Everyone feels less than.
I feel insecure all the time. Are people going to expose me? Am I a fraud? Am I going to jail? Okay maybe not the last point. And I know I’m not alone. Many artists hit me up asking me what equipment they should use and there’s nothing wrong with that but the thing is there are different mics for different types of voices, different preamps which give different sounds. Sure high end recording gear is better than low end gear, but they are merely starting points. As long as you’re not recording through a computer mic (PLEASE NO COMPUTER MICS GUYS!) you should be okay. But you’re probably not one of these people if you’re reading this – you’re an insecure audiophile, afraid of what some guy on some music forum is going to think of your gear. Forget that person. He’s nothing. He focused so much on what gear he doesn’t have that he forgot to make a good song and has resorted to trolling music forums to bring you down to his level. Screw him!
If there’s one thing I want you to take from my blog is this: Never let anyone make you feel less than because you use a $100 preamp and a $150 dollar microphone. This “cheap gear” is just a stepping stone. Once you master this equipment, and you’re progressing as an artist, by all means invest in more expensive stuff. It’s how everyone started. You should never let your lack of great gear stop you from recording, because guess what your best music has yet to be made. It’s a process and you can always get better gear as long as you stay in the game.
Think of it this way, The Beatles, which are arguably the greatest band in the history of the world, made all their early hits on gear that pales in comparison to what you have on your dinky computer. They didn’t record on computers where they could go back and fix a track with a click of the mouse, they recorded on freakin’ tape. Tape! And songs had to be physically “cut” and “sewn” together. Recording was an insanely expensive undertaking and you had to have the funding of a major label in order to do it. Now you can go to the local music store and drop $500 and you’d be off to a good start, certainly much better than where The Beatles were.
Besides, I’ve always felt having the best equipment is a curse as it hinders creativity. I know many artists that get intimated by the big fancy mixing boards and vocal booths. It is no wonder that many of the best songs are recorded in very random set ups and at the most random times. I believe this is called serendipity and it is when you just let the magic happen rather than force the magic to happen (as it probably wont). For example, imagine booking a high end studio for $400 an hour and try to come up with a hit record. The pressure would be so intense, you’d probably croak, I know I would. I would rather much prefer to work at my own pace in a place I am extremely comfortable with. This is how hits are made!
The majority of hits are created in “bedroom studios”. It’s just that when they do become hits, the record label spins it to make you believe that it was recorded in some high end studio in some exotic local. Juicy J had a number one hit that was recorded in some lady’s kitchen on a $200 mic. In 2013 and going forward, you don’t need expensive studio equipment to record a hit, all you need to is to keep recording on whatever you have until you get it right. Now go out and get it right!