Every multi instrumentalists knows this problem. You want to record songs, usually only demo versions of the song, and you tell yourself consistently to insert another piece of gear into your recording selection before starting. Another guitar pedal, another microphone and btw, the bass is not made for metal music, so we’ll need to buy new one.
Many musicians suffer from this disease and cannot stop buying gear. It is like an excuse to not start a creative recording process. I figured out that this is actually a problem for me and downsized my gear selection, as I am living in a small apartment anyway. I only kept the basic instruments to record a proper demo. An e-drum kit, bass guitar, electric guitar, acoustic guitar, piano and mic. Additionally gear like an audio midi interface, a small mixer and headphones. No effect pedals, no amps, no samplers, nothing else.
It became that easy to record songs these days, half of the process is digitalized. The software and plugin solutions have evolved and are affordable. A guitar amp is not needed, because there is a huge digital selection available, even in free programs like Garageband. The sounds are good enough to create decent results. The e-drum kit is triggering drum samples from plugins like EZdrummer2. A keyboard is connected via a midi cable and can sample a professional recorded MIDI library.
Some might say the result might not sound as good. And this argument has its value, but I am not talking about more professional musicians who record on a regular basis. This text is more about wannabes and hobby musicians who own half a studio and did not create anything so far.
In most cases the plan stays an intension. „I will start recording my songs soon!“ Until then they add gear, to keep up the illusion. I keep asking myself: Why do people always buy expensive stuff before even knowing if they’ll even enjoy this whole recording thing?
Audio recording is not as easy. Recording programs can be complex and it takes a lot of time and persistence to learn how to handle them. Therefore, it would be smart to just start with the very basic gear, to see if audio recording is the right thing.
Another reason why endless upgrades are senseless is that many musicians are simply not qualified for their instruments. I am a good example myself. My e-drum kit has more pads than I am able to play. It would be enough to play a basic drum setup. I have a 5 string bass and can only play basic bass lines. When it comes to recording I usually need simple instrument lines.
I don’t want to sound negative, but let’s be honest. It is simply easier to order another instrument instead of sitting down. Songwriting and recording is hard work and requires a lot of patience and effort. Buying stuff doesn’t. I even think it distracts. I’ve heard so many people say that 49 key MIDI controllers are great for the studio and for playing live, and I don’t blame them. Downsizing equipment and reducing the number of instruments you have through using a MIDI controller will really help.
Another good thing is, I have recorded more songs since downsizing my gear. Because I am simply focused on making music rather than being addicted of owning a lot of high end gear.
So nail that song down and don’t buy stuff all the time 🙂