Collapse of the Music Recording Studio

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I am no Luddite. I love the fact that an act can now go direct to their audience via the net. I love the fact that an act can avoid the dumbing down of their music by commercial A&R into pap. I love the fact that an act now has to go out and play and play well to build a real fanbase.

However there is one aspect of the collapse which troubles me. Along with the collapse of the old model has come the collapse of the music recording studio. In the last 5 years hundreds of the world's greatest studios have closed their doors forever. Fantasy, Sunn, The Hit Factory, Muscle Shoals, Conway, London's Townhouse, Olympic and Mayfair ... the list is almost complete. The disappearance of this entire industry and along with it, the end of apprenticeships - tape jockeys - means not only is there nowhere with great acoustic spaces, great recording equipment, great house engineers and a great support system but there is also no one being trained up to record the next generation. Twenty years from now no one under 40 will know how to mic up a drum kit under pressure. College cannot replace a real recording session.

Just because anyone can now make their own music doesn't mean that their fans should get third rate recordings. Just because we now like to listen to highly compressed, lo fi mp3s doesn't mean that the original recording shouldn't be great.

With Elvis came Sunn Studios, with Stax came Stax studios, with Ahmet Eertegun came Atlantic Studios, with Led Zep and The Stones came Glyn Johns and Olympic studios.

Somehow the baby has got thrown out with the bathwater here.

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