The new year is a great time for embarking on new and exciting projects. Equally it is also a good time for getting around to those things which weren’t quite gotten around to last year. Recording a CD in school quite often falls into either of these categories.
Why are you still recording onto CD?
In this digital age where pretty much everything seems to exist in the ‘cloud’, increasingly people give me a funny look when I explain that I spend a lot of time Recording School CD’s. Surely that’s all digital nowadays? Well technically yes it is – the actual recording is done digitally, as it has been since we recorded our first album nearly 15 years ago. A CD however is a tangible product and therein lies the value. Parents like to keep ‘memorabilia’ from their children’s school days. And just buying a track online and sticking it somewhere into the depths of an iPod just isnt quite the same.
Digital versus Analogue
I certainly do not intend to make this post a technical discussion of how audio is recorded otherwise we will end up with a very dull discussion about microphone pre-amps and Digital to Analogue conversion which quite frankly no-one other than the IT techies cares about. I spend most of my days working with the technology and whilst I know what it does and what needs to be done to make it work, actually I don’t really care how it works. It just does. The results are far more important than the journey – certainly in terms of digital data.
The most important thing to consider is that a CD still contains digital data and often it is of better quality than you might find on a download site. Yes of course you can download files which are even higher quality than CD’s but this is still quite rare and then needs specialist equipment to be played on. The key thing is a CD can still be inserted into a computer and then the tracks put onto an iPod. And for the moment whilst CD players are still widely available and still common in most motor cars, it seems the sensible means of distribution.
What about the future?
Clearly there will come a time, probably in the next few years, where most of our audio tracks will be delivered digitally. Technology is always moving on and our business has always been at the leading edge, certainly in terms of audio recording and production. When that time comes we will adapt our School recording model accordingly. One thing is certain though. No matter how the music is distributed there will always be a need for high quality audio capture in the first instance. This is, and will remain, our central concern and primary focus. When it comes to school recordings, our business is about capturing memories. In 30 or so years time when the average Primary School pupil is as old as the sound engineer entrusted with recording them they will no doubt look back fondly on the strange round silver disc which contains a recording of them singing at school. And if they don’t have a means of playing a CD the good news is that Recordings 4 Schools always keep the digital data from every recording ever undertaken. So the chances are, even if its not me, someone would be able to supply a digital copy for many years into the future.