Where do you think digital recording will go from here? Faster, more power, more bit-rate? What?
Yes, please! I think it’s likely that all of the above will be inevitable, but more importantly it’ll be a case of greater and greater user ease. The interfaces will become more intuitive and the results more foolproof. As things stand right now the summing algorithms in software solutions are the weak point. Mixing ‘in the box’ (purely in Pro Tools or other software) is great for processing and automation of just about everything but when it comes to the math of combining lots of tracks into a stereo master, things fall apart a bit. For this reason you’d be hard-pressed to mix something at a professional level without going out through a console or dedicated summing amplifier (such as the Dangerous 2-Bus by Dangerous Music). I’d imagine that if my friends and I (idiot musos, you know who you are!) have noticed this issue, far more intelligent people are already hard at work on a solution so it’s likely only a matter of time before this is improved.
Any words of advice?
Don’t let the gear take over! I’m not kidding here, it’s really easy to spend lots of time learning the software, getting the greatest tones anyone has never heard and forget entirely why you started either of those projects. The bottom line is the gear doesn’t make the music. You do. As musicians we’re in a great place right now. We can make whatever music we feel like, without needing the budget of a huge studio for every track and, therefore, the budget from a label and all of the pressure to sell that comes with it. By the same token, we can find outlets for our music that will allow us to make a living on our own terms, so be confident in your vision and trust yourself.
Mike Turner is a Toronto-based producer based at The Pocket Studios.