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Jonathan Coulton Answers Your Questions

samzenpus posted more than 3 years ago | from the answers-redacted dept.

Music 55

Last week you asked some questions of musician and programmer Jonathan Coulton. He's answered your inquiries about the music industry, video games, and being an ex-code monkey. Read below to see what he had to say.Have You Been Approached by a Label?
eldavojohn (898314)

Some current stars have made a career out of much less than what you have simply by signing a record deal with a label. Your song "Still Alive" from the Portal Soundtrack could easily have some filler phoned in around it for a 10 track album. Have you ever been approached by a major record label with a multi-million dollar signing? If not, what would be your response to such a proposal? Since you've already experienced success, would you admit to a point in your career when you would have been vulnerable to such an offer? Have you considered throwing your lot in with an independent record label? There are hundreds in Brooklyn, what stops you from joining one or forming your own to foster more artists like yourself?"

Jonathan: I've had a couple of conversations with label people over the years. There are a couple of things that have kept it from working out. To get a label deal, you sort of need to prove that you can make money - nobody's going to give an artist a multiple-million dollar advance unless they're pretty certain that artist is going to make much more than that. My issue is always, I have proven that I can make money, BY MAKING MONEY. So now what? Admittedly, there are some things that a label can do that I can't. I don't dispute that the right artist on the right label can, even these days, still be taken to a higher level, get more exposure, make more money. But one of the first things everybody wants is a large chunk of my digital, and most of my income is digital, and that is the very last thing I need help with. If they want 50% of my digital, to make that worth my while, they'd have to more than double that part of the business. And maybe they can, but it's a big gamble for me, especially since I'm pretty comfortable where I am.

I'm not anti-label, I think there are great people working in labels, and there are plenty of really useful things they can still do for artists under the right circumstances. Just haven't found the right situation for me yet. And maybe someday I'll form one, or some other kind of company that helps artists do stuff, but at the moment I'd rather be a professional rock star.


Creative Commons
SarekOfVulcan (133772)

You've released some (all?) of your music under the CC-BY-NC license. What are some of the coolest things you've seen done by other people with your songs?

Jonathan: My favorite of the moment is the kinetic typography video that Jared Heather made:. It's just an incredible piece of work. The theater department at Boston College created and staged a musical called Code Monkey made up of a lot of my songs, that was kind of awe inspiring to watch. A guy named Spiff makes great World of Warcraft music videos for my songs (and other people's songs). And recently I was listening again to a remix of Code Monkey done by Kristen Shirts. She won a remix contest with a version that I liked so much, it changed the way I play the song live . It also led to her playing ukulele at shows with me a few times. There are a lot of others I'm forgetting now I'm sure.


Fan Videos
YouTube is full of fan-made videos. Your fans seem to make an extraordinary amount of them. How do you feel about them and do you have favorites, or are they like your children? You love them all equally.

Jonathan: See above. I absolutely have favorites, but I'm moved by even the crappiest ones - there's something very stirring about knowing that someone spent an enormous amount of time making these things. Anytime something I made inspires someone to make something else, it feels like a huge victory for us humans. That's what art is all about for me, that's what creativity is - a huge, complex inspiration cycle that elevates us above our short, dumb lives here on Earth.


Any advice to us current code monkeys?
While the contents of "Code Monkey" probably shouldn't be taken as a sort of moral compass or serious life guidance, I can guarantee you there are people reading this on Slashdot who feel like "boring manager Rob" is their boss. Any advice for a current code monkey, who maybe doesn't have any other skills or internet-sensation status to fall back on? How does one deal with the pressures?

Jonathan: It's been several years since I was seriously in the software game, but I'd say even if you don't have any skills other than coding, there are still things you can do to take charge of your relationship with work. Make your own software for goodness sake, ever hear of the App Store? The thing about Code Monkey's story that I think resonates the most for people is how beaten down he is. He's trapped, but tragically, only by his own self doubt and inaction. I don't want to be the guy who just tells everyone how great their lives would be if they quit their jobs, but for many people there's less justification than ever before for staying in a work situation that isn't rewarding for you. If you want to do stuff, go and do stuff. Who is stopping you?


The State of Geek Culture
UberOogie (464002)

Joco, As some one whose career has pretty closely paralleled the "popularization" of geek culture (and perhaps benefited from it), how do you feel on the subject?There seems to be a strong divide amongst nerds about public acceptance of larger swaths of what are traditionally "outcast" culture, and not a little bit of backlash against it (a'la Patton Oswalt). As a nerd who can't help but benefit from the continuing popularization (and, perhaps bastardization) of nerd culture, what are your insights?

Jonathan: I think railing against cultural phenomena is kind of a waste of time. Dear Editor, the printing press is great but WHAT ABOUT SCRIBES AND THE DEATH OF SCRIBE CULTURE? If a cultural shift is big enough for everyone to be talking about it, then chances are it's already happened, and it makes no difference if you think it's good or bad. I'm not saying we shouldn't talk about these things, it's certainly interesting to watch how things change, but once you start arguing about what "nerd culture" "is", or whether all the new nerds are as good as the old nerds, you've maybe lost your way a little. You can say that nerd culture is different now in such and such a way, but saying that it's not cool anymore, or it's not outsider enough for you anymore is really just you talking about you. Nerd culture is what it is, and being a nerd means different things to different people. Let's not turn the things we love into exclusive clubs where you have to do and say and think the right things to belong. I mean, what are we, the cool kids?

I do agree with Patton Oswalt on at least one point though: referencing something old is not the same as making something new, and too often the former is used as a substitute for the latter. Go ahead and make references and mash stuff up, but please do it in a way that is interesting and meaningful. Better yet, think of something totally new. If the primary joke of your Brady Bunch reboot is "Ha! Remember Brady Bunch?" then you've failed.


Do you still write code sometimes?
TheSunborn (68004)

You used to work as a code monkey. Now that you don't have that job anymore, do you ever write code in your free time, or are you happy never to use a compiler again? ps: Are there any plans for rock band 3 pro mode guitar for some of your existing songs (Please :}

Jonathan: Every now and then I get to write code, and I still enjoy it. Right now I'm doing a little bit of work with PHP and MySQL to help build some pages that will let people book passage on JoCo Cruise Crazy II in 2012. It feels great to use those skills, and it engages my brain in a way that I don't experience with any other mental activity.

Rock Band 3: yes, on my list. Currently swamped finishing up this new album though, hopefully I'll have time to work on stuff like that this Fall.


Code Monkey
j33pn (1049772)

Code monkey, Did you ever hook-up with that receptionist?

Jonathan: That song was loosely autobiographical - my manager was not named Rob, he was actually a great boss, and I never had a crush on any of the receptionists in our office (sorry Mark, not even you). Actually, when I was first hired the receptionist was ME. I learned Access 95 in between answering phone calls.


Where Do You Do Your Recoding?
eldavojohn (898314)

You've released a number of studio albums, where are they recorded? Your own place? Do you have sound engineers or is it all DIY? If you have sound engineers, how do you reimburse them? How did you fund your setup if you use it yourself?Are things like an expensive mac hardware, isolation booths and Pro Tools a requirement to get decent sound quality or do you just wing it with whatever and some Sure microphones?

Jonathan: Up till this new album I've recorded everything at my home studio, really just a room in my apartment. The gear has evolved over the years, but it's mostly been a Digi 002 and Pro Tools LE on a Mac (mini, now iMac). You really don't need to much to get started. I never had an isolation booth for any of the music I've released so far. you can hear my cat, traffic, fans, and playgrounds in my source tracks. When I bought a bass guitar I literally asked them to point out the cheapest bass in the store. I've had a few microphones but never spent more than $3-400 on one. Like most people, I'd imagine, my ears and skills are a bigger problem than the weaknesses of whatever gear I'm using - if you don't know how to mix (guilty!) then the fidelity of your monitor speakers is the least of your worries.

This new album is a completely different experience - there's a producer (John Flansburgh from They Might Be Giants) and an engineer (Pat Dillett) and I'm paying for studio time and hiring professional players to play on it. I'm doing this because I'm tired of my imagination being beyond what I'm able to make happen, and I'm in the fortunate position of being able to pay for it myself. Obviously it's going to mean a smaller profit for me at the end of the day, but it feels great to be collaborating, and making things in a way where I don't have to compromise because I'm not personally good at something. I wanted to see what that was like (it's great).


Revenue Percentages
It's my understanding that if I buy music (in a store or online) that the musician only gets less than 10 cents out of every dollar. As a do it yourself act, what are your costs like in proportion to your revenues? I don't want to know how much you're making, I want to know the costs/revenues ratio. Say hello to Scarface for me.

Jonathan: CDs cost about a buck each. iTunes takes something like 30% and CDBaby takes another 9% out of every digital sale. Sales through my own digital store only cost me the standard Paypal rate (I use a micro payments account when it applies). Add to this various shipping costs for the physical things, some hosting and bandwidth. So it depends on the year and what proportion these things are of my income, but that should give you some sense how much better it is than 10 cents on the dollar. If you want to talk about the whole picture it gets complicated, there are a lot of other revenue streams and expenses, but overall I'm able to do things very cheaply compared to a label.


Best Video Game Song Ever?
N0Man74 (1620447)

Still Alive is considered by many to possibly be, "the best video game song ever." Were you surprised by the acclaim that it has received, and did that put any additional pressure on you while creating a song for Portal 2?

Jonathan: Yes to both. I don't think it's anywhere near my best song, so I was surprised when people went so nuts for it. We all were I think. There was a lot of pressure for the second one, but early on I made peace with the idea that it could never be as good as the first one. Even if it were a better song (whatever that means), the first one owed it's success to the game, the writers who made GLaDOS, Ellen McClain who voiced her, and most of all the element of surprise and wonder that made you feel like you were having a unique and moving experience at the end of that game. That part of it had nothing to do with me, so I knew there was nothing I could do to make it happen again.


My Question
imadoofus (233751) Where you promised cake for completing "Still Alive?" Did they deliver?

Jonathan:Yes and no.


Thing a Week Progress
greg1104

Your year of "Thing a Week" resulted in many great songs. With classics like "RE: Your Brains" on week 26 and "Code Money" on #29, from the outside and in retrospect it seems obvious you'd already reached serious momentum halfway through. Was this apparent to yourself, and did you ever consider ending the experiment early based on that progress? I think it's interesting to consider schedule vs. goal oriented development as something applicable to a self-improvement context.

Jonathan: Well, I had said a year, and bailing out would have felt like a failure. Right now is the 5-year anniversary of Thing a Week and I've been reblogging it in real time, writing about how it all felt at the time, how those songs sound to me now. It's very interesting to remind myself of the incredible ups and downs of that year - it took me until around week 25 to feel anything other than fear, self doubt, and despair. Looking back, it's obvious to me that I didn't actually get through to myself and really start writing until the halfway point, and in my opinion it's only the very last stretch of it when I started firing on all cylinders. I think the last dozen or so were the most consistently high quality songwriting I had ever done up to that point, which is interesting because that's when it was hurting the most to do it. For that reason alone I'm glad I kept going till the end.


Backstage Rider
There are many famous backstage riders out there, Van Halen demanding no brown M&Ms for example. Do you have any special backstage requirements, or are you content with Fritos, Tab, and Mountain Dew?

Jonathan: I used to have only one thing on my rider - a large bag of Nacho Cheese Doritos. Felt like I needed to put something on there. I had to change it though, because inevitably I'd end the tour with half eaten bags of Doritos in the car, in my suitcase, left in hotel rooms. Days would pass when I would eat nothing but Doritos, which sounds like a great idea until you do it. Now it's pretty standard: champagne, foie gras, white asparagus salad. And one bag of Nacho Cheese Doritos.

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What's it like being getting first post? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36299070)

It smells like victory. Farts and victory.

Re:What's it like being getting first post? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36300790)

It's mostly pathetic and lonely...

Cake (1)

L1B3R4710N (2081304) | more than 3 years ago | (#36299086)

Now we wait for the ubiquitous responses saying "the cake is a lie" or its equivalent. Very cool of him to do this, though.

Re:Cake (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36299342)

the cake is most certainly not a lie

Re:Cake (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36301786)

I'm making a note here: Huge Success.

"Boring Manager Rob" (4, Funny)

pudge (3605) | more than 3 years ago | (#36299096)

I always thought "Boring Manager Rob" was a direct reference to MY boss at the time, CmdrTaco, and, hence, the song was about me. ;-)

Re:"Boring Manager Rob" (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36299500)

Do you know the damn login page still doesn't work as it should, don't you? ;P

Re:"Boring Manager Rob" (0)

pudge (3605) | more than 3 years ago | (#36299566)

Not my problem!

Re:"Boring Manager Rob" (3, Insightful)

treeves (963993) | more than 3 years ago | (#36302882)

Excellent attitude. You're hired!

Re:"Boring Manager Rob" (1)

pudge (3605) | more than 3 years ago | (#36306492)

So every problem with every web site should be my problem ... ? Sounds like a plan!

Re:"Boring Manager Rob" (5, Funny)

samzenpus (5) | more than 3 years ago | (#36300238)

Wouldn't that make me the pretty receptionist?

Re:"Boring Manager Rob" (1)

ZeroSerenity (923363) | more than 3 years ago | (#36300484)

Depends...do you wear a dress?

No wait, not a chance. You'd be too busy with the telephone but here you are spouting and chatting on the comment boards. HA!

Re:"Boring Manager Rob" (1)

ZeroSerenity (923363) | more than 3 years ago | (#36300616)

Err...I mean sweater, not dress. Whoops.

Re:"Boring Manager Rob" (1)

pudge (3605) | more than 3 years ago | (#36324298)

Wouldn't that make me the pretty receptionist?

Oops, cat's out of the bag. You've found me out.

Re:"Boring Manager Rob" (0, Flamebait)

Singularity42 (1658297) | more than 3 years ago | (#36301010)

Shut up, moron Christian.

Re:"Boring Manager Rob" (1)

pudge (3605) | more than 3 years ago | (#36324308)

If you had only half my intelligence, I'd respond to you.

Is happyed a word? (0)

jeffmeden (135043) | more than 3 years ago | (#36299202)

I may be showing a lack of geek cred but is "happyed" a word (as seen in the response to "The State of Geek Culture")?

Re:Is happyed a word? (1)

subtraho (187805) | more than 3 years ago | (#36299436)

Seems like a find-replace error on the word "happen", there are a couple of other places where "happen" appears as "happy":

"I'm tired of my imagination being beyond what I'm able to make happy"
"I knew there was nothing I could do to make it happy again."

Re:Is happyed a word? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36299940)

Verbing weirds words, but it's perfectly cromulent to do so.

Re:Is happyed a word? (2)

CowardWithAName (679157) | more than 3 years ago | (#36300054)

Looks like someone did a global-search-and-replace on "happen" with "happy."

Reference Jonathan's answer to question five:

I'm doing this because I'm tired of my imagination being beyond what I'm able to make happy, and I'm in the fortunate position of being able to pay for it myself.

And question ten:

That part of it had nothing to do with me, so I knew there was nothing I could do to make it happy again.

All of those should be "happen" IMHO.

No questions about banging chicks? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36299226)

What kind of musician questioners are you?

Re:No questions about banging chicks? (5, Funny)

Qzukk (229616) | more than 3 years ago | (#36299922)

We asked if he scored with the receptionist, he said he was the receptionist, things just got a little awkward after that.

Auto-correct (1)

BRSloth (578824) | more than 3 years ago | (#36299314)

Seems his auto-correct changed a lot of "happen" to "happy". If any editor is watching this, could you guys fix that?

Re:Auto-correct (1)

Jah-Wren Ryel (80510) | more than 3 years ago | (#36299582)

Seems his auto-correct changed a lot of "happen" to "happy". If any editor is watching this, could you guys fix that?

I think it is kind of cool. Maybe he even did it on purpose, it gives the answers a whimsical vibe.

Speaking volumes (5, Interesting)

Java Pimp (98454) | more than 3 years ago | (#36299346)

There is so much said in this one statement:

"She won a remix contest with a version that I liked so much, it changed the way I play the song"

Something that cant be done easily within the traditional music industry...

Re:Speaking volumes (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36299628)

Eh, Bob Dylan liked Hendrix's version of "All Along The Watchtower" so much that he changed how he played it to match Jimi's arrangement.

Re:Speaking volumes (2)

H0p313ss (811249) | more than 3 years ago | (#36299768)

I was going to say the same thing, so I'll provide the references instead.

Dylan has described his reaction to hearing Hendrix's version: "It overwhelmed me, really. He had such talent, he could find things inside a song and vigorously develop them. He found things that other people wouldn't think of finding in there. He probably improved upon it by the spaces he was using. I took license with the song from his version, actually, and continue to do it to this day."[25] [interferenza.net] In the booklet accompanying his Biograph album, Dylan said: "I liked Jimi Hendrix's record of this and ever since he died I've been doing it that way... Strange how when I sing it, I always feel it's a tribute to him in some kind of way." Wikipedia [wikipedia.org]

Re:Speaking volumes (1)

Java Pimp (98454) | more than 3 years ago | (#36299950)

I didn't say it couldn't be done, just that it couldn't be done easily. This one example presented so far is over 40 years old. I haven't heard of many others like it, and more often than not you hear stories more like DJ Danger Mouse [wikipedia.org] .

Re:Speaking volumes (1)

digitrev (989335) | more than 3 years ago | (#36300442)

Hate to be that guy, but what's the story with Danger Mouse?

Re:Speaking volumes (1)

Java Pimp (98454) | more than 3 years ago | (#36300804)

Perhaps I should have linked to The Grey Album [wikipedia.org] .

The album, which Danger Mouse released in limited quantities to a few internet outlets, created controversy when EMI, copyright holder of The Beatles, ordered Danger Mouse and retailers carrying the album to cease distribution. The amount of attention The Grey Album received caused EMI to act. Danger Mouse never asked permission to use The Beatles' material, and intended to produce a limited production run of 3,000 copies. Jay-Z's material, on the other hand, was commercially released in a cappella form. Although the work was copyrighted, it was released for the implicit purpose of encouraging mashups and remixes.

Basically, it was a mashup of Jay-Z's material (which he encouraged using) and the Beatles (which supposedly Paul McCartney was ok with after the fact) but EMI which held the Beatles copyright didn't like it one bit...

Re:Speaking volumes (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 3 years ago | (#36303594)

It remains trivial to track down to this day and entirely worth it. You can be a fan of neither Jay-Z or Danger Mouse and still think it's brilliant. Or not, but that's one story. It is indeed the standard response to people who claim that remixing is not art... but you have to enjoy hip-hop for sure.

Re:Speaking volumes (1)

grocer (718489) | more than 3 years ago | (#36299892)

I thought the same thing...I then realized by that point in Hendrix's career, he had played Monterey and Woodstock and was bonafide star in his own right in the US after his success in Europe...the interesting bit in the original poster's comment is how the internet now bands together people who all the like same thing and the collaboration that can result from that passion. Had Hendrix been an amateur or hobbyist or just someone into remixing (discounting how easy modern computers have made remixing songs now), Dylan would have likely never heard that arrangement and "All Along The Watchtower" would merely be a semi-forgotten Dylan B-side.

Re:Speaking volumes (1)

Java Pimp (98454) | more than 3 years ago | (#36299990)

Or had it been posted to YouTube, it would have received a DMCA takedown notice from Olympic Studios. :-)

Along what watchtower? (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 3 years ago | (#36300100)

Had Hendrix been an amateur or hobbyist or just someone into remixing (discounting how easy modern computers have made remixing songs now), Dylan would have likely never heard that arrangement and "All Along The Watchtower" would merely be a semi-forgotten Dylan B-side.

And had Hendrix been one of Jehovah's Witnesses, it would have had a slightly different meaning [jehovahs-witness.net] .

Re:Speaking volumes (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36299896)

And The Presidents Of the United States of America picked up from Weird Al's parody of Lump.

The song ends with, "And that's all I have to say about that", which is the way Forrest Gump often ends his stories. Afterwards The Presidents Of the United States of America followed Weird Al's example and ended performances of "Lump" with that quote and they still continue to do so.

Source [wikipedia.org]

Re:Speaking volumes (1)

TexVex (669445) | more than 3 years ago | (#36300774)

Check out the wikipedia entry on House of the Rising Sun [wikipedia.org] for more examples of this kind of musical cross-pollenation.

Re:Speaking volumes (1)

Lumpy (12016) | more than 3 years ago | (#36300130)

Trent Reznor releases a lot of his songs as rockband format of tracks that allow you to remix. he even listens to what you did and will comment. He loved my country version of "the hand that feeds"...

Re:Speaking volumes (1)

bennomatic (691188) | more than 3 years ago | (#36300358)

When I was in a band in college, we used to tour with some buddies of ours, and we surprised them on a show on Valentines Day by playing their song, "Valentines Day". We were all guitars, and they were very synth-heavy, so it had a different feel, but they liked it. So much so that a month later, we went to see one of their shows--performing at a club called the Berkeley Square--and for their encore, they covered one of our songs, "Lonesome at the Square". Other than the instrument arrangement, they altered it by singing the final chorus twice; we liked it so much that we included that in our subsequent performances as well.

Of course, we were just a couple of garage bands in the mid-grunge era... hardly the "traditional music industry" you're talking about. But I couldn't resist sharing a memory.

Rock Band 3 Clarification (2)

nordee (104555) | more than 3 years ago | (#36299448)

I think Jon meant that he's going to put more songs into Rock Band 3 via the Rock Band Network (creators.rockband.com),

NOT that there are going to be Pro Guitar JoCo songs in RB3. None of those are planned.

Novelty is overrated (1)

otis wildflower (4889) | more than 3 years ago | (#36299634)

Better yet, think of something totally new. If the primary joke of your Brady Bunch reboot is "Ha! Remember Brady Bunch?" then you've failed.

Seth MacFarlane's giant bags of cash beg to differ. ;)

Re:Novelty is overrated (1)

E. Edward Grey (815075) | more than 3 years ago | (#36300226)

And yet Seth MacFarlane's life and work seem to confirm it.

The "wait" remix of "still alive" was awesome! (3, Interesting)

VortexCortex (1117377) | more than 3 years ago | (#36300186)

I heard it on the "video-game web-radio" station MixWave (was V-wave, part of Rainwave [rainwave.cc] ).

The song [youtube.com] is about how a player anticipates Portal2, "Please release portal 2 or I'll die".

P.S. If you like video game music, or chiptune [wikipedia.org] , electro, or even Orchestras, choirs, or acapella, there are nostalgic tunes and remixes of classic video game music out there... Check out Rainwave's stations, and vote on the next song...

Flans! (1)

TexVex (669445) | more than 3 years ago | (#36300680)

Very cool to know he's working with John Flansburgh. That guy is one seriously underrated guitarist and all-around musical and lyrical genius.

Full of win. (2)

Darth_brooks (180756) | more than 3 years ago | (#36301090)

"The thing about Code Monkey's story that I think resonates the most for people is how beaten down he is. He's trapped, but tragically, only by his own self doubt and inaction. I don't want to be the guy who just tells everyone how great their lives would be if they quit their jobs, but for many people there's less justification than ever before for staying in a work situation that isn't rewarding for you. If you want to do stuff, go and do stuff. Who is stopping you?"

That's a pretty fucking solid statement there.

Re:Full of win. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36301576)

"If you want to do stuff, go and do stuff. Who is stopping you?"

Our robot overlords.

... Did I say "overlords"? - I meant protectors.

Re:Full of win. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36302824)

How about my kids and the bank who owns the mortgage? Or is this one of those rhetorical questions?

Re:Full of win. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36304802)

JoCo had a kid on the way when he quit his day job. It's isn't called "taking a risk" because it's easy or certain.

math doesn't add up (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36302598)

He says that various orgs take 10 and 9 percent and says that's MORE than the 10% the labels take!

Re:math doesn't add up (1)

orngjce223 (1505655) | more than 3 years ago | (#36303590)

That's because those percentages stack.

Personally I would recommend Bandcamp [bandcamp.com] (I'm a customer, not a shill, before you ask), if you don't have the resources to roll-your-own (it's free upfront, no setup or subscription, but takes 15% off all sales).

Actually, some of us are trying to push Bandcamp to move payment processing in house rather than use Paypal, considering Paypal fees, reputation, and all that jazz. Not sure if they will, but it is a thing that I would like.

Re:math doesn't add up (1)

ZzzzSleep (606571) | more than 3 years ago | (#36303952)

Errr... it states that the artist gets ten cents on the dollar from the labels. So the labels are taking 90%.

Re:math doesn't add up (1)

koxkoxkox (879667) | more than 3 years ago | (#36304260)

Read again : The labels take 90%, the artist keeps 10%.

Loved MOST but not all you said (1)

syousef (465911) | more than 3 years ago | (#36305354)

Two quibbles:

- It's irresponsible throwing away a paying job on a dream if you have a family depending on you. Fear and self doubt are about self preservation (and the preservation of your kids!). What you have to do is either take an opportunity if there's no longer a paying job to fall back on, or continue with the full time job while you slowly build up your other work.

- As for equipment (mixers etc.) not mattering, it all depends on the work. It's the same in photography or any other profession where tools are used. Using the wrong tools for the job is a recipe for frustration. For example (since I know photography better) photographing fast sports with a point and shoot would be maddening and you wouldn't get results that were any good. HOWEVER you can stay within the limits of even cheap equipment and enjoy experimentation and good results.

Btw my favourite song of yours is "I'm Your Moon". (I have a masters in astronomy, and love the sentiment). I might like the Portal theme more if I ever get round to playing Portal but as it stands my only exposure is hearing the song and what I read on Wikipedia.

Keep on playing and sharing. All the best!!!

Re:Loved MOST but not all you said (1)

F452 (97091) | more than 3 years ago | (#36306568)

I have quibbles with your quibbles. :-) For the second quibble, here's what he said:

"Like most people, I'd imagine, my ears and skills are a bigger problem than the weaknesses of whatever gear I'm using - if you don't know how to mix (guilty!) then the fidelity of your monitor speakers is the least of your worries."

Not that it doesn't matter, but that he's not able to take full advantage of the better stuff.

For the first quibble, I think this is the key part of his response:

"I don't want to be the guy who just tells everyone how great their lives would be if they quit their jobs, but for many people there's less justification than ever before for staying in a work situation that isn't rewarding for you. If you want to do stuff, go and do stuff. Who is stopping you?"

I don't read that as a categorical call for everyone to quit their job and endanger their family's security, and "if you want to do stuff, go and do stuff" can mean exactly what you say about continuing with your job while building up other work.

Re:Loved MOST but not all you said (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36336542)

I thought, with respect to the "quit your job" inferrences that he was just talking about the relative ease with which a "code monkey" could now bash out an app and make money from it on the app store, with a view to escaping from his unrewarding job.
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