Home Recorders Should Partner With Professional Recording Studios
For many current recording projects, booking large professional studios for the duration of the project is no longer the norm. That doesn't mean professional studios don't have a role to play. Used smartly and efficiently, they work in concert with home-studio technology to provide artists with the high-quality product record labels demand.
Home studios have always been an option for some artists but as building a home studio has become more economical and thus available to more artists, the need to collaborate has become more important. By collaborating on recording projects, artists get to concentrate on what they do best -- be creative -- while professional studios demonstrate the technical expertise needed to deliver a polished, finished product time and time again.
The home-studio market has been blanketed by an array of low-cost products that have opened up a wealth of creative possibilities as well as creating a false sense of economy. When artists factor in the cost of the infrastructure and technical support needed to efficiently manufacture a top-caliber product in their studios, they may be in for sticker shock. DAWs and laptops are great tools for nurturing creative ideas at home or on the road, but only in a collaborative professional environment can artists get a true idea of what might or might not be sonically possible. Well-trained engineers know how to listen for things others may not pick up such as distortion, tonal balance, boominess, and hyper high-end sounds. Remember, investing in a Stradivarius doesn't make a person a violinist, and buying a DAW doesn't make a recording artist a recording engineer.
Professional studios also offer artists the kind of asset management they find impossible to implement in home studios. Until recently, when artists routinely recorded in professional studios, there were consistent guidelines developed, implemented and maintained by the recording industry over the years since the dawn of sound recording for master tapes and their contents. As artists began to embrace DAWs as their primary tools, they accumulated stacks of hard drives and CDs, DAT tapes, and DVDs -- few of them labeled correctly. It's not unusual for artists to deliver purported master recordings to their record label only to discover they are either blank drives or missing significant material.
The most valuable assets of any record label are its master recordings. Professional studios safeguard artists' creative endeavors by tracking and managing the myriad files that go into making a recording as well as archiving them so they can be played back in five to ten years or more. Asset management at a professional studio is a seamless process guaranteed to relieve headaches today and future proof product for tomorrow. It's another resource professional studios have at their disposal to help artists work more efficiently and cost effectively. What could be more relevant than that?
As the music industry continues to evolve, collaboration among the artist, distributor, marketer and recording professional will continue to evolve as well. No matter what these relationships become, it remains important to let all those involved do what they do best.