Near the beginning recording studios often lacked isolation booths, baffles, and sometimes even speakers. Designed for exist recording of a whole band or performance, they attempted rather to group musicians and singers than to split them.
With the opening of multi-track recording, it became possible to record instruments and singers independently and at different times on different tracks on tape. Therefore, the emphasis shifted to isolation and sound-proofing. In the 1960s, recordings were analog recordings made using ¼-inch or ½-inch eight-track magnetic tape. By the early 1970s, recordings progressed to using 1-inch or 2-inch 16- or 32-track equipment. Most modern recording studios now use digital recording equipment and the number of tracks is partial only by the capacity of the mixing console or computer.
General function computers are presumptuous a larger role in the recording process, being able to replace the mixing consoles, recorders, synthesizers, samplers and sound effects devices. A computer thusly outfitted is called a Digital Audio Workstation. Admired software packages for recording studios include Dig design Pro Tools, Cubage and Nuendo by Steinberg, Motu Digital Performer, Able ton Live and Apple Logic Pro. Apple Macintosh hardware tends to be favored in the recording organization, though much software is also available for Microsoft Windows and Linux. There are also devoted computers which integrate a recorder, preamps, effects, and a mixing console; these devices are also called DAWs.
A small, private recording studio is occasionally called a project studio. Such studios often provide to specific needs of an individual artist, or are used as a non-commercial hobby. The first modern project studios came into being during the late 1980s, with the start of reasonable multitask recorders, synthesizers and microphones. The phenomenon has flourished with falling prices, MIDI equipment, and inexpensive digital hard-disk recording solutions.