5 pieces of ’90s studio gear that we need back right now: “Making music in the ’90s, you needed an awful lot of awfully average music gear, a lot of space and a vivid imagination”

The 1990s was all Britpop, dance music, people with curtain haircuts, and power ballads. In the recording studio, it was even worse. Compared to 2024, a 1990s recording space was filled with a ton of gear that did an ounce of work. But that was its genius…

“Limitation is the sincerest form of creativity,” is a phrase we just made up – and one based on a much cleverer one that someone else made up – but it does apply to 1990s music gear. 

Anyone under the age of about 40 will not understand this, but back in the 1990s, if you wanted to make music, you needed an awful lot of awfully average music gear, a lot of space and a very vivid imagination. 

There were no laptops that did everything, cool walls of modular synths that did everything, nor hardware Native Instruments/Akai style DAW-in-a-boxes (that did everything). 

We had to make music with a mountain of gear, all inside a room with a two megabyte ceiling