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Sound Advice

Toys Vs. Tunes by Avery Tanner

We are all looking for the tools needed to make better recordings, and there has been a lot of excitement over affordable digital multitracks. I’ve heard people say that this equipment will put pro studios out of business.

What these people seem to be assuming, is that they will be able to make great recordings at home purely by virtue of the equipment used. Granted, the better the quality, the easier it is to get results, but people make music – not machines. Drum machines supply fabulous drum sounds at the touch of a button – yet, we’ve all heard some awful program. Digital effects supply great reverbs for a small investment. Remember though, thousands of other people are recording in the same “virtual room” as you are. Use some imagination or your recording may seem dull because we’ve heard “that sound” before. There is no substitute for the real thing and no shortcuts around the work needed to create excellence. The old fundamentals still apply. The right microphone on the right instrument in the right place is still the only place to start. No matter what machine you record on, it can only (hopefully) give back what you put into it. Remember, garbage in – garbage out. Don’t get me wrong – I love my toys, but they are only a means to an end.

Avery Tanner – Owner/Producer, Wolf Trax Audio Productions, Toronto, ON. Credits include The Swinging Gurus, Big Rude Jake and the Gentlemen Players and Cool Congress.

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