Hootie The BlowfishIt’s the day after Thanksgiving here in the US. And most of us are feeling bloated from all the eating yesterday. 🙂

I suppose it’s human nature. There’s all this food just sitting there, waiting to be eaten. Everyone else is stuffing their faces, so why not join in, right?

Is your studio like a bloated, post-Thanksgiving food coma? Do you fill it up with gear just because you can? Do you fill up your hard drive with the latest software? Do you always upgrade to the latest version of Pro Tools as soon as it’s released?

Your studio might need to go on a serious diet.

How to Spot a Bloated Studio

If you’re not sure if your studio is bloated, here are some questions to ask yourself:

  • What was your last gear purchase? Did you need it?
  • Have you finished a project/song with that piece of gear?
  • What was your last software purchase? Did you need it?
  • Have you finished a project/song with that piece of software?
  • What’s holding you back from making the recordings you want to make? Do you think it’s gear?
  • Are there items in your studio (or on your hard drive) that you haven’t used in the last year?
  • Which of the following numbers is bigger? a. the number of projects you completed in the last year OR b. the number of new pieces of gear/software you purchased in the last year.
  • Does new gear make you more excited than actually working on and finishing a recording project?
  • Do you refuse to pay a professional to either mix, master, or even play an instrument on your recording, but you’re willing to drop hundreds of dollars on a new microphone?
  • Do you refuse to pay to learn how to use the gear you own, preferring rather to spend money on a new piece of gear that will fix all your problems?

As you can tell…these questions will expose some of the motivations behind why you do what you do. I’m not saying you can’t buy gear. I love new gear. But I’ve met far too many people who have an awesome college of studio gear but never produce anything they’re proud to share with anyone.

How to Fix a Bloated Studio

Here are a few ideas for ways to fix your bloated studio:

  • If you are absolutely fixed on a new piece of gear, don’t let yourself get it until you finish a project. I don’t care if it’s a simple guitar/vocal song or a full 12-song album. Finish a project with what you own, then reward yourself with that new piece of gear.
  • Don’t buy something unless you plan to use it for a LONG time.
  • If you haven’t used a piece of gear in the last year or two, consider either using it TODAY on something or getting rid of it.
  • Give yourself some minimalist challenges. These will take your focus off of GEAR and onto YOU and your SKILLS. A few examples: Record an entire song using only an SM57. Mix an entire song using only the stock Pro Tools plugins. Record a drum kit with one microphone.

Go on a Diet

How do you lose weight? You eat less and do more. How to you fix a bloated studio? You stop buying stuff and start pumping out finished projects.

What do you think? Do you nod your head when you read articles like this, but never do anything about them? Why not try something new?