I often think that i'd like to write a full dissertation on the subject of direct in recording and the perils of recording sound that has never existed in the physical world as we know it. Every single time you hear a part of a song that's been recorded using DI (direct in), that sound is being heard for the first time over and over again. It wasn't played into a speaker and it wasn't created by a human voice or "instrument", but instead it was created inside a machine and delivered into the recording system directly.
As I explore the physics and space of recording techniques and the reproduction of recordings via physical or digital media I wonder if we don't give enough thought to the sounds we're putting together to create a track. Piling DI track on top of DI track makes for a track with no reverberation or delay. Engineers across the world get around this by modelling reverb/delay/saturation through plugins and rack effects to create a space for the track that emulates the physical world. It's often transparent in them doing so. To be clear, I am one of these engineers.
As we go further and further into bedroom recordings, modelling technology and the constant and never ending search to deliver our idea of quality by recording and editing on machines and midi syncing the sounds while the artist is playing to metronomes, I believe the market will correct and we as consumers will start to understand that we already had the answer. Attributes such as the feel of a song provided by tempo fluctuations due to excitement or sadness and the varying dynamics of a track when an artist plays harder and softer will again become what makes us feel the emotion of the music we're listening to.
All a person has to do is read about labels and watch a film about music to know record labels are the devil. The worst part is that most of the people running them don't even know they are. They probably start of thinking of themselves as a music enthusiast or an audiophile. If they're anything like me at all they probably haven't run the numbers yet. They're probably thinking "It's just an independent record label. I love music. I'll never take advantage of an artist like those majors do. I'll do a 50/50 split and it'll all be gravy". I'd like to show you what the numbers can look like on a 50/50 royalty split with an independent record label if you print and sell 300 records in two different scenarios.