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Friday, April 23, 2004

Pro Tools, The New Audio, and the decline of the big pro studio:

Digital audio has levelled the playing feild to a great extent. Anybody's basement, or bedroom for that matter, could be converted at little cost (under 10 grand) to a professional recording studio. I grew up with tape, and I will always be convinced that analog is king. Problem is, in the anolog world quality equals cost. One inch tape beats 1/4 inch . Bigger is better, and more expensive. But along comes Pro Tools, and boom- any asshole can do it. Bands no longer need to spend a huge advance from a record company to make a rercord. There is a prevelance of small digital project studios available to bands at drastically reduced cost. Is the quality the same as that of Power Station, or Puch? No. Does that matter? Again, no. The difference can be negligable if you find the right studio and a smart engineer. Tube pre amps and compressors can bring back much of the warmth lost in the digital domain. Editing, mixing, and mastering as well can be done much quicker, and therefore cheaper as well. Are the days of the big studio finnished? I'm not sure. Many are closing, which is great for the little guy. A used Neve pre-amp can make all the difference to a project studio recording. As these giants fall, they sell off their assests, and for a guy like me that's a windfall. Will the big acts still use the big studios. Maybe for a while, but as the major record labels continue to profit less due to file sharing, how much of the cost of the big studios are they going to be able cover. It was always a gamble. The company fronts cash for recording, the band submits it's record and both parties hope it sells. Well as revenues dwindle, how much gambling are they going to be up for. Artist development is already a thing of the past. The majors only deal with "sure thing"s nowdays. They want "artists", not bands. They are interested only in what they can packgage. Where does that leave a guy like me. 11 Hope Street, Brooklyn. smokeandmirrors.us Let's make a record!

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