Are Big Recording Studio’s Being Replaced by Home Recording Studios?

Technology is allowing small producers to have a big sound.

As technology becomes more advanced it allows the home music producer to have access to a similar quality of sound or in some cases the same quality as big recording studios. In many cases only the most experienced music industry personnel can distinguish between the two. In the 1970’s a very popular console was the Solid State Logic SSL4000, this board was very large and cumbersome. Some of these boards were as long and wide as a full size luxury vehicle. The company was started in England in 1969 and quickly gained popularity for its full rich sound. According to top level music producers it gave music the warmth and bottom it needed, it added character to the music. This style of board dominated throughout the 70’s, 80’s, 90’s, and early 2000’s. But in the age of digital music technology has allowed the once impossible task of home producers competing with large budget professional producers. With the evolution of DAWS (Digital Audio Work Stations) music software allows one to record in a box so to speak. In studios of the past it required an SSL mixing console, a 2 inch tape machine, and a host of outboard equipment that could easily fill up a basement. The modern day producer only needs a controller keyboard, a laptop, an audio interface, and a DAW. Technology had now allowed a creation called VST (Virtual Studio Technology). These integrate with your DAW and emulate the sound created in large traditional recording studios. Solid State Logic has even joined the movement and has created a VST for their famous SSL4000 mixing console. So now home producers can load this VST on their computer and have the sound of this famous mixing consoles and it doesn’t stop there. Software now allows music producers to have virtual instruments of all kinds allowing a modern producer to be a one man band. Even some of the larger studios are removing these large consoles and are moving to DAWS like Protools and others. A good home producer could easily fool the ears of your average music listener and even some industry professionals. Lots of hits in these modern times were produced in home studios. There’s only a handful of studios left with these large mixing consoles from the past due to the high maintenance cost and need for outboard gear that goes along with it. Top music execs still swear by the large consoles but we can’t help but wonder if it’s for nostalgia’s sake, only time will tell.


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