I’ve organized this article into a question and answer format. This is because I am the only person I can talk to.
How much should I spend on equipment?
It doesn’t matter because no matter how much you spend you won’t get what you want. Or if it you do get what you want it won’t work the way you expect to. So why spend anything? Borrow your friends stuff. Then forget to bring it back. Of course you won’t have many friends after awhile but you’ll have some pretty good stuff. But if you have some kinda hangup about keeping your friends then buy the cheapest stuff you can. Get a couple of $50 cassette decks down at Rat Shack and bounce between them.
But what about sound quality?
Who cares? Your friend are gonna say it sounds pretty good no matter what. Unless of course you took my advice in the previous question in which case they are probally not talking to you, so who cares. Beside’s, there is an excuse for everything. My favorite is when some jerk mentions my song’s don’t sound like the latest CD I just look at them and say. “I know. They’re not SUPPOSED TO”. Or blame it on the equipment. Especialy if you stole, er borrowed it. Then you can say, “I wasn’t working with my gear”.
Well that’s all very helpful, but what about specific pieces of gear?
Compressor: Get a compressor and compress everything. I suggest about 50:1 at 30 db. Of course you can experiment with this. Just remember, the more the better. When it starts to sound like an asthmatic breathing thru a pipe you’re almost there.
Reverb: You can never have enough reverb either. If the vocal a little out of key – add reverb. Are the drums too dry i.e. real sounding – add reverb. How do you think they got that great 80’s drums sound? If some ‘audiophile’ says it doesn’t sound realistic just smile condescendly and say, “I know, it’s not SUPPOSED TO”. That’ll shut em up.
EQ: Boost the bass and boost the highs. The middle frequencies are all pretty boring and even my cheap mics pick them up ok. But when you are cruising down the street in your pimped out ride you want to know that two blocks away people can still hear the thump thump thump. So boost the bass. 20db at 250hz is not excessive.
Any other words of wisdom?
Sure, remember the race is not always to the swift nor the battle to the strong but if you’re going to bet that’s the way to go.
What does that have to do with home recording?
About the author: The author wishes to remain anonymous but you will know him by the songs he’s written and recorded. Songs such as ‘Baby’,’Oh Baby’ and ‘Baby Oh Baby’. His recording style, like his songs have been called unique and disturbing. He is also known for the many times he has passed out after drinking too much.