Due to increasing lack of resources and funding for budding student musicians, it is often not possible for this demographic to create, record, and produce their original music in the same high-budget studio environment in which music has been traditionally made. The objective of this project is to explore alternatives which are more accessible to young independent musicians and reveal the most cost-efficient routes to obtain a high-quality result. To make this comparison, the group created budget recordings of their original music in a bedroom in true DIY fashion, and then recorded the same songs in a professional music studio using the best music and recording equipment available. The DIY recordings were mixed and mastered by the group members themselves, as well as separately by a professional audio engineer. The studio recordings were also mixed and mastered by a professional audio engineer, resulting in three final products with varying costs and quality. Ultimately, the group found that without mixing and mastering experience, it is very difficult to achieve high quality results. With the same budget recorded tracks, the group found that quality of the final product vastly increased when a professional audio engineer mixed and mastered the tracks. As far as the quality of the result, the studio recorded tracks were by far the best. Not only was the quality of the sounds from the high-end music and recording equipment much higher, the band had more freedom to be creative without the responsibility of simultaneously serving as recording engineers as was the case in the low budget recordings. The group concluded that this project was highly successful and demonstrated that high quality results could be obtained on a budget. The DIY recording techniques used in this project prove that independent musicians without access to expensive equipment and resources can still produce high quality music at the cost of more effort to serve as audio engineers in addition to musicians. However, recording in a studio with the help of a producer and professional audio engineers affords creative freedom and an increase in sound quality that is simply not possible to reproduce without the equipment and expertise that money can buy.
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