There is no substitute for being at a live performance, but recording and streaming concerts can add a lot of value for audience members.
In this episode, we talk to Riley Simone: the front-of-house engineer and tour manager for the Adam Ezra Group. She describes how she records each of her concerts for the “live sound project” and streams “gatherings” to an at-home audience.
KOBY: [00:00:00] How’s it going everybody I’m Koby Nelson and I’m here with my cohost Jake Mannix and our guest today is quickly becoming an expert on all things DIY tour. She currently tours with the Adam Ezra Group and has a hand in just about every part of the touring process from. Front of house sound engineering, to live streams, to tour managing, to merge Riley Simone, welcome to the podcast, Riley. thank you very much for taking the time out of what I know is a very busy schedule to talk to us today.
RILEY: [00:00:41] Yeah, of course. I actually have a day off, which is very, very weird for me.
KOBY: [00:00:46] Yeah. So, so actually to start us off, why don’t you tell us a little bit about that? What you’re doing? maybe a little bit about the Adam as a group.
RILEY: [00:00:53] Uh, yeah, so, um, Adam Ezra has been, you know, making music for around 10 years now. and he’s kind of had, um, some different musicians in and out of the band making music with him. But for the most part, all of the music that they’re playing is all of his own song writing, and music that he’s been writing.
and. They have been doing some extensive touring for a long time time now. And, um, usually they tour from. February until, new year’s Eve and then on new year’s Eve, January. And like that time, Adam we’ll do a get folks to her. He calls it he, goes by himself around to different houses and plays house concerts at fans houses, um, like just in their living room or whatever.
- When this pandemic hit, they had, um, a bunch of tours lined up and actually, I hadn’t even really started working with them yet. Um, they hired me in December and, we had plans for me to take breaks from college on the weekends to like go to their shows and like learn stuff from them.
but then the pandemic hit and we were kind of just on hold for a little bit. and during that time period, Adam. I guess he says he was sad one night and went on to Facebook to play some music for our live stream. And at the end of it said to the people who were there, you know, if you come back tomorrow night, I’ll come back tomorrow night.
And, we’re on day 213 of him going back to the Facebook live stream every night at seven o’clock. so. He was doing that for awhile. And then, you know, he had the gift folk audience where he was like, going to their houses and working with them. And he said to them, you know, what, if we tried this live, he calls his, uh, nightly livestreams gatherings. So, um, he’s like, what if we try some live gatherings and, you know, we. Take your backyard and like do some socially distance pods and keep everyone safe and spaced out and all that, that, and, yeah, they agreed to it because his fans are, you know, love them, but crazy. And will do anything to hear his music.
Yeah. so he started going to people’s backyards and playing concerts in our backyards, but Adam didn’t want to stop doing the live streams of course. And. a normal show for us in someone’s backyard is that we start the concert at six o’clock and we play until seven and nothing really changes with the concerts format, but then we, we turn on the camera from seven to eight o’clock and then he says goodbye to the live stream.
And usually we play for a little bit after that, just to say goodbye, and thank you to the people who are in the backyard with us. So, yeah, it’s been, it’s been a whirlwind and now that it’s starting to get cold, it’s, it’s getting more difficult for us to play these kinds of shows. So,
KOBY: [00:03:52] yeah. Doing them all outside and everything like that. Yeah. with all of this, so as soon as you started, you kind of jumped into this role, where you’re, you’re really covering a lot of different parts of whole tour. Really? Your, tell us a little bit about your whole job, cause it’s I don’t know, it seems like it’s like six jobs in one or something like that for at least from the conversations that we’ve had. So just tell us a little bit about that and what your role has turned into and how it kind of breaks down overall.
RILEY: [00:04:23] yeah, it’s, it’s definitely a lot of things that I’ve never done before in my life. and when Adam and I talked about me joining the team, I expressed to him that I had never done a lot of these things before. And he was cool with that. So, I mean, he knew what he was getting himself into when he hired someone who was very, um, unexperienced.
KOBY: [00:04:44] well, I mean, you have a background in recording and things like that. So,
RILEY: [00:04:48] it’s just, so I had the background in recording, but you know, Doing live concerts. I don’t know if this was naive of me, but was a huge transition for me. Like the way that you listen is so much different than the way that you’re listening when you’re in a recording studio. that was kind of a big jump for me.
but anyway, so my main focus is like the live sound. so there are like front of house engineer. but I also. Do a lot of their tour managing stuff. So a one we’re going to a venue, you know, giving them a call saying, here’s our writer, here’s our stage plot. load in is X, Y, and Z, stuff like that.
KOBY: [00:05:26] I
RILEY: [00:05:26] handle kind of all of the merchandise shipping. so any, any online orders that we get from merchandise, I take care of. Kind of, controlling the merchandise for, so I I’ll like pack it for when we’re going on tour. Like when we’re leaving, make sure that we have it packed for the week. and then while we’re there, keeping the inventory of everything that we have, and now we have this whole live streaming element, so I’m doing a lot of the live streaming setting up the live stream.
And then. Well, the live stream is going. I sit and watch it and, sometimes moderate it. So I’ll be replying to fans and talking to them as the show is going on. Well, they’re asking like, is that a dog in the background? And I’m like, yes, there is a dog barking in the background. Um, and then they asked to see the dog and sometimes I have to bring the dog on screen.
so it’s just stuff like that. and then.
KOBY: [00:06:19] And
RILEY: [00:06:19] We also, we actually just started this up. Um, the guy who was previous to me in this position, um, Bobby, he started, this thing called the live sound project. So every night, he records the show or. Now I’m doing this, we record the show. And then after the show on a little thumb drive, we sell the concert so that people can like take it home with them.
So I just started doing that now, too. and in, uh, I think that’s, that’s all that I do. I don’t even know.
KOBY: [00:06:49] that’s it. That’s all you do. That’s a ton of things.
RILEY: [00:06:52] um, I have to like, I do like a lot of internee stuff too, like going and picking up his guitar and bringing it to be repaired and like that kind of stuff. so it’s, it’s a lot of different things.
I feel like I’m people will be, Oh, can you do this? And I’m like, yeah, I guess I’m gonna just do that. So.
KOBY: [00:07:10] There’s I mean, there’s a lot that I want to unpack in all of that. cause I think a lot of those things could be useful things to hear about for a lot of our listeners who might be looking for ways to kind of. beef up their live performances and get something kind of similar going on.
but for now let’s circle back to, I’m going to talk a little bit about the live streams, because I mean, with the pandemic and everything, obviously live streams have become a big topic that have been covered by a lot of other podcasts. You know, YouTube has blogs, that kind of stuff over the past few months.
But I think in a lot of the resources out there, people are talking about just. Live streams? No, like the performance is only a live stream, not also a live concert with an actual audience of human beings in the same physical location as the musicians. Can you tell us a little bit about that? Like, do you think that there’s a benefit to doing both of those simultaneously?
I mean, even though maybe there are some extra challenges that go along with that, some of the audience being. Present change the actual experience for the people tuning in to the live stream in a good way you think?
RILEY: [00:08:25] I think there’s a lot of different answers to that question. I think
probably one of the biggest things is, you know, for the band, having an audience is a lot more, they feed off of that energy. The concert becomes a lot more fun for everybody involved because they have like, The clapping and the feedback from the people who are actually there kind of thing, instead of just staring at a screen and, interacting, you know, with a motor cons that are coming up or
Um, so I think that’s one benefit of it. I also think that, in a, in a profit aspect of this all, we are still making money on the concerts that we’re doing because people are paying to be in our backyard. and it’s not an, a ginormous amount of money. However, we are then broadcasting to a bunch more people online for free. Like they’re not paying for this experience.
Uh, the people who are joining an online and we get, When, when we are live in the moment we get like around three 80, every night, people who are tuning in, but after the fact we have like a thousand views or something ridiculous like that. and so I think that one of the benefits is of those, a thousand people who are viewing in.
You know, from, from their couch or from their dining room or wherever, are then saying, Oh my gosh, look it off on that concert is I want to go to that concert. Can’t wait until they’re in my area so that I can go to a live gathering and it’s kind of just building our community even more, making that part of it bigger.
I also think that, you know, they will comment though. Like when the crowd claps we’ll be like, Oh my gosh, that’s so fun to hear like actual people clapping. Um, so I do think that the people online enjoy it and the people who are in the backyard don’t even bad. And I to what’s going on kind of thing.
KOBY: [00:10:13] but you are. Interacting also with people in the live stream at the same time that the concert is going on. So you’re you mentioned to me before we were recording today about moderating the live stream. how, tell me a little bit about that and trying to create that experience for those people at home.
RILEY: [00:10:33] we, we try to have somebody moderating from our team every single night. so that if anybody has any questions or, anything that those can be answered, if there is from people in the band to people who, you know, help us out in management and stuff like that. But, like kinda, as I said, there’ll be like, Oh my gosh, is that a dog in the background?
And I’ll type back and be like, yes, that is a dog. or there’ll be like, where are you tonight? And then I can respond. people will be like, Oh, it’s my. 50th birthday. And then everyone in the comments is like happy birthday, happy birthday. So I think like, it really makes the people who are commenting, feel special, that we’re all going back and forth.
Someone will be like, Oh, I am drinking my homemade sangria tonight. What does everybody else drinking? And everybody will start commenting what they’re drinking and I’ll be like, I’m drinking a water cause I’m working. Um, and so we’ll all joke around about that kind of stuff. So I think that. the people online are, I know that they’re there for the concert, but I also think they’re there for the community of it to like talk when they’re online friends in the chat about what they’re doing today and all of that kind of stuff.
So I feel like it’s, it’s different for every person that’s watching. but it’s definitely a community feel in that, in that chat box.
KOBY: [00:11:46] Yeah, I think that’s really interesting actually, that it’s kind of like. I don’t know, we, we sort of think of live stream sometimes as like a compromise, like a you’re simulating being at the show or something like that in this sort of case, especially when there’s that live audience there. Yeah. You are getting some of that simulation.
You’re hearing the audience applaud and everything and getting at least a little bit of the, the feeling of, of being there. But at the same time, you have this other aspect that you really don’t have at. An actual live concert, like if you’re on the live stream and you’re, you’re seeing all these comments, you’re seeing people’s reactions, people are interacting and talking to one another while.
Still. You know, listening, you don’t have to shout over music or feel like you’re disrupting people around, around, or anything like that. It’s kind of interesting that there’s a whole nother dimension to that. I think that makes it a really interesting experience. I want to get your perspective on live streams going forward because kind of being on the ground, seeing this play out, do you think that there’s going to be a future of live streams?
Past the pandemic. and when we can get back to just regular shows, do or do you think that’s going to be something that fizzles out over time?
RILEY: [00:13:04] It’s hard to say. I want to say that I think it’s going to continue on. I think that people are getting used to, sitting in their pajamas at home, watching a concert. It’s also fun to get dressed and go out to a concert kind of thing. But, a lot of people, there are a lot of home bodies who I think are really finding their niche within the, this pandemic of, I can stay at home and do X, Y, and Z.
so I think it’s, I think it’s a catch 22. I know that the band we’ve talked about how. How much we love these backyard gatherings and how nice it is because they’re so intimate and that, you know, even after the pandemic if things get normal, that it would be so much fun to just continue to do things like this.
and you know, just add more people. So the backyard kind of thing. so I think the, the live streaming, I think it could have a future, especially with. Like, if you think about it, like, look at award ceremonies, those are basically live streams. Like with people doing all of that kind of stuff. It’s, it’s been something that has been an attraction for a long time.
So I feel like, I feel like I could definitely continue strong after the pandemic is over.
KOBY: [00:14:14] yeah. It’s kind of like bringing the televised concert. The broader music community, the, the, a bigger market than just like a superstar sort of, yeah, like, I don’t know, Grammy’s performance or something like that. Like any, anybody now can have that sort of televised yeah. Experience. you also mentioned.
that the live streams are free. Do you think that’s something that would continue, um, sort of as like a publicity kind of thing, trying to raise awareness about, the band or an artist, or, or do you think that has potential to go to something behind a pay wall or something like that where you can monetize both
RILEY: [00:14:56] For us or for like in general for people,
KOBY: [00:14:59] For either. Yeah. For, for you guys in particular or in
RILEY: [00:15:03] for us, I don’t think it will. Adam has a very strong belief that, like for example, at our concerts at our merchandise, we have a bunch of CDs out, and with our other merchant, everything, our clothing and all that. and in the middle of the table, We have a box and it says, I love you on it.
We call it the, I love you box. um, Adam at the end of shows, encourages people, you know, to come to the merge table, buy whatever they want. and that CDs don’t have a price on them. You pay whatever you want for them. and if you can’t pay anything for them, that’s okay to take a CD, because he’d rather share his music with you, then not have you miss out on enjoying the music of it.
All right. and I think that’s a mantra that he’s really lived by with this band. so I can’t see him personally, charging for it in the future. Other bands. I could definitely see there’s so many bands right now that are charging for of stuff. They’re, they’re doing it like once a month and are charging $20 to get onto a live stream kind of thing.
Um, which, I mean, you have to make your money in whatever way you think you need to be making or money. but for, for our, for our fan base and for our community, I don’t think that’s something that would be in our future.
KOBY: [00:16:19] Hmm. That’s an interesting way of thinking about, about things. I like that kind of. Attitude of sharing the music and having it be about the music. And I think, I think for a lot of people, for any artists out there listening who would be considering doing live streams and trying to figure out whether or not it’s something that you would want to monetize, it really does have to come down to considering considering the audience, considering your own values and things like that.
And trying to be as true to. What you are putting out there as, as you can. that’s not to say that I think monetizing live streams would be wrong in any way. That’s totally a valid thing. I think that, if that’s, if that’s part of the way that, that you want to run your business, that’s totally, totally fine.
you just have to consider those, those things and figure out what works best for you continuing on the live stream idea. I want to talk to you a little bit about the gear and, and the technology involved. I mean, in this podcast, we’re really not very gear centric. We don’t talk about gear very much, but I think in this context, it’s I think a lot of the people who are out there listening, who might be considering trying to do something similar.
Live streaming either on their own or as part of a, an actual live show. They’re going to have questions about how you actually make this happen. How do you actually set up a live stream for people to be able to view it and hear it? So for you guys, what is, what is the actual setup? Where are you guys
RILEY: [00:17:58] So we, um, I’m not 100% sure how Adam found this application, but we use an application called E cam to broadcast. it’s it does cost money for the full version of it. but it. Allows you to do cross posting. So if we were, working with like a festival that was doing, doing an online festival kind of thing, we could post for our gathering and for that festival at the same exact time, which is kind of why we purchased that.
Cause we do that kind of often, So we use that’s the application that we’d live stream through. However, we have had technical difficulties where we have had to like live stream just directly to Facebook. but we use a, a Yeti microphone, for, our sound, um, kind of just set it up somewhere in front of our speaker system, and make sure that it’s.
You know, not clipping or whatever. And then, we use a Mevo camera. I don’t know if you’ve heard of those before we uh, we had a, like our just regular webcam. We had bought like a, you know, like webcam from like staples or something. And it was the worst thing ever. It was such bad quality. And like, it was, it was, it was like every single day it got worse.
which I don’t know how it’s possible, but, um, so then me infested in this Mevo camera. Which has been fantastic. The Mevo also has a microphone on it. and when Adam is by himself, like just playing guitar, piano, sometimes we’ll just use the Meebo microphone. I don’t like it as much. I think it’s a bit muffled, so I preferred to have the Yeti, but whatever.
and we try to. plug our ether net in directly. instead of being on wifi, we’ve had a lot of issues with just, connecting to wifi and we found that when we are plugging directly and we have a lot more luck, with things. yeah, and we have bought a to buy like lights because it got dark when we were playing the concerts.
And, um, it was,
KOBY: [00:20:03] And for cameras. Yeah, that’s definitely a consideration more so than for, even for an audience sitting there in
RILEY: [00:20:08] Yeah. We were like, we don’t care about the audience. Like we need the lights for it. No, I’m kidding. But. We were, we were struggling because we, uh, it was getting like really dark out and we were like, crap, we need lights. So we bought string lights and the string lights were not enough. So then we had to buy like actual, like nice lights or whatever.
and yeah, that’s kind of, it’s kind of a, all that we use for live streaming portion of it.
KOBY: [00:20:32] Well, that’s cool. I mean, it’s, that’s a fairly simple setup, which I think is important for her, for something like a live stream. I think a lot of the people who, I don’t know, consider setting something up like this for themselves, it’s really easy to take it. To like an extreme, as far as like gear you need, or I don’t know, things like that where you’re, you’re super worried about every little detail of quality and stuff like that.
I don’t know for, like, for you, Jake we’re both kind of like gearhead people. Like I know for myself, that would be something that I would be stressing out about and considering, and probably overdo it. But at the same time, I think, I don’t know how much quality. In the livestream matters as much as like creating the experience.
Like I’d be interested to get your perspective on that, Jake too. Like how much do you think that in a concert sort of setting the, the quality of the live stream is important versus just getting the show across.
JAKE: [00:21:34] I think it’s, I think it’s way more important to get the show across and, and the vibe across than to worry about the quality. But I don’t think you should ignore quality. Like, I don’t think you should use like a bill in
KOBY: [00:21:52] Just like open it up and then.
JAKE: [00:21:55] but yeah, yeah, saying I would probably be the same way as you, I would probably go way, way crazy and have like it go in somewhere else so I can hear it prior to it going to the live stream. So I could like hit it with a bunch of plugins and stuff.
KOBY: [00:22:08] right, but that the way you have it set up, Riley is straightforward and a pretty elegant solution, really? Because you don’t have to worry about two things going on at once, right? Like you’re not, you’re not creating a mix. Five stream in addition to a mix for the live audience. And since you’re doing all of that yourself, I feel like that would be, that would be pretty insane to have to worry about both those things be monitoring both of them.
So for you, you’re creating the live mix. And then the live mix is coming through the speakers, going into the microphone and going straight out to the live stream. That’s a pretty. Simple elegant solution. And you’re taking out a lot of the potential, I think for issues.
RILEY: [00:22:49] Yeah, I’ve thought about, trying to get an output from our board. To go for the live stream. Yeah. however, I already have, you know, like our one output going to our speaker system and then the other output is going to, um, the live sound project recording that we’re doing. So I’ve thought about like making an ox for it.
It’s the easiest right now with having the Yeti microphone on up, um, every once in a while we’ll get fancy and, up a second, camera, there’s a app for the iPhone called HIPO cam. Um, which turns your iPhone into more of like a cam quarter, like a, it duplicates your screen. I don’t really know how it works, but it works.
and, uh, we’ll use that as like a second camera sometimes. and the Mevo also has a feature where, you can view it on your phone. so you can connect your phone to it and pull it up on your phone. And then, You can like zoom in and pan across the screen and stuff like on your phone.
So I’ve played around with that a little bit, but it scares me cause it’s like super touchy and I’ve like, I’ve messed it up a couple of times. And like now I’m petrified to do it. Um, so, yeah, it’s, it’s a pretty, it’s a pretty simple setup just because I’ve got so many other things going on at the same time.
KOBY: [00:24:09] right? It’s simple. But at the same time, that adds a lot of value to the show as a whole, for the people, especially for the people at home. Cause obviously if, if they didn’t have that, they wouldn’t have a show. So I think that’s just something that a lot of people. Who would be considering this need to kind of hear that you don’t have to go too crazy.
I mean, you’re, you’re capable of juggling a lot of things. Yourself, but I don’t know if a lot of people out there would feel comfortable, juggling all these setups on their own. So I think that would be kind of intimidating, but I think that’s a good example that it’s, it doesn’t have to be super crazy and it’s something that you can do and doing it even in a simple way, adds a lot of value.
To the overall performance. So I think that’s a really cool thing. one of the other things that you’ve mentioned, that I want to talk to you about, it’s actually something that we’ve mentioned on the podcast before, and that’s, creating the recordings of the actual show. I can’t, what was the term that you used
RILEY: [00:25:04] Uh, we call it the live sound project.
KOBY: [00:25:06] live sound project. Yeah. So tell us a little bit about that too, because I think that’s another great way to add value to a show for the people who are, who are there. so can you break down how that sort of setup works and what goes into that?
RILEY: [00:25:21] Yeah. So I’m actually like using the setup right now to record for you guys. Um, but I. We use an application, called audio hijack. so we have it monitoring ProTools. so we have all of our inputs coming into pro tools, but we’re not actually recording through pro tools. the application is just using pro tools as a monitoring system.
and the way that, the reason that we do this is because, this, application allows us to split. So after every one of his songs, I can click the split button and it’ll like cut the songs into individual songs, whereas in pro tools, it’s a lot more difficult to do that. I would be taking me a long time after the show to like go through, even if I did do markers or something like that.
so yeah, I. I have a board mix, that I, uh, we have like a little audio box PreSonus interface. and w I have a board mix that goes into there, and then I set up two microphones for, You know, like the crowd and, outdoor sounds and stuff. Cause it’s actually been really nice for some of the songs to have like the crickets in the background, like from
KOBY: [00:26:32] Yeah. For folk music. And that’s pretty cool actually.
RILEY: [00:26:35] I’ll like be listening and be like, wow, we should like release this. No, but, um, yeah, so I.
You bring them those in. And I just do a simple mix of the board to the ambient, like a Mike’s that I have set up. and that goes into our little application and I just split up. And then after the concert, Adam usually likes to end the concerts with a group singing.
So, um, he usually will unplug and, go acoustic and have the audience Jordan singing with him. He’ll do something that people know like. let it be or something like that. so during that time is when I go in and, you know, um, I take one of our art cards, put it into my computer, put everything onto the card and then we have a duplicator.
and so I plug our, master into the duplicator and plug. I usually do like 15 a night cause we have such small crowds right now. and then I make 15 copies of it and then we put it out on the table and people can take them home with them.
KOBY: [00:27:37] Is that something that you’re selling or people are that’s part of what’s included for the
RILEY: [00:27:41] they’re technically being sold, but it’s kind of like the same thing as the CDs. If you came up to us and said, you know, I really want one of these, but sorry, on the $5, then put $5 in the box and go ahead and take one.
KOBY: [00:27:52] Yeah. That’s I mean, that’s really cool. And that’s something that I don’t know, I’ve thought a lot about for, for artists who are putting on shows and stuff like that, that it, I don’t know. It’s one of those things that sounds. It sounds like it shouldn’t be too hard. Cause you’re yeah.
Creating this mix. That’s going out to front of house and everything. So all you really have to do is put a record quarter in the path somewhere after the board and record what’s going in. But every time I think about it, they’re there, all these little things that pop up, like one of the big things is one of the things that you mentioned being able to split between songs.
Like if you’re, I don’t know if you’re recording too. A CD recorder or something like that, you might be able to split between songs. it kind of depends on what gear or what application you’re using, whether or not you can do that in an easy way then on top of that. Yeah.
There’s the duplication. How, how long, how much, how time consuming is it to actually duplicate all of the, copies after the fact? Is that something that you’re spending a lot of time on or is it pretty fast?
RILEY: [00:28:54] I’m on a good night, takes me like seven minutes.
KOBY: [00:28:57] seven minutes.
RILEY: [00:28:57] on an night when, the duplicator is not happy with me and it doesn’t want to work. Um, it can take a bit longer. it just, it depends usually also like longer yeah. Concerts and stuff like that can come into the factors involved. Yeah. But not too long.
It doesn’t take me more than 10 minutes. I would say.
KOBY: [00:29:14] Yeah, because I mean, that’s one of the big considerations, I think for anybody who would be thinking about trying to do this is that, yeah, it’s great to be able to record something, but you also have to be able to make enough of them that the audience members who want it can buy it and bring it home. Or I guess the other thing to think about there is for you guys, at least in your experience, is it just people at the specific concert that you record who are buying.
The recordings from that concert or is it other people after the fact, maybe from the website or anything like that, who are buying recordings of a specific concert?
RILEY: [00:29:52] both. It’s mostly people from the concert buying them. However we do have them online. The only thing is, after the night of the concert, once they get uploaded online, they’re just digital. You don’t get like the thumb drive. We don’t mail that to you. Just get the digital download of it.
KOBY: [00:30:08] which makes sense. Yeah. That’s easier.
RILEY: [00:30:10] also I was going to say that another part of like
me having the time to do that and like, cause I am rushing to get it to the merge table so that the line doesn’t get too long of people like waiting for these, is that I do at, during the last song.
so while they’re performing the last song, the audience doesn’t get a recording of the last song, but it gives me a four minute. Like leeway of getting it to the duplicator in time and all of that. So.
KOBY: [00:30:39] that’s interesting too. And that’s that’s, you could almost treat that as a, an experience thing for the show too. You know, like as an audience member, you know, that, that last song isn’t going to be recorded, you’re only going to get that one time. It kind of. You get the best of both worlds there where you can create this memento that somebody can bring home from the concert that has all the songs, except for that last one, that one’s just in the moments that, I mean, you could almost treat that as kind of like a cool extra value adding thing too, for being
RILEY: [00:31:07] I mean, logistically it started because they’re playing an acoustic and we couldn’t really get a good recording of them playing it acoustically. Um, other than like our, our little stereo marks, but when we were like in a club, You know, you cannot hear them through because the stereo mix weren’t as close to the stage as I’m able to put them now in these backyards settings.
So originally I had started because he always did always did the last song acoustic. And, um, you couldn’t hear it. So we would just start the duplication process during that time period. But I guess every once in a while, depends on the show. All include the last song. It depends like how rushed I’m feeling, how big the crowd is.
For that night, I’m on. If I record the last song or not, just depends.
KOBY: [00:31:53] Yeah. so for that actual recording, like you obviously have a background in music, you’re an audio engineer. Like you’re, you’re there for that purpose to actually. Create the live sound experience in the room and also create the recording for bands or artists that don’t have. I have a Riley there to take care of all of this.
I mean, what are the challenges there, or how. How do you think people, might be able to do that? Do you think that’s a viable option? If you don’t have a dedicated front of house engineer, who’s traveling with you and stuff like that, do you think it would be worth setting up a, I don’t know, setting up just kind of a standalone recorder to record the output of the board for like an in house engineer at a certain venue or anything like that, or do you think it’s.
Really a requirement that you have a dedicated person handling that
RILEY: [00:32:49] I think that’s a really hard question. And I think that’s ultimately up to the band, because it’s hard with a sound person that’s not traveling with. You doesn’t know your sound, doesn’t know what’s happening in your songs. so of course, The mix isn’t going to be as great as someone who knows your music, like the back of your hand.
I still, I don’t know. I don’t know. I think that a lot of times when people go to concerts, they want Like little things from that concert that they can take with them. At least I feel that way myself. Like I love to get a tee shirt at a concert or take a CD home with me just to be like, Oh, this is from what I know to see them on X day kind of thing.
and I think that that’s a really special one because it’s. A literal document of the night that you just had, or the day that you had. Um, so I don’t know if it matters as much on the kind of like we were talking earlier with the live stream, like the quality
of it, but of having it and, you know, having something that your fans can keep and hold on to.
And the other thing about live music, Is our shows are different. Every single night and little things happen. Every single night jokes are made. And you know, when you make those jokes with your audience, it’s like a connection. It’s like an inside joke between you and the audience that makes the audience feel special.
And then they can go back and listen to that and be like, Oh my gosh, that was like something that just happened at our concert. Like an, I have a document of it kind of thing. Um, so I think it’s more about that though. And the quality of, of what’s on it. If that makes sense.
KOBY: [00:34:22] I think that’s huge. And something that people overlook a lot when they’re thinking about live shows. I dunno, that’s, that’s something that we talk about a lot. A lot of people talk about that. Building an experience at a show where you’re communicating with the audience here, you’re interacting with them, feeding off of them.
They’re feeding off of you. And you get those little things. But I, I, I think that that’s, that’s a great reason to try and record something because that’s, that’s what people want. They want to be able to relive that experience. And you can do that in your memory and it’s you take that with you.
And it’s a fun thing that you, you got to do and got to experience, but having that little extra thing, I think that’s a huge opportunity for people, especially if you’re selling them afterwards. I mean, as like a, a way to make money off of a show
RILEY: [00:35:11] a huge profit. Then the nights that we sell those, we, we get like, our profit is much higher in those nights because so many people will buy them.
KOBY: [00:35:20] well, that’s really interesting too. Cause, and that says something right there because. A tee shirt is one thing. You have a tee shirt for a tour or something like that, where it’s meant to kind of, when you look at it, you, you think back to the night or something like that, that’s, that’s one type of memento that you can use to relive the experience.
But the recording is one step above that, I think. is there, is there any plan to do, do, do you guys record the live streams? Do you have any like video recording or anything like that or is it just audio at this
RILEY: [00:35:50] Um, no, our live streams, are still up on Facebook. So like you can go see them on Facebook at any time. And then we also save them. We have them like in the cloud, saved just in case we ever like want to use them for something, quickly circling back to the recording aspect, another, um, Another advantage of it is the band also really likes being able to listen to their shows from the night before and discuss things that happened in the show and talk about like, Oh, we want to like, hear how much we sped up in the song, or, you know, like what happened in this song.
So it’s, even if it’s like not the best recording, you can go back and listen to it and say like, Oh, we did this in the song. Or, Hey, I really liked that groove. You did. Oh, what group was it? And you can go back and listen to it kind of thing.
KOBY: [00:36:33] that’s really interesting. And that’s something I’ve never really thought about. I don’t know if that’s, is that something that you’ve ever considered Jake? Like in the past, we were talking about live shows. We did an episode on making live shows and gait, more engaging and things like that. And we talked about.
A lot about rehearsal and, and using that, having somebody in the room during rehearsal, or having a mirror to give you that sort of feedback, Jake for yourself, I mean, is that something that you would use at a concert or anything like that? Would you look back on a recording,
JAKE: [00:37:03] I’m at a concert. I’ve never thought to do that. So probably that’s a pretty good idea, but, um, I have done it in the past during rehearsals.
KOBY: [00:37:13] like recorded at rehearsal? Yeah. I think that feedback is something that could be really big for a lot of artists. Cause that’s another thing, like it’s a fleeting moment for an audience member, but it’s also a fleeting moment for the artist and for the band where yeah. It happens and it passes and you have to think back to it and say, Oh, did we rush?
I don’t know. Do you think we rushed? I don’t know. Yeah. It’s I think that’s actually a really powerful tool that. a lot of artists could use as well. So it’s, yeah, it’s not just about monetizing things or making a profit. It’s also a way to actually make you better at your craft. I’m glad you brought that up.
That’s actually a really, really good point that I think a lot of people should look into and, and, and think
RILEY: [00:37:57] And I mean, I use it for myself too. Like I’ll, I’m, I’m not. I don’t have a lot of experience in folk music. So a lot of times, like, I’ll say, you know, I struggled with the bass part last night could be listened to it. And like you give me feedback on where you think it should be in the mix kind of thing.
So, I use it as a tool for myself too. I think that we all get a little bit of, use out of those recordings.
KOBY: [00:38:20] Hmm. Yeah. Very true. I don’t think that there are a lot of artists or bands. Out there that are doing as much as you guys are doing when it, when it comes to the live shows, if you could generalize overall Riley, what do you think? Or actually Jake too. Like, if, if there’s anything that you can think of, what do you think the biggest missed opportunities are for most artists or bands when it comes to touring or live shows?
Like, should everybody be trying to do live streams and concert recordings and. Using it for review or, or are there other things on top of that that are kind of missed opportunities from both of your experience with live shows? I mean, that’s not really my area of expertise. What do you guys think are the biggest missed opportunities?
JAKE: [00:39:05] I’ll let you go first, Riley.
RILEY: [00:39:07] Um, I think, you know, the, the live recordings are probably a big one for me. I mean, it depends on the size of your fan base and the size of, you know, like what you’re doing and everything. But, another thing is, like meeting the fans, like, The, the band, um, we don’t do this anymore because of the pandemic, but beforehand, at the end of shows, we don’t have people that we hired to sell our merch.
We sell our merge. so the band is like out there talking to people and like We’re not just on the stage that we’re down selling our own Birch and doing all that kind of stuff too. Um, in meeting the people that are listening to our music and letting them meet the people who are creating the music kind of thing.
KOBY: [00:39:50] true. That’s a good point. Jake, do you do that at your shows? Do you sell your own mergers there? Do you have like a person who sits at the merge table?
JAKE: [00:39:58] I’ve only had one show that I sold merchant and I had actually Brandon Kapore
KOBY: [00:40:06] ah, friend of the podcast.
JAKE: [00:40:07] Yeah, sit there. and with his drummer and myself and whoever else, but I want to double down on meeting the fans for sure. I think that that is a huge part of it. for instance, when Johnny two phones did the show with juice world rip at the palace theater here, and the show was ending like giant, did his set. There was some, I can’t remember if there was someone else in between or not, and then juice did his set.
And then Johnny always likes to get a picture with like, whoever he’s opening for, but like, this was the biggest show we had done in the area yet, I think. so there was tons and tons of people there and tons and tons of his fans that wanted to meet him, but he wanted to get a fixture with juice. And so. I was like, dude, go outside, go out front and get the pictures. And he was mobbed. There were so many people, so, so many people and he, like he said, he got an insane amount of followers from that. Cause like when you’re meeting people, they’re taking pictures and then they’re tagging you and all that stuff, you know what I mean?
And then you have the people that see that, that are going to go and visit you and all that stuff. So
KOBY: [00:41:25] Yeah. That’s super important. I think for building that like personal connection, because yes, if you’re, yes, you’re playing live. You’re physically in front of these people. You can get up close to them and interact with them during the concert, but even for artists that do that really well, I think there’s always that little bit of light distance.
It still feels like a performance. It still feels like they’re putting on a show for you. And there’s less of that like real personal, like person to person, contacting communication. So yeah, I think you guys are both absolutely right. Just being able to say hi afterwards is, really important. And I like the idea of selling your emerge.
That’s a great way to go about doing that, where it doesn’t feel, it doesn’t feel, like a, uh, put on thing, you know, like it’s not like it’s not even like a VIP meeting or anything like that, where it’s like, Oh, you have this chance to go meet the artists. It’s It’s a natural feeling thing, like an organic way.
To meet the artist. I think that’s a great idea. cool. So is there, is there anything that you want to leave our listeners with Riley? Any, anything coming up for you guys that people should check out or any other things to think about when putting on live shows
RILEY: [00:42:39] I mean, uh, if you wanted to check out the atomizer group, we’re on Facebook, just type in her name, you can find her page and all of our live streams are there. You can see all the good, all the bad. There have been many bad, um, And I think that’s one of the things to talk about with live streams is that there’s going to be bad ones and there’s going to be like mess ups and everything.
And it’s hard in the moment because you’re broadcasting to people and people are seeing it. However, I think it just shows that you’re human and that we’re all like, just trying to figure this whole entire thing out, and that the mistakes will happen. And there are things to learn from. So just get back up and try again and figure it out kind of thing.
Um, Cause we definitely did a lot of that in the beginning. And, uh, we still mess up now, are you kidding? Like the, the application shut down on me the other night and it’s never done that before. And I was like, well, all right. So then I had to grab a cell phone and livestream from a cell phone. So it’s
just, it’s technology
is, is so much fun.
so, uh, yeah, it’s, it’s a learning experience and I really do believe that anybody can do it. It’s it’s very easy. You have. You have a phone, you have a laptop, you know, you don’t need a a hundred dollar camera to do this. You can, an iPhone actually has fantastic quality for like live streaming. Like the picture is really good.
The sound isn’t the best. but I can only imagine like, another kind of what are like the galaxy or whatever kinds of phones are like the Google. Oh my gosh. Doesn’t that have an amazing camera. That would probably be fantastic to live stream from. But there’s lots of different avenues in lots of different ways to be able to achieve like whatever you’re trying to achieve for your, for your group.
KOBY: [00:44:19] Yeah, that’s true. I think if there’s going to be anything that comes out of this pandemic, that’s good for the music industry as a whole, I think advancing all of that and getting people to actually try things, is going to be one of the biggest benefits to the overall music industry, because.
Everybody’s sort of forced to figure it out, make it work. And then we’re all going to come out of this, knowing a little bit more about how to do it and how to make it a great experience. So, I mean, you’re out there paving the way for, for everybody else. Who’s who’s going to come after and try and make this work for themselves.
RILEY: [00:44:57] thank you.
KOBY: [00:45:00] Yeah, well, well, thank you so much, Riley, for taking the time to talk to us and give our listeners an insight into what’s possible for maximizing the live show experience and figuring it out and making it work. And even in these weird times, I mean not every band or artist out there is lucky enough to have somebody.
With your expertise and your background and your dedication and work ethic to pull all this off. But I think this episode will get a lot of people’s minds kind of turning about what they can set up to take their own performances one step further, and, make it a better experience for everybody.
Even the people who are in person at the concert and the people who, are potentially listening from home. So everybody go check out the Adam as regroup. like, right. I said, you can check them out on Facebook. there’s also a website, Adam ezra.com. and for. Just so you can spell it. It’s a D a M E Z R a Adam Ezra, and go there and check out and see what Riley’s working on and start thinking about ways that you can apply some of the same strategies to your own shows.
and then also, I’d love to hear what people are figuring out for themselves on our Facebook group at self sign artist. what, what is it called? Why am I
blanking on this? Yes. At self signed community. You think I would know that by now, head over to self sign community on Facebook and let us know what you’re doing.
And if you’ve tried anything these things, and if you have, what, issues have you had? What have you needed to problem solve? And let’s just help each other, figure out ways that we can make this the best it can possibly be for, for everybody who’s, trying to. Use these strategies. again, thank you very much, Riley, for
being here and of course, and good luck with everything you have, coming up with future concerts and live streams.
That’s all we have for you for this episode, and we’ll catch you on the next episode of self signed artist.