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Is expensive gear still worth it?
Old 5th September 2019
  #1
Lives for gear
 

Is expensive gear still worth it?

Or is it just a bunch of big name and people trying to justify there expensive purchases. A kind of gear "placebo" effect if you will. From shootouts it is often hard to really find a justification to spend so much on gear. I am sure this kind of question has been asked in the past but nowadays is it still worthwhile spending 2000$ on preamps and 3000$ on microphones? Or can good music be recorded just as professionally on a budget so long as you are working in a decent room and with a decent mix engineer?
Old 5th September 2019
  #2
Lives for gear
The short answer is, good music can be recorded, arranged and produced on a very small budget.

Another answer is, expensive gear yields better results if you know what you're doing. I think talent and understanding your tools and equipment beats out buying expensive gear, but you don't have to spend a lot to make great sounding music. If you have the money, by all means spend it, or invest in high-end gear. If you can't afford it, why put yourself through the unneeded suffering and sacrifice?

This topic comes up a lot, in various forms, ever so often, and honestly, if you're not careful, you can be crucified for it lol. Is there a placebo effect involved with high-end gear? Perhaps. There's certainly such a thing as confirmation bias.

Personally, I think investing in a few specialised high-end products that excel at their purpose isn't a bad investment. If you can't afford it, then don't make it a priority, but it's something that should definitely be considered in the long-term. From what I've heard about the Silver bullet from Louder Than Liftoff, I'm more than curious to hear what it can do for my mixes.

Then there's this thing called diminishing returns. After a certain point, things really don't sound that much better. But guys in the premium market will trumpet that, that extra 5% that really defines a premium sound and premium product costs $5000 more, and is justified. I really wouldn't know, because I don't own any high-end gear.
Old 5th September 2019
  #3
Gear Maniac
 

it's worth it for a lot of people. that's why there are so many companies and products at the high end. the market has spoken.

the big win is not having to spend $250,000 or more on a console... not to mention the monthly power bill large format analog consoles generate. get some nice outboard for tracking, some nice monitors, some nice converters, and let the DAW handle the rest of the details.
Old 5th September 2019
  #4
Lives for gear
 

Perhaps we should remember the fact that one size, type, flavor, style of anything will never be a universal fit for everyone. A lot of decent live FOH performances have been produced with an analog A&H Mixwizard desk and SM58 & 57 mics. This is particularly true in garage band scenarios when hot back lines are involved. For many reasons, not the least of which is the amount of available harmonic content, acoustic music will benefit more with better gear. I am a long term veteran of the acoustic Americana world and work with 6 tube mics and Digigrid /LV1 processing with a PreSonus Studio One 4.5 DAW that has a collective replacement value in the 30K range. Over the past 50 years I have been involved with a lot of great music and recordings with much less valuable gear however I have absolutely no interest in returning to those days for any reason: it is about sonic quality, not the price tag.
Hugh

Last edited by hughshouse; 8th September 2019 at 11:49 AM..
Old 5th September 2019
  #5
Gear Head
Sound quality will be debated and is subjective blah blah blah.

An objective thing to consider is the reliability of gear that gets used 16-20 hours a day, 7-days a week. Design of power supplies, heat sinks, etc...

This is usually why in broadcast most standard gear is expensive. However the trade off is they will run reliably 24/7/365 and if there is a fault it can easily be repaired.

There is budget gear that can be used to make great sounds but if they break they are destined for the landfill.
Old 5th September 2019
  #6
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by attaboy_jhb View Post
Or is it just a bunch of big name and people trying to justify there expensive purchases. A kind of gear "placebo" effect if you will. From shootouts it is often hard to really find a justification to spend so much on gear. I am sure this kind of question has been asked in the past but nowadays is it still worthwhile spending 2000$ on preamps and 3000$ on microphones? Or can good music be recorded just as professionally on a budget so long as you are working in a decent room and with a decent mix engineer?
As long as people want to keep making albums like Thriller, The Wall, Back in Black, Hysteria, Purple Rain, Slippery When Wet, Ten, Bat Out Of Hell......yes, you can't record albums like these in your basement with a 57 and an M-Box.
Old 5th September 2019
  #7
Gear Head
 
ericreid's Avatar
 

It matters.. recoding with crappy gear makes everything harder and take longer. Its hard to get a sub par vocal track to fit in any mix. It can be done but i don't have time for such things anymore. Track your vocals with a vintage 1073 and a sony800G (insert high end pre and mic of your choice ) All you'll really have to do is balance them in the mix (maybe a little compression) and its usual good to go. A huge time saver if you do this as much as i do. No you don't need a LA2A to make good electronic music, and you don't have to rush out to by the best gear right away. Let your outboard grow with your needs. If you don't need it, you don't need it. But it does matter
Old 5th September 2019
  #8
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Samc View Post
......yes, you can't record albums like these in your basement with a 57 and an M-Box.
Ok but hang on a sec. I didn't say Recording on an m-box in the basement. I was interested if you really REALLY need the high end stuff?
Old 5th September 2019
  #9
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by ericreid View Post
Its hard to get a sub par vocal track to fit in any mix. It can be done but i don't have time for such things anymore. Track your vocals with a vintage 1073 and a sony800G (insert high end pre and mic of your choice ) All you'll really have to do is balance them in the mix (maybe a little compression) and its usual good to go.
Why? Why would better gear make something sit better in the mix? the frequencies are the same. I can understand why a room might make things sit better in the mix but not gear. What does a high end pre and high end mic do to music that makes it sit better in the mix? Automatically cut the right frequencies from each? Sounds a bit hard to beleive IMO.
Old 5th September 2019
  #10
Lives for gear
 
Crazy4Jazz's Avatar
 

If you have to ask probably not.
Old 5th September 2019
  #11
Gear Head
 
ericreid's Avatar
 

Better power supplies and components, cleaner signal, harmonic saturation, Voodo..idk it just does. I spend 1/3 of time mixing drums or any other instrument for that matter when i mic and record them with quality gear as apposed to the clients tracks. Having an amazing room is a given. Thats where you start and acquire the gear as you go. Mic placement and gain staging is the next level to master. Everyone of these are equally as important to the next imo
Old 5th September 2019
  #12
Lives for gear
It depends. Are you a pro or semi-pro that needs gear to last longer? Then build quality should be a concern. Are you after a specific niche sound? What about warranty and support, is that important to you? If so you will typically have to pay more for those things.

Are you a weekend warrior? Are you ok with "good enough"? Then you probably won't go looking for the expensive stuff anyway unless you have the money to spend. My personal rule of thumb is never to purchase gear on credit. That's a fool's errand.

Funny story. A friend of my wife asked her if I wanted some microphones she had. Of course, I got all excited and was hoping for a closet classic (U47, U67, C12, etc). When my wife handed them to me there two Realistic Highball-2 mics Ok, so these things are crap. You can get them on eBay for $5.00.

Can someone record with them? Yes. Can an argument be made "Why spend $100 on a SM57 when you can get a Realistic Highball-2 for $5.00?" Sure, but personally I would piss my pants from laughing so hard at the person who actually believes this. It's all relative though.

That being said to me "Better" does not always equal more expensive. But I have been through enough crap gear to realize that sometimes you do have to pay more for better.
Old 5th September 2019
  #13
Gear Head
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by attaboy_jhb View Post
Or is it just a bunch of big name and people trying to justify there expensive purchases. A kind of gear "placebo" effect if you will. From shootouts it is often hard to really find a justification to spend so much on gear. I am sure this kind of question has been asked in the past but nowadays is it still worthwhile spending 2000$ on preamps and 3000$ on microphones? Or can good music be recorded just as professionally on a budget so long as you are working in a decent room and with a decent mix engineer?
I think there is more expensive gear which does lead to superior sound. Some expensive gear is overpriced. Some inexpensive gear is also overpriced. Some recording gear is objectively/subjectively better than other. Paying more for something is no guarantee that is will sound or function better for your needs.

That out of the way… Getting the right gear or exactly what you want is still important. Making informed choices is still important. Getting things right at the source is still important. Having a good, versatile toolset is still important. The problem I often see with younger engineers and people recording at their home/space is that they are fighting their gear. They don't have the right tools or techniques for the job at hand. Can't really fault them; budgets are limited and it's a hobby/passion. Many try to compensate for this by piling the effects on. When you use the right tools and techniques, things fall into place much more easily. Buy the right mic and pre and you don't need fancy plugins to make things sound good/acceptable. For some people, a good vocal mic is only $300. For some people, the right mic costs thousands. It depends on the sound you are after, what complements the vocalist and knowing realistic expectations of your recordings. At the same time, it doesn't make sense for most people to have a vocal mic at home which cost more than the car they drive.

An example: I bought Neumann NDH20 headphones. My friend, who is a musician, thought it was a little crazy to spend that much on a set of headphones. I have had them for a few months now and I don't regret buying them. They have great sound quality and isolation. That's great for engineering duties and tracking duties. This improves mixes, editing, and listening enjoyment. But good monitors also influence my performances. With drums in particular, it was hard to get a good representation of what was going on. Some headphones were too quiet. Some were open back. Some had poor sound quality. I have a shelf full of headphones and none were really great for tracking drums. It was often a struggle to hear what was going on, which influenced my performances. The NDH20s stand well above my other headphones in sound quality and isolation. Better performances mean there's much less to fix down the line and the drums I track sit much better. So yeah, absolutely, sometimes spending more does get you where you need to be and that can affect the end result immensely.
Old 5th September 2019
  #14
Lives for gear
 
norfolk martin's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by sirpunkly View Post
Sound quality will be debated and is subjective blah blah blah.

An objective thing to consider is the reliability of gear that gets used 16-20 hours a day, 7-days a week. Design of power supplies, heat sinks, etc...

This is usually why in broadcast most standard gear is expensive. However the trade off is they will run reliably 24/7/365 and if there is a fault it can easily be repaired.

There is budget gear that can be used to make great sounds but if they break they are destined for the landfill.
That’s a complex question. In objective terms it depends a lot on what you are using it for.

By example as sirpunkly notes, expensive gear is generally more reliable. But do you need that reliability? Assume that:

Cheap Processor A has an MTBF (mean time between failure) of 2000 hours
Expensive processor B has an MTBF of 20,000 hours.

If you are a musician/hobbyist working in a home studio, and using the processer A for, say five hours a week, it will go a little less than eight years without a failure on average. B will go for about 80 years without a failure. In terms of reliability, B is probably not worth the increase in cost in the home studio

If processor A is in a heavily used studio, and running for 50 hours a week, It will fail on average, every 9 months. Therefore B is worth it in the heavily used studio.

Ditto, the price to performance curve is exponential in shape. To get the last 10 % in quality may cost 10 times what it cost to get to the 90% point.
But do you need the last 10% in say, noise floor if you’re in a home studio with audible heating/cooling ducts that hisses. Do you need the incredible subtly of a very expensive pre-amp or mic if you are not recording in a good-sounding professional room? Would you be better off spending the money on room treatment?
Old 5th September 2019
  #15
Lives for gear
 

High cost and high quality are two totally different things. Granted, you may "hope" the two run parallel to each other as cost goes up so does the quality.
having ben an electronic tech for 50+ years I can day right off that's a really stupid method of determining quality.

Its no different then saying something has to be good because its popular.
Sure it might be a great bang for the buck, or it may simply be good marketing that targets the people most likely to buy that gear.

The real facts is, Audio engineering is a very narrow profession and super narrow when it comes to people actually earning a living and ultra narrow when it comes to being successful. The truth is Digital has dramatically narrowed the distance between low cost and high quality. Back in the Day you might have needed to spend 100K while also beg borrow and stealing just to get enough quality gear together to become a player. Today, you can easily match the quality of that gear with maybe a grand or two and a decent computer.

What you cant buy at any price is the experience to use that gear and this is where pros in the business have the beginners beat.
If you don't put in the time to gain the experience needed to do the work properly its unlikely you'll be able to produce consistent quality recordings. Consistent being the key word here. One hit wonders obtained through pure luck isn't the same thing as being able to bang out high quality recordings on everything you do.

The biggest cost reducer was the DAW program. For the cost of a couple hundred dollars or so you can have access to nearly everything contained in a vintage multi million dollar studio. Its just as powerful too, even more so in many ways. An Analog studio is limited to the recording tracks the tape has before you have to start bounding tracks. With a DAW its just a matter of computing power. If you spend the right kind of money even that's not much of an issue.

There are still things like how many channels the interface has, quality of your front end gear, mics, preamps or any hardware you may use but there is no need to buy a huge bulky console to do all that work when a computer has a digital console built for mixing. In fact once the music is digitized its better to keep the data binary until the recording is done being mixed and mastered and ready for distribution. Most people buy music on line anyway so why take the losses converting back to analog - Because that's the way it used to be done?

What you have to discover is what is actually obsolete and redundant vs what is absolutely important and necessary. Many things I read on sites like this are far behind reality when it comes to getting quality recording. Gear cost is one of the biggest but we all have to deal with sales people who will say anything to you to make a buck.
Old 5th September 2019
  #16
Lives for gear
Quote:
Originally Posted by Samc View Post
As long as people want to keep making albums like Thriller, The Wall, Back in Black, Hysteria, Purple Rain, Slippery When Wet, Ten, Bat Out Of Hell......yes, you can't record albums like these in your basement with a 57 and an M-Box.
I beg to differ. You may not need a 50,000 setup, but you can definitely do it with a 5000 dollar budget, and that's me being generous.

Those albums are amazing mostly because of the talent behind them, and not so much because of the equipment. 90% of having a great sounding record is having great talent, great musical ideas and great sources. Gear makes up the other 10%.
Old 5th September 2019
  #17
Lives for gear
Quote:
Originally Posted by wrgkmc View Post
High cost and high quality are two totally different things. Granted, you may "hope" the two run parallel to each other as cost goes up so does the quality.
having ben an electronic tech for 50+ years I can day right off that's a really stupid method of determining quality.

Its no different then saying something has to be good because its popular.
Sure it might be a great bang for the buck, or it may simply be good marketing that targets the people most likely to buy that gear.

The real facts is, Audio engineering is a very narrow profession and super narrow when it comes to people actually earning a living and ultra narrow when it comes to being successful. The truth is Digital has dramatically narrowed the distance between low cost and high quality. Back in the Day you might have needed to spend 100K while also beg borrow and stealing just to get enough quality gear together to become a player. Today, you can easily match the quality of that gear with maybe a grand or two and a decent computer.

What you cant buy at any price is the experience to use that gear and this is where pros in the business have the beginners beat.
If you don't put in the time to gain the experience needed to do the work properly its unlikely you'll be able to produce consistent quality recordings. Consistent being the key word here. One hit wonders obtained through pure luck isn't the same thing as being able to bang out high quality recordings on everything you do.

The biggest cost reducer was the DAW program. For the cost of a couple hundred dollars or so you can have access to nearly everything contained in a vintage multi million dollar studio. Its just as powerful too, even more so in many ways. An Analog studio is limited to the recording tracks the tape has before you have to start bounding tracks. With a DAW its just a matter of computing power. If you spend the right kind of money even that's not much of an issue.

There are still things like how many channels the interface has, quality of your front end gear, mics, preamps or any hardware you may use but there is no need to buy a huge bulky console to do all that work when a computer has a digital console built for mixing. In fact once the music is digitized its better to keep the data binary until the recording is done being mixed and mastered and ready for distribution. Most people buy music on line anyway so why take the losses converting back to analog - Because that's the way it used to be done?

What you have to discover is what is actually obsolete and redundant vs what is absolutely important and necessary. Many things I read on sites like this are far behind reality when it comes to getting quality recording. Gear cost is one of the biggest but we all have to deal with sales people who will say anything to you to make a buck.
Well said!
Old 5th September 2019
  #18
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by VenVile View Post
I beg to differ. You may not need a 50,000 setup, but you can definitely do it with a 5000 dollar budget, and that's me being generous.

Those albums are amazing mostly because of the talent behind them, and not so much because of the equipment. 90% of having a great sounding record is having great talent, great musical ideas and great sources. Gear makes up the other 10%.
This is all good and well, but how are you going to record the dark side of the moon without without a good recording space, good microphones and other good gear and the talented people to operate it pray tell? It might only be 10% according to you, but it isn't cheap. I'd like to see you produce "Thriller" for $5000 because if it was so easy everybody would be doing it.
Old 5th September 2019
  #19
Gear Guru
OK overdesigned usually to military specs is behind the "name". That translates into reliability for decades 24/7. Pros don't want something crapping out....ever. And guess what, that translates into? Resale value....!

So class what have we learned today? With say an something like an API product we get great sound, peace of mind, and we can sell it in 10 years!......

You see prices and demand dropping off? Nope!......
Old 5th September 2019
  #20
Lives for gear
 
Skamm Goodiez's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by attaboy_jhb View Post
Why? Why would better gear make something sit better in the mix? the frequencies are the same. I can understand why a room might make things sit better in the mix but not gear. What does a high end pre and high end mic do to music that makes it sit better in the mix? Automatically cut the right frequencies from each? Sounds a bit hard to beleive IMO.
Cookie cutter response.
Go play with REAL equipment 1st.
Not for 5 minutes. Rent some HI END gear for a week. Experiment.
THEN comment.
Old 6th September 2019
  #21
Gear Guru
 
monkeyxx's Avatar
Expensive means different things to different people, with different resources and personal or professional needs.

However I agree that I see some people shooting themselves in the feet by adopting some sort of artificial modesty about gear.

There is a lot of equipment that may initially in the game, seem beyond your "comfort zone." But after a while in this line of work you do realize certain areas where more money than you thought needs to be spent to get you across the finish line, and reduce your hair pulling and compromising.

I also see a lot of people, apparently, spending their money foolishly and loosely and not getting results. I have been guilty of both at different times.

It comes down to experience. Most people know what they need and are able to find it. A site like gearslutz is good for helping people to take off their blinders, so to speak, if they have them. Knowledge is powerful.

I personally try to spend as little as I possibly can to get excellent results. Reliability and build quality is a huge pet peeve and concern of mine as well as has been discussed. Knowledge of gear and techniques goes way beyond any sort of spending spree scenario, which is why a lot of the "Tell Me What To Buy With $15,000" threads are so sad and hopeless.
Old 6th September 2019
  #22
Lives for gear
Quote:
Originally Posted by VenVile View Post
I beg to differ. You may not need a 50,000 setup, but you can definitely do it with a 5000 dollar budget, and that's me being generous.

Those albums are amazing mostly because of the talent behind them, and not so much because of the equipment. 90% of having a great sounding record is having great talent, great musical ideas and great sources. Gear makes up the other 10%.
I agree 100% with the "talent" aspect of your comment. I went down the rabbit hole of getting hyped up gear and thought it was worthless and all a scam because my recordings sounded like garbage. Then one day I recorded a really good song with really good musicians, in a really nice room. All of a sudden my gear was amazing.

I think as you progress though, the gear plays a larger role. It's like going from painting by numbers to really expressing yourself with the various tools available.

Let's face it, a LA2A is more than likely (on average) going to do more for your recording than an Alesis 3630. For me, a lot of the gear has to do with inspiration. In the case of the LA2A, there is nothing like putting on headphones and wrapping warm, airy, dimensional space around your head. Whereas yes, the Alesis 3630 will compress, but it's like chewing on tin foil after getting your teeth drilled.

Last edited by Alrod; 6th September 2019 at 07:55 PM..
Old 6th September 2019
  #23
Lives for gear
 
norfolk martin's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Alrod View Post
I agree 100% with the "talent" aspect of your comment. I went down the rabbit hole of getting hyped up gear and thought it was worthless and all a scam because my recordings sounded like garbage. Then one day I recorded a really good song with really good musicians, in a really nice room. All of a sudden my gear was amazing.
Yea. . IMO The most likely reason that vocals or bass are "not sitting well in the mix" is poor techniques by the musicians, not the lack of an expensive mic or boutique compressor.

I had a similar experience mixing a series of live recordings made at a club in town by some old "Tulsa Sound " musicians (average age about 65)

Why is this so easy to mix compared to other things I've recorded on the same stage with the same equipment? Why do I not seem to need a compressor on as many tracks as I normally do?

Because they all learnt their craft before sound engineers were expected to fix everything.
Old 6th September 2019
  #24
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by norfolk martin View Post
Yea. . IMO The most likely reason that vocals or bass are "not sitting well in the mix" is poor techniques by the musicians, not the lack of an expensive mic or boutique compressor.
Gear obviously hs nothing to do with that, but the person directing the musicians and the recordist/mixer are likely at fault too...all things being equal, very good gear will facilitate a better result. If we can’t agree on this we might as well stop now.

And good gear usually cost more than not so good gear...
Old 6th September 2019
  #25
Lives for gear
Quote:
Originally Posted by Samc View Post
...very good gear will facilitate a better result.
And good gear usually cost more than not so good gear...
Generally speaking, yep.
Old 6th September 2019
  #26
Quote:
Originally Posted by Alrod View Post
yes, the Alesis 3630 will compress, but it's like chewing on tin foil after getting your teeth drilled.
This hurt just by reading it! Ouch!
Old 6th September 2019
  #27
Gear Guru
 

IMO, there is a fundamental difference in asking if an expensive hardware compressor is "worth it" and asking if an expensive hardware preamp (or microphone) is "worth it".

It can at least be potentially argued that a software compressor is an acceptable replacement for the hardware version of a compressor.

However, you must have a hardware preamp, you can't get around it. While a plug in might add a nice "color" to mimic a particular preamp's flavor, no plug in is going to restore detail and clarity that the original hardware preamp (or mic) failed to capture in the first place.

The impact of high end hardware signal processing is, at the very least, subject to debate. The impact of high end hardware capture is, IMO, not. The fact that both come in a metal box 19" wide should not confuse the issue.
Old 7th September 2019
  #28
Lives for gear
Quote:
Originally Posted by attaboy_jhb View Post
Or is it just a bunch of big name and people trying to justify there expensive purchases. A kind of gear "placebo" effect if you will. From shootouts it is often hard to really find a justification to spend so much on gear. I am sure this kind of question has been asked in the past but nowadays is it still worthwhile spending 2000$ on preamps and 3000$ on microphones? Or can good music be recorded just as professionally on a budget so long as you are working in a decent room and with a decent mix engineer?
Even the room doesn't matter that much, other than perhaps drums, but even then you can just mute the space and use reverb. What matters more than anything is coaxing and capturing a great performance. Somehow in ways that can't be fully understood or explained precisely, the "heart" or "mojo" or "soul" behind a performance, which is a direct result of the mood and feeling of the artist, is translated extremely well to the listener. This has taken a backseat to tools because the tools have become a crutch to make up for the lack of a good performance. We want to make everything fit perfectly together onto a grid, and use all of the gear we fetishize regardless of how much they enhance the music.

In fact all this has done is make music lifeless and dull because of overproducing. Vision is a more prevalent sense to most people, and engineers often mix visually in DAW's and even analog boards, and OCD is a large factor that most engineers do not have adequate control over. And people don't understand for the most part the uselessness of the A/B test, as comparing two things does not accurately represent the quality of either thing in the absolute, especially when soloing tracks. And it's very easy to lose sense of what something sounds like to fresh ears after mixing a song and listening to it repeatedly.

Anyway, a good engineer IMO is one who holds the performance as the highest ideal. I know that personally I can listen to some old nth generation bootleg cassettes of great performances and enjoy it more than "perfect" studio versions. So to me gear and even the mix quality (especially in the age of DAWs) are nothing compared to the performance.
Old 7th September 2019
  #29
Lives for gear
 
wildplum's Avatar
Is making music still worth it?
Old 7th September 2019
  #30
Absolutely Correct

Quote:
Originally Posted by wrgkmc View Post
High cost and high quality are two totally different things. Granted, you may "hope" the two run parallel to each other as cost goes up so does the quality.
having ben an electronic tech for 50+ years I can day right off that's a really stupid method of determining quality.

Its no different then saying something has to be good because its popular.
Sure it might be a great bang for the buck, or it may simply be good marketing that targets the people most likely to buy that gear.

The real facts is, Audio engineering is a very narrow profession and super narrow when it comes to people actually earning a living and ultra narrow when it comes to being successful. The truth is Digital has dramatically narrowed the distance between low cost and high quality. Back in the Day you might have needed to spend 100K while also beg borrow and stealing just to get enough quality gear together to become a player. Today, you can easily match the quality of that gear with maybe a grand or two and a decent computer.

What you cant buy at any price is the experience to use that gear and this is where pros in the business have the beginners beat.
If you don't put in the time to gain the experience needed to do the work properly its unlikely you'll be able to produce consistent quality recordings. Consistent being the key word here. One hit wonders obtained through pure luck isn't the same thing as being able to bang out high quality recordings on everything you do.

The biggest cost reducer was the DAW program. For the cost of a couple hundred dollars or so you can have access to nearly everything contained in a vintage multi million dollar studio. Its just as powerful too, even more so in many ways. An Analog studio is limited to the recording tracks the tape has before you have to start bounding tracks. With a DAW its just a matter of computing power. If you spend the right kind of money even that's not much of an issue.

There are still things like how many channels the interface has, quality of your front end gear, mics, preamps or any hardware you may use but there is no need to buy a huge bulky console to do all that work when a computer has a digital console built for mixing. In fact once the music is digitized its better to keep the data binary until the recording is done being mixed and mastered and ready for distribution. Most people buy music on line anyway so why take the losses converting back to analog - Because that's the way it used to be done?

What you have to discover is what is actually obsolete and redundant vs what is absolutely important and necessary. Many things I read on sites like this are far behind reality when it comes to getting quality recording. Gear cost is one of the biggest but we all have to deal with sales people who will say anything to you to make a buck.
Kudos and Amen to every word! It is because of the DAW and the ongoing advancements therein that allow most of us to develop confidence in our audio productions -- and therefore, become & remain competitive.
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