I was reading this post by Graham Cochrane over at The Recording Revolution the other day, and it really highlighted something I’ve been thinking for a while. In it he specifically talks about microphones, and whether or not using a $1000 microphone will make your voice sound ten time better then using a $100 microphone.
He then goes on to challenge the reader to test it, and see if it noticeably even makes your vocals sound twice as good. As you can imagine, often it doesn’t. Yes it may sound that bit clearer and give you a comparably better result, but overall the $100 microphone still gives you a good quality vocal recording which fans of your music will enjoy. Because of this, it’s clearly the better value for money product.
This theory also applies to other areas of the music industry. For example, if you was to spend $1000 on a established graphic designer who has made a name for themselves, would the final cover you get from them be ten times better then if you was to get a album cover from a up and coming designer? This designer may have been designing for years, yet they’re only now looking for paid work, so may charge $100 per cover to get the ball rolling. That said, that doesn’t mean they couldn’t potentially give you something which is just as good as what the premium designer could do, if not better.
Or what about music business education. Does spending grands to learn about the music business in a college mean you’ll get 10+ times more knowledge then you’d get if you spent a fraction of the cost on a online course which focuses 100% of practical knowledge?
There are many other examples where paying more doesn’t mean you’ll get relative better quality. That said, I know there are cases where paying more will give you increased quality, and make it worth spending the extra.
What do you feel though? Is it worth going for the most expensive option even if the results you get don’t always go up relative to the cost? Or should you go for the option which does the job and gives best value for money, regardless of if it’s the higher or lower priced item? Discuss by leaving a comment below.