I agree. I was just thinking that in the grand scheme of the arts, it does
not break my heart that commercials sound cheaper now. Also, my experience
is that musicians and others who worked in that world were pretty
protective about their "cash cow", one that I am not surprised to see
dying. I have seen musicians cut a commercial in one hour and rush to
another gig to get paid their 4-hour minimum. Of course, I am also glad
that money from plush advertising agencies was used to feed musicians...
Maybe I was just jealous.
--On Saturday, March 25, 2006 5:39 PM -0500 Tom Fine
<[log in to unmask]> wrote:
> Hi Marcos:
> Actually, jingle work is one of the toughest musical gigs and only the
> best and brightest did it in the heyday. Yes, the music is usually pretty
> lame, but not when it works well (listen to almost any Coke commercial
> during the 60's). The typical session, up into the 80's was 4 hours
> (something like 3 hours actual playing). Musicians arrive, get charts,
> start laying down takes within 30 minutes or less. Music finished -- in a
> bunch of different versions and variations -- by the end of the session.
> I have my doubts if "Midi-Man" working at home can actually lay down the
> finished product this fast -- I just think he works for much less per
> Also, remember that until the late 60's, most of this was mixed live too
> -- and had to be mixed so it jumped out of everything from decent TV
> speakers to FM stereo speakers to crappy AM in a convertable speakers.
> And the voice-over guys were tremendously talented, too. Still are in
> some cases, although I notice any big-budget account uses real-deal
> actors now for voice-over.
> -- Tom Fine
> ----- Original Message ----- From: "Marcos Sueiro" <[log in to unmask]>
> To: <[log in to unmask]>
> Sent: Saturday, March 25, 2006 1:09 PM
> Subject: [ARSCLIST] Music for commercials
>>> When I was an errand boy and tape dubber at Sigma NYC (1981-83 summers),
>>> the commercial business was transitioning away from a squad of crack
>>> studio musicians showing up, getting a chart and cutting a commercial in
>>> 3 hours to where one guy showed up with a Synclavier and dumped 8 tracks
>>> onto tape and then a singer showed up and a voice-over guy showed up and
>>> they cut a worse commercial but in half the time. Nowadays, it's a guy
>>> at home with a MIDI rig cutting even worse commercials but for a
>>> fraction of the cost. That's a large part of what killed off the big
>>> studio business in NY -- the agencies took most of their production
>>> in-house and musicians' union rates got to where no one could afford
>>> big sessions with large ensembles anymore. Plus, the um "talent" pool
>>> has gotten very brackish in recent generations of "musicians."
>> Forgive me if I am not too concerned about the lack of musicianship in
>> commercials, of all places --except as one of the few places musicians
>> could make some decent dough (although sometimes barely legitimately).
>> But perhaps this decline is what led to some companies such as
>> Volkswagen to use already available recorded music for their commercials
>> --quite successfully, of course.