On Dec 21, 2007, at 11:37 AM, BK Broyla wrote:
Since I'm curmudgeonly I have to find a bone to pick, and it's the flippant claim that anyone can make a record with the same laptop they use to check their email.
I took away a slightly broader interpretation of that statement; that the cost of studio quality audio has plummeted, and that bands no longer have to go into a studio to make a sellable album. It's been nearly 15 years since I paid money to a "recording studio" for my recordings. With what I paid for my first TASCAM 4-track setup back in the day, I could get a pretty righteous MacBook system today with 10X the capability to make great recordings. Of course, I'm old and actually know how to produce, engineer, mix, and master. I agree the equipt doesn't run itself.
it's good that approach is at least feasible now. But I don't think professional studios and qualified engineers are in much danger of becoming as redundant as Byrne suggests.
There are far fewer studios and engineers than there used to be in the "professional" ranks. Many took their profession to the computer industry or audio manufacturing or retail. Alot still record or engineer, but it is a hobby rather than a profession. I agree that good studios and engineers will always be in demand, but for a much smaller set of clients or many where music is just a part of the mix (gaming or film or tv).
Also, digital downloads have taken away a lot of share from physical media like CDs, and that will probably continue for a while, but does anyone think that it will go to 100%? I don't have an iPod and don't want one, only CDs. I used to read WIRED a good bit but got tired of their overly optimistic slant (exhibited here with Byrne's interview I think) toward technological utopian revolution that's always just around the bend. I've been waiting for my videophone and personal jetpack since the 70's...
The decline in CD sales this year was double digits, where up to now it's been single digits. CDs are going away in an exponential factor now. Downloads are increasing but even that is down from over 200% increase in previous years to just over 100% increase this year.
Labels are not increasing the output in CDs, they are increasing the number of downloads available. Alot of back catalogue is being released online only.
If there was a new medium available for audio releases, would any of us buy the hardware for that system and replace all our CDs? I can see better audio playback devices being the norm, but have a feeling that "soft" versions of music are the only foreseeable format. Pay for the quality your prefer, download to the playback device that suits your fancy.
Vinyl has not gone away and in fact has shown an upsurge recently. But it will never be at the levels it was prior to the '90s. CDs will not go away as long as there are burning and playback devices that support the medium. But they will never be at the level they were.
My audience seems to be 50% CDs and 50% downloads, but I've been selling more downloads the last half of the year than CDs. But I can't afford to abandon nor focus on one format over the other. I've even considered remastering my latest album for a vinyl release, albeit in small quantities. One vinyl release every 25 years seems cool;^)
-Jim -- Jim CombsAtlanta's Creative Loafing Best of 2005 & 2007 "Best Local Electronic Act"
Buy my Sensitive Chaos "Leak" CD at http://cdbaby.com/sensitivechaos"I highly recommend Leak for its inventiveness, its beat-happy effervescence, and its thorough lack of pretension, not to mention it’s just a flat out fun album from start to finish." - Bill Binkelman, New Age Reporter
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