Proverb: A man who is his own lawyer has a fool for a client.
By the time life’s difficulties reach the courtroom, the stakes are usually pretty high and it’s time to lawyer up. But for the purposes of this post, we’re not focusing on legal matters so much as the core message of this proverb: that there are times when people need objective professionals to take care of their business rather than trying to do so themselves.
Consider recording, mixing, and mastering a CD. The equipment and software exists and is available at affordable enough rates nowadays that an amateur can try to be a jack of all trades for her a cappella group and handle every stage of the production process. And the end result may well be far better than it would have been had a person of similar talents and experience attempted to do so five or ten years ago.
In today’s recorded a cappella market, standards and expectations have risen steeply. Today, there are professionals with a wealth of experience modifying your raw material to get the most out of your sound, and with the number of professional and semi-professional outlets available today, prices among those outlets are increasingly competitive, which means groups need not necessarily break the bank to produce an album of professional quality. What’s more, as the Vocal Mastering website is shrewd to point out, objectivity is key to putting the finishing touches on recordings. Regardless of how talented anyone within your group may be in the mixing or mastering process, there is no substitute for the guidance of an unbiased professional in helping a recording reach its full potential.
Looking beyond just recording, a cappella groups take on a number of endeavors, from booking tours, to building websites, to raising money for good causes. Some groups will have all of the expertise they need within the group membership, but when they don’t, there is no shame in calling on a professional to help guide the way. Indeed, if you try to manage every process yourself, you’re sure to have a fool for a client at one stage or another.