OK, Gear Acquisition Syndrome (GAS) really describes a condition where one is all geeked out all the time, focusing on the next shiny new tool and spending virtually no time learning and using the ones they already have. This is especially true with those of us who are into music. This isn’t just about hardware, but software too—plugins are like musical opioids. I have been guilty of this in the past, looking for the next cool plugin that can provide another dose of inspiration. What I realized, though, in the past several years is that I went in the opposite direction, trying to use my quarter-century old gear, jimmying it into places it wasn’t meant to be used, trying to stretch its analog existence into the digital box world. I got so cheap that I scavenged any cable I could find just to make the connection, ignoring the fact that cables can be the weakest link in the chain.
I have started an overhaul of my studio and the major component just got delivered. It is the new PreSonus StudioLive Series III 32 console. I will save the details of this beauty for a later post, but my point is that there has to be a balance between GAS and not having the tools to get the job done. Now, you don’t have to go out and drop thousands of dollars to get what you need—the key is to be honest about what that is and know when that new piece of gear is more of a want. This can be very though for those of us gear geeks, but it is critical that we use what we’ve got, learning it and knowing its limits, using it until it won’t do what we need it to do any longer. But in my situation, I reached a point where the setup I have just wouldn’t do what I needed it to do. So, I researched the heck out of my options, narrowed in on what I wanted down to its physical dimensions and how it would fit into my existing room. Here’s what that looks like, just after I pulled it out of the box and turned the lights on:
In my case, I needed a little GAS to get things rolling. I am not going crazy with buying new gear, but I do need to get the basics set up. The next targets are a pair of studio monitors to compliment my Yamaha NS-10m’s, acoustic treatment for the room and update the cabling. These are things that have been lacking for years and that will improve the efficiency and the quality of the music being made. I am really looking forward to sharing the progress of the studio and the new ways to leverage technology to create better music. The studio will also be used to resume the production of the TSM podcast which I am planning on rebooting in the next few months. A healthy balance between GAS and maximum utilization of what you have will give you a sweet spot that enables you to focus on making music while, hopefully, making the process even more enjoyable!
What’s in your practice or recording studio? Please share a description in the comments below!