Remember last week how I advised you on how to spend your Christmas cash?

I told you to buy stuff that will help you create rather than re-buying slightly better versions of stuff you already have. Remember?


I was over at Nashville Used Music this week buying strings for the Brandon Heath concert tonight. I’ve still got some Christmas money to spend (my family sends it early…haha), so I browsed around for a few minutes.

I’ve been saying I want a Rode NT1A for a while. It’s just a good, inexpensive condenser mic, and they had a couple of used ones for around $100. I alllllmost bought one, but I heard my own voice in the back of my head saying, “You already have am inexpensive large-diaphragm condenser. Yes, it sometimes has a bit of a short in it, but if you smack it a few times the buzz goes away. This mic will sound pretty much the same as that one. You would just be slightly upgrading something you already have, and it won’t really help you create more music.”

Stupid voice.

So I walked around a bit and ended up finding this old Tech 21 guitar amp. I’m a big fan of their amp emulator pedals, and I had been seriously considering picking up another one (I already own the Fender one).

This was a little 10” solid-state combo amp with their built-in amp emulations right on the amp. It has three very different amp sounds, a great-sounding spring reverb chamber, and it’s nice and quiet (don’t forget I have 6-month-old twins).

It was around $135, and I snatched it up.

And? Now I have a cheap little amp that gives me 3 very different tones that I can’t get out of my Vox tube amp.

Will it be my go-to amp? Nope.

Will I use it on recordings when I need a different tone than my Vox is giving me? Abso-freaking-lutely.

I’m glad I took my own advice.

It makes me play guitar more, which makes me create music more, which is the whole point. Who cares if you have a new mic if you don’t have any songs to record, right?

Anyway, I do have one other recommendation for how to spend your Christmas cash. Maybe you’ve got plenty of decent gear, and you just need to learn how to take advantage of it to get stellar recordings and mixes.

I can help you there.

And if you buy one of my tutorials right now, you’ll get another one for free.

Big end-of-the-year sale awesomeness happening right here:

Have fun!

Joe Gilder
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