The Paradox Of Choice And The Power Of Limitations [Video]

| Mixing, Plugins, Rant, The #1 Rule of Home Recording, Tips, Video

There is one guiding principle, one core concept, one single rule that is the foundation of everything I try to do with music in my studio: both for myself and for all of my clients. This one rule exposes both the paradox of choice (so wonderfully articulated by Barry Schwartz) and the power of limitations. I call it the #1 rule of home recording and today I’d like to unpack it a bit for you.


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22 Responses to “The Paradox Of Choice And The Power Of Limitations [Video]”

  1. Colin

    Great post! I couldn’t agree more.
    If you don’t mind me asking, what is the piece of gear under your central station? A UAD Apollo?

      • Colin

        The Apollo is continuously recommended to me! You should do a review of the hardware unit and it’s ITB capabilities if you get an opportunity! I’d love to hear more about it from a source I know/trust/respect!

  2. Daniel Dennis

    Excellent video! I’ve found that if you limit your gear, you end up learning every little detail of the gear you already have and make more creative decisions based on the audio challenges that you run into during the recording process. Also, limiting track count can result in a bigger/open/calculated sound later on because it makes you focus on arrangement.

  3. Andy Lowe

    Very good points here. Incidentally, this is why i am enjoying pro tools 11 at the moment, because I have lost so many plugins (waiting for AAX 64 bit) so this is forcing me to just make music, just using the stock plugins and basically just getting it done! productivity has increased since i moved to pro tools 11 instead of 10.

  4. Rod

    Schwartz is brilliant in his observations. He had me right up until he postulated that re-distribution of wealth would be better for everyone. Doesn’t change the application you’re making here though. Too much choice leads to paralysis…yep!

  5. Graham

    Yeah, I don’t believe in redistribution of wealth either. But Barry is a genius either way ­čÖé

  6. Vincent

    This principle is what helps me get things done, and you can apply it in many areas of life too. Simplifying things is always better. Great ebook, it really changed my way of thinking.

  7. Mac

    In guitar terms, after 30 yrs of guitar playing I finished 10 yrs ago with just a guitar and 12″ speaker 5W combo with one knob “Gain”. Never failed to be sufficient in recording, gigs etc… .
    Less gear, more music. More fun.

  8. 2pi degrees

    Agree. When I started writing music (end 90s) I was limited to a crappy sound card with on-board sampled sounds and I had the best musical ideas with it.



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