Home Studios Are Killing Music... Agree or Disagree? Depends on genre?
Old 24th March 2013
  #1
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Home Studios Are Killing Music... Agree or Disagree? Depends on genre?

Stolen from another thread:

Pro Studio Reviews - Home Studios Are Killing Music - Ronan Chris Murphy

A quote from the article (NOT my opinion.)
I see this over and over again: If you meet two performing songwriters who were both talented and hard working and one had a 4-track cassette deck and the other was starting to put together a DAW-based studio. Fast forward one year and ask what they have been up to in the last year.

4-Track Owner: "I wrote a whole bunch of new songs and ran into a cool artist at a jam that ended up putting one of my songs on her major label release. I did a couple tours and last spring I went into the studio for a couple weeks with a cool producer and we cut an album which has been getting some airplay around the country. It's been getting spun a lot on some stations in the southwest so I'm about to do another tour there to support it."

New DAW Owner: "I have been getting the studio together and trying to save up to buy some better A/D converters. My band has been working in the studio a bunch and we've written and recorded basics for almost 7 songs. We should have the album done some time next year. Yeah it would be cool to tour but we are waiting until we get the record done. And we will need a new drummer. The old one got bored of not gigging and split but I have almost got my acid loops to sync up with with some of the old tracks..."
Old 24th March 2013
  #2
Like home taping killed music in the 1980's. Sherlock!

Professionals will forever rant.
Old 24th March 2013
  #3
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If I had a full band following me around all the time wanting to record an album, I'd agree that trying to do it at home instead of going into the studio might be asinine.

But if I'm just trying to make Hip Hop beats or Dancehall or some House music, the article doesn't apply, right?

Sure it could be expensive to get a good setup at home, but if you do, you have way more time and freedom to create. As long as all your time don't get caught up in engineering, editing, and whoring about for the next piece of gear, you might actually get some good stuff out.
Old 24th March 2013
  #4
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Not at all. My commercial studio business is thriving like never before.

The only issue I have with home studios is this: I occasionally come across musicians whose first recording experience is at a small home or project studio, operated by someone as a hobby (as opposed to a full time professional). It seems to me these recording experiences rarely go well, which can sour the musicians' opinion on recording in general, leading them to be more reluctant to spend the money on a proper recording, which puts them in a cycle of wasting their dough on half-assed studios yielding half-assed results, never understanding the reason why their records don't come out the way they want.

When these people record with me (or any other professional shop in town), they're amazed by how much fun things are, how easy it is, and how great the results sound. They almost always comment on how quickly everything comes together, and how as a result, they're spending the same or even less money.

These stories aggravate and sadden me; I hate to think of the damage being done to the art of recording by the folks running half-assed home shops. Of course, that's not to say that ALL home shops are half-assed by any means; I know of some people in my neck of the woods that do amazing work.

EDIT: I don't think genre is a factor at all, with exception to music produced by sequencing or sampling totally in-the-box (meaning, no acoustic instruments, no performances to coach, etc).

EDIT #2: I'm a dumbass. I didn't see the link in the OP, only the quote, so I didn't read the article. Having read the article now, I agree with RCM completely, though I would say it is genre-specific. I can't even count how many musician friends of mine decided to record their own record, only to get bogged down in the minutiae of recording that folks pay people like me good money to worry/care about, all while they barely committed a note of music, dragging the process out for so long that by the time the tracks were recorded, the artist had completely lost the initial spark and enthusiasm for the material. Something that would have taken a week or two in a studio has now been drawn out for a year. Suddenly, the record couldn't be done fast enough. It's a tough balance.

But, since this is the hip hop forum, I'd note that this doesn't seem to apply to rap all that much.
Old 24th March 2013
  #5
I definitely disagree.
I think home studios are KILLING a lot of low end professional studios and some midrange studios, but they're NOT killing the music.

To me the whole premise of the article seems focused on getting independent artists to only produce "sketch" tracks for themselves and then go find a producer, engineer, and studio to RE-record it all.
So basically rewind everything back to the 80's - 90's when home studios couldn't come close to matching what a professional studio could do, and ignore all these technological advancements. Lol
Yeah to me it sounds like just another small studio owner that's been hit hard by the economic times and the advancements in technology that allow people to do more with much less.
Not to say that the story told isn't 100% true, but I don't believe that's representative of MOST of the people doing it either way.
Its a new day and the whole music industry as a whole has been turned upside down by new trends caused by technology.
Old 24th March 2013
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Quote:
Originally Posted by isawsasquatch View Post
But, since this is the hip hop forum, I'd note that this doesn't seem to apply to rap all that much.
I mean, maybe it does apply if the hip hop producer isn't sample-based, aint using the high-end of synths, and likes to mic up his own artist instead of having them do takes at a high-end studio.
Old 24th March 2013
  #7
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This is the OP's point from the original thread.

Quote:
Originally Posted by slaphappy View Post
Ronan is pretty much right on here. Diving into home recording is the wrong route for most serious career-minded performing musicians (the few, the proud, the foolish). Why?

Because it takes WAY too much time and still sounds like ass.

Successful self-engineering artists who make great sounding records in their home are pretty much a myth. With a few exceptions. Now-a-days, it seems that everybody thinks that they are the next exception. Why?

Because studio time is expensive and you really have to have your **** together to make it work.

There's a reason professional engineers are still around and a reason that successful performing musicians/bands use them.

Of course, if you make beats, or use your computer to generate music, then I suppose you need some sort of studio.

And yes, as a hobby it is great fun! But as an avenue to having a career as a top-level musician, it is a dead end. IMO.
Old 24th March 2013
  #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eliteandsambo View Post
I mean, maybe it does apply if the hip hop producer isn't sample-based, aint using the high-end of synths, and likes to mic up his own artist instead of having them do takes at a high-end studio.
Yes. Point being: if you're recording real musicians playing real instruments, a studio will in most cases provide a better outcome. That's especially true if you have no or limited experience recording real musicians playing real instruments. The learning curve is simply too steep to do it with much success on your first try on your own music, unless you are extraordinarily lucky or extraordinarily talented.
Old 24th March 2013
  #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by isawsasquatch View Post
Yes. Point being: if you're recording real musicians playing real instruments, a studio will in most cases provide a better outcome. That's especially true if you have no or limited experience recording real musicians playing real instruments. The learning curve is simply too steep to do it with much success on your first try on your own music, unless you are extraordinarily lucky or extraordinarily talented.
Great Answer! And without dissing hip-hop/rap or insulting anyone.
Old 24th March 2013
  #10
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Oh and in reply to the OP and the original question, I disagree to an extent. The market is huge compared to the past and with growth came an influx of "musicians" in all genres. Many different avenues to acquire music, distribute and promote music. There's good and bad across the board, excellent tracks recorded in home studios, poor tracks recorded in professional ones, and everything in between. Home studios are not killing music, in my opinion, they are actually growing it. Professional outfits are still making money and if not they lack marketing skills or are reluctant to change business models in this new era of music.
Old 24th March 2013
  #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TrackDirectorz View Post
Oh and in reply to the OP and the original question, I disagree to an extent. The market is huge compared to the past and with growth came an influx of "musicians" in all genres. Many different avenues to acquire music, distribute and promote music. There's good and bad across the board, excellent tracks recorded in home studios, poor tracks recorded in professional ones, and everything in between. Home studios are not killing music, in my opinion, they are actually growing it. Professional outfits are still making money and if not they lack marketing skills or are reluctant to change business models in this new era of music.
An important counterpoint worth noting is that virtually every commercial record released these days has seen a professional studio at one point or another. The argument that RCM is making (from my reading of it, at least) is that when a musician holes up in a home studio to complete his or her masterpiece by themselves with no outside help, it's nearly guaranteed to fail.
Old 24th March 2013
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Honestly, if bigger "professional" studios are losing business because of people and there home studios, maybe the "professional studios" need to get better at doing what they are doing. There is really no excuse for there own issues. If a professional studio is giving pro results, it wouldn't have to worry about "home studio" guys . The results should speak for themselves.
Old 24th March 2013
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And I don't think this applies to hip hop guys AS MUCH. They can make a beat, record some decent vocals over it , and send the stems out to be mixed, and get pro results, without ever having to leave there house. (If they have the talent to get a good take)
Old 24th March 2013
  #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by leviathansounds View Post
Honestly, if bigger "professional" studios are losing business because of people and there home studios, maybe the "professional studios" need to get better at doing what they are doing. There is really no excuse for there own issues. If a professional studio is giving pro results, it wouldn't have to worry about "home studio" guys . The results should speak for themselves.
This is 100% right.
Old 24th March 2013
  #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by isawsasquatch View Post
The argument that RCM is making (from my reading of it, at least) is that when a musician holes up in a home studio to complete his or her masterpiece by themselves with no outside help, it's nearly guaranteed to fail.
Yup this is definitely true. If you aren't at least sending you work out to be professionally mixed and mastered, your doomed for failure IMHO. Unless you are the a very good engineer. And at that point, you wouldn't want to be tracking at home anyway lol.
Old 24th March 2013
  #16
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my Q would be. if you got the answer, what would you do with the information ?
Old 24th March 2013
  #17
one man, ONE mic pre
the removal of incentive for outside investors to INVEST in records is what's (well part of what is) "killing music"...

the closing of studios and proliferation of cheaper, "home", alternatives is the symptom of that larger issue... not the cause
Old 24th March 2013
  #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by isawsasquatch View Post
An important counterpoint worth noting is that virtually every commercial record released these days has seen a professional studio at one point or another. The argument that RCM is making (from my reading of it, at least) is that when a musician holes up in a home studio to complete his or her masterpiece by themselves with no outside help, it's nearly guaranteed to fail.
I agree

Quote:
Originally Posted by leviathansounds View Post
Honestly, if bigger "professional" studios are losing business because of people and there home studios, maybe the "professional studios" need to get better at doing what they are doing. There is really no excuse for there own issues. If a professional studio is giving pro results, it wouldn't have to worry about "home studio" guys . The results should speak for themselves.
Also agreed

I started mixing most of the tracks for our group simply because with our budget it wasn't feasible to have every song we thought was good mixed by professional studios and we have a good relationship with a few. Instead we opted to have them handle the mastering which is more affordable. Also, we do not have every song mastered just yet, only ones we feel have radio potential or will go towards an album project. I also stopped recording because the home studio tends to lead to lazier artists, who are already not paying or not paying much. This is time, and time is money. Having the artists record it at a professional studio tends to motivate and focus them. They can't half-ass around when paying their own good money. Artists tend to know what they want to say and how they want to say it and practice more before going to record.
Old 24th March 2013
  #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by leviathansounds View Post
Yup this is definitely true. If you aren't at least sending you work out to be professionally mixed and mastered, your doomed for failure IMHO. Unless you are the a very good engineer. And at that point, you wouldn't want to be tracking at home anyway lol.
And how does one get to be a very good engineer...I submit that you get there by doing it every day. Just like playing any instrument, it requires practice. One good way to do it is to build your own studio. I put 2000 sq. ft. behind my house. Not only do I have 24 hour access, I've appreciated my property with something akin to a second living space with it's own bath and kitchen, have a great tax write off and well...it's just cool to have a nice studio in your backyard. I admit that I do spend too much time there. But I spent many years on the road. Many years playing full time...and actually getting paid for it..what a novel concept. These days I'd rather be recording. Though it's not necessarily killing music per se', perhaps what is killing a large segment of the music business is the fact that people are willing to give their product away for nothing..and are willing to play for nothing. Not a great business plan. If you have the resources to use a large professional studio, I think that's a great idea. If you have a passion to learn how to record well, and if you make enough money from production to write it off, then a nice home studio can be educational as well as sound business.
L.
Old 24th March 2013
  #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lenzo View Post
And how does one get to be a very good engineer...I submit that you get there by doing it every day. Just like playing any instrument, it requires practice. One good way to do it is to build your own studio. I put 2000 sq. ft. behind my house. Not only do I have 24 access, I've appreciated my property with something akin to a second living space with it's own bath and kitchen, have a great tax write off and well...it's just cool to have a nice studio in your backyard. I admit that I do spend too much time there. But I spent many years on the road. Many years playing full time...and actually getting paid for it..what a novel concept. These days I'd rather be recording. Though it's not necessarily killing music per se', perhaps what is killing a large segment of the music business is the fact that people are willing to give their product away for nothing..and are willing to play for nothing. Not a great business plan. If you have the resources to use a large professional studio, I think that's a great idea. If you have a passion to learn how to record well, and if you make enough money from production to write it off, then a nice home studio can be educational as well as sound business.
L.
I never said anything in the contrary to anything you just said lol. As a person in the process of building my own home studio, i agree 100%.
I dont think its killing music at all if you read my previous post. My point was simply a good engineer will try and get a pro sound sound however he can. so if you cant mix/master, even simply sending your stems out to a good engineer can get you better results than just doing it all yourself.
Old 24th March 2013
  #21
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Music is really just becoming a more diverse and total environment, which is fine by me. the problem is that the creators of it don't tend to be able to make a living out of making more of it. I'd be perfectly happy to hear music by the guy down the street carried with an advert. especially if I knew the guy was actually making a living from doing it. Artists seem to think the Internet is themselves having control over the medium, but it isn't. if you had control you would be making something from it. in fact, others have control and they have no problem making money from it. it's nothing to do with home recording, it's to do with fragmentation and zero control.
Old 24th March 2013
  #22
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so you're more successful if you record on a 4 track? how does that even correlate?

Label Exec: "Man this record is ****, throw it ou...wait a minute...recorded on 4 track?! I'll be damned! Give this guy a record deal and make sure this song is played on every major radio station by next week!"
Old 24th March 2013
  #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MIDIMobster View Post
so you're more successful if you record on a 4 track? how does that even correlate?

Label Exec: "Man this record is ****, throw it ou...wait a minute...recorded on 4 track?! I'll be damned! Give this guy a record deal and make sure this song is played on every major radio station by next week!"
^^^
completely misses the point.
Old 24th March 2013
  #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by isawsasquatch View Post
^^^
completely misses the point.
Completely and utterly...
Old 24th March 2013
  #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by leviathansounds View Post
I never said anything in the contrary to anything you just said lol. As a person in the process of building my own home studio, i agree 100%.
I dont think its killing music at all if you read my previous post. My point was simply a good engineer will try and get a pro sound sound however he can. so if you cant mix/master, even simply sending your stems out to a good engineer can get you better results than just doing it all yourself.
I guess my comment was aimed mostly at the statement that if you are a good engineer you wouldn't want to track at home. I think that depends on the type of home studio you build.
L.
Old 24th March 2013
  #26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by isawsasquatch View Post
^^^
completely misses the point.
I didn't read the whole article, but from what the TS quoted that seemed to be the point

edit: you also completely missed the sarcasm
Old 24th March 2013
  #27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eliteandsambo View Post
As long as all your time don't get caught up in engineering, editing, and whoring about for the next piece of gear, you might actually get some good stuff out.
+1




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Old 24th March 2013
  #28
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Home studios didn't kill music, the marketing of the "Everyone can do it." attitude killed it.

Any burnout loser can spam his music to everyone and their brother (And they do). The way I see it now is that music will have to become nothing before it'll become something again. It's well on it's way to nothing, so I am happy for the future of the ebb and flow. Until then, I am quitting my studio for the public, and doing it solely for my own music. When the fallout is over, I'll show my face again.

No time being put into recording/making a quality product, everyone is doing music now and not making a professional vibe for musicians, and every band thinks they can "do everything", yet none of them even do market research.

It's a real **** show.
Old 24th March 2013
  #29
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lenzo View Post
I guess my comment was aimed mostly at the statement that if you are a good engineer you wouldn't want to track at home. I think that depends on the type of home studio you build.
L.
Oh, yes actually I retract that statement. Your right, if you have a kick ass home studio, go for it!
I think even a home studio can be "Professional" in a lot of ways.
Old 24th March 2013
  #30
"Killing music" seems a bit hyperbolic...
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