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a question for haydn..gear philosophy.
Old 3rd June 2007
Lives for gear
🎧 15 years
a question for haydn..gear philosophy.

(i'm from london uk...a product of brit science uni btw.)
please critique my position on gear
and my approach. as follows.

for some time its concerned me that many folks new to recording/songwriting
think all they gotta do to get a great golden record going is,
just get a mountain of high end gear.
some go thru lots of money in the process.
i simply note that great records in the past, like the 60's were often done
on rather little gear.
and that if the song is great, one doesnt necessarily need oodles of gear.
right now i have a pc that can do 80 tracks,
way more than needed for a good song imho.
i also build my own mic pre's.
and like to explore cheap gear often picked up used for pennies in the pound and
see what i can get outta them.
cos my theory is ..everything has a sound to it.
(my degrees in physics btw.)
even a cheap little guitar amp found for 5 quid at a pawn shop
in north london
i'm primarily a songwriter for fun and dont profess to be a
an exemplary audio mixing bloke. (i go by feel a lot.)
to cut a long story short , i feel for about 10k these days,
one can put together a nice recording set up includeing pc.
and one doesnt need to spend more.
cos i believe all the rest is writing a good song with great hooks
and a nice sound picture .

do you feel my thinking is wrong ??
feel free to blast away at a fellow
particularly i'm interested to know , if someone like yourself only had 10k in gear includeing pc...a few decent mics/nice ada/couple of nice mic pre's ...
could u still produce a good record.....assuming the song was great of course and the musicians. just curious.
reason i'm asking is i have many mates here that always ponder how much to spend and i often caution them on overspending.
and tell them to concentrate on the song rather than just gear.
Old 4th June 2007
Lives for gear
Barish's Avatar
1 Review written
🎧 15 years
Hi Haydn,

I would like to ask you about your mixing philosophy but I didn't want to start another thread for this, as I believe mixing philosophy goes hand in hand with the gear philosophy, so I thought may be it would be much easier for you to gather it all under one umbrella.

I have read your article in MPG Winter 2006 Newsletter with great interest. You were talking about your recent (and I guess a little disappointing) mixing experience in Italy, and some sobering lessons extracted from it in terms of coping with varying mix approaches from region to region in the world.

But your actual findings were somehow a bit obscure in the article. I was wondering if you could elaborate on this.

What are your opinions about keeping an open mind in mixing a music to a different ear taste than what you are accustomed to back home?

Now that the internet has facilitated the communication and integration between those regions that once gave the character to their respective styles and made them what they are today, would you agree that the music makers should be more open to music that do not originate from their active music environment in order to manage a successful crossover? Or would you think that such an openness would eventually lead to a "no identity" situation?


Old 5th June 2007 | Show parent
Special guest
Haydn Bendall's Avatar
🎧 15 years
First of all let me respond to the questions posed by Barish. I'm not sure how my findings were obscure but perhaps I could try to elaborate by writing that I believe the main lesson that I've gleaned from the experience is to be as open to ideas as possible. I believe that hand in hand with that attitude one must also cultivate a transparency and honesty in realising that there may be certain areas of work that one can offer little to.

I don't believe that music makers "should", as you suggest, do anything other than be inspired by whatever stimuli they encounter. Alongside that view is yes, we should all be open but we have to realise who, or what, we are and respond to that, primarily.

Now to Manning1: Whilst I have every sympathy with your view I'm afraid that gear is important to me. Not only gear but fabulous acoustic environments as well. I actually feel that I do a better job with a great mixer, great mics, signal paths, studios etc. I absolutely believe that the musicians, performers and songs are of tantamount importance of course but I always want to do my best musically and sonically. If poor gear is getting in the way of the music or performance I'm afraid that I do get very frustrated.
Old 5th June 2007 | Show parent
Lives for gear
🎧 15 years
thanks haydn for your comments.
Old 5th June 2007 | Show parent
Lives for gear
Barish's Avatar
1 Review written
🎧 15 years
Thanks a lot Haydn.



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