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Silver Linings

Published July 2008

Everyone in the media seems determined to talk us into a recession, which, for our sector of industry, hasn't been helped by the announcement that the Sound Control chain of stores has gone into administration following financial problems, or that petrol now costs almost as much per litre as bad supermarket wine! In many ways the state of the economy is only ever what the majority of people believe it to be, but as musicians it helps if we look for opportunities rather than problems. After all, a lot of great pop music was written during times of hardship, and when it comes to blues music, destitution is almost a blessing for inspiring new material! So if you're feeling the pinch, get on and write some music. And if you want a new piece of gear, just go out and buy it, because when your wife leaves you for not putting food on the table, just think of the great songs you'll be able to come up with!

If this seems a touch cynical and not entirely serious, you're right. But I'll never forget a conversation I had with an SOS reader many years ago, when he phoned me to say that we'd set him on the path to recording obsession, to the point where his marriage had broken down and he'd had to sell the family home. By the time he'd told me that, I was expecting an earful of blame, but as it turned out he was going to use the money from his half of the house sale to buy some new studio gear, and he wanted some advice on what to get next!

On a more practical note, when times get tough for the retail trade there are often bargains to be had, and by buying something new you're putting money back into the system, which in turn helps the economy, so you can feel good that you're doing something to help. Where there really is no budget for new equipment you can still improve the quality of your recordings by improving the way you use the facilities you already have, and that's where Sound On Sound can help. In every issue you'll find information that you can put to good use to make your recordings sound better, and the improvement per pound or dollar spent on the magazine is invariably going to be far greater than spending the same amount of money on recording equipment — or on a couple of beers for that matter. There's also the Sound On Sound web site, which, as many people throughout the world have already discovered, is one of the most significant on-line resources in the known universe for music technology students or anyone interested in recording or electronic music. Just the articles from recent months are subscriber only — anything else is free to access.

Furthermore, time spent in your studio is time not spent shopping, driving your car, or going down the pub, so allowing yourself more time to do what you really enjoy will also save you bags of money! If you really get into a song you'll forget to eat, which is yet another saving, and if all this time locked away in the studio upsets your significant other, then, as mentioned earlier, that's a rich source of 'from the heart' material to inspire new songs. Trust me, it's a win-win situation. When the going gets tough, the tough get recording.

Paul White Editor In Chief