Tuesday, July 8, 2014
It's Ok... The Audio Engineer is Still Relivent
A new post by Fast Company posted that the Music Industry is about to be turned on it's head again due to a new software by LANDR is about to hit the market offering automated mastering.
"LANDR is a new service that's likely to rattle some cages by providing recording mastering online and automatically. Traditionally, mastering is a skilled task performed by a recording engineer, but LANDR uses a sophisticated learning algorithm in order to eliminate the manual, human-powered work."
Let's take a small history trip back to the year 1996. ProTools free offered a full DAW for free with 4 channels of recording and mixing. In the 2000's, Sonar, Cakewalk, ProTools all offered limited editions which allowed for 24 track recording under $5000. In this day in age, Garageband is now a valid DAW.
Today, the audio engineer/producer's roll is still important, but it has evolved since then. That's the beauty of our art. We change and mold according to the needs of the market and industry. 30 years ago, it was valid to just be a studio engineer, now you must be a studio engineer, field engineer, producer, composer, mastering engineer, broadcast engineer and roady all in one gig. This isn't a bad thing, but it is hard work. It requires you to possibly be a freelance engineer and contract income from multiple sources, but it's still possible to make a living in this field. What we have over the machines is the ability to network and communicate effectively with the artists to draw out the best emotional performance possible.
So with this said, LANDR is not a bad thing, as everything depends on which perspective you choose view it at. We now have more tools at our disposal. One thing that is not disposable is the well trained engineer. As software is making the process more automated, it only re-enforces the need to have well trained people to operate the software to make it sound "professional".