Does Better Equipment = Better Beats

Does Better Equipment = Better Beats

Yo yo what up MM! Your man AG here with another one. A lot of us are guilty of gear lust, including myself. Being that The NAMM Show 2014 (show where vendors introduce their upcoming product releases to the public) is right around the corner. I want to know how many of you think that better equipment will help you make better beats? Or are we just making manufacturers rich off this BS mentality.

Throughout my years of producing thus far, I’ve had my fair share of experience with a lot of production equipment. But what I’ve noticed is that all that did was confuse the hell out of me. See I never really stuck with one piece so I was constantly learning versus perfecting my craft. Looking back that probably molded me for what I do today, but that’s another story. My point is too much can actually be a¬†hindrance. That’s why I think a lot of the older cats stick to what they know. If they made multi platinum hits on the limited equipment they had back then, its more than possible for us to do so with one software program today.

It’s cool to stay current with the latest and greatest but is it really helping you develop as a producer? I think workflow should be the main focus. Once you find equipment, whether it be software, hardware, pots, pans etc.. that allows you to turn your ideas into music quickly without losing the feeling, that’s the piece to stick with. I’m now a firm believer in the phrase Less Is More. I’m totally cool with doing everything “in the box“. Most of the time I use Maschine to do everything I need to do. Just because it can. Not saying that it’s the best thing out now (on some fanboy shit) but it gets the job done quickly and efficiently for ME. As I’m sure the MPC Renaissance, Ableton Push etc. would do for others.

So do I think better equipment will help you make better beats.. NO. I think practice, finding your style, and mastering it will. The equipment is just a tool that may or may not help you produce better quality beats depending on how its used. Try a little exercise where you only use one piece of gear for a set amount of time and see how much further along you get. If it doesn’t help with your skills it definitely will with your wallet! Check out this vid I did a couple years back (skip to 4:40 sec) and see how far I’ve come since then using this technique. Hope this helps and until next time catch me everywhere @AGGOTBEATS




12 thoughts on “Does Better Equipment = Better Beats

  1. E52BEATS says:

    I’m definitely guilty of gear lust! or at least I was…Now I’m just a Maschine head and can’t really imagine what can come next, and even if something comes out top Maschine I think I’m good with what I have now. I always tell my students it’s not the car it’s the driver, granted better car better performance, but I really think less is more. You right A, having a ton of gear only confuses people…Peace

  2. S@nd3m0n1um says:

    This is a multifaceted topic the variables; a user that is awesome with low end tools, a user with low end tools no skills, a user with high end tools no skills, and user with hit end tools awesome skills.

    I think it’s all in the mind of the individual. I can remember at one point even saying wTH is maschine and why would I need that especially since I can do the same thing with my axiom air. Little did I know nearly a year later it’s the go to device in my sonic arsenal. Another thing to take notice of is the ability to learn something.

    As always getting new hardware and software you tend to have a implementation and learning curb associated with it. Once those two are hashed out you just have to find a template that compliments your workflow.

    For me I believe it does. You just have to understand and apply your hardware to your workflow.

  3. djplanb says:

    Getting new gear constantly disturb the production curve and throws in a learning curve. It was a point I bought new equipment every tax return and was just flooded with gear that I used very little or not at all. It can be said that new gear such as keyboards for me, gave me a different feel when creating so nothing was really lost on the production side, but when I was dealing with drum machine and samplers, such as the mpc 2000, 2000xl, roland mv8800, the boss series etc. learning how everything worked became work instead of creation. My early software years was complicated too as far as jumping to Digital Performer in one studio, then go to another one with Logic and then Cakewalk and Neundo and finally Pro Tools. I think every produce eventually gets to that point where they realize that spending on more gear slows down the production with learning and holds back projects unless new equipment is really needed. Ideas comes from the individual and the equipment just Paints the Picture. Maschine Masters Let’s Go!!

  4. Richpmusic says:

    I don’t really think too much gear is a bad thing, only if you don’t understand it. For me different pieces gives me a different work flow which isn’t bad especially when I have blocks. I change controllers a lot but my DAW stays the same. Using Maschine and Push right now, I’m looking to add the MPC Ren, even tho I know I can do everything in Ableton and Maschine, but the workflow will be different. Sometimes that change is enough to spark another creative spell. With that being sad, I’m waiting to see what NAMM has to offer lol

  5. jazzydrewproductions says:

    It’s fun to have new gear. It’s an individual thing but for me it’s about figuring out when I have a nice process worked out and if it works I try not to mess with it much. Sometimes throwing new gear in is like throwing a wrench in my spokes. I especially try not to keep looking into new gear that does a very similar function to something I already have. If I can do everything I need to do and then some on my maschine then there’s no need for me to dig into another device. For the last year or so I’ve been using my maschine, iPad, and Logic9 and I see zero reason to keep buying gear at this point because my setup gets me exactly what I need and I still have only scratched the surface of what they can do.
    Perfect example.. And I don’t know if he was just blowin hit air but in one of the early MpC Ren commercials with DJ Premier he was saying that up until about a year or two before that he was still using his MPC60II. So if it works.. It works. My 2 cents.

  6. NeekRusher says:

    I agree having the latest and greastest music production gear or plug-in. Does not mean you will make better music. It soothes the ego for instagram bragging rights. A friend of mine, who is into music always hated when I came at him about new music gear and plug-ins. But, I did sell him on Logic Pro. Lol he loves it. And the only plug-in he did take from me was. Phil harmomic orchestra. Besides that he will not budge on nothing. I had my realazation about music gear when my music producer partner started coming at me every week with a new plug-in to get. I was like MY MAN! didn’t we just get a “dope” piano plug-in last week? And the week before that a “dope” synth plug-in? Enough is a enough I’m good. Once I started learning sound design I realized that all the synth plug-ins were the same. The gas up was how much effect was added on to each patch sound. Once I started to get into more music theory. You could sell a person to buy a casio sk1 just off of how you are playing the right chords and melody. Now don’t get me wrong I’m not using Maschine Version 1 over verson 1.8 or 2.0. Some features in any tool can help you bring your creativity to another level. My advice for new guys is to learn some music theory. Then pick 2 DAWS to learn. Pro Tools, Logic Pro, Ableton Live, Cubase, Digital Performer and FL. Everything else you will start to find out what’s good and not so good. Like having “THE BEST DRUM KITS” lol Any remember the old saying “It’s not the tools it’s the carpenter” Hence why I went back, to learning more about Maschine. I would just use maschine for chopping samples and drums. After watching some producers in the electronic world use maschine, I felt like I knew nothing about Maschine. Peace -Neek Rusher

  7. jayminho says:

    just take a look at the guys in the early 90s.
    when a sampler would cost thousands of dollars and you could only sample 30s.

    acctually, you dont even need to go that far, a few years ago, a then unknown kid, lex luger , was building what would be major hits on a pc with fl studio.
    its not the equipaments, its you!

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