LOL – bump! Brandon’s product was Killer Home Recording. That sets the context.
Think back to the old days – their gear was gate, EQ, Compression, Limiter and Reverb. Done with tubes, discrete transistors and literal metal plates. Old single-coil strat guitars, all running to magnetic tape. Ribbon mics so delicate that if you breathed on them too hard they were toast.
Yet that sort of gear was sufficient to record hit after hit after hit. It started with excellent performances from talented performers in what passed (in the 50’s and 60’s) for rooms with good acoustics. All the rest was just application of skill. Listen to Joplin’s Crimson and Clover … OMFG.
I think that given the improvement in electronics design and manufacturing processes – that the boards, interfaces, compressors, headphones, speakers, amps and mics we have today at modest cost are every bit as good as the best that were available to record Buddy Holly or Elvis Presley. Or Black Sabbath.
Obviously, today’s high-end gear is light years ahead of what they had back then too, and no doubt better than the modest priced gear I have. And no doubt it makes a difference in the hands of an expert.
But when someone is cranking a CD in their car travelling at 65 mph passing by a big rig, or have reduced the quality anyway by converting to mp3 so they can listen while lifting weights … I’m not sure the listener would know the difference assuming a high degree of skill was applied.
I’m remembering dropping by a Guitar Center to pick up an amp, and hearing this absolutely amazing guitar. Some kid was playing the hell out of that thing and it sounded like heaven. It was one of those $200 chinese strats. Probably wasn’t even properly setup. But the kid was a damned master of his art. HE sounded better on a $200 guitar than I would on a guitar of infinite price.
I’m reminded of karate sparring competitions. Even at a black belt level, I rarely employ anything I learned after green belt. But those green belt techniques that I use are applied with a much higher degree of expertise than I had when I first learned them at green belt – there is a lot of nuance and body mechanics that just come from practice.
And that’s where I think Brandon was coming from. In a home recording context, by making excellent performances followed by mastering the basics, playing with it, getting experience, trying over and over again, discarding what doesn’t work and trying again – you can build the skill to use today’s modestly priced gear to make really great home recordings that are good enough for most listening contexts that only a truly knowledgeable audiophile can tell the difference.