Like many of you, I’m in the process of doing a few upgrades in my studio.
Whenever I’m looking to buy a new piece of equipment or upgrade an existing piece of equipment, I try to ask one simple question: What will help me make better recordings?
My goal isn’t to marginally improve the recordings. Rather, I’m looking for holes in my system. I’m looking for weak links.
For example, I don’t currently have an guitar amps for clients to use. Instead, I’ve been using a pretty killer amp simulator pedal, but still don’t have an actual amp. So, a good amp would definitely improve guitar recordings.
Also, I’m working on upgrading my cabling. It’s not a sexy upgrade, but it makes a noticeable difference. (More on that in a future article.)
Another deciding factor when I’m buying gear is whether or not the gear is “digital” or “analog.”
Buying software, plug-ins, computers, is a lot of fun, and I have nothing against those things, but software inevitably has to be updated. Computers will eventually be too slow…or will simply die.
You know what lasts a lot longer and will work with any recording system? Good, analog equipment.
Examples of good analog equipment:
• preamps/channel strips
• summing mixers
• acoustic treatment
• studio monitors, monitor controllers, headphones
• guitar pedals/direct boxes
• guitars (and other instruments), amps
The following don’t qualify:
• audio interfaces
• AD/DA converters
• DAW software
• plugins/virtual instruments
• MIDI controllers
You’ll find that the list of analog gear can easily outnumber the list of digital. But aren’t we all guilty of drooling over the latest piece of software? The latest audio interface?