the AM3+ box? I’ll build it, optimise it, and then I might sell it on eBay in an auction with a £420 reserve; because it owes me that. Failing that I might come up with some geek – inspired esoteric idea for it. – ‘Time will tell.
– If Ya Wanna Get Down?
Don’t get me wrong: I’m not knocking making music here; but until something changes I really don’t see any way of making a decent income from it for the foreseeable future. I want to get back into it; so I hope things improve so that I can do so… But I see no point in working long hours and giving my all for no reward other than barely staying afloat financially.
You know that I won’t resist the temptation to create a track or tracks in the not-too-distant future anyway- regardless of finances. I’m a natural artist as well as a natural tech-geek. One day the mood will take me and you’ll start hearing more great tracks from Yours Truly.
Get down to it –
Y’know you gotta do it: –
Geek out to it. –
Make Mo – Mo – Money.
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