Call me a dork, but I watched an interesting documentary recently.

It’s called “Being Elmo,” and it documents the story of Kevin Clash, the man behind the cute little fur ball, and how he came to BE Elmo.

One thing that really stuck out to me was how driven Kevin was, even as a kid.

He longed for excellence.

He wanted to be the best.

To be a successful puppeteer, you need puppets, right? I never knew this, but a lot puppeteers actually design and build their own puppets.

Kevin worked painstakingly over these puppets. He would eagerly watch the pro’s like Jim Henson on “The Muppets Show,” trying to figure out their “secrets,” how they got their puppets to look so good.

Long story short, Kevin eventually met the people who made the puppets for “The Muppet Show” and “Sesame Street,” and he realized that they had access to materials he couldn’t get in his home town.

So did he give up? Call it quits? Get rid of his dream?

Of course not, silly.

Even though he had “inferior” equipment, Kevin focused the majority of his attention on how he USED that equipment. He put in hours and hours, learning how to take even his less-than-perfect puppets and bring them to life in a creative, engaging way.

He didn’t let a lack of GEAR get in the way of honing his skills and becoming one of the BEST in his field.

So, what does all this puppet talk have to do with you and your studio?

It begs the question: what’s holding you back?

Seriously, what stands between you and those better recordings you’re chasing after?

Is it REALLY the gear?

I don’t think the answer is that easy.

If YOU get better, your recordings will get better, no matter what gear you use.

That’s why I created Understanding EQ — — to help YOU get better, which will inevitably make your recordings better.

Here’s to making pro recordings with “inferior” equipment. πŸ™‚

Joe Gilder

7 Responses to “What Elmo Can Teach You About Recording”

  1. Xan

    I hate Elmo & buy some more gear, cause then you’ll sound better…! πŸ™‚

    Maybe one ov those expensive hardware based plugin hosts like the UAD 2+ is what you need…!

  2. Andrew

    Somewhat gear holds me back (I think a better word is “DELAY” my goal), but at the same time not really. For example, I wish I had some real trumpet sounds for my tracks but I don’t know anyone who is willing to record with me (musicians can be arrogant. Even if you ask some college ones or they can also be flakey), so instead I am going to buy a pocket trumpet (luckily my sister knows how to play the flute/ wind instruments and can either play the trumpet or teach me). Overall, will my tracks ever be how I exactly “envision”…No cuz I wish I had a pro trumpeter playing on my tracks then myself, but it will come close and get the job done and thus I am fine with that.

    I guess what I am trying to say is:

    “When life gives you lemons. Make lemonade”

    Stop envying the road your brother has and make the best of the road you were given.

    • Joe Gilder

      Absolutely. And the good news is, with technology as awesome as it is today, even our “lemons” aren’t all that bad. πŸ™‚


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