Here's an honest and valuable opinion on the matter:
"I have been a musician and have been around musicians most of my life. About 10 years ago I got into home audio/video as a hobby and purchased thousands of dollars worth of gear. In those ten years the most important thing I've learned is this: All the computers, software, toys, etc. are just tools. Buying all this "stuff" has no more made me an audio engineer than buying the same golf clubs that Tiger uses would put me on the PGA tour. All of the technology and toys are just tools. It's the artist and craftsman behind those tools that makes a great sound. The true value of a professional studio is the people there who make a living doing what they do for a reason. They're good at it."
Sometimes, we feel that it is simple to buy the equipment and start recording ourselves. However, the industry will notice the lack of quality in the sound when compared to the main stream artist who are out. Buying the same gear as Tiger Woods won't make you play as well as Tiger Woods and buying the same gear as a professional studio won't make your sound turn out the same as a professional studio. A professional studio has years of experience and expertise on how to work the equipment as well as how to create the industry standard sound. The artist can focus on building themselves as an artist and perfecting their craft, while the studio can handle bringing out the best sound of the artist and creating a finished product that is radio ready.