Matters of importance

tricky dick

I’ve read a lot of forum posts and have been involved in many heated conversations about recording equipment and even components of recording equipment, on which people bestow a huge amount of importance unnecessarily. However, I know it’s fun to talk gear and I know that for a lot of engineers, music has little to do with audio recording – it’s all about converters.
Because I don’t want any of you to get caught up in this Bermuda Triangle of recording, I have made a simple pyramid graph to indicate the importance of each element of the recording process:
 For those of you who are now sulking because you only got into this to talk about gear and buy toys, here’s the same graph showing recording equipment and components in order of importance to the recording: 

I know that outboard gear makes a huge difference, but I’ve listed gear in terms of its importance to capturing a good quality recording, whereas outboard gear provides colour and character. The one thing I haven’t included in either of the graphs above, although it is very important, is the room you’re recording in. More specifically, the acoustics of the room you are recording in. However, I also haven’t mentioned that it would help if everyone involved is free of hearing impairment – it’s too obvious to mention. 
 
The purpose of this post isn’t to set in stone the parts of recording that are important and the parts that aren’t, it’s just to stop you from arguing about converters and why 88.2 is better than 44.1 (it isn’t) on a forum post. And, I suppose that this is slightly selfish on my part, but it’s also mainly due to the fact that I’m sick of reading about it.

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