The future for many artists is self released, self produced, self promoted, self made albums. But going indie doesn’t mean creating a mediocre home recording and selling only a few hundred copies.
Take the band Porcupine Tree for example. These guys record and mix all of their albums in the lead singer’s parents basement and they sell well over 250,000 copies on their own.
Via opethpainter Flickr
It’s Not How Luxurious Your Room Is
Listen to what singer and Porcupine Tree frontman Steven Wilson has to say in this article from Sound On Sound:
It’s not how luxurious your room is, how good your speakers are or the quality of the acoustic space. It’s how well you know what you’re hearing, because if you know what you’re hearing, you can make good-sounding records! – Steven Wilson, Porcupine Tree
Hmmm. Seems I’ve heard this talk about learning your speakers/studio before. There might be something to it!
Many times I’ve made the mistake of thinking that if I went into a commercial studio with a proper desk and speaker system I would get better results, but I got worse because I had no idea what I was hearing, so I always retreated back to my little box room where I knew exactly how to get results.– Steven Wilson, Porcupine Tree
Wow. So Steven, you’re saying that it’s not the nice gear that gets you the results? But rather the missing link is you? Unbelievable!
Anything sounds good in a big studio but the trick is to make it sound good on a shitty system in a shitty room, because that is closer to the way everyone else is going to hear it. If you can do that it will sound good on any system. That’s proved to be the case for me over and over again. – Steven Wilson, Porcupine Tree
Very interesting. So there seems to be some huge gains from not only learning your system but knowing how your mixes sound on crappy speakers and making them work in non ideal situations.
Embracing Your Limitations
All sarcasm aside, when you get a moment you really should go read the remainder of the SOS article. It’s a great interview that gives you yet another perspective into how self made bands are embracing their limitations (gear, space, etc) and making their musical dreams come true.
You know how I feel about limitations. They are your best friend. They are actually an asset, rather than a hindrance to reaching your musical goals. So instead of trying to remove your limitations, change your perspective and stop viewing them as the enemy. You’ll get more done, with better results, and have more fun.
And ultimately, isn’t that what this whole music thing is all about? Fun?!