Read a great article about Jack White and his process for recording.

White is also an analog-tape loyalist, nostalgic for the days before the advent of DAWs. “You just didn’t have any choices to labor upon back then,” he laments. “When people say, ‘I like this guy’s record, but it’s overproduced,’ as a producer I think, ‘What does that mean, overproduced?’ I wouldn’t want someone to say that about my music, and I don’t even know what that word means. All I can think of as a synonym of that word is ‘opportunity.’ And that can be a bad thing for some people.”


That’s spot on.

Vance Powell, White’s engineer, put it this way:

To me, the biggest thing destroying modern music is that no one will make a ******* decision.

While the advent of the DAW and home recording is an amazing blessing, it can also be a curse.

Yes, we can do things we simply couldn’t do 30 years ago without spending major bucks.

But now we can get lost in the world of unlimited everything.

And the music suffers.

You wouldn’t write 10 extra verses for a song, so why would you record 10 extra takes of everything?

Record what you need.

Nothing more.

Don’t let this “opportunity” turn into a curse for you.

And speaking of opportunity, Dueling Mixes is a great place for you to get your hands on great recordings and focus on something that REALLY matters.

Like finishing mixes.

Get started here:

Joe Gilder
Home Studio Corner

One Response to “The Opportunity Curse”

  1. Danny

    Hi Joe
    While I agree with everything with this post, the modern feature laden DAW studio can stymie people for choice, it is human nature. I feel there is another “glass half full” viewpoint.
    I recorded for years with analogue four track tape machines, battling hiss and rumble, with just a couple of items of outboard gear and one mono compressor. I used horrid sequencers, naff sound modules with laughable user interfaces designed to send you blind that saved to floppy disks that jammed, a PA system for monitoring and “more leads than Led Zeppelin” when I was recording.
    I then moved on the early computer recording systems that were unreliable, stuttered, crashed regularly and had massive latency problems.
    While I can see the problem of having it too good and some people might be crippled and distracted by having too much choice, I just want to cry with joy everytime I fire up my magnificent modern seemingly unlimited studio. My productivity has gone through the roof. I can record fantastic quality, in a tenth of the time I used to take. I have recorded more songs this year than the previous thirty.
    I am not nostalgic one little bit for tangled tape, loosing all the highs on your drums when bouncing, trying to synch tape with MIDI gear (there goes one track!!), razor blade edits and 8 note polyphony.
    P.S. anyone want to buy a TEAC 3440 four track reel to reel, Yamaha QF5MD hard wired sequencer, Korg M1R, DBX compressor etc, all covered in blood, sweat and tears gathering dust under the house.
    Cheers and get to it everybody!!
    Danny from Tasmania


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