August 16th, 2023Tech Talk

Do Beat Makers Need Recording Studios?

The music industry is in constant evolution, especially since the rise of music production apps. While traditional recording studios were essential for beat makers, they have rapidly lost popularity with the digitalization of the music industry. In this article, we explore whether beat makers need recording studios by explaining how the beat making landscape evolved over the past few decades. We also compare the pros and cons of making music online and in recording studios. 

Recording Studios or Online Platforms: How Do Producers Make Beats?

Nowadays, music producers have a wide array of options in terms of music production methods.

From traditional recording studios to beat-making online apps, they can choose the processes that best suit their needs and budgets. Let’s take a look at the main advantages and drawbacks of traditional recording studios and online platforms. 

Traditional Recording Studios

When you think about a traditional recording studio, you might picture a wooden room with endless buttons and high-quality recording gear. You wouldn’t be too far from reality. By renting a traditional recording studio, artists can access some of the best resources for music production: 

  • A professional setting

  • Expensive equipment

  • A soundproof space

  • Professional sound engineers

Opting for a professional recording studio can often be costlier, as many studios charge based on the number of tracks recorded. While some studios offer hourly rates, this is not always the norm. Collaborating directly with a producer may involve per-song charges, adding to the overall expenses.

Online Platforms

The rise of online platforms has revolutionized the way creators make music. By providing access to affordable beat-making apps, musicians have gained the ability to : 

  • Record, mix, and distribute their own sound.

  • Cut out the middlemen, allowing beat makers to establish a direct line with their audience. 

  • Gains skills without needing expensive recording equipment or sound engineers.

  • Work with artists across the globe through collaborative Digital Audio Stations (DAWs) such as BeatConnect.

  • Connect with peers from different countries and musical backgrounds.

Nonetheless, while online music production platforms offer significant advantages, musicians still have to invest in soundproofing their space and buying equipment to reach their quality goals.

As such, traditional recording studios still hold appeal for many musicians who can afford them. These artists appreciate having access to state-of-the-art equipment, controlled acoustic environments, and experienced engineers who can take their music to the next level through their proven methods.

Recording Studios or Online Platforms: Case Studies

Do music producers make beats? The simple answer is yes. These are great examples of artists who have chosen to produce their music in recording studios, on online platforms, or on both.

Billie Eilish and Finneas

Billie Eillish caused a stir at the 2020 Grammy’s with her album When We Fall Asleep Where Do We Go? She recorded it in her $3,000 bedroom studio, which she built with her brother, producer Finneas, to avoid expensive studio fees. The album was later mastered by John Greenham and mixed by Rob Kinelski, who has worked with other big artists like Beyonce, Rihanna and LP. Eilish’s album went on to win five Grammy Awards, including “Album of the Year”, “Best New artist’ and “Song of the Year”. Finneas also earned the Grammy for “Producer of the Year, Non-Classical”.

Tyler, The Creator

The multi-hyphenated artist has worked both with traditional recording studios and online platforms. He recorded his first rap mixtape Bastard, in his home studio, showcasing his natural beat-making skills. In this album, he drew inspiration from his love of horror movies to create eerie instrumentals on FL Studio. The artist then went on to record his following albums in traditional recording studios, with his debut studio album, Goblin being recorded at the Trap and Opra Music studios in Los Angeles.

Kendrick Lamar

Kendrick Lamar is among the most respected rappers of his generation. His albums Good Kid, M.A.A.D CityTo Pimp a Butterfly, and Damn are often considered some of the most important rap albums in American history. They have all been recorded in traditional recording studios in Los Angeles, Washington, New York, St Louis, and even Lamar’s tour bus. The rapper is known to make his fans wait between projects, spending countless hours in the studio creating innovative sounds.

Popular Beat-Making Tools and Technologies

The beat-making scene is thriving with the invention of innovative production platforms. These new technologies allow creators to explore their creativity freely without having to worry about expensive studio rates. Here are some of the most popular tools and technologies in the beat-making community:

  1. BeatConnect, to participate in beat battles and centralize your music production on one platform.

  2. SoundCloud, to upload your music and share it with a worldwide audience.

  3. Ableton Live, to adjust your tracks during live performances.

  4. Splice, to access a wide range of samples, loops and sounds that you can integrate into your tracks.

Online Platforms Vs. Recording Studios: What is The Future of Beat Making?

With the rising popularity of online production apps, one could wonder: do beat makers need recording studios? Also, will traditional studios remain relevant? It isn’t easy to predict the future of beat making with 100% certainty.

However, if we are being realistic, online platforms will probably never fully replace recording studios. There will always be artists who are interested in accessing the unique facilities, equipment, and expertise that recording studios can offer. 

One thing’s for sure: recording studios will need to adapt to the music industry’s new reality. Whether they start offering flexible pricing models or additional services such as marketing and artist management, traditional recording studios will have to step it up a notch to remain competitive.

Recording studios could also start looking into hybrid beat-making models. They could invest in beat-making technologies that facilitate remote collaboration, allowing them to cater their services to artists from across the globe.

How to Produce Your Own Beats: Tips for Beat Makers

Are you wondering if you should choose an online production platform or take the more traditional route by renting a recording studio? Here are three main tips that will help you decide:

  1. Assess your needs in terms of equipment and budget. Do you have high-quality production equipment at home, or will you have to rent it from a studio?

  2. Assess your music production skills. Are you comfortable working on your own Digital Audio Workstation, or would you benefit from the expertise of a sound engineer in a studio?

  3. Consider adopting a hybrid model. Like Billie Eilish and Finneas, you could start by producing your tracks at home and getting them mixed and mastered by sound engineers at a studio.

The sky’s the limit when it comes to music production nowadays. Whether you decide to embrace an online production platform or rent a recording studio, make sure to adjust your music production choices to your skills, budget, and equipment. And if you are searching for the best free music app for your needs, try out BeatConnect and sign up for your first Beat Battle!