Dragging out the tools

There’s only two reasons to drag out the tools:

(1) To play with them because you don’t know what you’re doing.

It is necessary to do this in order to learn your tools. Whether your new tool is a reverb processor, a compressor, a guitar, a new set of speakers or even a new studio chair, you need to spend some time with it alone without the pressure and obligation of working for a client. Pull apart some old projects – grab the drum tracks, the vocals or guitars and try to recreate the same sound using the new tools. Twist some knobs, explore the range of the tool. Explore it, see what it can do. This is important and necessary – just don’t do it in front of a client!

(2) Because it’s the right tool for the job.

This is what you do when you’re on a job. You pull out your tool because you already know it’s the right tool for the job. You already know what settings you’re going to use and what the result will sound like – before you’ve plugged anything in. You get here by spending a lot of time doing (1). It’s called practice.


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