Was Brandon correct when he rebelled against spending money on recording gear?

Was Brandon correct when he rebelled against spending money on recording gear?


Because this type of compression sounds better to me today in this room on this track in this piece of music” is always going to be my answer. Rules and theories are only helpful until the time they distract you from listening to what’s actually stroking your eardrums, I think.

And all the information is out there, for anyone who actually wants to dive into it the technicalities of the characteristics of different circuits. And on an intellectual level it’s fairly interesting stuff - how valves are biased, why FETs sound like they do etc. I like reading about that stuff, personally.

But everyone, from the greenest of the green to the proest of the pro, will make their choice of compressor based on experience of what’s worked or not worked for them in the past. And if they don’t know what’ll work best, they’ll try a few things and see what sticks. The in-depth technical knowledge will just allow them to intellectually explain why it worked, it won’t help them mix better.

I’d probably also go so far as to say that if someone doesn’t have the experience and picks their compression type with confidence based on things they’ve read rather than things they’ve felt, it might even slow down their progress to understanding compression as a practical tool, just because in the confidence of knowing their actions conform to general good practice, they might not try some wild ideas.

Usual disclaimers - all my opinion, more than one way to skin a cat, lots of different roads to the same place, everyone’s different etc. :grin: This is just a reflection of my own attitude to mixing where I don’t want to be thinking too much.


“Because this type of compression sounds better to me today in this room on this track in this piece of music” is always going to be my answer. Rules and theories are only helpful until the time they distract you from listening to what’s actually stroking your eardrums, I think.

For me this quest was never about sound, that is 100% in the experimenting phase that you get from trying different things. I wanted a basis of what should I be looking for, what tools should I have in my arsenal for what I am trying to accomplish. I have 100 compressor plugins, how do I narrow that down to a few to try out? just knowing that this type of design does this vs this is where I’m at. then having a pro state that I use X compressor every time with X setting on bass guitar gives you the opportunity to start. you can know instantly if that works for you or not and at least you are able to join the conversation, and say that didn’t work for me I like Y compressor because it did this cool thingy in this situation. after all this is a forum and we discuss these things. its the theorizing that leads to experimentation, giving your head ideas from people that you respect. That’s why shows like Pensado’s Place do well. they talk about gear and how they use it and why they like it and their engineering/producing philosophies. It gives inspiration and technical understanding that used to only be had as an employee of a studio. I think we all have our own ideas just like musically we all hear and react different and experimentation will always lead the path to whatever our goal is, but its seems hard and takes a lot longer if you do not have the understanding of the tools you are using.


I often misunderstood Brandon’s diatribes against expensive gear as being exclusive, but I think what you’re saying here is probably more accurate. As he built his following, he probably realized lots of people buy stuff to fix problems they think they have with things they already own prior to knowing how to use it properly, or what it was intended to be used for. That money could have been used more effectively to get the monitors or room treatment right, which would yield better results than having two different compressor plugs, neither of which you knew how to use.


Brandon stated that his dive into expensive gear was driven by the need to eliminate any weak links in his recording chain and then he could be confident that the problem was most likely operator error.

I understood that, but many people who were not used to Brandon and his colorful use of language, it probably seemed like he was just ranting against the high-end industry for no reason. The RR forum was a public expression of a personal journey by Brandon and not applicable to everyone.


That’s just lunatic talk :stuck_out_tongue: And its unacceptable !


Do you have some kind of link for information about this ? :slight_smile: I want to learn more about it as well, since I just started (trying) to use them.


You know what, i really miss the guys input.
I still read bits of his killer home recording now and again.
His ocd approach to doing something meant he left no stone unturned… infact he prefered to kick them out of the way or smash them completely lol.

Hope he is doing good in his electronics.

I think he could make s lot of money just doing gear review videos with a comedy edge.

Whatever your opinion of his views he was a top bloke being true to himself. Not many of them left nowadays!
Hats of to you supreme overlord comander.

Yes sometimes he was wrong, we all are.
But he was 100%dedicated and truthful , and thats rare.


I hope so too. If he signs on with a company it’ll be much more stable than freelance sound engineering. And the market for it is waaaaay bigger.


You know how I can still get it ? The site is apparently fucked. People spend money and not got the books(pdf).


You will need to somehow contact him, i wouldnt know what to suggest.
Try contacting from here?
See if anyone like @bozmillar knows how to get hold if him.

Sorry i’m of no more help


If thats the case then thats fucked up and not fair! I doubt he himself wiuld condone that or know if its happened but then again i cant say for sure


No problem mate :slight_smile: At least thanks for your suggestion. But I heard he wasn’t really responding much to people from RR trying to contact him about it. People he knew pretty well from there.


Yeah its a bit weird. No idea sorry mate.

If your after investing in a book about home recording may i suggest mike seniors book : mixing secrets for the small studio.

It covers everything abd is well worth the cash!!!



Definitely agree, Mike Senior’s book is excellent. I’m only about a third of the way through and am already getting a ton out of it. Totally worth it!


Alright thanks mate ! :slight_smile: I will check it out !


Is there nobody that has a copy of the book that can just send it to him? I mean, if he paid for it, and he didn’t get it and there’s no way of contacting him to get it, I don’t see what would be wrong with that.


That’s fucked up. I’m pretty embarrassed that that shit happened. I’ll email the e-book to anyone who can prove they paid for it. He needs to do a publishing and packaging deal with a moderator on this site who can distribute the materials.


Well, I lmost payed for it. But I hate paypall, since they ddon’t react to any support message I send to fix my account, and I refuse to make a new account. And since paypall was the only option for paying for these books I didn’t do it. When I asked around if there where any other options, I heard that (I think it was maybe @holster or another mod of RR) who explained it to me. That Brandon wasn’t able to be contacted, or that, at least he wasn’t responding, while people where not getting there payed for copy of the books. Don’t know if this is sorted by now? I’d like to read them very much, but since there is no way to buy them…


the first part is understanding compression settings. IF you have a handle on that, then the next part is knowing what you want to use. If you are just using a clean digital compressor, some can even have look ahead which will operate way faster than any analog one. the question is why is a fet compressor different for this application than an opto. some people don’t care, some people just know that they put it in the chain and that’s what they have always used… There is info all over the interwebz about compression but I have never seen a topic that describes the differences in various compression circuitry types. And its all very subjective about what a compressor is good for. For example some people think that an 1176 is way too colorful and not clean enough to use for delicate musical pieces and then some people use a stereo pair on theie 2 bus or in mastering… so its all about what you want to do with the signal, and whether its a fix thing, color thing, distortion, whatever.