I come across a lot of teenagers with a computer and a soundcard and some recording software. They think that they have all they need to make a professional sounding CD. And they spend all sorts of time tracking and mixing. The end product, predictably, sounds terrible.
It is all too easy to underestimate what it takes to make a truly fine sounding record. Learning to record music well is like becoming the master of an instrument. Pros need natural talent and a few thousand hours of hard practice, often under the guidance of an expert, to become competent at laying good tracks and mixing. And even then, the craft is constantly changing. A great sounding record is a lot of hard work.
If an artist has an aggressive timetable for producing a tight, fully professional CD, that artist is much better off going to a good studio, rather than buying five to ten thousand worth of recording gear and learning on the fly.
You’ll get quicker results from someone else’s years of experience, heavy investment in gear and excellent sounding rooms. You can focus on the performance and you won’t be distracted by having to manage the technology.
A high quality recording takes great talent, hundreds of hours of work and great equipment. Can you get a competitive product using cheap gear, no experience and a poor sounding room?