S.A.G stage art working group is a professional team that focuses on technical operation. Regardless of technology, it’s noticeable that their main business is concert since it has operating large shows as host in 2014. At present, it successfully produced the 2015 touring of Li Zhi—-an indie musician—-of a total of six stations. Meanwhile, it signed an exclusive touring project with an indie musician Lei Jun.
While S.A.G actively explores new areas, their technology business continues to spread in the field
of innovation. It participated in the work of online live, including Li Zhi 2015 touring live and 2015 Zhangbei Grassland Music Festival live. Additionally, it cooperated with multiple music TV programs of different types. Therefore, S.A.G is very experienced.
The following is what Yang Jianjun, the CEO of S.A.G, shared on “The Future of Live Music
Streaming New Business” salon:
The show biz and fans may not be familiar with S.A.G, but the Li Zhi 2015 touring opened a new chapter for it. Our future is not to turn to performance but to put emphasis on exploring some show modes of copyrights and to add fresh content into music show market. In the early stage, S.A.G did not need its own equipment for music festivals or concerts. With business volume increasing, S.A.G must have its own equipment to ensure the quality of its programs. Through two years’ accumulation of equipment, S.A.G’s assets have reached to certain degrees and signed partnership with professionals (such as music producer, artists and their agency, musicians etc) in technical field. Taken together, we have more advantages than pure show companies. It can be said that the conditions of making performance are ripe. The initial idea is simple and the business scope must be
within indie music. Now, domestic music contents are in shortage, so are the music resources. We try to discover good music through professional vision and improve musicians’ quality through technology and operative and executive experience. We are doing a real project that can be spread through big lines or the Internet to form an industry phenomenon. In fact, we aim to promote the development of Chinese music industry. Besides, S.A.G has its own recording studio, producing lots of good albums. In short, the “S” in S.A.G means superior. We hope to help musicians present their work with best quality through expanding technology.
Each station of Li Zhi was docked with technicians. He has a song namedHangzhou. I had to stand in front of stage and shot beat to lighting technicians. Only people who know music can do it. All people in music industry should have basic professional skills.
The following is collected from what Zhang Bo, the founder of S.A.G, shared on “The Future of Live Music Streaming New Business” salon:
The sound in Li Zhi’s Workers Stadium show was made by our partner Jiang Beisheng. I made LeTV live signal. Jiang and I founded S.A.G together. We are two technicians but we both play music. We love music so much but we haven’t been to music schools.
We listen to foreign rock music as early as in the 1980s to 1990s. At that time there was not much information. When we listened to rock, we fell in love with it quickly. I don’t know why guitar has a hysteria sound. I’m not good at producing music but I’m crazy about sound technology and audio equipment. In high school, we needed mixer in a show, but we could not afford it. So I made one by myself and then fell in love with audio equipment and technology. We have high taste but there are lots of opportunists in the market. It’s easy to make money. There’s no need to reach the standard as long as the products can bring profits. This is not good for the business. We have our dreams. We won’t follow people who only care about profits. Therefore, money is not our priority.
I have been making records for more than ten years. In the 1980s to 1990s, there was large distance between domestic record making skill and that of foreign countries. China did not have advance technology and good equipment. Since then, I started to think how to reach that level. In that period, I received information about foreign expertise and equipment. Now I can say that my team has reached the international standard in terms of technology.
I loved albums, but now I don’t, why? The reason is because albums are fake. Why is live so charming? It has true sound. Not only albums, but also some modified live shows, such asI’m a Singer, andVoice of China,are not as good as we think. Those shows are post-processed. There are lots of off-key singers. People think even popular stars may sing out of tune. In China, few singers ar qualified. Off-key and wrong beat can be post-processed. A 3-min song may need 3 to 30 days to produce. This is not the true voice. We should think carefully about the level of Chinese music. On the contrary, live concert cannot be post-processed. This is its charm and challenge, as well as the reason why we invest on it. We spent 2 million Yuan to make a mixing audio car in order to give the audience true voice.
Post-processing is not good for the music industry. If music producers must stream the show, your music quality is what you truly have. The people will work hard for it. And singers have to sing well so that fans would like them.
In contrast to surround sound mixing, the stereo mixing is the most technically difficult one because all staffs are mixed within two horns. You have to find balances on frequency response and volume of every kind of instrument. Take a simple example: the stereo has tweeter and woofer. If they are squeezed into a top, it would be very difficult to make. On the other hand, when they are separated, it
would be easier. So surround sound is not difficult to make and even our live car can do it. Either is content providing. The most challenging one is how to transmit from the source component to users (broadcast network construction). More importantly, users need to have surround-sound stereo equipment.
Lots of cheesy stuff and live sound have nothing to do with music. So does much live audio. I’ve watched a great number of shows, but only 10% of them gave me a deep impression. Frankly speaking the average level of oversea show producing is much higher than Chinese. It is the same situation with live. Most of the foreign events, concerts and festivals are good. But there are few impressive live shows in China. The many of them belong to F rank. We also lack standardized production process.
The director of music program is the same with the sound engineer: he has to understand not only equipment and technology but also arts and music. He must create a listening environment that matches the criteria. This is required because the sound is very important. Therefore, people who only know camera and switching stations are not qualified to make music live.
The sound is very important to music, and live arts and performances are also of high significance. Music takes 40% and other elements take 60%. If sound cannot give the audience stimulating or shocking, they cannot get high. They don’t know why. In fact, the reason is sound when we discuss whether concert or live video is more important.
Watching live concert on TV or phone cannot replace interactions and audio-visual feeling in a concert. What you really feel on the scene is different from TV so it won’t be replaced. There are two parts that people watch on TV or the Internet: one is the artists and the other is the audience. Presented in the program, the feeling of interaction is the same with watching film. One is a man in the story and the other is a man watch the story. These two feelings are different, but both of them are important.
China now has standardized on hardware, reaching to the international average. We are not in short of hardware, but we lack technical personnel. We have to put more efforts in order to produce the best product.
(Translator: Ellie; Editor: Chuqian Li)
Copyright © 2015 China Music Business News