What Lie Is Holding Your Music Back?

2013 May 27, 2013

We all listen to (and believe) lies every day. Specifically in the audio world we hear a constant barrage of recording myths that are spread around so thick and so often that we come to accept them as truth. For whatever reason I find it part of my calling in life to refute the myths, elevate the truth about recording and mixing, and encourage people like you to actually get out there and make some killer music!


Via Cat Branchman

But Something Is Holding You Back

I can tell from my recent low cost, one microphone challenge that many people are still struggling with myths and lies. Are you? Something might still be holding you back from actually making music. Do you still feel that you are the exception? That everyone else is making great music but your situation prohibits you from experiencing great productivity and quality in your studio?
Let me share just a handful of the “lies” I’m hearing people say about why they couldn’t do what I just did in last week’s video challenge explaining why they couldn’t actually go out there and make great recordings and mixes with affordable gear.

Lie #1: You Need Some Magic Mixing Technique

Some of the YouTube comments I received about the video insisted that I was doing something sneaky in the mixing phase to get the tracks to sound the way they did. I can assure you there was absolutely nothing fishy happening in post processing. I was limited to 16 tracks, a handful of plugins, and my headphones. In fact all I used was EQ, compression, delay, reverb, and distortion. Don’t you have those effects? I thought so.

Lie #2: Graham’s Room Is Acoustically Treated. Mine Is Not. End Of Story.

I hate to break it to these people, but as much as I think there’s a big case to be made for acoustic treatment, if I had recorded this track in an untreated room it would have turned out practically identical. Why? I used close mic technique on everything, even the drums. For years I recorded albums in an untreated 1950s apartment on the side of a busy highway without any sonic issues. You can do the same.

Lie #3: This Is Just A Fluke. You Can’t Get Good Recordings With Budget Gear.

This is just denial setting in. I think at our core, we have a hard time suppressing our own brand snobbery. We like to believe that more expensive gear always results in better sounding tracks. Why? Because it’s fun to own expensive gear. And if we buy expensive gear we must justify it somehow, like by spreading and believing the lie that budget gear can’t compete.

The problem with this lie simply put is: it doesn’t help anyone. Whether you own expensive gear or affordable gear, enjoy what you have and go make great music. The point of all of this is that it doesn’t take a lot of money to make pro sounding tracks anymore.

The Truth Of The Matter

Do you still need a great song? Yes. Do you still need talented performers? Yes. Do you still need solid recording and mix technique? You bet! But the equipment variable is not the issue anymore. It’s true, and you know it!

So just embrace it. Let it liberate you to actually have fun and the music you’re burning to make. Stop making excuses. Stop believing the lies that float around on the web. Start trying things for yourself and see what you’re actually capable of if you allow yourself the freedom to create.

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