Advances in technology and music distribution have had a profound impact over all musicians and engineers in the industry. Streaming media has all but antiquated the market for physical CDs. User friendly, inexpensive and easy to acquire software has made the need to purchase high priced hardware solutions almost a thing of the past. Robust DAW solutions and an endless list of available plugins have also made it possible for even the most novice recording engineer to achieve decent quality mixes. Add all this to the fact that the consumer’s ears have been trained to accept inferior sounding mixes as the defacto standard for most of the top 100 songs on the charts and you have the makings of a very prosperous, yet desperate situation when it comes to being able to earn money in the music industry.
Several music vendors have created budget based product lines that have enabled musicians to create entire songs from start to finish right from the privacy of their bedrooms. Commercial recording studios who once were booked solid for months in advance, now struggle to stay afloat amidst the rising popularity of the “DO IT YOURSELF” producer/engineer. Now don’t get me wrong, I am not knocking anyone brave enough to tackle the task of producing and mixing their own music, in fact…I applaud your effort. Trust me, I understand that the cost of producing and recording music is a very real factor and if you’re anything like me, you don’t want your love of music to be impeded by your lack of financial means to do it.
That being said, while there are many tasks you can do on your own especially when it comes to production, there are certain parts of the song creation process that would best be left in the hands of someone else to complete. Now before you blast me for saying that, let me explain.
After you’ve selected all of your sounds and begin the process of creating a beat, your mind gets tuned into the task of actually crafting the beat and does not put as much focus on things such as sound quality of each individual sound, placement, dynamics, compression, EQ, effects, etc. Why, you ask? That’s because you’re focus is on banging out the beat that is in your head. Even the best of us can only do so much at one time. Music production requires knowledge of music theory, chord progression, song arrangement, sample editing, instrumental musicianship ability and lots of impromptu decision making. That’s a monumental task in and off itself, right? Of course it is. Now imagine you want to add recording and engineering theory on top of all that. Sound engineers study just the art of mixing and mastering alone for years before they consider themselves masters of the craft and no matter how many Youtube tutorials you watch on mixing/mastering, and no matter how many plugins you have available in your home studio arsenal, getting everything to work together in concert with each other and actually being able to deliver an industry standard, quality recording will be an extreme challenge to say the least.
Here is a list of reasons why even though you can mix your own music, doesn’t necessarily mean that you should:
- Biased mix decisions based on your own particular style of production
- Ear fatigue
- Lack of tools available to you in your own studio, (ie mics, outboard gear, etc)
- Lack of a proper sound treated mixing environment
- Lack of physical space to record groups, bands, etc.
- Lack of extensive sound engineering knowledge/ experience
- Lack of time
In this industry, no second chances are given and although you may think you are cutting corners and saving money by doing it all yourself, what you are actually doing is potentially losing more money than you saved by failing to get the job done right in the first place. In some areas in life, you simply can’t afford to cut corners and its best left to leave those tasks to the pros to get it done right. After all, would a skilled medical surgeon perform an operation on his/her own body just because they know how to?
Whether you choice to allow Maseed Productions to work on your project or not, I hope you were able to find benefit in this article and will consider some of the things discussed with your future projects. If you enjoyed this, please like, share and follow.
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