There is an ongoing debate about whether the new technological advances in home recording with software like Pro Tools and even Apple’s Garageband can in fact replace the lumbering giants that are the great recording studios. It’s an interesting argument especially in the context of so many recording studios shutting their doors recently but this is not something that is addressed in Dave Simons’ Studio Stories : How the Great New York Records Were Made: From Miles to Madonna, Sinatra to the Ramones, a book about the great American (particularly New York) recording studios and how they were instrumental in recording some of the greatest music of our time. Instead, Simons has put together an homage to these studios and Clouds and Clocks has both an excellent review of the book and an interview with the author that is good reading. I think it is quite clear when you look at a place like The Record Plant or Abbey Road Studios that these are the only places where you can get that “certain sounding” room acoustics combined often with incrediblly warm vintage equipment and the technicians to make it sound just right. That is something that computer software has yet to emulate. And it can’t replace that extra buzz a band must get when recording in a place like Studio 2 at Abbey Road, something that computer software will never be able to emulate.