Budget Gear, Doubters, And My Weird Way Of Seeing The Home Studio

2014 Oct 13, 2014

Can you really get a pro sounding recording with budget gear? Or are we simply lying to ourselves – trying to feel better about our budget or our purchases?

These are very important questions that I try and answer each and every week here at TRR.

You see, I’m on a mission to share my weird way of viewing the home studio and the bedroom producer with the world, but along the way I get some pushback, whether gentle or hard, and it always causes me to reflect on why I do what I do.


Via Marcel Grieder Flickr

Do You Really Believe This Stuff Graham?

The other day I was having coffee with one of my friends Jeremy. He’s a super talented engineer in his own right, and recently launched an audio blog of his own called Studio Skills – check it out.

In just about every area of home recording and mixing, he and I agree.

He’s all about improving your craft, not buying more gear to solve your problems. He understands that training your ears (which simply takes time and practice) is where results stem from.

One main area where we differ, however, is that he owns some much more expensive equipment than I do, even though I could afford the same stuff myself.

So during our little chat he finally came out with a question that I get a lot: “Do really believe all this budget gear stuff, or is it all an act, for the sake of the blog?”

The Blog Reflects Me, Not The Other Way Around

I guess the thought is (in some people’s minds) that I write this blog to appeal to a certain demographic and merely tell them “what they want to hear” that budget gear is acceptable and not to worry about buying the stuff they can’t afford.

And then in turn, I try and “live what I preach” so that people trust me.

The truth is actually the exact opposite!

I started The Recording Revolution because I was sick of all the other websites, forums, and magazines that promoted myth upon myth about what it takes to get a great recording. I’m not a reflection of what I write in this blog. What I write in this blog is a reflection of who I really am and how I really think.

I Get Some Sick Pleasure Out Of This

I’ve never bought into the hype about gear – and in fact I’ve always held a very weird view regarding budget stuff.

You see, if I can get a great recording with a $100 microphone (like one of my all time favorites – the Behringer B1), why would I want to use a $400 microphone? In the end they will both sound just as good, only one will have cost me four times as much!

That kind of thing kills me.

So much so that I get some sick pleasure out of churning out great recordings and mixes with super affordable stuff. It’s just the way that I’m wired.

You see – I don’t use affordable gear just to save money, I am motivated by something deeper – the drive to do pro work with as little as possible – because these days you can!

Nothing Wrong With Enjoying Nice Things

Now please don’t misunderstand me. There is absolutely nothing wrong with saving up and paying cash for some nice things in your studio. I own some nice third party plugins that I really enjoy the sound of. I even recently purchased a legit (and expensive) custom built desk for my new studio.

But – I don’t for a second think those things give me pro results. They are just fun.

Remember, I’m a crazy person. I don’t like knowing that I could get the same results with more affordable gear – it drives me bonkers. So I tend to stick with typical budget stuff when it comes to microphones, interfaces, monitors, preamps, you name it.

The Same Message Over And Over

It’s just the way I’m wired. And that is why The Recording Revolution continues to preach the same message over and over – because I believe it is true. And I know it will help set you free in your musical endeavors.

None of this is an act. I live and breathe this stuff as a home studio guy myself.

If you aren’t good with that, there are thousands of other websites out there that’ll tell you what you want to hear (that expensive gear is the solution). I won’t be sad if you leave and hang out somewhere else.

But if you’re all about getting the absolute most out of your affordable home studio setup, then you my friend are in the right place! 

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