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