Jason sent in a question via the Ask Joe form that I thought would be a great topic of conversation here on HSC.

Jason wrote:

My question is this…I have a Tascam DP-02 multi-track recorder, a pair of KRK studio monitors, and a mixing board. Is it possible to get a good demo out of this equipment?

This is a valid question, and it’s one I get asked quite a bit. Chances are it’s a question you have asked, too. So let’s talk about it.

Essentially, we’re asking:

“What does it take to make good recordings?”

This was at the heart of what we looked at during 31 Days to Better Recordings.

Getting good recordings is a massive topic. As of today I’ve written 368 posts on the topic…and I feel like I’m just beginning to scratch the surface.

However, as complex as a question like this might be, the answer is still fairly simple. Last week I discussed this in an interview I did with Graham from (I actually did a BUNCH of interviews last week…more on that later.)

Graham and I talked about how good equipment is certainly essential to great recordings, but good technique trumps equipment every time.

This is not a new concept. This is something you’ve probably heard before (and it’s something we all need to hear regularly). You could put the best engineer in the world behind a Tascam DP-02 and a pair of KRKs, and he would make an AMAZING-sounding record.

On the flip-side, you could put an absolute beginner in front of a huge SSL console in a multi-million-dollar facility, and he would probably produce something mediocre at best.

The key to making good recordings has very little to do with what equipment you’re using. What you DO with the gear makes all the difference.

Don’t get me wrong, there is a certain threshold of quality that your equipment needs to meet in order to have any hope of a decent recording. No one really expects you to make award-winning recordings using the built-in microphone on your laptop.

That being said, almost any recording equipment you buy today can produce great recordings. Tascam DP-02? Yep.

It has become more and more inexpensive to create great-sounding equipment that even a $100 piece of gear can sound pretty stinkin’ good.

So next time you blame your equipment for you crappy recordings, take a step back and ask yourself if there’s even a TINY chance that it’s you that needs to improve, not your gear.

[Photo by Ranch Records]