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"Look at it this way: think of how stupid the average person is, and then realize half of 'em are stupider than that."
- George Carlin
"It shouldn't be expected that people are necessarily doing what they appear to be doing on records."
- Sir George Martin, All You Need Is Ears
"The music business will be revitalized by musicians, not the labels or Live Nation. When the musicians decide to put music first, instead of money, the public will flock to the fruits and the scene will be healthy again."
Good stuff, and great straddling of the divide between technology and the creative muse.
I began recording as a kid on reel-to-reel equipment, before there were even casettes, so much of my work process, for better or worse, is old-school.
Given that I pursue music on the side, one of my measures is ratio of actual music making to messing with equipment to make music. There are some features on my DAW, pitch correction, beat aligning, and other performance fixers, that I ignore, preferring to just play it right in real time. Given that I seldom have long stretches of time to dedicate to music, my ratio preference helps me get actual music achieved in as little as 30 minute escapes-to-the-studio.
The other thing that has helped me keep my ratio of music making/messing is to establish a platform (HW and SW) and stick with it, rather than chasing every incremental upgrade possible. I used a PPC based Mac G5 for nine years, running only two versions of my DAW (Digital Performer) on it. Yes, I missed out on some cool features in between those versions, but while folks were downloading, installing, resolving driver issues, learning the new stuff, I was laying down tracks.
I've now upgraded to a MBP running the latest version of Digital Performer and hope to stay on that platform for a looooong time.
The only thing that has been upsetting my making/messing ratio lately is an inexplicable spate of equipment failures, including mics, monitors, interfaces, amps. It has really thrown me for a productivity and financial loop.
My advice is to keep the making/messing ratio as high as possible and leave the gear wars to those who have something to prove. Besides, some of the least impressive music is made by those with the biggest toys.
HUGE sound generation & capture facility
Eno River Basin