Yeah, I'm so glad I bought one of his original marker drawing's years ago. His death in October was tough, he had a rough life, but I could only celebrate all that he shared and gave us. The sadness and humor he combined in "going to the funeral home and I'm never coming back", has now played out, and he'll be missed. He's been an inspiration and reminder that it's not the equipment that makes the artist or holds them back. He didn't let ANYTHING hold him back. I don't care that his voice sometimes sounded like he was going through puberty, his timing was all over the place, there were drop outs and thuds, and over-saturation, clicks, much hiss, he was suffering from various mental conditions. The song and heart is there, and the talent too. I wouldn't necessarily try to make lo-fi for the sake of it (even though I sometimes do), but I do like the character of hearing someone making music in the laundry room, the click and hum of the cheap cassette recorder, mum yelling that you're lazy and need to do something constructive with your life, conversations in the background or sloppily added onto the track. The feelings are there, the environment is real, the day to day life is being lived and that moment is now a saved as a time capsule. It makes it unique and interesting, not just another typical multi-million dollar studio song. You can't buy that moment or environment, it just happens. To think that you could never record because everything from equipment, to talent, to noise in background, isn't studio grade, is the wrong attitude. Daniel did eventually make it to a big name recording studio, with a crew of people who worked with Paul McCartney. It's fine, they did a good job, it was interesting to hear him in a different setting, but it's not better than his earlier work. *ART PREFERENCE IS SUBJECTIVE* **POPULARITY, and SALES is OBJECTIVE** Marketing, timing, fads, visuals, age, demographics, luck, are all part of the equation too.
BTW. I've had a Vurt mp3 folder for many years, with a few of your songs in it. I see you as a true artist as well. Didn't matter that you basically made it in a mop room. There are quite a few real muscian's and artists on KVR. People I view as maybe not really having a mainstream "shake your ass on the dance floor" banger, but maybe having a sense of humor, or grace, or unique perspective, or fun, or exploration, or something different to say and on and on. I'm not sure a nice silky in your face sound would really make it better. Some things are not meant to be mainstream, and that's not a bad thing artistically.
Again, how anal people want to be fidelity wise, depends on your goals. If money and popularity is the main goal, then you usually have to play the game by the rules. I personally view people like Vurt and Daniel Johnston as successful artists. Vurt actually sounds pretty damn good. But if you compare them to commercial tracks they're maybe not as loud or punchy or something, but I respect them more than the majority of big name radio play people. Art is more than high-fidelity and money. Maybe not having the recording sound mainstream actually makes it more interesting to me, there's still something about it that sounds musical and curious. I can hear more because there isn't a huge bass hogging all the frequencies, or snare smacking me in the face. I can like both, but I like hearing things that are not the same old same old. Hi-fi can actually be a trade off in some ways, you usually have to get rid of the noise, you have to reduce dynamics, it GENERALLY should be pure and pristine or you run into problems. Sometimes it's best for the song, sometimes not.
But I love plenty of mainstream acts, and there's a place for that. To get it right, still be mainstream and not sell yourself out, but to use it to enhance your art. I guess that's the real goal most artist's are hoping to achieve.
Sorry, got off topic. But use whatever equipment you have and make the most of it, don't let it hold you back. I suppose you should always try to have the best equipment, but it doesn't mean it will necessarily make things better. It's true that if your monitors and room are not right, as was stated, you have to guess more about the choices you make, you're flying half blind. But as was also stated, whatever your environment is, you will kind of learn it and adjust to it. Comparing your tracks to commercial tracks as reference material is a good way to have an idea of where you're at.