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audio Hi, Advice about which course to study ?

Discussion in 'Fix This MIX!' started by Tonato17, Feb 16, 2013.

  1. Tonato17

    Tonato17 Active Member

    Hi Everybody,

    It's been a really long time since I don't enter to this forum, so maybe I should briefly talk about myself and you can have a better idea of what Im looking for :)

    I am 30, I have studied classical music at a Conservatory where I graduated and learned a lot about music theory and to play guitar and piano, but I have always been really interested in pop, rock and music production. (I always played electric guitar in bands, on my own, used plenty of effects, etc. ) I use pro tools and Cubase to produce my music, but...

    At this moment of my life, I am really interested and exited about learning in dept how to mix properly, how to eq, compress, master, and produce music. I am interested in the theoretical knowledge about it, in learning about how to EQ the instruments in the mix to give space, to provide an specific effect in the listener with a sound, how to compress, the role of the instruments inside the mix, etc. I am also interested in sound design and synthesis of sounds.

    In that sense, I am wondering what should I study, what is the specific name of the career I should take to learn about that.

    Would it be Sound engineering? Sound production? Music Technology?

    There are so many careers that seem quite similar that I don't exactly know which one fulfil my needs.

    I was also wondering if I should go to university or try to learn it by myself, but I am not a good autodidact, I tend to learn better surrounded by other people, and I thought that going to Uni to study migth not be a bad idea (despite I know it can be bloody expensive)

    By the way, I live in London, so if there is also any University that you can recommend, that would be great too!

    Hey, THANKS in advance and looking forward to read your thoughts

    Toni
     
  2. kmetal

    kmetal Kyle P. Gushue Well-Known Member

    your talking about the field of 'audio production'. if you go to school they are likely going to have you pruchase these 2 books, 'the mixing engineers handbook, and the recording engineers handbook' by bobby owsinski. they're like text books, but they are very practical too. i know you said you learn better in groups, but these are usually required reading, and they are easy reads, and more importantly, practical. you can keep them by your computer, and when it comes time for compression, or whatever, it'll offer you a step by step approach, to help you get where ya need.

    Since i've heard mixed emotions about college level audio production courses, from my peers, and you express concern about the cost, i suggest to you that you look up a local Professional studio(s) and ask them if you can take private lessons from them. my boss does this over here in the u.s, and i have had to go thru the material as part of my staff training. it'll be cheaper than college, and more focused on what exactly you need/want to learn. sure you don't get a diploma, but it;s your knowledge/experience that gets ya where ya need to be. this kind of training will allow you to work on some high end gear, in a real working environment. i';ve heard some issues w/ people going to universities, and not having good luck getting studio time when they wanted and having to go during inconvenient hours. plus, if you do ok, you'll likely be able to volunteer on real sessions at the studio, and hey, maybe you'll be there when someone else can't and get paid!!!!
     
  3. Tonato17

    Tonato17 Active Member

    Hey Kmetal, That was a great advice.

    I have decided to study on my own with videos, books and try to get as much experience as possible in a studio. I am living in London and I will try to volunteer a studio where I can learn from doing and seeing other professionals.

    Even if, as I said, I enjoy learning with others and I feel I am more productive when I am surrounded with people, I haven't have great experiences at colleges/universities, etc. Sometimes, or most of the time, the general level is not good enough and you finish just spending weeks learning what is an EQ. So I think the best for me at this moment its to learn on my own!!

    Thank you :)
     
  4. Kurt Foster

    Kurt Foster Distinguished Member

    learn to fabricate metal and weld or go to business school and take culinary classes as a second major.

    that way you will be able to get a job.

    forget music. it doesn't pay anymore. the days of making a living in the music industry are over. don't waste a student loan on audio school. no one ever gets a job in studios anymore.
     
  5. DonnyThompson

    DonnyThompson Distinguished Member

    As unfortunate as it it is, Kurt isn't far off the mark in terms of studio work. There are big, pro rooms closing down everywhere, leaving mid-level and low level studios, but these are mostly sole proprietorships where the owner is also the engineer...and the secretary...and the receptionist...and the head accountant... and the janitor. LOL

    And while you may get the occasional assistant engineer gig at these rooms, it won't be a consistent thing.

    Now.. I don't know about Europe, but I can tell you that here in the States, there is still a solid amount of work with AV Companies - those audio/visual services that work in the corporate sector doing seminars, conventions, meetings, etc. Much of this work happens at convention centers, upper level hotels in ball rooms, etc.

    They do everything from providing PA to shooting video to setting up lights to huge screen Power Point presentations... and beyond.

    I have a friend who owns and operates one of these companies and he is busy, with a full crew, almost every week.

    So, perhaps what you might consider is live engineering - but if I were you I'd look at getting as much education in multimedia - audio and video - as possible.

    The good news is that much of the same principles you would use for recording are completely transferable to live scenarios as well... gain staging, signal routing, gain reduction, EQ, etc., regardless of whether you are in a studio or working a live FOH console... these principles all remain the same, they are just used a little differently in live situations.

    Getting an education in the multimedia arts wouldn't be a bad idea, you just need to look at courses that focus on live audio, video, lighting, etc. instead of studio courses... But I have no idea where to tell you to go for this in your area.

    And, be prepared to work for the first year or so after graduation for next to nothing.

    Interning at a big company will help you get your foot in the door, but you're not going to be getting a decent paycheck for awhile; you're going to have to start on the lower rungs of the ladder. You'll make coffee, get lunches, wrap cables, pick up and deliver equipment, clean gear...

    Just know that the days of walking into a major studio, starting out as an assistant engineer and working on a major artist's record a month or so later are long gone.

    fwiw
    -d.
     
  6. Kurt Foster

    Kurt Foster Distinguished Member

    metal fab / welding / heavy equipment operator ....or business degree /learn to be a chef open a restaurant ... fugedett aboud audio. there's no value in it. people don't want to pay for music. instead of coughing up .99 cents for wave download they will spend hours searching for a free mp3.
     
  7. kmetal

    kmetal Kyle P. Gushue Well-Known Member

    there's definately money to made in audio. whether it's gonna be 60 hours a week behind an ssl, in a large professional designed and built studio, i'd be surprised if there are more than a couple thousand people in the USA that are in that position.

    so well rounded is the key.

    teach instrument lessons, do audio tech work for restaurants/bars clubs, live sound, work for a touring company, music retail. the area of acoustics/acoustical construction is becoming more more more relevant now that everyone has they're own equipment. sure the budgets are lower than 'pro gigs' but if you made $200-5k treating/building project rooms, that's fine, cuz there are more and more popping up. it's one area of 'music' that affordable equipment is having a 'growing influence'

    most studios are mid sized, and donny pointed out the owner is usually the only worker, in addition to maybe, an assistant. i just happened to find myself in a situation mildly better than that, but even my case is pretty rare.

    i have a degree in business, i can tell you first hand it is NOT the way to go, unless you;d like to work as a cashier at a grocery store. every 20 something who doesn't have the nerve to pick a real (and specific) major goes for business. feel like working at a bank for minimum wage, business degree is for you. "business" is a blanket statement scam of a degree by schools to fool people to take out student loans at absurdly high interest rates. I'll sum up a degree in business 'by low, sell high', don't have 'too much, to too little inventory' there ya go, 35k worth of advice, and 4 years not wasted. wanna make more money than most average people in three days? be a bartender.

    while what people are saying is true, i'm really sick of the 'quit before you get started' attitude people some people have towards new engineers. as long as you understand that it is not common to find 40+ hrs a week in a studio, go for it. it doesn;t sound like you wanna do it for a living anyway, it seems to me you are just interested in furthering your skills. Like i said, a career in music is just as possible as it ever was, you just have to be well-rounded. the more opportunities you can feel comfortable saying yes too, the better.
     
  8. Kurt Foster

    Kurt Foster Distinguished Member

    i said business degree / second major culinary arts and then open a restaurant. people always need to eat. but you need how do keep inventories , track sales and administer books and payroll. that's where the business degree comes in. learn to cook and run a business do book keeping, taxes etc. ok?
    oh yeah ... at your restaurant, sell booze.

    don't do audio .. unless you want to work like a dog (someone mentioned 16 hour days) and have your job description change every 16 months. if you get off installing home theatres for rich assholes maybe then it's for you.

    there's too many drippy pimple farms who think audio is a glamourous profession screwing it up. everyone's got an m box and a free version of Garage Band & Ableton and an MXL mic pac. we see them here everyday asking how to wipe their butts. three weeks later their gears up for sale on CraigsList. do anything but audio. how can people have a "career" in music when very few musicians even get paid? in my expierence the musicians need to get paid so the can buy instruments and services. most clubs / venues doen't pay well if at all ... in some cases the musicians have to "pay to play".

    and i'm sick of people saying "go for it ... you can do it". if we had clamped down on the wanna be's and crap gear 10 years ago / screen some of the dweebs out in the first place maybe there would still be some semblance of a studio business in the US.

    some will say they are running a successful mid level studio but from what i see they come and go and there are even fewer of them left than big rooms and they are not making money. the studio business is a dying art. don't say i didn't warn you.
     
  9. audiokid

    audiokid Staff

    I'm with you Kurt.

    Get some SM58's and cheap monitors and start recording pro like Remy keeps pushing. And she wonders why there's no work on her block lol.. Who needs pro gear when you have brains.
     
  10. DonnyThompson

    DonnyThompson Distinguished Member

    C'mon now guys.. you can't shut down everyone who wants to pursue audio as a career. Everyone of us started out in the same position. There was a time when we all knew nothing about audio, regardless of where we stand as professionals now, It's not like we came out of the womb knowing how to XY a string section or what 1k was, ya know.

    Kurt, Chris, you guys didn't start out on the gear you have now and you know you didn't. It took us all years of dedication and discipline to our craft, and there was a time when we knew little to nothing about it, just as there are people in the newer generation coming up that don't know anything... but you can't shut down their desire to learn, if their desire is true.

    And the assumption that every new entry level person into this craft is satisfied with an M Box, a Chinese condenser and a cracked copy of Sonar is a grand assumption indeed, and far too presumptuous. Give some of these new guys a break. We ain't gonna be here forever. I'd also wager that the generation of cookers before us recording orchestras and big bands were rolling there eyes at us, too, as we rolled tape on distorted guitars and banging drums.

    Give them a break. It's not as if we're the last guys to do this, ya know. That's a pretty egotistical assumption to make.

    -d.
     
  11. Kurt Foster

    Kurt Foster Distinguished Member

    it's the stress test ...

    when i started there was NO cheap gear. the cheapest things were semi pro rigs from companies like Dokkorder or Teac , RTR's from Akai or Sony and none of it was what we could call affordable.

    i was born a poor white kid in a shack where there weren't even any tracks to be from the wrong side of. it snowed everyday and i walked miles uphill both to and from school. we ate grass clippings and leaves from the trees i collected and i didn't have clothes, i had a clothe.

    no really, the cool kids had vox amps and kent guitars. a vox super beatle cost $1000. those days a 3 bedroom house was $14,000 and a corvette was $6,000. a teac 4 track cost over $1000 and my Dad was an auto worker for GM who brought home 100 bucks a week. nothing was cheap or easy. yet ..... ???? here i am. and it wern't easy. i struggled and saved scratched to learn, gleaning every tid bit of knowledge and information on the business i could get my grubs on . i didn't have the luxury of just hitting a few keystrokes and retrieving all the information i needed in the flash of an eye.

    anyway the point is as with cheap rack crap beersliger products, we should stop coddling every newbie that comes along .... we should slap them around, make fun of them and put obstacles in their paths tell them honestly when they suck and that they will never go to Hollywood. they need to be discouraged. this way only the strong will persevere. only those who really have a passion will keep trying no matter what everyone else says. talent and quality grows from rejection. in the case of the passionate abject failure breeds success

    it's far too easy to claim the title of "producer" or "recording engineer" these days. it has cheapened the craft and run a lot of people who have worked hard to get where they "were" out of the industry while schmucks like Skrillex get to be stars.



    just look at this guy .... jerk skrillex01.jpg there's something wrong here .... getoffmy lawn.jpeg

    and to tell the truth ... my comments about school and business wasn't bad advice ... he's far better off not trying to make a carrier in the music industry as it is today. even if he does find sucess, it's going to be temporary ... do you really think they will be playing dangermause in ten years? i don't.
     
  12. audiokid

    audiokid Staff

    Mushroom Studio's just closed their doors last week too. The pro audio recording industry is done imo. At least for my devoted attention.
    I suppose I could ride out the demise a bit longer but its all gone stupid to me. My studio is now all boxed up and I'm ready to close this page in my life and move on now too. Its been an interesting study here indeed. I achieved what I set out to do here.

    The good news. I've discovered how awesome hybrid is.

    Regarding Kurts last post.

    I couldn't agree more. For 10 years I've known Kurt, he has been trying to stop stupid and support the well deserving. We've had our disagreements but I see him as a hero. He's one of those people that stands up even if he looses profit. That's what I like about him. These are the people that this country used to be made of.

    But, all that being said, we can't stop the reasons why its a dying industry. We are constantly encouraging low end methods in topics that clearly don't belong in the same discussion. This is also about free speech and everyone thinking they deserve to be heard. People now-a-days think they are entitled to everything too.

    Yup. like I want to keep listening to budget methods in a topic I start about critical listening turn cheap.

    So, am I an elitists? Or am I a guy who wants to have an intelligent conversation in an clearly dedicated hybrid topic , keep it on track and attract more people interested in what I prefer. Am I an elitist if I say, get off my lawn?
    Where are all the other pro's gone? We kept the door open, didn't check or make stupid accountable and now its too late to shut it.

    Does that make me an elitist. Well, I worked hard to get here but this doesn't make me right either. Depending on how you look at it all, a $5000 recording system is good enough.
    The industry isn't worth my time anymore. Life is too short to suck at it. I've tried to keep topics on track many times over this duration here. Even deleted idiots that keep coming back stinking up the place. Shills, gear pimps and software striken sheep all amazed over digital editing have really taken its toll.
    They use the free speech card until they became the majority in every area of this industry. The guys busy don't have time to spend like that so what becomes the largest voice?
    Majority of opinions and information is subject to the economy, fashion and the unemployed. Yup. its a big topic but not worth talking about.

    This last year I discovered of few critical area's that pretty much did it for me. Most people's monitoring systems suck so bad we can't even discuss sound anymore. People are impaired and being fed and spreading mass information. No one wants to hear about things they cannot afford or that takes time to master. Fast food wins this one too. ITB is simple and affordable. The magic is gone.
    Did you all take the time to listen to the example I just deleted about automated mastering vs what I did in a few minutes. I annihilated a song that one of our members posted. Who was part of this problem. Passing on information that we can use the BS software to master music. A cheap advertisement on a product that looked to be his product that he was trying to sell to the kids. What a bunch of BS.

    I would love to spend this next year annihilating all the software crap but I don't think anyone really cares. Why, because if they want better, its costs money. So lets all keep it stupid and affordable. So, there's where the business is going.

    I look at my trade and talent like a fine tuned athlete. Gifted people were the ones that got us here. Once science got in, we lost something. We lost a connection and commitment to our sole and honesty. We lost accountability. We've lost the reason to become a master in real time. Its all an illusion. Video really was the end. Video does not belong in music. Its cool, but it always spoils the magic between the listener and the song. For movies, nothing better than great soundtracks but for commercial music. What a facade.

    The sad truth. The economy has made us think and promote cheap and turned many into hypocrites too. Its also created some new approaches which I have been part of, so, I'm part of the problem and the solution. My biggest beef is when pro's start supporting junk because that's all they can afford, its painted a clear picture for me now. I can't afford to invest my life in an industry that doesn't support itself.
    Its all a mess to me. It appears to be just about selling software now.

    The cream ( which I feel I am part of) is rising and something is clearly shaking, but I question why I would ever recommend this business to anyone as a business. Its breeding a whole new generation of music makers. I love the sound I get with my hybrid rig but who cares, really.
    A nice boat, putting this all behind me is looking pretty good now.

    Regarding support to our new generation, I don't think we need to be discouraging the passionate people, I'm all for inspiring and helping anyone I can, up to a point. But to be honest, there isn't much left in it for me to talk about anymore either. People challenge me on this hybrid stuff who have never even used such marvelous gear. And never will in their lifetime, yet they act like they know what the **** they are talking about. It boggles my mind.

    Generally speaking, I think I'm speaking for the studios and musicians that invested their lives in this. I used to be proud to be a musician, not so much anymore..

    In the end and to all those wanting to do this for a living, I don't believe things will ever return to what we once knew. The human race is a weird bunch and this is one flacky industry.

    Bottom line:
    Its about the music not the sound and that should be your driving force. I got into this because of my love and passion for music and sound. The sound part costs money, the music part is free. If you can figure that all out, and put food on the table without loosing your way, all the power to you.
     
  13. DonnyThompson

    DonnyThompson Distinguished Member

    Well, there has got to be a passion for what you do, or you'll find yourself looking at this craft as just another job... and if it's become just another job, then there are certainly far better paying jobs out there.

    I'm not sure I see the point in throwing it all away, but I can understand the frustration.

    You can't change the way things are, and you can't really educate people, either. All you can do is to do what you do because you want to, and if you can manage to eek out a living doing it, then you're in a better position than many others.

    Personally, and I've said it before, I think you are on the cusp of the next big thing, and I think you should ride it out... but if you've lost the passion for it and you're simply looking at this as a burden now, then yes, life is far too short to do something that you no longer enjoy.

    You were a musician first... how much time have you devoted with your new gear to work on your own stuff? In the end, if you ignore that artist side, then nothing will remain but the business, and if you no longer like being in the business, then yes, you should probably consider other options.

    The finger of blame can be pointed in several different directions... as Kurt has mentioned, people spend more time looking for free garbage downloads as opposed to paying a few bucks for something decent; and you'll never conquer that mentality. But in the end, is doesn't matter who is to blame. All you can do is choose your course, stay your course and direct your passion to what you love to do, regardless of what others think.

    I don't believe that success is measured by "this preamp" or "that console". We've all heard plenty of garbage tracked on million dollar gear. Success, at least to me, is measured by how I feel about what I have accomplished, musically and personally.

    There have been times in my life when I had more money than I knew what to do with, yet I was unhappy, unsatisfied. There have been times when I was dirt poor - and having the time of my life creatively.

    Your success isn't measure by your Neos, Chris... and Kurt's success isn't measured by his high end analog console or tape deck. Yes, we work hard for what we have. None of us was "given" anything other than a chance to swim.

    But at the end of the day, it isn't what we have that makes us... but what we do.

    In my humble opinion, of course.

    -d.
     
  14. audiokid

    audiokid Staff

    Yup, from a passion POV, you said that right Donny.

    But if we are talking about this as a business, a life career then its a different story. As far as doing something you love, I cannot think of one thing I would rather do, but when people in this industry don't have any money or reason to pay you, I wouldn't recommend it as a business to get into. I'm one of the lucky ones so making money in music is not a life saving problem for me. I got smart long ago and became very proficient in all area's of this industry, plus got a trade.

    Thanks for your kind words, but to clarify, the Neos or any gear for that matter has nothing to do with why I posted this. Its not why I bought it either. I got it and a few other tools for a few reasons that go deeper into things in the business for me. One was to confirm whether hybrid done a certain way actually made a difference in how I mixed and if I could in fact make music better sounding and louder. It definitely does all this.

    Studios are closing their doors because they cannot make money in it. Anyone that wants to eat and have a family should be well aware of the pro's and con's when following a passion. Passions are a gift and a burden and most creative people are terrible at seeing things clearly. They fight business and reject ever thinking that their art has anything to do with money. The fact is, everyone on the block has a computer and thinks they can record and mix music. Thats a lot of people taking up space and why so many are going broke today.

    If I was looking to hire someone in this industry, MIDI and programming with serious musical knowledge would be high on my list. If I was the OP, I wouldn't go into the music business at all. One big reason is, there isn't the same opportunities to get the experience you need in the first place. The entire industry is in the toilet. Trades are where its at this next 2 decades. That will pay your bills and able you to acquirer gems like a Neos. Then you can sit back and enjoy making music at a higher level without starving.
     
  15. ClarkJaman

    ClarkJaman Active Member

    Toni, I'm talking to you here:

    While most people will tell you that it's harder than ever to earn money in the music industry, I would tend to argue almost the opposite. I got started with one used microphone and a cheap usb mixer in 2009, and a year and a half later I was making records for 10 bucks an hour. Now I charge $25 bucks and I never have to look far for work. I'm no professional like Chris and Donny and the other guys here, but I've only been at it for a few years. I'm miles ahead of a Full Sail or Berklee student who entered in 2009, has twenty grand in student loans and is hoping to find an internship when he graduates next year so that he can work for free for a year or two.

    Toni, you probably will never be a queen bee making six digits sitting behind a $400k SSL desk with your assistant bees buzzing around you. But if you are a good problem solver, able to learn from your mistakes, and just have a burning passion for making good music, you'll do just fine.

    Pax Caritas et lol,
    -Clark
     
  16. audiokid

    audiokid Staff

    Clark, not to be rude or dis you in any way but you and thousands of others are the exact reason why this is happening. You are doing a wonderful job making music and god bless you for being able to help others and actually get paid for it too!
    But $25 buck an hours is impossible to compete with from a business POV. I cannot survive and keep a family healthy on that income alone. If you weren't doing this, that would be one more spot open for a business. But, as long as we are all able to make music via simple machines, there will be no place for this as a real business anymore. Its all turning DIY.

    You are young and free. The day you want to turn pro, and invest in the real stuff including a proper facility and supporting a family you will need to make more money. And you will most certainly never be able to afford to pay for it all on 25 bucks an hour. At that point you just priced yourself out of the market.
    Do the math and look at the congestion. Maybe in a few years this will all change but as is, I wouldn't be telling my kids to go into this as a business.
     
  17. ClarkJaman

    ClarkJaman Active Member

    I knew this was coming. That's why I specified that I was talking to Toni.

    If I was a major label musician I would hire you to mix my album, Chris, and I would pay you a lot more than $25 an hour. But the people who hire me rarely pay off the costs of making their albums in the first year, let alone make money, so they can't afford to pay any more either. If my clients couldn't find someone to record them for cheap, they wouldn't make records. I'm not stealing your clients, I'm enabling people who otherwise wouldn't have an opportunity to make a record. But John Mayer still needs someone to mix his album, and it sure as hell aint me. If you stick with it, you could be mixing for him sooner than later. I understand that you gotta do what you gotta do to make ends meet though, having a family to support.

    I still give Toni the same advice. Don't expect to ever get rich in the music industry. But if you aren't afraid to start at $10 an hour and SLOWLY work your way up to a decent wage like I hope to, then go for it. But be prepared to work hard, long hours, and make sure you have a backup plan, especially if you're going to get married and have kids. In fact, I would say don't get married and have kids until you have worked your way up to making a steady living.
     
  18. Kurt Foster

    Kurt Foster Distinguished Member

    exactly what Chris said.

    wow! 10 bucks an hour? you can make more than that at MacDonalds. 25 isn't much better when you consider all that goes into it. and for that you're going to rack up student loan debt?

    in the old days when there were unions, this $10 an hour $*^t wouldn't happen. someones knees would be broken ... but we all got greedy and said, "who needs the union? all they do is take money from us." now look where we are ... we swallowed that line the bosses fed us and now here we sit ... screwed.

    i offered a 300 dollar 4 song band demo at my studio... six hours in and out .. room was packed. that was in the 90's ... so 300 bucks ain't what it used to be.

    lease was 1000 per, insurance, tech support, business tax's advertising .. it all added up ..

    things were great until PCs could run 16 tracks and then the bottom dropped out ... kids with a mac or a PC in the garage charging 10 to 25 per hr ... just killed me.
     
  19. kmetal

    kmetal Kyle P. Gushue Well-Known Member

    live is so broad eh?
     
  20. DonnyThompson

    DonnyThompson Distinguished Member

    I don't think that this mentality is limited to just audio or video, Chris.

    The aisles at the local Loews and Home Depot's are filled with DIY'ers. I know plenty of Union carpenters and pipe fitters who are on unemployment these days, too - (although I'd concede that this is likely geographical in determining where things are booming and where they are not). The last time I was in a NAPA Auto Parts store (I think up north for you guys, your equivalent would be Canadian Tire, right?) there were more than a few guys in there getting stuff to do their own auto repairs... and not just oil changes, either. So, from what I've seen, many people are involved in DIY projects these days of all scopes and areas... home improvement, auto repair, construction, PC repair, video, audio...

    We've all done quite a bit of DIY'ing on our own end too, guys... unless it's something very serious past our level of skill, we all tend to fix our own PC's, (and consoles and tape decks, too) as opposed to paying those $50 per hour bench fees with service professionals...Many of us don't run out to our local luthier's if our guitars need setting up; we adjust the intonation, tweak the trusses and even file frets or saddles ourselves... so I would counter that it's a DIY world in more areas than just our own of audio recording, and we ourselves do plenty of DIY projects that would otherwise be done by experienced professionals - who also rely on us for their income as well.

    But, there will always be those things that we can't do. While I could do my own basic brake job on my car, I can't replace the transmission, nor do I have the welding equipment to do a muffler. I might be able to hang a sheet of drywall and prime and paint it, but you certainly don't want me building the structure that the drywall hangs on. And ...this is where the professionals come in.. and in your case, as Clark mentioned, this is where the scope of the client changes. I may be wrong here, Chris... but you don't really want your day filled with karaoke singers cutting tracks, do you? You're looking for "that" client who can afford what you do, and comes to you because of what you do, and, the equipment you have to do it with. Or am I wrong?

    The home studios aren't taking away your clients, no more than a guy with a Dokorder 4 track and a Biamp mixer in '78 was taking away clients from Criteria or Muscle Shoals, or the guy in '85 with a Tascam Porta One was taking away clients from The Hit Factory. There will always be a lower level of DIY'er who will be, and remain, on that lower rung of the ladder. They were there in '78, they were there in '88, they were there in '98 ...and they are here now. But they aren't your clients. They never were.

    The Hit Factory didn't close because of the home recording boom. They can say it was in their press release, but the people who were recording at home on PT systems couldn't have ever afforded a studio like that anyway.

    In fact, I'd wager that if you really dug deep enough, you'd find that this wasn't really the reason at all. A friend of mine who lives in Manhattan and does some session work in the city told me that the closing went far beyond the blame of home studios, and in fact that this had nothing to do with it at all... according to him, the owner, Ed Germano, passed away, leaving the operations to his wife, who really didn't want to continue doing it. It was also a point of the real estate being more valuable than the business, as the property values in that area were going through the roof.

    Also, the advent of Rap and Hip Hop changed the game as well... because those acts didn't rely on those rooms with beautiful acoustics or million dollar desks. They didn't need that stuff.
    It's not like Rap relies on a great deal of hi fidelity or sonic integrity... at least nowhere near that which other musical styles do.
    You don't really need a half million dollar Neve and a rack full of high end processing gear, when your primary tracks are a Roland 808 kick, a Linn 9000 snare, a few samples and loops flown in, and a couple of spoken vocal tracks... so yes, those acts, unless they were mega-platinum sellers, would work at mid level facilities... But Sir Elton and Sir Paul aren't going to those mid level studios. They will continue to frequent those expensive rooms because they need what those rooms and the personnel at those rooms have to offer.

    Is it geographic? Probably. Are the clients with the money you need to charge abundant in your area? I don't know... only you would know that. But we both know that the closer you are located to a central location, where things are happening, gives you a greater advantage over those that are not.

    IMHO of course.

    -d.
     

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