Recording Gear Reviews For Human Beings

Brandon Drury —  February 25, 2009

I’ve got quite a few gear reviews coming up here at As the Killer Home Recording series gets released, the need for me to provide gear reviews will increase, I believe.

I want to say that I’m tired of gear reviews made for dogs. (Apparently, there are dogs who are willing and able to read recording gear reviews). You see, my dog lays on the bed about 22 hours per day. The other 2 hours he breaks stuff, pees, and poops. The end! He has spare time!

I, however, am a human being. I’m writing a home recording book, trying not to fall too behind on a forum (and failing!) , trying to improve my search engine rankings, working out the graphics for my book, discussing code with my programmer, trying not to burn the meat on the skillet, and trying to keep the woman miserable. Oh yeah, I have 3 gear reviews that I’m behind on, a laptop with no Firewire port that I have return and about a billion other things to do.

You get the idea. My dog has more free time than I do!

All of us are busy people. As Brooks from Shawshank Redemption said, “The world went and got itself in a big, damn hurry”.

Why Waste Our Time?
I recently opened up my favorite recording magazine, Tape Op (which is generally badass), and some dude described a handle to a preamp for an entire paragraph. Move over Tolkien! We have a new king to the waste-my-time throne! I’m shocked the guy didn’t describe the mouse he was using to write the article or the chair he was sitting in or the mood of the UPS guy who delivered it. When does it end?

No Handle Reviews!
I don’t give a damn about handles for my preamps. I could see mentioning a handle on a 4×12 cabinet. (I like Boogie cabinets, but those handles HURT!). I don’t lift preamps often and when I do they don’t weigh enough for me to care about the handle. The preamp with the best handle in the world gets 0 additional points.

Gear Is Not Art!
I don’t care what anyone says. Gear is not art. It’s there to make art (or noise in my case). While I do have some swords I need to hang up, no one with any sense tosses a rackmount piece of gear on the wall. I don’t care about the outside appearance of recording gear. Therefore, I will not make mention of the way an EQ plugin looks. I respect the fact that your time is just as limited as mine.

Note: Ergonomics do play a part with any tool and in the event that way a unit looks effects the way I use it, I will make a note.

Short And Sweet
I’m going to do my gear reviews differently. I’m going to post the conclusions first in a bulleted list. I’m going to post the prices right after that. I’m going to get in, kick ass, and get out. If you want to read the whole thing, knock yourself out. If not, I saved you some time.

Some gear manufacturers will wonder why they only got a 300 word review. To these manufacturers, I can only say that I said what I needed to say. If they have complaints, I’ll gladly address them. However, my brevity is a function of respect to my users, not laziness.


Brandon Drury

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Brandon Drury quit counting at 1,200 recorded songs in his busy home recording studio. He is the creator of and is the author of the Killer Home Recording series.

6 responses to Recording Gear Reviews For Human Beings

  1. Brandon-
    Since you’re about to undertake much writing…
    memorize “effects=noun”
    Now ask yerself, which goes in the blank:
    “…the way a unit looks_____ the way I use it…”
    It’s a tough one, commonly swapped.
    I like your philosophy regarding wastes of time with reviews. I’ve been looking at a lot of multitracker choices (with the Korg D3200 winning so far) and have not found anything better than the British “Sound on Sound” site, but man, they are verbose… wordy!
    Good luck on your venture!
    Mike U.

  2. I read a review today of Line6 POD2 which didn’t mention much
    beyond a Literary Critique of the User Manual,which apparently
    is in English and more informative than that Review.Which did
    not have a single sentence re the Sounds or interface Pod2 has
    (all 1/4″ phone jacks).Asfor the inbuilt amp/cabinet combos or
    36 Effects forget it,the reviewer did.And how would it get any
    sound into my computer,as a Direct Recording device?Who Knows?
    Reviewer did mention it would go straight into a power Amp!As
    useful as an udder on a bull.

  3. Mike,a dilemma & conundrum quite often:do guitar processors
    or boxes give us effects?Guitar effects is the correct usage,
    Hendrix is famed for his effects,regardless of the affect of whatever substance he was playing behind.Actually according
    to this dictionary they are almost interchangeable in usage.
    I was affected by his guitar effects?The nueropsycholgy & the
    actual changes in the brain when it has to choose between two
    such similar options has created a whole branch of that science,I have read some of the papers proving thought is
    potentially dangerous to the health-so I now avoid it.