Monthly Archives: January 2013

RECORDING: Use what you have already!

So I’m sitting here on a Sunday night debating on what new gear I should buy…. should I pick up a Shure SM7B mic for studio use… should I re-buy the Golden Age Pre73 MKII that I sold several months ago….. should I get an EV N/D767a mic for using with my vocal harmonizer…. should I… should I….

The main thing is, no matter what new gear I purchase, it doesn’t change the fact that I:

1. haven’t finished a new song in three months

2. haven’t finished or fleshed out the 100+ song ideas from 2010-present

3. haven’t recorded myself at all for the past 6 months– only recorded other people

4. haven’t developed the several songs I co-wrote with my friend Ryan, almost a year ago (though we’re still excited about them)


New gear does not help you finish songs. I don’t think that awesome Shure SM7B is miraculously going to make me sound like a better singer than I already am. I sound like what I sound like… whether through a $100 Chinese-made condenser mic (which I normally use for recording), or through a friggin’ Neumann.

That amazing mic pre isn’t going to make my lead vocal POP out front, and sound warm and buttery. It’s just going to empty my wallet or up the balance on my credit card.

I have used an M-Audio Delta 44 since early 2003 when a bad ebay purchase fried my beloved Roland UA-100 USB audio interface….. and a couple years ago, I upgraded to the Delta 66 with an Omni I/O breakout box. The Omni I/O and Delta 66 only cost me $120 from ebay, and the friggin’ thing sounds better than most modern audio interfaces. I actually have three studio computers (one is a mirrored system in case the main one fries)… and all three of them have Omni I/Os installed…. I also put the same audio interface in the recording computer at my job, that I built for recording students.

The main thing is…. just finish shit. These days, the song matters more than the production (especially if you’re an independent artist). Fuck the bullshit and fuck the hype. Save money, and finish shit. FINISH SONGS. WORK ON THEM. Lay down your vocals with your $100 mic. Just get it done.

Man, I’m glad I wrote this. I just prevented myself from spending $1200. After I press “publish”, I’m going to work on some song idea editing…. and make my night productive (and cost-effective).