I was on the phone with a buddy yesterday.

He recently upgraded a bunch of gear in his studio. He got a new interface and a bunch of new plugins.

Here’s what he had to say:

“All this new gear is a blessing and a curse.”

Why a blessing?

Because he got some really quality stuff. Great gear is capable of making great-sounding recordings. (On the flip-side, really bad gear can actually damage the sound.)

Why a curse?

Because he now has to re-learn his equipment, and it can be a slow process.

Each piece of gear you own, whether it’s a microphone or a plugin, has its own distinctive sound.

One compressor might sound VEEEERY different from another one.

If you take the time to really learn the differences, you’ll be in an awesome position to really maximize that piece of equipment in your projects.

If, on the other hand, you’re an upgrade-a-holic, then you’re constantly getting something new. And chances are you use it a bit, think it sounds cool, then move on to the next upgrade.

The problem here is that you never actually get the most out of all that gear. Having 200 plugins at your disposal means you probably don’t know ANY of them very well.

The result? You jump around from one plugin to the next, desperately seeking a good sound, but never taking the time to really get to know any of ’em.

Learn one piece of gear inside and out before you move on to the next. That’s what I try to do. I use one particular plugin over and over until I know it REALLY well.

And when it comes to compression, it’s really hard to learn what a specific compressor sounds like if you don’t really know how to work the knobs.

That’s an easy fix. Go here for more:


Joe Gilder

  • The more gear you’re going to get the more mistakes you’re going to make.
    KISS – keep it simple stupid

  • Andrew

    New gear for me is a “temptation” (I never bought gear yet that I haven’t researched or don’t have any knowledge of…at least not yet LOL).

    Lately I’ve been tempted at buying an electric keyboard, but I toss back and forth on it because I feel I can make some/even most of the sounds I want in Logic with any of the virtual instruments built into the DAW.

    I don’t even know why people buy electric keyboards anymore when you can make almost any of the sounds in your DAW.

    I guess I like the “idea” of getting new gear, but in the end I know it’s just gear temptation.

    Question: Does anyone think electric keyboards (Not MIDI) may go extinct in STUDIOS one day (especially since sound designing has been the latest thing since plugins came out) or is it just me??? I find myself tossing my old electric keyboards in favor for my MIDI keyboard and Logic Pro.

    possibly just me.

    • Unfortunately, I’m inclined to agree. I’m there will be a small niche for electric keyboards, but when you can get the physical keys+hundreds of possibilites through your DAW, it’s just a hard temptation to resist.

      Maybe we’ll see the advent of cheaper ‘Workstation’ type machines with some kind of DAW integration?

    • Eh. They won’t go away until DAWs become really stable enough to pull off a live rig.

  • Haha, I relate 100% Joe. Sometimes more expensive requires more maintenance and time than something that will just do the job!

    • Yep. That’s why I’ll never own a tape machine. πŸ™‚