As computers have become more powerful, both the raw processing capability of desktops and the sheer portability of laptops have freed us from having to pack up our instruments and equipment and trudge off to a dedicated recording studio whenever inspiration strikes. Unlike real estate, “location, location, location” is only part of the story for sound recording.
By Alan Parsons
Professional studios come in all shapes and sizes, and some of them are capable of recording anything from a singer-songwriter to a full-blown symphony orchestra and chorus. The best studios will have a series of acoustically treated and isolated rooms, a substantial-size console, and a good collection of vintage and modern microphones and outboard equipment.
Even if its dimensions are quite modest, a proper studio is a place designed so that musicians can hear and see each other and where ideas can be generated, discussed, and developed.
It’s all too easy for modern recording to be a very lonely sport. Even if multiple musicians are being used, each player can record their own parts separately in their own home studio and simply upload their performances for the great Producer or Artist in the Sky to assemble at some later date. This is a very efficient and cot-effective way to make a record, but arguably it might also be missing one of the key points – namely, placing a bunch of musicians in a room together, letting them hear what they and their follow musicians are playing, giving them a chance to interact, and capturing it!
(From Alan Parsons’ Art & Sceince of Sound Recording, (c) 2014 by Alan Parsons and Julian Colbeck, published by Hal Leonard Books, an imprint of Hal Leonard Corporation. Reprinted by permission of the publisher.)