It’s fairly safe to say that pretty much any business today needs to keep up with the constant advances in technology. Whether you are equipping a field sales team with tablets and mobile phones or in charge of a fleet of vehicles, making sure everyone and everything is properly connected seems to be the way forward.
Nowadays it seems that we all need to share our every move on social media. As a result, our cars need to be able to tweet and talk to the other cars around them and our wrist watches need to tell the world how far we have just run and then share our heartbeat with the person sat next to us. Sometimes this can all seem a bit much, but nevertheless if you embrace technology in the right way it can help drive your business forward.
Technology is there to meet a problem or opportunity. Ultimately, in the business world, technology exists to help organisations extend their abilities and better serve their customers.
The Recording Industry
Technology, in some form or other, has always been an essential part of the recording industry. Even in the days when bits of tape were cut and spliced, arguably this was a form of technology. Nowadays, technology is at the forefront of recording. Everything is recorded digitally onto computers and then manipulated in the virtual world to create the best possible sound. The basic principles of recording takes and then editing them hasn’t changed much in the last 50 years, but the way in which we do it and the importance of computers in this process has changed things beyond recognition.
Despite this, there are some areas where nothing much has changed for the past decade or more. Our arsenal of microphones hasn’t changed much since we first set up in 2004. Similarly a lot of cabling is unchanged despite recent advances. The XLR cable, for example, which is used to connect Microphones to Pre Amps was invented in the 1950s and has changed little since then. There are plenty of recording companies out there using microphones which are in excess of 50 years old but still used in digital recordings today.
Computers and Recording
By contrast, where microphones and cables haven’t really changed much at all, the ‘business end’ of the recording industry is constantly changing and updating. Firewire became Thunderbolt and then thunderbolt became USB-C which is apparently almost the same thing and then everything became Thunderbolt 3 compatible…
This means that our studio equipment and everything we use on location which has a plug on the end is forever needing to be updated. Of course there is one argument which says once you have a setup which works then leave it be and it should work forever more. To a point this can be done. If we never connected any of our computers to the internet then they could stay exactly as they are and we could record offline for evermore.
However, the trouble is that in reality it doesn’t work when you are producing digital files which need to see shared digitally. Also on a fairly regular basis all the software we use is updated and therefore in order to move our business forward, we need to implement these updates to take advantage of new plugins which give us better ways of producing the audio.
Benefit to the Customer
Ultimately any investment in technology needs to provide a tangible benefit to your customer. At Recordings 4 Schools, this is always our main focus when we look at enhancing or updating our studio and mobile rigs. Currently we spend tens of thousands of pounds every year updating technology so it is important not only to get it right but make sure we are doing it for the right reason. The bottom line is technology enables us to continually improve the quality of recording we can produce for the customer. Not only that our studio needs to be kept up to date because everything has to be 100% reliable. Whilst we could morph our studio Mac’s and not connect them to the internet, there still comes a time when computers naturally give up. Audio mastering is demanding on Hard Drives for example, so all our machines have to run with SSD Drives. These are at least £1000 each and have to be replaced every year.
Sometimes it is not just a case of keeping up with technology but ensuring that technology is always working. After all, not being able to produce something because a critical piece of technology has failed is simply not an option.