The way we make and listen to music has changed so much and you might say it’s even more confusing now than ever. Why do bands think they can do it all, write, play, produce, record and master? You might agree, I think the only or even the main reason for doing it all yourself is to try and save money since there’s no such thing as a budget anymore!
But is it beneficial to the music? I like analogies so here we go!
Let's say you want to build your own house. You know it's going to save you a ton of money to build it yourself and you know how to build a house, you’ve been a carpenter for years, so you start to think about the project.
First, what kind of house are you going to build and as you start to draw your plans, you realise you have a piece of paper in front of you with a picture of a house that could have been drawn by a pre-schooler, trees, flowers and all. Do you now hire the services of an architect to draw your plans? Nope, because that’s going to cost too much. So now you’re off to Officeworks to buy all the things you’ll need to design your dream home. Do you now learn how to be an architect, learn to draw, take a course in design?
Let’s put this into context.
Let's say you want to make an album. You know it's going to save you a ton of money to make it yourself and you know how to write songs and play guitar because you’ve been doing it for years, so you start to think about the project.
First, what kind of music are you going to record? As you start to make your demos you begin to realise you have music that sounds nothing like the album in your head. Do you now hire the services of a recording engineer to set up the right mics etc? Of course not, that’s going to cost too much. Now you’re off to the music store to buy all the mics and hardware you’ll need to record the sounds you want to hear. Do you now learn how to engineer, learn about sound and audio, take a course in Protools?
The comparison I’m trying to make here is clear, I think? There are very few who can do it all. You know how the saying goes; Jack of all trades is a master of none, so I think to generalise is detrimental to your project.
To get back to why bands or musicians think they can record themselves and produce an album without the help of specialised people; what are the reasons, can it only be monetary?
Another reason might be for creative control? Maybe they can’t find anyone who will produce the music the way you want it done, can you trust anyone else with your work?
While building my studio business I’ve come to realise that most bands locally are adopting the DIY approach to recording their music. Leasing a space, building their studios and I think it’s totally for monetary reasons.
What I ask is, if you’re a guy or girl in a band reading this, think about how long it took for you to get good at your instrument; years and years of practising, rehearsing and playing your ass off right? Well, audio and recording engineers are no different. We put in the 10,000 hours as they say honing our craft, and if you think just buying the equipment and recording your band to save money is a great idea, please think about it more carefully. It will prove to be harder than you think, it will take longer and your project may come out nothing like what was intended.
I’d like to know in the comments below, what was the main reason for building your studio?