When it comes to mixing, how much emphasis do you place on certain pieces of gear to get you the sounds you're looking for. Do you find yourself looking to borrow or rent pieces or do you just work with the materials at hand?
The gear is important in the sense that it provides a comfort level and familarity. But its no more important than you own "gear", your ears, your musicality, your sensitivity to the music.
A number of years ago I had the pleasure of working with Glyn Johns who began making records before I was even born! He exemplified the true gift of a mixer. He worked in good rooms with good players of course, but rarely did he use outboard gear and effects. He was extremely modest in those departments. He had however a uncanny knack of just throwing up a mix in a minute and it would sound jaw dropingly good. He then pull it down and put up another balance, slightly different , but equally compelling.
It was all about balance and he was a master at it. So if you find yourself thinking about the gear all the time, then take a breath and listen to the music, if you listen closely, you will find your answer.
Kevin, can I use that reply next time I get asked this question? Thats the best response to the whole gear thing that I have ever heard.
Thanks. It also reminded me of another Glyn story. At the AES show in San Francisco a number of years ago , a very eager music fan approached Glyn with intense rapture. "Glyn, Glyn have you heard the new Roland XYZP !!!!!!?" To which Glyn responded. ( In an educated British accent ) " My dear boy, if I turn a knob and a great sound comes out, then that is a great knob !".