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.