When I was a kid in school, the only hope I had for ever becoming involved in the recording end of the music business was to land a job in a recording studio, and the average kid’s chance of that ever happening was about 1 in a million. The only other possible option was to get a huge loan from the bank and build your own however, without the experience necessary to run a recording studio, banks didn’t look to favorably on this option.
Even as technology advanced toward the days of the home studio, companies such as Teac/Tascam began making 4 track open reel recorders but for a young teen, these too provided many financial woes. It wasn’t just the recorder that you needed in order to make recordings. You also needed a mixer, microphones, keyboards, guitars, amplifiers, speakers and the list goes on. The kicker is that, none of this high tech, expensive recording equipment guaranteed you with a “hi-fi” result. The equipment was only as good as the operator.
Assuming that you’d made a decent recording, how were you ever going to get it out there to the masses? There were no YouTube or Facebook sites for you to boldly solicit your awesome recordings. You were at the mercy of record companies, managers, publishers and the like. Once again, as a recording engineer, producer or songwriter, you were in the “dime a dozen” category. Millions were trying to do exactly what you were doing but without the assistance of social media.
There were no schools at that time specializing in Recording Engineering or Music Production. You were pretty much on your own unless you happened to know someone in the “biz”. By the mid 1980’s it became even more complicated. Digital technology was introduced. All of a sudden, and in the matter of a couple of years, analog technology was being weeded out in favor of the new digital technology. Vinyl recordings were being replaced with CD’s and computers were being introduced to the recording studios. If you didn’t embrace them, your days were silently numbered.
More and more recording facilities were using a digital recording system called ProTools. The majority of seasoned professionals scoffed at the idea of using a computer to record “high quality” records with and to this day, there are still many who are hanging onto that the theory that analog recordings are still the way to go. Unfortunately, those professionals are now mostly unemployed.