Are You A Victim Of The Shiny Object?

Are You A Victim Of The Shiny Object?

MEGAVERB 3500 "Don't Try To Mix Without It"

Musicians & Producers, Just What Is The Shiny Object

Syndrome And How Does It Relate To You?

The Shiny Object Syndrome is the tendency to be easily distracted by the attraction of the newest gadget or next big thing, which can affect people of all types, specifically Musicians and Producers beause of certain qualities we have that make us unique. We want to achieve the best possible sound for our music, and we are also facinated by new technology and developments so we are often open to the latest and supposedly greatest thing. Sooner or later however there come's a point where we have to just stop the madness and make the most with with what is in front of us.

I must admit, I myself have been a victim of the shiny object syndrome, because as artists, we are always naturally trying to improve, upgrade and grow. I remember buying new microphones because of all the hyped advertisements, just to realize that they didn't even sound quite as good as the ones I was already using. Or the time I bought a brand new compressor that cost double the price of my old one, only to realize that it was nearly identical in sound quality . The list goes on and on….

Dont Get Distracted By The Newest Technology Products

Megaverb 3500 at the top of the page, is a fictional software product, but it is not too far off from what you may see in a typical music store or online advertisement. Don't get me wrong, occasionaly there are new product releases that are just radically different or better than anything else. The Reality however, is that it's business, and they make their money by having new product releases and upgrades, but we have to tell ourselves; "is it really any better that what I currently have" and "is it going to make me more productive." Most of the time I feel the answer is "No". Unfortunately most of the software I know of is non returnable once you break the seal. Although some manufacturer's are beginning to give you a one or two week free trial where you can download it, try it out and if it doesn't suit you, you then have the option of buying it or not before the trial period expires.

The good news is, no matter what brand of DAW (Digital Audio Workstation) you are using whether it's Pro Tools, Logic, Digital Performer, Cubase, Live, Reason, ect. you can achieve great results! These programs all come standard with equalizers, compressors, limiters, reverbs, delays, ect. Even the most basic of programs today are way ahead of what was available just 10-15 years ago, and light years ahead of what was available 20 years ago.

Your ears and your creativity are the two most important tools you possess! If you heard a muddy and muffled sounding acoustic guitar, would you know just what to do to make it sound great? What If you heard a vocal where the ess's cut through so strong, they made you cringe? Would you know how to acheive a perfect balance between the bass and the kick drum? Did you know that you can combine two lesser reverbs to acheive a more dense algorythm very similar to the more expensive ones. These are all skills that can be learned and mastered, regardless of what brand or type of equipment you are using.

The key is , most of us have been victims of the shiny object syndrome, because as artists, we are always naturally trying to improve, upgrade and grow. I remember buying new microphones because of all the marketing hype, just to realize that they didn't even sound quite as good as the ones I was already using. Or the time I bought a brand new compressor that cost double the price of my old one, only to realize that it was nearly identical in sound quality . The list goes on and on…. Don't let your lack of having the latest equipment keep you from creating and recording. It is often possible to get very similar results by identifying the situation and knowing how to combine specific stock effects that come with the DAW or stand alone recording machine that you may already have, or spending time learning how to really tweak that stand-alone hardware unit that you already have, to get the perfect sound you are looking for.

Jimi Hendrix and Eddie Kramer At Electric Lady Studio

Many Ground Breaking recordings have come from an era that was far different than today. How were Jimi Hendrix, the Beatles, Miles Davis ect. able to produce timeless recordings that have stood the test of time using far less tracks? They didn't have access to the mutitrack recording capabilities upward of 100's of separate simultaneous tracks available in 2019. They did their very best with what they had available to them, wrote great songs, and performed straight from their hearts, which is what it's really all about. What would they have done if they all had the capabilities we have now back in the 1960's? Nobody really knows for sure, but the emotion and rawness of the songs and recordings just may not have been the same if they had more shiny objects to distract them.

What is it about that old rough demo that sounded so good?

There have been accounts of Artists who have gotten noticed and signed by record labels on the raw feel and emotion of their demo recordings, but later had a hard a hard time capturing that same sound when they went into a much larger and professionally equipped studio to re-cut the songs for the album.

http://eliotslaughter.com/

http://eliotslaughter.com/digital-mastering/

About The Author

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Eliot Slaughter is a Musician who started on piano and developed a passion to record and produce music. A Berklee College of Music Graduate, he has used his musical background and knowledge when he is composing, producing and recording music in his Midwest based recording studio.

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