“It’s not what you have; it’s what you do with it.”
This quote has been on my mind lately. In music, it’s so easy to get caught up in the endless cycle of perusing gear, quite often to the point of where gear acquisition becomes the goal more than making music. There’s even an acronym for it, G.A.S. aka Gear Acquisition Syndrome.
I know somebody that impulsively low ball offers people prices on gear he doesn’t need and ends up buying expensive things. I recently met a talented film composer who only uses a laptop for composing. When I met him and saw what he uses, it opened my eyes and forced me to reconsider.
A Step Back
This quote is so liberating because it forces us to pause and reflect, that today we are living in the best possible time for making music. The tools are endless, but when we take a minute to realize what we really need, it’s refreshing and freeing.
Today, Macs come loaded with free software that enables anybody to get started creating media of all kinds. We as humans can become very high school about things, worrying about what plugins other producers use as if what they use is the reason that they’re skilled.
EDM Prod has a great article about quantity over quality. We need to aim to release and finish more tracks, not sit on them for months at a time or scroll the internet looking for the next big thing.
When I first started producing music, I got a microphone, a laptop, and an interface. A few years later, I still had the same gear, but my music sounded so much better. Why?
I took the time to learn the craft and hone my skill with what I had, rather than wasting time in pursuit of what will fix my lack of ability.
“It’s the carpenter, not the tools.”
Did you know the song “Pride” by Kendrick Lamar was produced on Garageband on an iPhone 6?
If the gear is your hobby, let it be your hobby. Enjoy it. If making music is your goal, use what you need and like, but don’t assume they’re the same and get sidetracked.
It’s not what you have; it’s how you use it. Don’t let gear be a basis for insecurity and hold you back, even though many will pressure you to upgrade. Don’t lose focus and aim.