10.08.2004 08:00 AM
Home studios invade CES

The Consumer Electronics Show

It was only a matter of time before the home recording phenomenon made it official that music recording is now as much a function of lifestyle as it is a serious professional pursuit. The Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas (Jan. 6-9, 2005), the Consumer Electronics Association’s annual sprawl, which showcases consumer electronics products, will have a separate exhibit area dubbed Studio@Home in the Central Plaza in front of the Convention Center, where the CES’s 130,000 attendees can’t miss it. Expect several key exhibitors from both the AES and NAMM shows to be there.

The ease of use and increasing affordability of music recording technology has reached a point where it rivals that of consumer playback products. Why just listen on MP3 when you can compose on it, too? Now it’s not unusual for someone to hand you a CD-R of his or her latest bedroom music production along with a business card.

The implications of Studio@Home are significant. The AES show has already experienced some significant exhibitor defections in recent years, as well as decline in attendance. At a time when the record industry has consolidated to a mere four major labels, and indie labels account for roughly a quarter of reported sales (the reality is far more when you factor in what is sold below SoundScan’s radar), it’s not surprising that conventional recording studios are feeling mortal pressures (four significant closures in New York City alone this year). A major realignment of pro audio is underway. It’s going to be interesting to watch, but even more critical to remain acutely aware of these changes in order to make a living at making music.

For more information, visit www.ce.org

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