While there is a certain romanticism around the idea of artists 'making do' with old, broken, or simply bad equipment, the reality that good artists need good gear to really grow creatively. Here we look the importance planning for and investing in quality equipment.
Guest post by Emma Miller
There’s a romantic idea that a great musician can create and play regardless of the circumstances they are in. Those who play professionally know that this really isn’t the case and that the right equipment is a necessary tool needed to explore one’s creativity.
Investing in professional studio equipment should be something to think about from day one. That way you can plan ahead and expand the equipment as your career moves forward. Also, it’s less financially draining to do it in phases.
There are a few reasons to invest in a professional studio. First of all, it has better acoustic and other accommodation which you need in order to focus on your music. There’s something inspiring about starting from a garage, but as soon as you’re able to move up from that, you should.
One of the ways to go is to rent a studio and settle with the equipment that it comes with. This is the less expensive option. If you’re able to go one step further, you should build your own studio from the ground up and accommodate it to your own needs.
Get to know your gear
This is one of the most important reasons to purchase your own equipment and it often gets forgotten and overlooked. When you buy your own equipment, you’re able to get to know it better and use it to its full extent. It often happens that the equipment has quirks of its own that you need to figure out simply by using it and contemplating the effects.
There are always musicians who own a lot of equipment but tend not to use and stick to their usual routine. It’s a mistake to do so; once you purchase something, you should make the most out of it.
The equipment you’re going to need goes beyond instruments and recording gear. These are the most important, but you should start thinking about other items that you might need before you actually need it. First of these is probably the touring set up that will make your first tour easier and more comfortable.
Start by finding a van that’s spacious enough to accommodate both your equipment and band members. This doesn’t have to be expensive but once you’ve been on a tour you’ll realize that comfort is usually worth the money.
Get more value over time
There are less expensive options than purchasing all the equipment on your own, but that’s only if you think just about the money you pay right away. A better way to think about the expenses is to think about how much mileage you get out of the equipment.
Taking out online loans to purchase gear is an immediate expense, but in the long-run it’s much less than you would pay if you decide to rent it more than once. Some instruments also gain in value over time so you should think about them as an investment.
Digital audio workstation
Software isn’t what comes to mind first when you talk about music equipment, but it is one of the most important tools used to make music these days. Purchasing and using your own software means that you can get full control of the entire creative process. A digital workstation should encompass recording, editing, and mixing in order to achieve this.
Have in mind that it isn’t enough to buy the software. You should also learn how to use it and become comfortable with it. This too takes some investments, but it also takes time, which is something to consider when choosing the software in the first place.
Buying used gear
Getting your own gear doesn’t always have to be expensive. One of the ways to save money is to buy used equipment that’s still in good enough shape. There are other advantages beyond money and some might say that these are more valuable.
Used gear can be handled with less care, which is important if you actually want to use it to play and travel with. It also comes with a patina and a backstory which is something to be appreciated.
Once you buy your own gear, you can use it as an additional revenue source. This is something that can be done if you rent yourself or borrow the gear to someone. It isn’t enough to have the equipment in order to do this. You also need to find ways to advertise the service you’re providing.
Have in mind that renting usually comes with problems of its own – sometimes your gear will get lost or damaged and you won’t be able to get the money back, but most of the time it’s an interesting way of making passive income.
It’s important to invest in your own gear because it opens up a lot of possibilities for both your financial situation and your art.
Emma is a digital marketer and blogger from Sydney. After getting a marketing degree she started working with Australian startups on business and marketing development. Emma writes for many relevant, industry related online publications and does a job of an Executive Editor at Bizzmark blog and a guest lecturer at Melbourne University. Interested in marketing, startups and latest business trends.