I find it amazing that there are far more studio owners than there are freelance recording engineers and producers. When I tell people that I am an audio engineer, the first question I am asked is "Where is your studio?". I think that this is the real problem in the studio business today. It is driven by the dream of owning a studio, not by the market for studio time. The studio owners I know tend to spend their time and money on equipment and upgrades, not on marketing themselves and improving their skills. Most clients don't care much about the gear. They care to work with people that they can trust. This means that you need a solid personal reputation. If you have a good name as a professional engineer or producer, then it may be in your best interest to sell your gear and invest that money into marketing yourself. There are always going to be great studios that are willing to give you great rates. There are very few capable freelance engineers and producers around who can get the job done right, and who have the savvy to market themselves as the best person for the job. I know that my opinion is strong on this topic, but I would love to hear from you on the other side of this. I read so much complaining about surviving in the studio business and I wonder if any of you have strongly considered the other option. Do you have any theories on why we have so many studios, and so few freelance engineers?