If you’re like me you want to have your entire studio setup completely from day one. Whether you’re brand new to this, or have been a closet recording guru for years, you might be the type of person who wants your studio up and running with everything you could ever need (and maybe want) from Day 1.
Today, however, let me give you three very compelling reasons to do the exact opposite. I want to convince you to build up your studio as slowly as possible. Let’s dive in…
Via Gayle Nicholson Flickr
Reason #1 – You’ll Learn Your Gear Better
The absolute biggest reason to build your studio up piece by piece (or a few pieces at a time) is that it forces you to learn your gear. I mean really learn your gear inside and out. Think about it: if you buy an entire mic collection from day 1, after a handful of recording sessions you might only have scratched the surface on what your mics can do.
Contrast that to the person who starts out with a simple $100 microphone for a couple of years. After the same handful of recording sessions, that one mic guy is going to the full capabilities of his only mic because he’s been forced to lean on it alone to get all of his desired sounds.
Too many people have too much gear that they know too little about. This trend plagues the home recording market and creates a plethora of weakly formed opinions on the gear in question. Budget gear would have better reviews if people actually took the time to use the darn stuff!
Reason #2 – You’ll Get More Value Over Time
For those of you who don’t have money growing on a tree in your backyard, then you’ll appreciate this. One of the best things about investing in studio gear slowly is that you get way more value out of your purchases. Financially you are spending the same amount of money on paper, but in reality you are spreading those purchases out over time, allowing you to squeeze as much musical juice out of every dollar you spend.
It’s also a way of forced deferral of money being spent. If you wait to get that DAW upgrade next year, you allow yourself time to make some extra cash to pay for it. And all the while you are getting more projects done with your current DAW version. Thus you get more value for money already spent. Plus you are learning more about your DAW (see reason #1 above).
Reason #3 – You Won’t Get Into Debt
This whole post is predicated on the fact that you actually have money to spend. But let’s be honest, many people today are spending money they don’t have. All it takes is 30 seconds and a credit card to become a slave to some financial institution.
If you are going into debt to buy recording gear, you are foolish.
There aren’t many things in this world worth borrowing money for, and studio gear is definitely not one of them. For every person who drops $1000 of money they don’t have on gear that they want, there’s some teenager in his parent’s basement making a better sounding EP on an old laptop with free software.
Am I against spending money on gear? No way! But the best way to pay for your gear is with money. Actual money. So invest slowly, over time, when you can actually afford to buy, and you’ll avoid the debt trap.
This is especially important for those of you trying to run your studio as a business. The only way to really make a living is to run your business debt free. It keeps your overhead low, and forces you to make money with the gear you have, which you can then reinvest into your studio. What a concept!