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We were well into the home studio boom by 2000. We'd had reasonably affordable studio gear for about a decade prior (ADAT decks, Mackie desks, the new wave of Chinese condensers) but Cubase VST came out in 1996, which really marked the beginning of the end. At about the same time, we got the first wave of digital portastudios, which killed the demo studio pretty much overnight - for the price of a week in a cheap studio, you could buy a little box with 8 tracks of digital recording and some basic effects.
I suppose it's essentially a good thing that recording was democratised, but it coincided with a lot of shitty and undemocratic changes in music. John Peel died in 2004, which was a great loss to music and marked the end of an era. Myspace and Napster were supposed to democratise the distribution of music, but the opposite really happened - unless you've got a trust fund, it's very hard to break through the noise and find an audience. A&R men started trusting follower counts more than their own judgement. Development deals died and the majors started expecting new acts to bring their own fan base. Small venues started going pay-to-play, pricing a lot of artists out of the opportunity to build an audience by playing live. The old system was unfair and arbitrary, but at least you had a chance.