With the introduction of lower cost production software and equipment many musicians have turned to home based solutions for their recording needs. Ever since the introduction of the Tascam Portastudio in 1979, the industry has been working its way into the hands of every day individuals. Technology has advanced so greatly over the years that aspiring musicians can now enjoy the benefits of the latest mobile version of GarageBand preloaded on their shiny new iPhones. But the question needs to be asked, just because we can and it’s affordable, should we?
Let’s break it down.
It’s no secret that the fancy professional music studios have taken a hit in recent years due to budget cuts from low album sales. Big studios, like The Hit Factory (Bruce Springsteen), Sony Music Studios (Nirvana), and Olympic Studios (Eric Clapton, Jimi Hendrix, Rolling Stones) have also bid their goodbyes to the industry.
While it’s always troubling to see giants fall, it makes sense why these studios would close. High end equipment and deluxe amenities carry a high price that only the rich could afford. For the average person just starting out with their music career, these studios could never have been an option without the backing of an established and well-funded record label, or a wealthy private investor.
On the opposite end of the spectrum we have the dedicated DIYer. With a few choice programs loaded onto a computer or even phone, up and coming artists can now record, mix, and master their compositions from the comfort of their, well, anywhere really.
While convenience and price reign supreme with this consumer based option, quality tends to take a pretty good hit here. You can’t possibly expect your low end equipment to capture the same sound and tone of a higher end model. There are some cases where you can tweak something and fake it till you make it, but that is not the case for recording equipment. In the case of studio gear, you get what you pay for.
Even if there was a way you could imitate high end sound with low end equipment, that information would only be known by a well-seasoned sound engineer with a great ear for sound. The average person will not be this. It is true that there is a higher wealth of information on studio best practices and theory, thank you internet, but reading about how to record a sound can be vastly different than actually learning how to manipulate a sound. Pursuing an affordable studio setting will result in hours of research and education to get to even a semi-professional level.
There is good news. You don’t have to choose between go for broke and penny pinching. There is a compromise that can benefit both studio and artist. Support smaller local studios with higher investments in their community. They bring in their A game with good, solid, and reliable equipment with awesome sound, and an experienced and knowledgeable sound engineer. You bring your talent and vision with a minimal financial investment. Marry the two together and boom! You’ve got something cookin’ and its probably smelling pretty great.
Ashcraft Studios, Inc. is a Marietta based record studio and label. Nestled within the Kennesaw Mountains and minutes away from Marietta Square, culture and beauty are just around the corner. It is a local company dedicated to its community through various outreach programs ranging from free group guitar lessons to an Art Club. Supporting local record labels like Ashcraft Studios helps support your community.
Technology and demand has changed the way artists record and produce their music. From dropping enormous amounts of cash on expensive studio suites to frugally developing an in home or mobile studio at a fraction of the cost, artists today are faced with numerous options to produce their music. Sure high end luxury studios sound great, until you get to the price tag. DIY also sounds exciting and fun until you realize how much work goes into the project. The compromise is a good mix of both worlds and has the added bonus of helping small business. It seems like the compromise is an easy choice.
Think about it.
Tags: ashcraft studios, record label, sound engineer, record studio
Ashcraft Studio artist and studio engineer Stanford Ashcraft had the amazing opportunity to attend a mix mastering class with music industry legend Chris Lord-Alge at Sweetwater Studios over the weekend. With about sixteen students in attendance, the class was an intimate gathering allowing the students and teacher time to focus on what was important to them.
There was a lot to take away from the class. Stanford notes "it took me hours to write it down." Topics ranged from business technical with all questions happily answered by Lord-Alge. Thanks to the small class size students were allowed to get answers to their own project specific questions. The discussions included business, file management, session organization, and CLA plugins among other things. Lord-Alge even shared his secretes for mixing drums and vocal placement.
Feeling inspired with a "go big" attitude, Stanford is armed with the knowledge and motivation to get things moving here at Ashcraft Studios. He says, "I believe the larger projects will be a focus going forward." What projects specifically, Ashcraft didnt say. Better to keep an eye for more news and updates in the future.
Tags: ashcraft studios, stanford ashcraft, chris lord alge, mix mastering, studio engineer
Anyone who knows Ashcraft Studios know that they love Sweetwater. A loyal customer for years the studio has procured the bulk of its equipment through the Fort Wayne based retailer and attends the company’s annual Gearfest every year. You can read about this year’s visit in a previous blog, “Sweetwater Gearfest 2019 Pics and Recap.” But the buck doesn’t stop at shopping and sweet festivals. This month Ashcraft will be sending its own artist and engineer, Stanford Ashcraft, to Sweetwater’s Mix Mastering Class featuring audio producer legend Chris Lord-Alge.
The sold out class will take place at Sweetwater’s Indiana home base on Saturday November 9. Hosted by Sweetwater VP of Music Production and award winning producer/engineer Mark Harmony, attendees will learn best audio production practices and techniques. The company’s class description boasts that the class “is a hands on experience, because web-based classes just can’t deliver the same education and inspiration as this in-the-studio course.” The description goes on to mention.
WHAT YOU’LL LEARN AND EXPERIENCE:
Known for his use of dynamic range compression, Chris Lord-Alge is an audio engineer with ties to some of the music industry’s greatest artists. From Green Day’s Nimrod to Tina Turner’s Foreign Affair Lord-Alge has worked with numerous big name artists across various different genres. Lorde-Alge first gained attention for his work on the James Brown album Gravity with Unique Recording Studios. Awards include a Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Sound Mixing a Music Series on HBO for “Cher Live at The MGM Grand” in 2000, a CMA Award for Single of the Year by Keith Urban for the song “Blue Ain’t Your Color” in 2017. His studio MIX LA has mixed and mastered for the likes of music greats such as Michael Buble, Meat Loaf, Cher, Celine Dion, 3-Doors Down, Dwight Yoakam, Carrie Underwood, Keith Urban, Slipknot, Aerosmith, Matchbox 20 and so many more. You can visit the events page on Lord-Alge’s website to see his upcoming events and classes.
Tags: sweetwater, master class, ashcraft studios, engineer, gearfest, chris lord-alge, mark harmony, dynamic range compression, audio engineer
Country music star Kane Brown and his wife, Katelyn, celebrated the birth of their daughter Kingsley Rose this week. Kingsley is the couple's first child and her nickname of King is already in full use. The first official photo of the proud parents and newborn was released on Instagram Wednesday afternoon.
October has been a wild for Brown. On Saturday, October 12, Brown lost his close friend and drummer, Kenny Dixon, to a fatal car crash. A few days later on Wednesday, October 15, the musician was selected as the 2019 CMT Artists of the Year. Then, on Wednesday, October 30, Brown and his wife welcomed their first daughter King.
While Dixon still weighs heavy on his heart, Brown's Instagram still shows signs up love and hope.
Tags: kane brown, katelyn brown, kingsley brown, king brown, kenny dixon, cmt artists of the year, cmt, instagram