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A recording studio is a place prepared for the recording of music, or other sound media. Some studios are independent, but many are part of a larger business, like a record label. Independent studios may only record one band or set of performers, but may also lease time to outsiders. Some studios charge an hourly rate, while others charge by the project.
Recording studios are usually divided into three areas: a "live area" (with natural reverberation) for recording groups, a "dead area" (with soundproofing to prevent reverb and echoes) for vocals and soloists, and a control booth, to house the recording equipment. Studios are usually soundproofed, to keep outside noises from getting into recordings. Baffles and other objects are used inside studios, to isolate sound sources. Asymmetrical room shapes are also used, to prevent "standing waves" and sound interference.
Early recording studios were not much different from radio studios, and the techniques used were interchangeable, but this changed over the years. Recordings could present sounds in ways radio could not carry, and radio did not play only recordings, so the shift was natural. When multitrack recording was developed in the 1950s, radio stations did not need multitrack equipment, for example. (Today some radio stations have such equipment, but use it to pre-record material.)
After effects processors were developed, the natural sound of a recording space was ignored by many new studios. The people who operated them depended on effects to create the sound they wanted. Today the trend is back toward good natural sounds, with less processing.