This is so much fun, having a blast.
The future of recording and mixing...... not that is a question that may take a number of postings.
Clearly the majority or records will be made for smaller budgets. The top 1% will still have oversized budgets and maybe they will still have the impact that labels expect but even that trend appears to be diminishing.
I think you will see less and less tape but it will never disappear. At this juncture I beieve its a price point issue. (the whole argument of which sounds better is a very different discussion). Artists will continue to self produce but I think once thay have become exposed to the REAL value of a production team , then they will embrace that.
It takes a singular breed of artist to be able to self produce, plus music is about collaboration for god sake !
A lot of the process will be done via satellite, overdubbing and mixing mostly at this point. It will be a more centralized mechanism not like the current mish mash of FTP servers, iChat apps and FedEX. Eventually somebody will figure out a way to do it seemlessly using the web.
I hope as technology and internet speeds get faster you will see more full bandwidth mixes been sent for approval. ( MP3's are just not detailed enough to judge a final mix, period)
Indie and Boutique labels will be more influential, the majors less so as artists realize that "ownership" is the name of the game.
But let me think about it some more.......
Its a real doozy....