It’s a common misconception that having great gear will in turn make great music. On the other hand mediocre gear is like starting to draw a picture with a dull pencil vs great gear as starting to draw a picture with a perfectly sharpened pencil. Just because you have a perfectly sharp pencil does not mean that you will make a great drawing.
I like to think there are several key factors that go into creating great music. The first factor that is probably the most important is having great players. A great player will always sound good because they have truly mastered their craft. The second factor is great songwriting. There are plenty of junk songs written by great players. Being a great player and/or going to music school does not automatically make you a great songwriter. Sometimes the best songs aren’t written by the artist or entirely by one artist. If you dig a little deeper you’ll find tons of great artists who have songs written for them. Songwriting can be the easiest and hardest thing in the world at the same time. The third factor is great production, without the right production on a song, a great song may never reach its full potential. However, great production should not be confused with perfection because no matter how hard you try, you’ll never ever be perfect and maybe the fact that things aren’t perfect, is perfection! That’s what humans love about music in the first place though, the minor imperfections truly make the perfect record. The last factor is great gear which imprints a certain flavor into the recordings. It’s like salt and pepper, it brings out the flavors that are already there and a little goes a long way. All these factors combined are behind every great record that has ever been released.