Thursday, 1 April 2010

How to circumvent the horrors of GAS

Ah, the ol GAS. That dreaded Gear Acquisition Syndrome. I’ve been a long term sufferer, spending thousands of pounds over the past few years on impulse buys and unnecessary gear which is then sold on eBay for peanuts. Its a painful thing to do.

Yet the damn thing persists. I keep looking at the latest top model and thinking “wow, my setup would DEFINITELY be better with that!”. Even worse is the thought of “I should wait until I have X piece of gear before I continue working on anything.”


As an owner of Logic Studio, this is the stupidest thought you could ever have. Logic has everything you need to make music. Yet sometimes I sit and wait. Hell, my interface has always been good yet I’m on my fourth interface in the span of two years. And still I want to ‘upgrade’ my interface.
So I came up with a set of questions that I ask myself whenever I have GAS. Read these and memorize them well, they work!

1) Is your setup broke?
Simple question. Look at your setup and identify if there is ANYTHING that is stopping you from doing what you do. If your interface has 2 inputs and you need to record a drum kit, if you simply can’t get the sound you’re looking for out of all the synths you have, if your computer is freezing and crashing every time you open that current project, then proceed. If not, then stop looking at eBay and carry on working!

2) Explain how it is broke.
Actually try and write this down. This question avoids the cheeky way that GAS makes you think something you have isn’t good enough. Sure, those 8 core Mac Pros look awesome and they have a ton of power, but are you seriously maxing out your Macbook Pro yet? And yes, an Apogee Symphony system promises low latency and stellar converters, but is your music sounding that awful at the moment? Wow, those new Genelec monitors get good reviews but are your room acoustics going to make that irrelevant even with your current speakers? Be rational, harsh and realistic.

3) Will item X fix this state of being broke?
  This question should only be answered by a resounding YES. As in, YES having 8 inputs will let me mic up the toms at last. YES I can finally score this film with a full VI orchestra without restarting my computer every 5 minutes. Yes my room is perfect and those speakers will really help my mixes translate better. Any doubt and you need to re-evaluate the previous questions.

4) Can you afford it?
Simple, really. No use spending £3000 on that Symphony system if that leaves no money for cables and preamps to run it with.
If the answer to any of these questions is ‘no’ or is doubtful then at the top of your voice, say aloud:


Then shut the hell up and make some goddamn music.

Hope this helps ;)

Dreamsilent Productions

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