Basic Music Math

Artist with major label contract sells 100,000 albums @ $15, gets $1 per disc* = $100,000
Independent Artist sells 10,000 albums @ $15, gets $10 per disc = $100,000

Granted it takes a lot of touring and sweat and word of mouth for an independent artist to sell 10,000 albums, but if you are truly an excellent, original act that electrifies people at every show, you can do it. For a generic band with a big marketing push from a major label, 100,000 copies isn’t all that hard to do, and even then it’s unlikely you control your publishing (royalties), and the $100,000 you made still has to go back to the label to recoup your advance and your recording costs (subtract $50,000 and do not pass go).

Fortunately, ProTools allows any musician the ability to produce a decent-sounding album. Which is ironic, given that ProTools also allows people like Ashlee Simpson to have their pitchy vocals corrected. For everything you gain, you lose something.

* Best case scenario, given standard industry rates.