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The Piece of Gear that Actually DID Bring You Success?
Old 24th March 2019
  #1
Gear Nut
 

The Piece of Gear that Actually DID Bring You Success?

You've all seen it.

A well-meaning gearslut posts a thread asking for others' opinions about some sexy piece of gear he's after (and has never used) only to be greeted with a snide comment, "It doesn't matter what piece of gear you use, it's all about your ears, etc. etc."

While there is a lot of truth to such typical responses, I'd like to know if the reverse of this response has been true for anyone: You've lusted after a piece of boutique gear for years, you finally get it, and it is not only everything you'd hoped for but it actually was the catalyst/key to breaking through in your career in the music industry. Or at least took your game to the next level.

Could be a microphone, compressor, limiter, synth … you name it.

Cheers!

I/O
Old 24th March 2019
  #2
Gear Guru
 
drBill's Avatar
There have been several for me :

1980 - Prophet V - bumped me into some full tilt pro gigging / studio situations just by having that synth.

Mid 80's - U87 - I cut a ton of records on that mic. A real workhorse that said "pro studio".

Late 80's - MCI JH24 - the graduation to 2" was a turning point for the studio. Being totally "pro" opened a lot of doors.

Shortly Followed by : Timeline Lynx Synchronizers and a JVC 3/4" Video deck - these 2 items probably made me more money than anything else. And man were they expensive. Over $12k with the cabling.

Early 90's - D&R OrionX 120 inputs - Automated - nothing says "kick a$$" like a big console with lots of lights. Clients loved this.

1992 - PRO TOOLS - this was a paradigm game changer for me, and has influenced production in ways that can never be duplicated again I don't think.

2014 - drBill's mojo box - the Silver Bullet. I kid, but seriously, this box has changed my production life, and has taken me away from mixing on a console to mixing hybrid. And I'm loving it still.


Note - almost all of those were all "back in the day" when gear brought in business. At this point in time, I'm not sure we're playing on the same playing field. I'm no longer convinced that gear will bring in work these days. Thinking outside the box, and buying what makes you CREATIVE is what will change your paradigm.
Old 24th March 2019
  #3
Lives for gear
 
Silvertone's Avatar
Good advice at the end drBill.

I think every high end piece I ever bought was a game changer... for my ears. The better the quality of gear the easier it was to reproduce the source.

Monitors... I always went for the best ones I couldn’t afford. I was a bass player and drummer. I wanted to sit in the control room and have the best sounding bass rig... westlake BBSM12’s are what worked. Now it’s B&W’s.

Certainly all the mastering equipment I’ve owned over the last 29 years. Each piece has upped my game in one way or another.

It started with quality instruments from companies like Fender, Gretsch, Wurlitzer, etc...

I might also add that the pieces that did it for me changed over the years. In the 80’s it was MIDI and being able to lock all the synths, samplers and drum machines to tape via the Hybrid Arts SMPTE package running on an Otari 1040ST.

My MCI 1” 8 track and Ampex MM1200 2” 16 track were both game changers revealing sonics I was never able to get to tape before that.

My Neve BCM10 with it’s 1073’s, Flickinger 281, Trident 80B, Electrodyne ACC1204, Quad Eight Pacifica were all game changers. My Pultec EQ’s were real ear openers as well.

Now for me I’ve moved back in time even farther and found that 60 year old tube technology is what floats my boat. My Langevin 12x3 track console and Presto 3 track tube recorder along with Altec 9061A and Langevin 251 EQ’s are pretty special. While I’m hoping they might bring in business because they’re unique I’m not counting on it. I’m restoring and building this studio just as an experiment. I was just born when this equipment was bleeding edge technology. The records done on this type of equipment are some of my favorites. I want to experience it myself. From others reactions I know I am not alone.

The game gets changed while you play it. You can stop at any point in time and it is acceptable. Kind of neat when you think about it.
Old 24th March 2019
  #4
Gear Maniac
 

Back around 2001 I picked up a gates sta level. My partner and I scored a lot of gigs when people would bring their pro tools files from other studios to have us mix. We reamped the vocals through a amek 9098 into the gates. Just like that our mixes sounded better.
Old 24th March 2019
  #5
Lives for gear
Retro STA Level.
Old 24th March 2019
  #6
Lives for gear
 
Sigma's Avatar
my ears... lol look 96 tears was cut in a basement and it was a hit.. where my dad worked, "cameo parkway" label/studio bought the song ..
Old 24th March 2019
  #7
Gear Guru
 
jwh1192's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sigma View Post
my ears... lol look 96 tears was cut in a basement and it was a hit.. where my dad worked, "cameo parkway" label/studio bought the song ..
thats it !!! where can i buy a Basement !!!
Old 24th March 2019
  #8
1985/86 two Sony/MCI JH-24 2" machines when Sony reduced the price to $20,500 (a bargain at the time). Having 2 machines in a mobile truck was a big boost for my business.

1988 50-channel Neotek Elite console. This mixer has over 400,000 miles on it and continues to rock.

1990 Hardy M-1 preamps. I'm up to 12 channels. Early on, they were the most requested preamps by guest engineers.

200? Pro Tools HD3/Mac Pro tower. Getting Pro Tools was a big deal for my customers.
Old 25th March 2019
  #9
All of it. I was told in 1973, "too many mixers, not enough fixers". The tech guy always gets paid first too.

Now I'm hearing that line from that old 1970's Sci-Fi movie: "Why do you keep the old guy around"?
"Because he knows how to fix the MACHINES"!
Old 25th March 2019
  #10
Lives for gear
 
bgood's Avatar
I’m a session guy and songwriter, not really an engineer, but for me as a session guy it was getting in on digital and computers early... that and (don’t laugh) buying a rode nt2 (the original Neumann lawsuit one) and a silver dbx 576 comp/vocal strip... that setup allowed me to setup a pro level sounding jingle shop in my house in the 90s and kept me close to LA (and working)

But, I digress...

I just read an old studio build thread here where a cat in buffalo spent approximately one billion dollars on a Rod Gervais designed room... then tons of boxes from
Vintage king with ungodly amounts of gear... while reading the thing, I thought, where does a dude in buffalo come up on this sort of bread?

Guy was a ghost and out of biz in a year

So, if gear was some magic “success maker” there wouldn’t be any pawn shops so close to local 47 on Vine... just saying
Old 25th March 2019
  #11
Gear Guru
 
drBill's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by bgood View Post
So, if gear was some magic “success maker” there wouldn’t be any pawn shops so close to local 47 on Vine... just saying
have those pawn shops moved up to Burbank? Cause that's where Local 47 is now.... Vine is long gone....
Old 25th March 2019
  #12
Lives for gear
 
bgood's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by drBill View Post
have those pawn shops moved up to Burbank? Cause that's where Local 47 is now....
I don’t think that alters my point... but, yeah... they’re up there too smarty pants

So much had changed since I escaped Los Angeles lol
Old 25th March 2019
  #13
Gear Guru
 
drBill's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by bgood View Post
I don’t think that alters my point... but, yeah... they’re up there too smarty pants

So much had changed since I escaped Los Angeles lol

Cool. I escaped too!!!
Old 26th March 2019
  #14
In Chicago, we always welcomed new studios built by rich kids using daddy's money. We knew that, in a year, we could buy the gear for pennies on the dollar at the studio garage sale.

In one case, a rich kid studio owner got busted for drugs. His dad forced his kid to watch while he sold the gear for peanuts just to teach him a lesson. I bought two pristine Neumann KM-84s for $200 each, two like-new AKG C-414 for $300 each, and a bunch of beyerdynamic ribbon mics for $75 each.
Old 26th March 2019
  #15
Lives for gear
 
iangomes's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by bgood View Post
I’m a session guy and songwriter, not really an engineer, but for me as a session guy it was getting in on digital and computers early... that and (don’t laugh) buying a rode nt2 (the original Neumann lawsuit one) and a silver dbx 576 comp/vocal strip... that setup allowed me to setup a pro level sounding jingle shop in my house in the 90s and kept me close to LA (and working)

But, I digress...

I just read an old studio build thread here where a cat in buffalo spent approximately one billion dollars on a Rod Gervais designed room... then tons of boxes from
Vintage king with ungodly amounts of gear... while reading the thing, I thought, where does a dude in buffalo come up on this sort of bread?

Guy was a ghost and out of biz in a year

So, if gear was some magic “success maker” there wouldn’t be any pawn shops so close to local 47 on Vine... just saying

I think I know the thread you're talking about. He had a studio in his house with an insane amount of gear... everything you could ever want and more. I'm pretty sure he died suddenly... Did some research and his Dad owned a massive corporation, passed on by his grandfather.
Old 26th March 2019
  #16
Gear Guru
 
jwh1192's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by iangomes View Post
I think I know the thread you're talking about. He had a studio in his house with an insane amount of gear... everything you could ever want and more. I'm pretty sure he died suddenly... Did some research and his Dad owned a massive corporation, passed on by his grandfather.
when was this ?? i grew up in thr Falls .. well, not in them, near them ... ha
Old 26th March 2019
  #17
Gear Guru
 
henryrobinett's Avatar
For me, other than “guitar”, it would be 2 Millennia Quad pres. They were actually prototypes, so I could afford them! That got me a leg up! I used them to record my third CD, which was the first recording I did on my own. Yeah, I shouldn’t have but it got me going.

Next, I’m embarrassed to say, it was two Adats and a BRC.

After that my first DAW. DP, which is still my main DAW even though I have and use PT, Logic, and Ableton Live 10.

Last edited by henryrobinett; 26th March 2019 at 04:52 AM..
Old 26th March 2019
  #18
Lives for gear
 
bgood's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by iangomes View Post
I think I know the thread you're talking about. He had a studio in his house with an insane amount of gear... everything you could ever want and more. I'm pretty sure he died suddenly... Did some research and his Dad owned a massive corporation, passed on by his grandfather.
Wow, bummer... here’s the thread

My Rod Gervais Designed, RADAR equipped Home Studio Build....
Old 26th March 2019
  #19
Gear Maniac
probably getting my first pair of daking preamp/eqs and compressor/limiters

the other piece of gear that changed everything for me was a coles 4038 ribbon.

those pieces helped me realize i could get the sounds i was always hearing on records and had in my head.

they made it easier to focus on what really mattered...the music.
Old 26th March 2019
  #20
Gear Maniac
i should also mention that RADAR changed the game for me too.

it made me feel ok with recording digital.
Old 26th March 2019
  #21
Lives for gear
 
iangomes's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by jwh1192 View Post
when was this ?? i grew up in thr Falls .. well, not in them, near them ... ha
Wrong one! Sorry, I was talking about this one:

Ssl xl 9000k install
Old 26th March 2019
  #22
Old 26th March 2019
  #23
Gear Nut
Emu sp1200
Old 26th March 2019
  #24
Gear Addict
 
fred2bern's Avatar
Before working with Neumann M150s I thought I was making good sounding recordings...
Since they are on every cd production my clients say I make VERY good sounding recordings!

Before these tools it was like if I had a clean window between the artists and my monitors, today they are in front of me.

Fred
Old 26th March 2019
  #25
Lives for gear
 

If I think back to what working engineers told me generated business for them, it was almost always higher end monitors (that proved in use to enable faster work = more income per hour plus better results) or higher end mics (that they used for a BIG client and it sold the client on them or kept the client).

There is also a difference on whom you are talking about: engineers or studios. They would be quite different i should think. Studios might say a new room design, or console or main monitors.

Brad
Old 26th March 2019
  #26
Gear Guru
 
Brent Hahn's Avatar
 

I've never "had" one, but first time I did a session on a Neve I sat there thinking, "Well, sh!t. No wonder!"
Old 26th March 2019
  #27
Lives for gear
 

line 6 pod...original version...seriously!!!

I can't count how many records I did with that pea shaped thing.

Kemper now though

ej
Old 28th March 2019
  #28
UGP
Gear Nut
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by iangomes View Post
Wrong one! Sorry, I was talking about this one:

Ssl xl 9000k install
Yes he was perhaps the greatest gearslut of all time. I remember reading his unveiling of his wall of ‘Behringer’ gear. Also read he taught classes at a local college and would bring the students to his home at the end of the semester to mix on his gear. RIP.
Old 31st March 2019
  #29
Gear Nut
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by UGP View Post
Yes he was perhaps the greatest gearslut of all time. I remember reading his unveiling of his wall of ‘Behringer’ gear. Also read he taught classes at a local college and would bring the students to his home at the end of the semester to mix on his gear. RIP.
That thread is unbelievable. What the actual hell! And he died too. RIP.
Old 31st March 2019
  #30
Lives for gear
 
Plush's Avatar
Neve 5542 console

SADiE editor

Last edited by Plush; 31st March 2019 at 03:55 PM..
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