Watch out! CD Baby has partnered up with Landr bringing instant mastering to the masses and this is bad news

For those of you who don't follow my blog, I already wrote an article about Landr and why it's a potentially dangerous addition to the audio industry. Well things got worse. Late last night I got an email from CD Baby telling me how they've partnered up with Landr to make mastering easier and more accessible/affordable than ever.

This means that anybody who's ever used CD Baby or signed up for their mailing list now know about this service. I've personally lost a lot of respect now for CD Baby. As if 16 bit audio upload requirements wasn't enough (read here), it seems as though the company is almost asking for albums to become a thing of the past by embracing unnecessarily bad sound to be the standard. However, maybe this whole post is moot. Albums are already a thing of the past - therefore making CD Baby mostly irrelevant at this point. Maybe all of this angst is over nothing. Who knows?

Use Your Limitations to be Creative!

I was giving some young students a lesson on music production (more specifically using Logic Pro), and given the studio space's limitations, I had to show them how they can record things with only one microphone. At first upset about the lack of equipment, I thought about how I first started out. All I had was a Zoom H4n portable mic and a student version of Logic and I was able to be creative and craft my own songs, which is what it's all about.

Of course over time I've slowly accumulated gear and it gives me more options - which is good - but it doesn't take away from what I did with less gear. Now that I own a dozen microphones I could be upset that I don't have a 64 channel mixing console or any vintage Neumanns, but I don't worry about it, I use what I have to create the best product I can. Heck, Sufjan Stevens supposedly recorded his (arguably) best albums Michigan and Illinois with a Shure SM 57 and a couple of AKG C1000s (dirt cheap workhorses). They don't sound like the Steely Dan records, but they also doesn't have to because it's Sufjan and it's a different sort of magic. Not better or worse, just different. That's Art!

They say that it's not about what you have, it's how you use it - and this is especially true in the arts. With today's technology, you can do so much with so little. So use what you have to make great stuff. No complaining, just create!

LANDR, is Automated Mastering the future of Audio?

If you are reading this, you have no doubt heard of the a new automated mastering service called LANDR, which claims to master your audio in mere seconds by computers for hardly any money. If you haven't yet, check out Mastering Engineer Ian Shepherd's deep look into the service and what it does to your audio.

The point I've taken from all of this is that no cookie-cutter formula works for all music. Although it's cool that technology allows for such things, and the results are Ok (I'd say the lower intensity version is passable), I think it's important to be wary and not forget the human element in art. No art should ever be treated exactly the same.