I was reading the new EQ magazine last night, and there was a sort of roundtable discussion that included Don Was (Rolling Stones, Bonnie Raitt, Bob Dylan, etc. producer). They asked him what he used in his home studio, and it was neither expensive nor state-of-the-latest-greatest gear. It was all modest stuff; you know, powerbook, non-exotic interface, pretty ordinary gear really. Now, we all know, Don Was makes a lot of use of very expensive, famous studios, but he can afford just about anything for his home use, and yet he's just not into fancy gear. My label partner is pretty close with him, and I know that he makes use of his gear at home, so it isn't a case of not really using what he has and therefore not giving a darn. It's that he gets what he needs from modest gear, and loads of talent as an artist and producer. Don't get me wrong, I love good gear, I think it often sounds better, and I've probably spent too much money on it...waaaay too much money, since I got a lot of it back in the day when stuff was relatively expensive. But in listening to lots of work coming out of lots of studios (I'm not excluding mine, tho I am proud of my work, others might think it's junk)I believe too often we focus on what sits in the racks in our studios, instead of the product that comes out of them. Expensive gear doesn't make us good musicians, producers, or engineers. Sometimes I think we should keep all that in mind as we get into each other's sh*t about which gizmo sounds best. I've heard some pretty fantastic and compelling music coming out of studios that barely have any gear at all! A recent example: My son was asked to do vocals with a band he recently joined when they lost their singer. The band came up with what I think is a killer song in the genre, and went into their buddy's studio. The studio has a little behringer console, a few inexpensive mics, and an inexpensive interface. Monitors were also very inexpensive equipment. The recording is cool. This young guy may not have much gear but knows how to place mics, and got a really nice sound. But the song and performance are really the key. I was impressed! And yeah, I can nitpick the sound and mix, but really, I love listening to it. So from now on, I'm making a vow to be more interested in what a producer has *done*, than what a producer has *got*.