I think it's actually come full circle now, all barriers to entry are removed both from a cost prohibition, quality and distribution perspective, so it comes down to only whether an artist can make music that connects with people.I think one of the takeaways from this thread, even for me because I guess I kind of knew all of this intuitively but hadn't really thought through it, is there really isn't any home recording analogue of a DAW from the pre-computer days. About as close as you can get are the old Portastudios, but those are like 4 or 8 tracks max, and have really limited mixing options and fairly budget/entry level recording quality.
It's REALLY hard to overstate how much the digital age revolutionized home recording. In 1986, if you wanted to make a record, you were going to even a local studio where you were tracking through a large format board, a huge rack of various ouboard gear with a fair amount of duplication because if you had one particular compressor on your bass you couldn't use it on your kick, and printing to tape which was expensive, any editing had to be done with razor blade, and the decision to do another take couldn't be made lightly because you'd be overwriting your last take.
Today, even $300 will buy you a SM57, a budget interface that nonetheless is going to be audibly clearer and cleaner than what you could have bought in a $500 portastudio in 1996, and whatever DAW comes bundled with that interface, plus whatever FX comes with it. You have either unlimited tracks, or something like a 32 track limit which allows you a LOT of flexibility before you have tp start bouncing down tracks (remember that?). You can use the same compressor plug in on every single track, if you want. And, if you want to do another take of your solo, you can do it nondestructively, and even if you're track limited and have to delete the track out of the project to do another take, the audio file is still out there on your hard drive and you can always go find it and reimport it if you have to. If you want to splice two takes together, you can do that easily and nondestructively.
In fact, things have gotten so easy, that the concern here isn't whether or not an artist working in a home studio can make an acceptably good sounding album. It's gone full circle, and the concern now is whther or not an artist can actually perform their material half as well as the record sounds. That's a problem too, and one that deserves all the attention it gets... but, shit, let's at least pause and recognize how awesome it is that these are the problems we're now having.
I'd start with some 500 series mic preamps if you want to add color... but if you really want a "tape sound," @thebeesknees22 seems pretty impressed with this:
Hey yo fellas Any of you guys try the neve 542 tape emulator? I'm kinda thinking about getting a couple to fill these empty slots in my 500 series box 🤔www.sevenstring.org
I also REALLY like this plugin, both as a broad "shaping" EQ, but also just as saturation:
And yet, that's the last thing anyone wants to talk about in a recording forum, huh?I think it's actually come full circle now, all barriers to entry are removed both from a cost prohibition, quality and distribution perspective, so it comes down to only whether an artist can make music that connects with people.