“Great engineers use great gear.”

Absolutely true.

But that statement is PACKED, and far too often people will interpret it completely wrong.

Completely. Wrong.

See, there’s a difference between correlation and causation, between similarities and the actual causes.

Take this statement, for example:

“All people who own cigarette lighters are more likely to have lung cancer.”

Okay, so that’s probably true, but the cigarette lighters aren’t the cause of the cancer. The cigarettes are. People who smoke cigarettes HAPPEN to also own cigarette lighters.

The top recording engineers use great, quality gear. HOWEVER (and I think this is a huge point we must all understand), you need to be careful to not confuse correlation with causation.

It goes like this:

  1. Great engineers use great equipment.
  2. I use cheaper equipment.
  3. If I own great equipment, my recordings will sound like a great engineer’s recording.

Easy there, turbo.

Great gear is NOT the cause of great recordings, just like a great typewriter is not responsible for a great book.

I “preach” on this a lot because it’s that important. Heck, I’m just as susceptible to gear acquisition syndrome as the next guy. (And living in Nashville doesn’t help. Have you seen Nashville’s music instrument page on Craigslist? It’s like a friggin’ candy store.)

So I’ll stay on my soapbox. I want both you AND me to focus on the right things and forget about the rest, tempting as it may be.

You with me?

Joe Gilder
Home Studio Corner

P.S. You’ve still got time to knock out a mix of this month’s song over at Dueling Mixes. If you haven’t signed up yet, you just might be missing out on one of the best ways to a. have fun and b. get better at mixing.

No fancy gear required.