You heard me talk about gear acquisition syndrome or GAS before. It’s not a new term, and it’s not something we don’t all deal with.

You’ve also heard me say that it’s much more important to use the gear that you currently own to its fullest extent before going out and buying more equipment. At some point though we all inevitably ask the question, Is expensive gear worth the money?

It’s a valid question. There are lots of really cool expensive pieces of gear out there. And they wouldn’t exist if someone wasn’t buying them. So the real question is are they necessary?

As with most things in recording, the answer is it depends.

Let me share with you three steps to take before considering buying a new piece of equipment. This is a good idea if you’re just starting out or if you’ve been recording for 20 years.

1. Drive your gear into the ground.

I don’t like to buy new cars. When I do buy a car I plan to own it for a long time. The goal is to drive it until the wheels fall off and then buy a new car.

Think of your recording equipment in the same way. You should use that equipment until it dies before considering buying new equipment.

I don’t mean that literally. What I am saying is that you need to use your gear so much that you truly understand all the subtle nuances of every piece of equipment that you own. Constantly buying near gear inhibits you from really learning the gear that you currently own.

2. Identify the real problem.

What are you unhappy about in your studio? Is it the equipment or perhaps is the problem you? You need to spend more time practicing, more time learning proper technique. All the gear in the world won’t help you with that.

3. Buy what will have the greatest impact.

If you need to buy one piece of equipment, buy the piece of equipment that will do you the most good.

Acoustic treatment is a great example. It will make everything sound better.

A good microphone pre amp will make all of your microphones sound better.

So those are three steps to help you think through a new gear purchase. How do you go about purchasing new equipment?

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