The time has arrived. You have conceived the ideas for a song or an album in your mind, or perhaps you have gone as far as writing it in its entirety. What to do now? The idea of stepping into a professional recording studio can be daunting for some: exciting, exhilarating, nerve-wracking but never the less daunting. You are about to embark on a journey to release your talents to a world stage. This can be one of the most exciting time imaginable. The whole world having access to your creation…wow!
The next decision is; at what level do you want your production to be? Do you envision an international sound that stands up next to the best of the best and could potentially be mastered back to vinyl? Or are you happy with a product that you can sell at local gigs? This decision will determine the level of studio that will cater to your needs.
Digital or Analogue? In this digital age where many now have access to a computer and DAW (Digital Audio Workstation) programs can be downloaded from the net, there are many options. Do you record purely digitally or are you an analogue die-hard who loves the warmth and depth of vinyl sound? Or are you, ‘like me’, looking for a marriage of the two? I have spent many years exploring this union of analogue and digital. The intricate blend of vintage hardware and the latest (and amazing) plugins such as Native Instruments Komplete, Brainworx, Sonix Oxford & Spectrasonics, to name just a few.
I have come through the decades of change in the music industry, from the purely analogue days of recording straight onto tape and the trials and tribulations that came with that process, to the present day where everything can be instantly edited and corrected ‘in the box’. I appreciate both methods and have therefore created a studio, and an attitude, where the two can work seamlessly hand in hand. I admit that the smooth, rich sound of analogue is still preferable to me as a listener but I am also in awe of the incredible samples and plugins, that, added to my analogue hardware provide a modern and exciting angle to the music I record. I therefore found myself purchasing an SSL Duality 48 channel analogue console for Melpro Studio with the capacity to mirror any session directly from Protools, Logic or various other DAW programs and duplicate the ‘in the box’ settings straight onto the console. This enables me to provide the analogue ‘warmth’ to an already recorded digital session.
This article is not a discussion on the scientific differences between the two formats (that information can be easily found on Google search) nor is it a preference argument. It is purely based on my own experience and the path I have discovered to bring digital and analogue together in the modern world of music. Both have their place for me and a combination of the two has to be the icing on the cake. If you are choosing to record purely digitally, then obviously, the better the quality of your equipment, (such as microphone and IO soundcard), the better your recording will be. Whether you are choosing to record at home or in a professional studio, it’s like anything in this world: What you put in is what you get back!