Almost three quarters of the way through the year already and the big question that should be burning in our minds as home studio owners is this: how much money have I spent on gear this year? Once you have that ballpark figure in your head, then ask the dangerous follow up question: how much value (i.e. productivity in the studio) have I received from that money spent so far this year? Hopefully we’ve been making enough music to warrant the purchases we’ve made in 2010.

TRR43 How Much Have You Spent This Year?

Via Mike Poresky Flickr

Hold Yourself Accountable

In a world of constant exposure to newer and “better” gear available at the swipe of a credit card we need to hold ourselves accountable for our purchases. We should have a reason for each piece of gear we buy. It should be thought out and help us in our quest for musical productivity and creativity. But most of the time we just purchase things because we know they are awesome and it would “fun to have”. You need a plan.

For the new year I wrote a post about having some New Year’s “Revolutions”, the first of which was to not spend another $100 without writing/recording/producing a new song to warrant it. That’s a great start. Begin thinking about each piece of gear you have (or want to buy) and then plan out what song(s) you will record/mix with it and have a few tangible ways that said equipment will actually improve your studio.

There’s Nothing Wrong With Spending Money

To be fair, there is nothing wrong with spending a lot of money on studio gear. It’s your money, and your studio. Do what you feel is right. If home studio gear and production is merely a hobby for you, a way to blow some cash and tinker around, then don’t let me stop you. Stimulating the economy both here in the US and globally with your purchasing might just be a good thing! But if your goal is a bit deeper, to make great music in a home studio, then I have great news for you…you don’t need to waste a ton of money to do that!

Your Price Per Song

Now that you’ve heard my spiel, do you still have that number in your head? The amount you’ve roughly spent on studio gear this year? Now dived that amount by the number of songs you’ve completed and you’ve got your price per song. Are you getting a good deal, or are you ripping yourself off? Would it be cheaper to just book some studio time then to do it yourself? It’s a legitimate question. Either way, this excersice should help you see how your spending relates to your productivity in the studio and can help you make adjustments accordingly.

Make sure you are getting value out of your gear, being creative and productive in the studio, and most importantly having fun making music!