Jump to content

interesting read about SCI's OTR series


Recommended Posts

I'm going to go out on a limb here and say that the recordings aren't selling because the Cheese are nosediving hard. It's a foregone conclusion from even their most diehard fans that their new album sucks hard, their 'concept' shows like Halloween are as lame as a high school dance promoted by your 'hip' guidance counsellor, the shows are available through tapers elsewhere and did I mention how fucking lame they are.

Link to comment
Share on other sites


Thanks to everyone who expressed support & concern over this "RUMOR"

about the demise of OTR. At this point in time, no decision to eliminate

OTR has been made. Everyone here in Boulder wants to see OTR continue, and

we've been doing *everything* we can to make sure that this will happen.

When I started here in June, sales of OTR had really fallen off from the

numbers that the program had when it was introduced in 2002. We felt that

if we made a number of significant changes, such as faster turnaround and

lower pricing, we would be able to get the program back to where it was AT

LEAST breaking even. Much to our surprise, sales have been significantly

LOWER than what they were before we made all of these changes! Without

getting into the gory details, if we were losing money before, and we

lowered the prices, and now we're selling fewer, you can figure out the


I don't believe "pirating" is to blame here. Our fan base has

genuinely been very good about buying the shows and not illegally copying

them. The bigger issue, touched on in some emails about this topic, is that

the economy is killing all of us, and most of us just don't have the money

to spend on buying lots of OTRs. Attendance is down across the music

business, and most people are watching their budgets carefully and thinking

twice before spending discretionary income on things like OTR.

The economics of what we are doing are somehow dictated by the

technology. We've been committed to putting out the best sounding

recordings we can, and, to-date, every one of the OTRs has been

professionally mastered by Airshow Studios in Boulder. Airshow spends

approximately 16 hours PER SHOW to get those discs sounding so perfect. They

mix the 2-track soundboard and 2-track audience feeds to just the right

mixture, and this changes from show to show. They spend hours upon hours

listening and cleaning up pops, clicks, and other anomalies in the

recordings, and the end result is far superior to the raw tapes that we

start with.

On the manufacturing side, when you press cds with 'glass-mastering'

(as opposed to CDR), you have to produce them in runs of 1000 or it doesn't

make any financial sense. So we've been producing many more copies of the

shows than we're selling these days. This is part of our "bottom line"

problem, and we're exploring all the other options available to us,

including CDR, and digital download. Contrary to popular belief, digital

download costs *MORE* than pressing CDs on a per-unit basis, and unless we

can get some type of deal that allows us to only pay for the bandwidth

that's actually used, it's not a great business model. That said, we've been

looking at digital download for a long time, and it may be the direction we

end up going.

So, FOR NOW, I hope you'll all understand that we are looking at the

OTR program from TOP to BOTTOM, and looking for ways that we can keep the

program going. We're liable to make some major changes to what we're doing

in order to bring the program's costs in line with our sales volumes. Some

of these changes are things we'd rather not do, but we can't keep going down

the path if that path is not working out.

One of the changes we are going to try is going to happen in Las Vegas

this week. As mentioned elsewhere, we've teamed up with Minneapolis- based

"Moving Records" to offer something on the cutting edge for OTR, as we'll be

burning & selling copies of the show on the way out the door for these two

shows. Moving Records has a bus that is fully equipped with the same

mastering equipment/software that Airshow Studios uses, and they should be

able to deliver the same type of quality product in an immediate turnaround

right after the show. Obviously, there's no time for 16 hours of

"listening" to the masters to pick out the minor anomalies, but they should

be able to get 90-95% of the 'quality' in real time, as what currently takes

about 4 days for Airshow to get completed. The recording truck can handle

both the 4 track sources that we're currently using, as well as 48-track

source if we decide to do that in the future. They have cd burners on

their truck, and will be busy burning copies of the show while the show is

still going on. At the end of the show, the 3rd disc will be the one we're

waiting on, and once we've got it completed, we should be able to get the

discs in your hands within minutes after the show. As this is a new, and

somewhat experimental, idea, your support for this concept, as well as your

patience while we work it all out would be greatly appreciated. We could

have a long line, or a delay after the show. We could (but hope we don't)

end up sending everyone home with a bad disc. There are so many things that

can go wrong, that the only thing we can tell you is that we're going to do

our best, and we'll fix whatever problems come up, if we have to.

If you're in Vegas, your support for this new concept is critical to our

being able to continue this. In order for Moving Records to want to

continue doing this with us for the December tour, they're going to have to

be confident that they can cover their costs while they have their team of

seven people and recording bus out on the road. Sales of a REASONABLE

number of copies at the show will make this business model viable, (and as

some pointed out, without CC or Coca Cola involvement!). So I encourage

everyone, even if you're inclined to wait and buy the copies we'll sell

through our website (www.sciontheroad.com), that if you're out at the show

that you try the buy-at-the-show idea. And PLEASE help spread the word to

people that we're doing this. This whole plan came together in the last

couple of weeks, and we need your help to spread the word that this is what

we're doing.

We plan on having copies of the Halloween show available for sale on

night 2 as well. If you buy a copy (by pre-ordering before or during the

Halloween show), and you don't feel like waiting around after the show to

pick it up, we'll let you pick it up on the 2nd night. The cds that we'll

be selling in Vegas will not have the fancy covers or jewel cases like the

ones we're selling on the website. Once we have the cd covers finished (by

Monday or Tuesday next week), we'll put the PDF files on-line for people to

download. Additionally, we plan on offering you a chance to mail in for a

"real" cd cover if you wish.

So, in conclusion, for now, no decision to 'end' OTR has been made. We're

doing everything we can to see that it doesn't come to this, and we

appreciate all the support you can give us. You're going to see some

changes to the program, without a doubt. Some of these changes you might

not agree with, some you might not like. Some may not work out the way we

had intended, and if so, we'll make adjustements. The bottom line is that

everyone at SCI Fidelity wants to see the program continue, and we're doing

our best to see that it does.


Larry Fox

OTR Project Manager

Link to comment
Share on other sites


This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

  • Create New...