Home Studio Tip #1 – GAS

Hey there, Welcome to Home Studio Geeks!

Prepare to learn lots of cool stuff about home studio recording. This is Tip #1 in the 10 part eCourse “10 Tips to Better Home Recording.”

Gear Acquisition Syndrome (GAS).

GAS. I know you’ve been there. You’re drooling over stuff in that glossy new catalog that just arrived. There’s a killer sale going on at American Musical or Sweetwater about some awesome new piece of gear that is EXACTLY what you need.

Step back. Hold on a sec. Breathe…. It’s a trap that I’ve fallen into more than a few times and, while I love getting new gear as much as the next guy, it rarely does everything I hoped it would do and it pretty much never puts an end to my lust for new musical toys or shiny new recording gadgets.

I’m left with a nagging feeling that if I just buy that OTHER microphone or one more software plugin or (SQUIRREL!) – Wow, that guitar looks awesome!

But here’s the real deal.

You’ve Probably Already Got Enough Gear

Or at least almost enough to make some decent recordings. Maybe not world-class recordings, but solid, decent recordings. You can use free recording software like Audacity; you can use your computer’s built-in audio interface; a cheap mic and whatever guitar, keyboard & other instruments you can scrape together.

Yeah, it’s not ideal, but it’s probably enough to get your song recorded in some fashion that doesn’t totally suck. It’s a start, dude, and that’s huge! I’ve made the mistake of waiting to start, or (more often) finish, a project because I thought I needed some new piece of gear to “do it right”.

Whatever that means.

So, the next time you’re lusting after some sparkly new musical trinket, or thinking you’ll finish your album AFTER you get [fill in the freakin blank], THINK AGAIN, and just go for it with what you have.

I’ve got a handy little list of the basic gear you’ll to do your own recording. It’s Called “Getting Started with Home studio Recording.” The most important thing you’ll ever have is something you can’t buy:

(HINT: It’s the Song!)

The content of your song ~ the lyric, the arrangement, the feel, dynamics and vibe ~ is WAAAY more important than the gear you use to capture that song. Not to say that equipment isn’t important. It definitely is and we’ll get into that in more detail later, but for now I’m just sayin’ that GAS is not your friend.

Resist the urge to bust out the credit card and instead try working with what you’ve got. If it ain’t workin’ and you really do need to buy something to make it work, then so be it.

But really, the next time you’re thinking of spending more money on recording equipment or music gear, ask yourself if you really ~ I mean REALLY ~ need it. I’ll bet that 3 times out of 4, it’s something that’s more of a want than a need. Save your money for stuff that you really do need. You know, like an audio interface, a good mic, or a smothered burrito!

Next Time

Next time, in Tip #2, I’ll talk a bit about what equipment you actually DO need to spend some money on. Don’t worry, it’s less than you probably think!  In the meantime, please do us both a favor and throw those gear catalogs into the recycle bin. And feel free to use the “delete” button liberally whenever somebody is trying to sell you something.


Craig Olson
Home Studio Geeks

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