Edited versions of the following Family Tree series appeared during 2003/4 in the UK magazine Audio Pro.

Because they were written for industry insiders, some of the background detail is unlikely to be of interest to general readers - but much of the material, I hope, will.

The relatively recent opportunity for musicians to build affordable, professional-quality home recording studios was one of the most significant developments in the history of the recording industry and its repercussions are still felt today, with the number of professional studios continuing to dwindle - perhaps even more so, now that hard disc recording has taken over from tape. But more importantly, it didn't just change the means by which music was recorded, it changed music itself. The greater time available for musicians to experiment with new techniques and the freedom from financial constraints imposed by record companies created artistic space into which music expanded.

Much of the groundbreaking technical work that enabled affordable recording equipment to appear was done in Japan and the USA. But a lot of it came from the UK, as this series attempts to show.

2005 Gary Cooper