Monday, November 1, 2010

Home Recording vs. the World

“The music business is a cruel and shallow money trench, a long plastic hallway where thieves and pimps run free, and good men die like dogs. There's also a negative side.” - Hunter S. Thompson

Having recently anted up and started amassing a collection of Live Audio Recording equipment I have started treading in social circles with whole new rules of exclusivity and elitism.

One of my problems I am sure is that I refuse to be relegated to a particular niche.  "Home Recording" is treated as a "hobby" and therefore the "professionals" want little to do with you because you represent a potential threat to their business.

Simply the Idea that you can build a Good Enough studio yourself is something that pro studios do not want you to embrace. That is fair I suppose.  Part of it however is the economics.  When studio time is extremely expensive, that money could be going towards buying your own gear.  

There is some math to that - how often do you really go in the studio?  If you had unlimited funds, how much time would you spend there?  It's a cost-factor justification to be sure.  The "hobby" aspect comes in when you Want To Learn.

That is where another perceived threat to the Pros comes in - people learning their Secrets.  The real threat barely exists.  Experience is what you need to learn.  Pros have it & everyone else is groping for it in the dark.  Of course the Idea that you can Learn makes some people undervalue that experience perhaps - so is the threat real?

So the final product?  No.  The Pros will, on average, steadily outperform the home-studio guys.
The business?  Maybe - in that if people think that they can do it themselves they might stop considering Pro services as an option - at least until they hit that brick wall called the Final Product. (see above)

What I do know is that though a $300 microphone doesn't have the same capabilities as a $10k microphone - if you plug it into the rest of the gear that you use with that $300 microphone, you won't get the best performance out of it.  You need to upgrade EVERYTHING in the circuit path.  Brother, that is expensive.   So the pecking order is long indeed. 

I also know that you don't need expensive gear to make good music.  Stories about the gear that Bo Diddley and his band scrimped up, borrowed or stole so they could play just proves that you can make do with anything in a pinch.  It's all about bringing the best you can in a given week.