Friday, April 5, 2013

Don't Buy Cheap Tools!

Simon, dial the way back machine to 1982....

Back in High School I worked with a genius, he taught French during the day and ran a company called Sound Dynamics at night. He was a true teacher. Pierre Paquin. He taught me volumes about sound and sound re-enforcement.

One night we took a trip to visit a friend of his in Cambridge MA, because he was selling a Reel to Reel recorder. A Technics. I had no idea how good a deal I was getting and bought it right there with the recommendation from Pierre.

This machine has been following me around the country for over thirty years now. I take good care of it, and it takes good care of me. The best part is how well it takes care of tape!

When I worked for Berkshire Broadcasting, we had some Revox decks that were brutal to tape. If you hit that stop button, it would STOP cold. You could almost hear the tape stretch. Bah.

But back on topic.

I have a method to my madness. I don't buy cheap tools. Cheap tools don't last and they break when you need them most. Can you imagine buying the cheapest saw blade you can find? There it is, whirling along at several thousand RPM and it decides to disintegrate... good plan.

Same goes with my audio gear. Solid gear. Mackie mixers, Pro-Tools, Neumann, MOTU. With good cables and proper connections. When I go into my studio to record, everything should work. No "fiddle with this till it comes on..." type of idea.

Invest in Yourself

This life is too short for half-hearted attempts at things. Go big, or go home. Seriously. If your goal is to be a voice actor, don't get the cheapest tools you can find and expect to have a positive experience. Now don't go out and buy a Neumann U87 and put in your closet recording space without really treating that room properly, you need to invest wisely. But don't buy junk. And when you need a piece of gear 30 years later. That freaking thing fires up and works and gets the job done. Period. Thank you Pierre!