How one mic changed my perspective

I can still remember years ago, when an engineer in New York changed my way of thinking. I was working as an assistant engineer on an album for They Might Be Giants at the now defunct Skyline Studios. I went in bright and early that morning and set up all the mics for the day.

Once the engineer got in he had seen that I placed Shure SM57 mics on all of the guitar cabs. I was proud that he was happy with my placement and selection of mics for other instruments, but he had me switch out all the 57's to Sennheiser E609's for guitar recording.

Listening to the tracks we captured that day, I was floored, and the experience did something very important. It changed my way of thinking about standards and 'the right way' in recording and mixing. Don't get me wrong, I've gotten tons of great recordings out of a Shure SM57, but even to this day I'll use a 609 with great results on guitar cab, snare, and more.

What this did was open my eyes and ears to trying something new, and not just sticking to what was the norm. Next time you're about to record an instrument, a vocal or something else, break free from your typical setup, and try something new.

I apply this same type of thinking to my playing all the time. I was playing over a jam track in B the other day, and because of the style, I was able to play major and minor pentatonic over the changes without it sounding weird.

You can get unique and beautiful sounds if you think outside of the box (especially the pentatonic box), when it comes to your playing.

Ready to step outside the norm?

When has trying something a little different changed your playing, and ultimately changed your mindset? Let me know by reaching out on Twitter or Facebook.