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A History of Pro Home Recording

Brian Toye
June 07, 2011

In the late 1990's the onset of music downloading began to whisper its way into the offices of the large record labels. Instead of embracing this new technology and restructuring the music business, many of the labels chose to ignore this revolution. By 2001 the rampant mp3 file sharing directly affected CD sales by more than 45% and the labels could no longer ignore the damage.

Lacking business sense and entrepreneurial skill, frightened and on the defensive, they chose to fight back with lawyers. Of course we all know the story. People are still file sharing. Large record labels needed to merge to stay alive. There were no extra budgets allowing them to take risks on new artists. To stay afloat the labels had to concentrate on sure things (big name artists) and release singles for download more often than full albums (thanks to iTunes). Large format studios felt the crunch as labels stopped booking time. Studios went out of business. Computers got faster and faster, professional recording equipment became more affordable.

Audio Engineers and record producers began to run out of work. They started investing in their own recording gear finding their own artists to work with rather than depending on the label to hire them. Many of these record producers cut out the label all together and made their own artist – producer agreements (hence an indie label). This was the explosion of the indie label era. I am a product of this historical event. I have cut out the need for large format studios and the need for large record labels. I have regained the personal connection between the artist and producer during the recording process. There's no label CEO telling us how to sound and there’s no A&R guys rearranging our songs. The control is now back in the hands of the artist and the producer.

We Make Records (Brians Company) knows what the radio stations look for but more importantly understand the importance of artistic freedom. We now have the freedom to choose for ourselves which road to travel. Perhaps for many artists they will choose both a main stream radio road and underground artistic path resulting in dynamic albums. Either way we work for ourselves now. You choose to invest in yourself. I choose to invest in you. We work hard, stay humble and surround ourselves with creative individuals. We have now got the responsibility of wearing the hats of both the artist and the business man. We will build something from nothing and it will be the best journey of our lives.

- Brian Toye -