Opinion

The Dominance of the Home Recording Scene | What Does it Mean for Professional Music Studios?

Creativity and hard work are the only real tools in the business, and they’re not sold in stores.

The music industry is becoming a narrow window, and a lot of it has to do with the massive home recording craze. Recording studios are being rented out in closets, and everyone is building recording rigs in every crevice of their homes. Everybody wants to be a producer. It’s not a bad thing, but history has shown that trends kill. What was once nearly untouchable has gradually become affordable and it’s changing the music industry.

The traditional music producer is far off from the “bedroom producers” of today. However, the idea of a producer, is beginning to become universal. The rapid growth of home recording is inspiring everyone to tackle it and pursue the lifestyle associated with industry-level professionals. Home recording is a trend that has grown considerably since the late 80s.

Fast-forward to today and now anyone can produce a record.

Out with the Old? | Where Are the Professional Studios Going?

So, now there is all of this exciting growth in this vein of the music industry that ceased to exist. Unfortunately, cutting-edge consumer recording equipment is shrinking the professional recording industry one bedroom studio at a time. The professional studio staff is becoming obsolete, and pro studios aren’t being rented out anymore. Producers and engineers don’t need to be hired. Session time doesn’t need to be booked.  If you want to record, anyone can do it anywhere at any time.

There are new engineers and producers springing up faster than the sunrise, and the term “producer” is now a one size fits all tag.

With all of the incredible access to technology, the limit of modern recording and production lacks a ceiling. The bar isn’t even visible anymore; however, to make good music we need so much more. A million-dollar mic doesn’t make a million-dollar record.

Today, home recording products are being sold like designer hotcakes from the biggest companies in the game. Don’t get me wrong, I love me some gear. It’s crucially important not to get carried away with the price tags and lust of owning great equipment. There is a massive home-recording community subtly preaching what you should own and how to use it effectively to make music sound good. That’s not what music is supposed to be.

Better tools don’t yield a better result. A shiny new drum machine won’t make your beats sound better. That’s what they want you to think.

Creativity and hard work are the only real tools in the business, and they’re not sold in stores.

6 comments

  1. Totally agree with this post, and actually wrote a post with a pretty similar outlook. The world of big studios is shrinking rapidly, and I hate to say it, but somewhat deservedly so. Most of the tracking that occurs in big studios is done in a pretty similar fashion to the home space, with the exception of drums (although that can be arguable, too). Recording a few tracks at a time does not require a big, bulky, expensive 24/32/xx-channel console, and some artists who go to big studios find that the sound from specific ornate tracking rooms don’t add as much as they had hoped for, and instead opt for the iso booth. Couple this with the often terrible practices of underpaying their employees and having interns do much of the basic legwork (time-pocketing, tuning, sound replacing, etc), I can’t say I have the highest levels of sympathy. They’ll still be the go-to places for orchestras, big-dollar records, and more complex live recordings, at least. Pretty similar to what has happened with photography/videography, and more recently web devs (what with WordPress, Wix, etc). The march of technology spares no concern for the way things used to be done. Gotta take the good with the bad.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for reading! Yeah, totally. I have a soft spot for the bigger fish, but I still agree with you overall. I’ve been one of those interns actually. The experience was pretty killer, but after one of the final sessions, I thought “I enjoy the freedom and flexibility of the bare essentials in my office studio just as much as this anchor of a mic cabinet I’m organizing…hmm.” So, you nailed it. I have twisted feelings, but I enjoyed reflecting on this weird change the industry has been experiencing for years. Thanks again for sharing your thoughts!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Glad to share and share alike anytime. Just read your bio, and (small world) I’m an MTSU RIM alum, as well. Ah, fond memories of late nights in Studio A on the “Dan”950 console and taking beer breaks outside the loading doors of the mass comm building. Actually, speaking of and related to, thanks to the super-shitty (at the time) booking software, a bunch of my hours for that class got deleted, and I wound up recording almost everything but drums/bass for the final project in my apartment on a freakin’ Tascam US-428 and a few sm57s. Imported the tracks into ProTools, and no one was the wiser. To boot, that was the only time one of my recordings made listening night. Goes to show, I guess.

        Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s