The most exciting new music comes from young kids guys running some audio software in a bedroom, listening to the result over a shitty hi-fi and use Melodyne all the way wrong. Those folks do not read gear magazines, they could not care less about yet another mastering EQ, but create the most stunning beauty. If people talk too much about gear I usually do not expect too much good music. I am often trapped in this twilight zone between engineer and composer too, so I know what I am talking about here…
It’s very easy for young computer-based musicians to slowly transform into gearheads. The sooner you get rid of that the better.
Some of my best friends in college used computers for recording in their dorm rooms and managed to avoid getting caught up in recording formats, DAWs, and other things that just got in the way of their creativity. They don’t have the best engineered tracks, but they built a large repertoire of original music.
That’s challenging to do during a time when musicians find themselves having to be recording engineers.
I’ve listened to enough music to know that if you must choose between composition and engineering, err on the side of composition. If it’s great everything else will be forgiven.