It used to be that the only way to record music was in recording studios. We all know that technology has changed this dramatically, making it possible to record an entire album in your bedroom. However, no matter how good your bedroom studio, it will never parallel the recording equipment of Abbey Road for example. This alongside the focused environment a recording studio brings, the skilled engineers, and most importantly acoustically treated space will all make your recordings way better.
In the ever changing space and way that we listen to music, do these arguments for recording in a commercial studio support spending potentially thousands of pounds to make it possible?
Streaming services such as Spotify, Deezer etc have undoubtably changed the way that we listen to music, making it more convenient than ever before to hear any album from almost any artist around the world at just the click of a button. However, through these services we are essentially listening to a downgraded audio quality. The format of mp3 will mean that there is always a loss of clarity due to the reduction in file size. Even when we choose an uncompressed format, we are still listening to something that has travelled through a wireless network or phone antenna and quality will be affected.
The next question to ask is how people are listening to music through these services? Is it through their phone speaker, tablet or laptop? If this is the case then there are effectively no bass frequencies being heard! It is obvious that we need to record music to cater for those listening on any system, but are the small number of people listening to music on high-end hi-fi’s so outnumbered that an artist is better off just recording to the best standard they possibly can, after all it is all about the material right?
It is no myth that studios are dying out due to a lot of the reasons mentioned above, coupled with very few people buying music and artists making very little from streaming services affecting their spending power. However, anyone who’s ever recorded in a commercial studio will know that there is a buzz and extreme focus gained from spending a day/week/month dedicating yourself to being creative and hearing your ideas come alive. So perhaps to help support the arguments in favour of using commercial studios, it is up to the manufacturers like Apple, Samsung etc making tablets, laptops and phones to create products where people can hear the difference?