Friday, September 9, 2011

It's Like Crack

Buying musical equipment should come with a warning label. Perhaps something like what they put on cigarette packs in some places, but instead of cancerous lungs it should be empty wallets and weeping bank accounts. This shit is dangerous!

I've had a hankering to start writing and recording music again. I've barely touched my guitar in a few years, but I've been feeling really inspired lately and, perhaps more importantly, I've been missing the outlet that my music offered me. With amateur home recording becoming easier and offering better quality than in years past, I've also had the urge to start recording my music for posterity.

Not having much luck in the past getting even decent sounding tracks on to the hard drive, I decided I should probably defer to people that might know a little more about recording than I do. So off to Guitar Center we went.

The idea was really to get an idea of what basic equipment was needed to start recording and price it all out. After about an hour of questioning a very nice, very hipster kid about various gear and techniques and tools, we walked away with approximately $300 price tag in mind. Just to get started.

And I wanted to buy it all, right then and there.

I remember reading about The Smashing Pumpkins' recording process while making Melancholy and the Infinite Sadness. They used over 300 different guitars, at least as many effects pedals, and a sizable amount of different microphones just to record that one album. In essence, Billy Corgan is a perfectionist. I'm not saying I'm near that bad, but I am saying I understand where he's coming from…

So we didn't buy anything. We didn't because it was $300 we weren't planning on spending. We didn’t because I'm not quite ready to start recording stuff just yet. Most importantly, we didn't because we knew that once I started buying stuff, I wouldn't want to stop. I'd get the first batch of gear, but then I'd just need another cable. Oh, then there's a new stand that might work well. And I can't forget about that other thingamajig that will surely make this one song just perfect… and on, and on…

But at least I know what to plan for now. I know what the entry level will be and I can spend some time learning a bit more about the equipment and the whats and hows of it all. Now I have to try and invoke some semblance of will power and hold off on rushing out to buy it all!

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