The Greatest Music Production Epiphanies

What were your greatest music production epiphanies? For me, it was that good microphones make all the difference. I started recording music on my own.  Nobody helped me at first and I'm not patient enough to read anything.  I wanted to record songs I was writing and figured that any monkey could figure this all out. 

To make a very long story short, as I got better gear and a better space, my recordings were still not improving.  You can get caught in a loop of constantly thinking "I just need better (this or that) and then everything will be ok."  And it never happens.

By this point, I was actually working with a very good engineer who was teaching me a lot of things I didn't know.  I was doing live sound with him as well as working with him in his (much better) studio.  But still my recordings in my own space were pretty much the same even though my engineering skills had vastly improved.

My friend ended up wanting to trade some gear with me.  I forgot what he wanted from me, but in return I got a very expensive vocal mic.  And holy shit ... those vocal tracks that I'd always wanted but could never get suddenly appeared!  Before that, I was recording vocal tracks either with an SM58 or, after that, with a cheap condenser mic.

I started to collect microphones

One I had this epiphany, I started to collect microphones.  Good drum mics, guitar mics, etc, etc.  And my recordings went from "home studio" quality to near professional quality almost overnight.  I was doing way less work in post-production and so many problems I used to have in the mix just suddenly disappeared. 

The raw tracks you record are your whole recording.  Effects, emulators and whatever other devices exist in your DAW will never make up for a shit track.  As they say, garbage in - garbage out. 

Invest in good mics.  They'll save you lots of time, lots of money, and lots of headaches and self-hatred sitting at your console wondering why you're such a shitty engineer.  You're not (maybe).  Your mics just suck.