Be Wise About Your Gear Upgrades

gear / plugins

Buying new gear for our home studios:  What is more fun than that, right? We all do it. No matter how many people tell us we don’t “need” new gear or that the new gear won’t make our recordings any better and “it’s all in how we use the tools we have”, right? I know I have said this a million times to my students and even myself; but there is something exciting about upgrading our gear or adding a new tool that we didn’t current have. I am just as guilty of this as many of you reading this.

So if we have a few extra bucks and want to make a purchase for our studios lets at least make a smart purchase. Lets at least make a purchase that can really help and really be a true “upgrade”. For example, if you already have several vintage style compressor plugins and some plugin company adds their version of the 1176 emulation do we really need to spend $300 on that when we already have 3 other versions of the 1176 in our collection?  Will our mix all of a sudden be that much better because we have this new compressor? I am sure if we were honest with ourselves we would answer no!

What if we took that same $300 and took a hard look at our entire set up and asked the simple question “what is my studio’s weakest link”? If we took that approach we would make a much better choice and this $300 could actually help us achieve a better recording.

Do you have proper and adequate acoustic treatment in your mixing space?

Do you have a decent set of monitors and/or headphones?

Do you have a decent mic to record with (if that is what you do)?

Do you have good mic cables or are you using cheap ones?

All of these items can be had for the same $300 or less, and that purchase would help you a lot more than the vintage compressor mentioned earlier. The point is that your studio is only as good as your weakest link and whenever you make a new purchase, think about how it will help you and be honest with yourself. Also try to not purchase anything that you are not committed to for at least 2 years. Make sure you are not going to outgrow your purchase in 6 months. 

So before you break out that credit card after watching the latest gear craze on You Tube be sure that you are making a sound purchase and invest wisely!


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