Why you need to stop arguing about audio gear online

Boy screaming into microphoneI love talking about audio and music. I love having discussions with other people that enjoy the same things that I do. This is the reason I found myself frequenting not only forums, message boards, Facebook groups, but also live events and other places where people that enjoy recording audio and making music gather. Since I was a kid I was always looking for a way to join a community while not actually having to join a community. When I started playing the bass in the 6th grade, I joined a bass guitar message board where I could talk to other bassists about ways to improve. Later on, when I got into playing competitive paintball and poker I did the same thing. By joining these communities I was cued into a network of people that were all interested in the same thing. It became a vital way for me to find people that have similar interest that are also looking to grow. Message boards and similar types of communities are also a great place to educate yourself as they are great resources for information as well as staying current on industry trends.

Now, with all good can come bad and there can be a lot of bad when you get a lot of nerds together online. This is actually a reason I enjoy facebook groups a bit more than message boards. Facebook is less anonymous than the some of the other communities which hold users accountable (to an extent). Anonymity can bring out the worst in people.

Some of you that follow me on social media may know that I like to create and post a lot of memes that are designed to be funny and poke fun at certain aspects of audio, music or production. It seems some people get them confused with statements about audio engineering or music production beliefs and philosophies.

I recently posted a meme where I depicted a Fairchild 670, the Waves plugin version of the same compressor– the Puigchild 670 and a stock photo of people in a crowd with the words “Who would win?” at the top. Almost immediately comments began flooding in arguing one side or the other.

The point of this meme is making fun of the high cost of analog gear and the fact that the majority of people that will eventually listen to the end product on their cell phones not only don’t give a crap about what type of processors you used but also will never be able to hear the difference.  I love analog gear, I use a lot of it, I wouldn’t be able to do certain things without it. I love plugins, I use a lot of them, I wouldn’t be able to do certain things without them. One is not better than the other, they both serve their purpose. If you like one better than the other, great, that doesn’t mean it’s better for everyone.

Analog vs digital vs the average listener.

A post shared by Audio Hertz (@audio_hertz) on

That meme is meant to be a joke, it’s meant to be funny but what I’ve found is that people online seem to take things too seriously and love to take any opportunity to argue something they believe is 100% right. If you’re one of those people let me save you some time and aggravation. It’s not worth it and you’re not always right, even if you always think you are. Why are you trying to change complete strangers opinions on the internet?

It doesn’t make any sense to me. I understand having a proper debate about something that may be controversial but there’s really no right or wrong in these scenarios. If you like analog gear, great, use it. If you like plugins, great, use it. Why is anyone trying to prove to anyone else that one is better than the other?

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David Silverstein

David Silverstein began engineering at the age of 14 when he purchased a Fostex four-track cassette recorder. After high school, he enrolled at Five Towns College where he graduated with a Bachelor of Professional Studies in Business with a concentration in Audio Recording Technology. He has worked under renowned engineers and producers Jim Sabella (Marcy Playground, Nine Days, and Public Enemy) and Bryce Goggin (Pavement, Spacehog, The Ramones and The Lemonheads). David currently works out of his studio in East Harlem, NYC and Sabella Studios in Roslyn, NY.

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