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Byrd’s Roger McGGuinn Uses Technology To Beat The System

McGuinnUSA Today has published a story about how tecnology has allowed former Byrds frontman and solo folk artist Roger McGuinn and other musicians to inexpensively record and release their music.

“File-sharing and the iPod get all the credit for rocking the established recording industry, because that stuff is happening in the highly visible, mass-market consumer part of the business. But back at the beginning of the music pipeline, a different challenge bubbles. Technology is making it cheap and easy to turn a laptop into the equivalent of a professional studio, which means that record labels no longer have a lock on making good-quality recordings…The studio used to be a (costly) barrier to entry…Those days seem to be over. McGuinn illustrates what’s happening at the professional level…

…He released his most recent CD, Limited Edition, in the spring. Twelve of the 13 songs were recorded and mixed on his laptop. He explains that he has a Dell laptop…He does most of the work using $299 software from Adobe called Audition, which used to be Cool Edit Pro before Adobe bought it.

McGuinn has a pretty good idea of how much money the technology saved him. The first track was recorded in a Nashville studio in a session that cost $6,000, he says. So for 13 tracks, the studio would’ve cost about $75,000. Instead, the rest of the CD cost him almost nothing. For drums, he even had Tom Petty’s drummer, Stan Lynch, set up in McGuinn’s family room, recording into the laptop…

…The low cost allows McGuinn to bypass a record company deal. He sells the CDs on his Web site ( and on Amazon, and he seems to feel that’s enough of a distribution network for his fans. Instead of paying back an advance for studio time, McGuinn makes money on every CD he sells.”

Read The Full USA Today Article.

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