An examination of the industry as affected by affordable home recording equipment
A long long time ago when people only wore dress clothes and everything was black and white, you had to go to a big studio to record. I am talking about the 30s through the 90s. If you were at all interested in recording music, you had to find a place with all the necessary equipment. Analog gear was expensive, tricky to operate, and needed constant maintenance – not to mention required a lot of space!
Things look a little different in todays digital age. Although I do not know any exact statistics, I would venture to guess that a great majority of recordings made today are done at home. How can this be? Lets take a quick look at the home recording revolution.
Platform Shift: Music consumption has changed. In just the past decade, the preferred way of listening has gone from CDs to digital files – solid media to intangible megabytes. Big record companies were not ready for this, and responded by suing their customers for file sharing.
Advance of Digital Recording: Bulky analog gear was no longer necessary to record a good sounding album. Theoretically, a digital audio workstation (DAW) replaces the mixing board, effects processors, outboard gear, patch bay routing, tape machine, and many of the other aspects of an analog recording studio.
Smaller and Cheaper: Computers take up much less space than a giant mixing console or a 2 inch tape machine. As computers have gotten smaller and more powerful, they have also become less and less expensive. Along with this, other home recording equipment (microphones, cables, stands) necessary to make a basic recording are widely available and often inexpensive.
If you add all these elements together, the home recording take over makes perfect sense. Digital music files are easily created from digitally recorded sessions. Inexpensive home recording equipment and a relatively low learning curve have made the field much more accessible to newcomers. Today, it is fairly easy for singer songwriters and garage bands to make their own recordings – often with good sounding results. I have done a good amount of home recording, both for professional and personal purposes. Expect much more blog space to be dedicated to home recording tips, tricks, theories, and related topics in the near future! Home recording is not only fun, it seems more and more to be the future of recording – and definitely the most accessible form of music production.