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Why I Don’t Give a $#!t about Audio Equipment (And Other Good Stuff from AES)

Last weekend was the AES convention.

I had a blast, meeting up with people, listening to Grammy winning engineers talk about their craft and partying in legendary studios.

In a word, fun.

AES, to me, is less about the gear and more about the people and the best practices they teach you. Walking the trade-show floor this year just left me drained and bored. Like I said in the recent Home Recording Show podcast, NAMM gives me “audio equipment overload” each year. So at AES I don’t really care that much about looking at shiny new stuff.

I walk around thinking things like:

Oh, look. Another ribbon mic…

That’s cool. One more console to control your DAW.

Oh, neato. A new condenser microphone.

Oh yay…..more….*yawn*…stuff…

At that point I usually bail the floor and go learn stuff from all the cool educational panels. Because all this gear doesn’t really to me at all. And it shouldn’t matter to you either.

Unless you’re a superstar engineer that knows everything there is to know about music production. Because AES is not about the gear. It’s about your skills. It’s about learning new ways to record and mix from the experts that have been there before you.

Engineers Care about Skills, Not Audio Equipment

That’s why it’s inspiring to listen to Al Schmitt, Ed Cherney, George Massenburg and Elliot Scheiner(to name a few).

Their stories inspire your productions way more than a piece of gear. For instance, one of their discussions was about the difference between the home studio and the commercial studio. They didn’t go into detail on how the equipment is drastically different. They pointed out how certain things need to be the same, regardless of what type of studio you’re in.

  • Critical listening and paying attention.
  • A good monitoring system that you trust.
  • Going with your gut.
  • Knowing microphone techniques.
None of these are really about gear. They’re about skills. You need to be alert and on top of things wherever you’re recording. You need a monitoring system you understand and trust and you need to go with your gut feelings in your productions. No one is there to hold your hand.

And finally, it doesn’t matter whether you’re in a tiny bedroom studio or a giant professional studio. You will be using the same mic techniques so you better learn how to use them.

And what better way to learn mic techniques than with my simple and practical recording strategies. Even awesome engineers like Graham Cochrane of the Recording Revolution have said, and I quote, “It’s pretty much a field guide to solid recordings in the home or project studio.”

How’s that for an endorsement?

Grab your copy here:

Remember, it’s not about audio equipment. It’s about learning the skills needed to use whatever gear you got!

Image by: michaelz1

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About me

About Björgvin Benediktsson

I’m Björgvin Benediktsson. I’m a musician, audio engineer and best-selling author. I help musicians and producers make a greater impact with their music by teaching them how to produce and engineer themselves. I’ve taught thousands of up and coming home studio producers such as yourself how to make an impact with their music through Audio Issues since 2011.

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