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Home Studio vs Professional Studio

All about the tools and techniques involved in capturing sound, in the studio or on location.

Home Studio vs Professional Studio

Postby JackS » Thu Nov 28, 2019 1:18 pm

Hi,

I am currently doing a dissertation for my college course and was wondering if I could get everyones thoughts on which is best and why?

Thanks
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Re: Home Studio vs Professional Studio

Postby Sam Spoons » Thu Nov 28, 2019 1:47 pm

[Sweeping statement alert] :D

A professional studio will have the best room, the best gear and, quite likely, the most experienced/skilled/talented/expensive engineer so must be the best. At least for anything that requires recording of instruments with microphones.

But, anything created 'in the box' or using purely electronic instruments can be produced equally successfully anywhere given the appropriate skillset.

[/Sweeping statement alert]

Another but, content and performance trump everything else, a good song well performed (with feeling and skill) well sound good recorded on a phone.
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Re: Home Studio vs Professional Studio

Postby Wonks » Thu Nov 28, 2019 2:13 pm

It really all comes down to the quality of biscuits provided.
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Re: Home Studio vs Professional Studio

Postby Hugh Robjohns » Thu Nov 28, 2019 2:24 pm

The differences in technical quality between pro and semi-pro/MI equipment these days is entirely negligible in most areas. That obviously wasn't the case at any time from the 1950s through to the 1990s...but the advent of integrated circuits, digital audio, SMD, and highly cost-effective Far East manufacture from the early 90s has radically changed all that.

So it's not really the gear -- certainly not in terms of things like mixers, outboard, DAWs, and so forth. A Pro studio could still afford and have space for a larger physical mixer, but most projects are mixed-in-the-box these days, so that's not really relevant either.

What Pro studios -- the real ones -- do have that home studios really struggle to approach is space, good acoustics, and high-quality full-range monitoring. These are all very expensive to acquire.
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Re: Home Studio vs Professional Studio

Postby Moroccomoose » Thu Nov 28, 2019 2:26 pm

It is entirely dependant on what 'best' is. Both have pros and cons, which is why both exist. The best is the one that allows you to achieve that which you set out to accomplish, in the most satisfactory way.


A pro studio, just as a home studio, is just a tool box. Being a master of the tools at your disposal is what is best.
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Re: Home Studio vs Professional Studio

Postby Wonks » Thu Nov 28, 2019 2:57 pm

Home studios allow as much time as you want to record, mix and master a project.

Commercial studios cost money to hire, so you really want to be sure of what you're doing before you go in. Great for fixing the mind o the task at hand, but if you're the type that decides that you're going to re-write a middle-8 three hours into an 8-hour session regardless, then you either need to be very rich, or have your own home studio.

Of course you can mix the two situations and record in a studio with great mics and great acoustics then bring the project home to mix.
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Re: Home Studio vs Professional Studio

Postby jaminem » Thu Nov 28, 2019 5:09 pm

There is no 'best' but...

Home studio, good for:
Learning your craft and working out what you prefer
Experimenting
Writing
Goofing off with your mates and having fun (don't under estimate this)
being flexible with your musical timing - I.e. fitting it in around work, kids whatever

Pro Studio good for:
Having someone experienced to help you realise your musical dreams
Access to great sounding rooms (hopefully) both live and control rooms
Access to experienced people to get you to your ideas quicker
Just learning everything you can....
...Especially how to focus and get the job done correctly, quickly...because its costing you by the hour/day usually!
Access to gear you may not have at home
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Re: Home Studio vs Professional Studio

Postby ManFromGlass » Thu Nov 28, 2019 6:27 pm

Pro studio -
Somebody else keeps it clean and washes the dishes
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Re: Home Studio vs Professional Studio

Postby Wonks » Thu Nov 28, 2019 6:28 pm

ManFromGlass wrote:Pro studio -
Somebody else keeps it clean and washes the dishes

Erm... I went to Max's studio (Shonk) and I had to wash the cups and glasses.
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Re: Home Studio vs Professional Studio

Postby blinddrew » Thu Nov 28, 2019 6:48 pm

I'm pretty certain I did my share of dishwashing last time I was in a pro studio.

But I wasn't paying for it so I guess that's fair. :D
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Re: Home Studio vs Professional Studio

Postby Music Wolf » Thu Nov 28, 2019 7:31 pm

Wonks wrote:Commercial studios cost money to hire, so you really want to be sure of what you're doing before you go in. Great for fixing the mind o the task at hand

I couldn't agree more.
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Re: Home Studio vs Professional Studio

Postby Arpangel » Fri Nov 29, 2019 1:20 pm

I still think pro studios have a place, and it's not just for big bands, orchestras etc.
If I could afford to I'd record in a studio every time.
The reason being a lot of musicians don't like being engineers, they do it because they have to, but given the chance, they'd rather just concentrate on the music, and have other people take care of the engineering side.
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Re: Home Studio vs Professional Studio

Postby Watchmaker » Fri Nov 29, 2019 1:45 pm

A Pro studio has many other things than your project on hand at any given time, but for my money, Hugh pretty much summed it up. It's all about the room, it's the only reason I would ever go to a studio. Oddly perhaps but for the kinds of music I play I can get a perfectly listenable and saleable sound on everything but drums in my very modest space. If I were to record anything with very complex harmonics I would find a better space, Cello for example would sound like poo in my room, but a couple of duvets and a hot preamp go a long way towards a good vocal track.
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Re: Home Studio vs Professional Studio

Postby Hugh Robjohns » Fri Nov 29, 2019 3:21 pm

Arpangel wrote:The reason being a lot of musicians don't like being engineers, they do it because they have to, but given the chance, they'd rather just concentrate on the music, and have other people take care of the engineering side.

You make a very good point, Tony, but it's not necessary to go to a big pro studio just for that.

For many it's easy to have a friend come and engineer while you perform. Several of my own musician friends work that way. One even works with a remote engineer/producer by allowing his Mac to be controlled via the interweb, with the high-res audio files being automatically uploaded to a private sharing site for the producer to download and drop into his own local ProTools project, while using facetime for communications. It works surprisingly well for them!

H
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Re: Home Studio vs Professional Studio

Postby Kwackman » Fri Nov 29, 2019 3:24 pm

Hugh Robjohns wrote:One even works with a remote engineer/producer by allowing his Mac to be controlled via the interweb, with the high-res audio files being automatically uploaded to a private sharing site for the producer to download and drop into his own local ProTools project, while using facetime for communications. It works surprisingly well for them! H

An idea for a "how to" feature in the magazine maybe?
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Re: Home Studio vs Professional Studio

Postby shufflebeat » Fri Nov 29, 2019 3:34 pm

Hugh Robjohns wrote:.../MI equipment

I keep seeing this phrase around t'internet and have a rough idea what people are referring to. However when I ask I get differing explanations as to what it actually stands for. Anybody care to suggest?

@OP - it depends.
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Re: Home Studio vs Professional Studio

Postby MOF » Fri Nov 29, 2019 4:12 pm

I keep seeing this phrase around t'internet and have a rough idea what people are referring to

MI refers to the Music (equipment) industry, it’s where a lot of crossover or semi-pro gear comes from. For example Gibson started out with electric guitars but now also makes equipment such as KRK monitors.
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Re: Home Studio vs Professional Studio

Postby shufflebeat » Fri Nov 29, 2019 9:04 pm

MOF wrote:MI refers to the Music (equipment) industry, it’s where a lot of crossover or semi-pro gear comes from.

Thanks, that is certainly one of the explanations I've heard which does differentiate it from all that sound reinforcement equipment inspired by the agricultural sector. [Still a bit uncertain/confused]

@OP - many musicians will recognise the experience of listening back to a studio recording and wondering why it doesn't sound like what they had in mind at the initial creative stages.

Possibly even more common, many music fans will remember hearing a studio recording of a song they have heard live (maybe this is more a Punk thing) and thought, "it's ok but it's not as good as the live version. For reference, check out the version of "No Woman, No Cry" on the "Natty Dread" album and picture my jaw hitting the floor in horror. I have since come to love both versions.

I would suggest that much of the discrepancy between live/studio sound is the result of having all the gear and no time to learn how to use it. Studio techs are not necessarily fans of every client that walks through the office door and can't communicate with unfamiliar artists with sky-high expectations so play it safe and this can be heard in the final output.

As a result of decent recording hard/software becoming available to the great unwashed there is a strain of music that translates well between club and studio as the process of experimentation and reflection has become cheaper and easier.
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Re: Home Studio vs Professional Studio

Postby Sam Spoons » Fri Nov 29, 2019 9:36 pm

I wonder if it's more to do with the performance, new bands are often intimidated and a little reserved in the studio? I know I was when a mate with a decent small pro studio offered to record a demo of my covers band. He did get a decent enough performance out of us but it wasn't as exciting as us playing to an audience.
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Re: Home Studio vs Professional Studio

Postby Arpangel » Fri Nov 29, 2019 11:15 pm

Sam Spoons wrote:I wonder if it's more to do with the performance, new bands are often intimidated and a little reserved in the studio? I know I was when a mate with a decent small pro studio offered to record a demo of my covers band. He did get a decent enough performance out of us but it wasn't as exciting as us playing to an audience.

I think this is terrible actually, if a new band feels intimidated in any recording situation or studio it's not their fault, it's the studio.
It's up to the studio, engineers etc to make them feel as relaxed and creative as possible, if this isn't that case then they're in the wrong place.
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