Patreon 2: More Stuff More Often

So there are more than 150 Airwindows plugins out there, free and open source in Mac AU, Mac VST, Windows VST and Linux VST formats.

More than two years ago, on August 3rd 2016, I announced my Patreon, and my goals. The idea was if I earned enough money that I could continue doing Airwindows even after the loss of Kagi, my previous payment processor, I would begin releasing all the plugins I formerly sold for $50 each and all the ones that were free as well. If I met a higher goal, I would begin open-sourcing the plugins. If I met still higher goals, I’d begin doing it faster, do more of them per month, accelerate the pace until people had all their favorite Airwindows plugins for free with open source.

That was more than two years ago. It worked. I still do plugins full-time, I’m nearly done with the backlog of Kagi era plugins (for instance, Compresaturator is coming tomorrow) and everything is open source now as soon as it’s out. We won: we got everything to work out in the best way, and though I keep doing new work there’s not much left out of the ‘goodie bin’, and many bases are covered over and over again.

This means it’s simply not as good of a goal as it used to be, to say ‘I will release the plugins, I will open source them’. I’m already doing that. People are used to it, perhaps even take it for granted. And I’m still struggling to live, kind of: I’m very limited by my economic position and could do more (and be healthier and less scared) with more stability.

So the question becomes, what MORE can I do, for you all? Because there’s no sense saying ‘look at all I am doing’, if I can think of something new and different and more interesting to do.

The answer lies in the livestreams I’ve been doing on Mondays 11:00 AM EST, and in my own past projects.

Back in the day, I did an elaborate study of evergreen hit records, trying to work out the secrets to why people compulsively love certain records and buy them in the millions. It didn’t directly help me sell plugins back when I had to do that every month to live, so the study went away, and the follow-up examining records in more detail never saw daylight. I had to work and sell plugins, but some people remembered it. Well, one of those people is a writer, and has recently written an article in the New York Times about the loudness war and what it’s done to music. It’s a lot like my study. That’s because it was based on my study from word one, and written in consultation with me, and I’m one of two people cited in it: the other is Bob Ludwig, noted mastering engineer. (technically, that alone might make me notable enough for Wikipedia, but that’s not for me to meddle in)

So here’s the new goals.

If I can earn $1500 a month, from everybody combined, I will add another livestream to my schedule, and spend more time with you. It’ll be Wednedsays 11:00 AM EST, and I will spend two hours analysing and explaining a ‘hundred hits’ evergreen classic album, using the measurement techniques shown in the video. These don’t exist in plugins, and you can’t get them elsewhere. That metering was done before I did plugins, and won’t run in any DAW. I’ll talk about everything I know, regarding the album we’re analysing: two solid hours of tips and tricks and research from every conceivable angle. And then, the next Wednesday, I’ll do it all over again with another album.

If I can earn $2000 a month which probably won’t happen right away, but that’s what goals are about… I will continue this, but I’ll begin including one minute clips from my own patrons who are supporting the Patreon at $50 a year or more. It’ll be the same two hour show, but I’ll be devoting my attention to your music. Kind of like a production session: bring your fans and treat it like a showcase, because when I produce my goal is to find what’s amazing and desirable about your work, and dive into that with encouragement and enhancement. I’ll tell you stuff about your music that even you might not know, and will guide you towards music that is a better you. That starts happening at $2000 a month.

Oh, one more thing: since I’m using one minute clips and will be talking over them some of the time, I am prepared to play audio from the classic vinyl that created these evergreen cultural artifacts. These studies go back to the source. This is what got people excited about this stuff in the first place, and much of it will come across even over an internet stream. It’s exactly what I’m trying to teach people to do in their own music production.

I’ll be doing this live and there may be instances where the record companies nuke the saved livestreams and threaten my channel, because they do not care about fair use at all, so tune in to the actual livestreams if you’re in doubt. If all else fails I can talk about the measurements without playing audio… but I intend to let you hear what this stuff sounds like, though you won’t get the whole song (just the one minute as shown on the chart).

There can be more goals beyond that, but no sense being too concerned with them until they’re in striking distance. The point is, I’m doing a free plugin that is open source every week, and pushing the boundaries of digital audio, for less than $1500 a month. To earn more, I need to do more. I can’t put out more plugins because the market can’t even absorb what I produce right now, so I need to spend my time actively engaging with people and helping the struggling musician: bringing back the Hundred Hits study and then opening it up to patron content makes sense, and it’s something I can actively do to earn that higher sum. I’ll continue to try to think of more than I can do, and since I understand audio things for a living, Hundred Hits is an obvious choice to start with.

Join me and reach that goal, and we’ll learn how to make sounds that sell millions… or at the very least, learn a lot more about the sounds that HAVE sold millions!