yesterday I couldn't even spell ASCAP, today I are a member.
This thread may not be directed to you, so grains of salt are recommended.
Gear is nice. Having the right bit of kit for the right project is of supreme importance - whether it's a mic, a guitar, or a cymbal.
Having a well-treated room is important, too. A well-treated room is going to sound more open and balanced than an untreated one. Money spent on room treatment is generally money well-spent.
Now for the rub: If you have a tin ear, none of this is going to help you turn around a decent product.
If you don't have an ear for pitch, and your instruments are out of tune with themselves and other instruments, your recordings will suffer.
If you are a "producer", and don't have a knack for arrangement, or understand how to incorporate space and silence into an piece, your client's recordings will suffer.
If you are a musician in a band, and you lack the ability to transpose chords, use different inversions, or envision and arrange your parts as pieces of an ensemble, your recordings will suffer.
Before you spend a fortune on things that will expose and highlight deficiencies in your technique and approach, work on identifying deficiencies in your technique and approach. That is, put the horse in front of the cart.
With all of that said, you are in the right place to learn, and the world is full of internet know-it-alls just like me.
Jump in and make it happen.
might have been closer to the truth in 1980 but the genre and it's associated offshoots have gone well beyond that now.but if your whole world revolves around loops and beats and canned whatever, and you've never felt the thump of a kick drum in your foot or the pluck of a guitar against your fingers and the subtleties of human interaction with an instrument... i.e. if you've only ever relied on other peoples musical process to make your "own" music, then there is something fundamental missing
I hate to say this and I know im opening up a can of worms here, but my personal belief is that if you've never laid hands on a real instrument and learned to appreciate the nuance of playing something by hand and the space between the sounds, you really can't be a great engineer producer. I know, I know, flame city... and I'm not suggesting you have to be a master musician, nor am i suggesting that there aren't those who have turned DJ-ing into an artform, but if your whole world revolves around loops and beats and canned whatever, and you've never felt the thump of a kick drum in your foot or the pluck of a guitar against your fingers and the subtleties of human interaction with an instrument... i.e. if you've only ever relied on other peoples musical process to make your "own" music, then there is something fundamental missing. That "ear" training that has been mentioned above never happened so it can't be applied.
I suggest before getting wrapped up in live or vegas or garageband, and the plug and play tools they provide, just pick up and instrument and pluck and bang. find a voice, then apply the voice.
Possibly the title for this thread should have been "have an objective view of your objectives." I've played guitar for over fouty years, and I'm still a poor guitar player. Of course, I knew when I was twenty that I wasn't much of a guitar player, but I still enjoy playing and it makes me feel good. I don't have all of the top-of-the line equipment, I record on a notebook computer, and I use a $40.00 DAW and a few freebie VST effects.
While it is absolutely true that a lot of the members of this forum are expecting to produce music like Barbara Streisand in Capitol Records studios without having developed enough talent and technical knowledge, it is equally true that many (most?) of the members of this forum are recording for fun and personal enjoyment. A pair of $20 dollar dynamic microphones meet my expectations (today).
I think that some of the overzelious 'techno Gods' on this board are every bit as out of line as the 15 year old rock star wanna bees. This is a home recording forum - not a pro-audio forum (although today's cheap technology is far superior to the pro-audio equipment of 20 years ago).
Anyways, recording my playing and being able to listen to it objectively has done more to improve my playing skills over the past year than anything else over the prior 39+ years. And actually listening to my singing has led to enough of an improvement that my Wife no longer has to leave the room when I sing and play guitar. I'm rather proud of this (my wife not having to leave the room or the house) when I play.
On top of it all, the advise and suggestions that people have made on this forum have really done a lot to make me sound better than I am, That is my objective here and it is being fulfulled rather well (THANK YOU ALL).
I remember reading Paul McCartney commenting about the days when he didn't use tape recorders to jot down his ideas: he was of the opinion that he didn't need to jot anything down, his logic being that if he couldn't remember it, it couldn't have been any good in the first place. I thought that was a load of raffifia then and I still think it now.
I could buy a very expensive, high quality condenser mic but it aint ever going to make my voice sound better.
I think there are lots of people who will remember certain parts or indeed, whole songs and never need to write them down or record them in order to remember them. I'm definitely not one of those. I get so many musical parts running through my head in such a variety of situations that if I don't hum them into the dictaphone right away, I'll rarely remember them. It has actually happened that a piece I've not stored, then forgotten, comes back to me weeks later, but that's pretty rare.For me, if I'm playing or humming or contemplating the parts pretty regularly (arrangement doesn't really matter, just parts that go together in transition) either in physical or mental practice then I won't forget it; if I'm not, then I'm just not that into the part. Sometimes little parts or transitions will hang around for years before finding a home somewhere and actually being recorded. If I like 'em a lot I can use them over and over, as you've pointed out.