What is Gear Lust?
Gear lust is a very common phrase used in the audio industry to describe when musicians and engineers irrationally desire that next piece of gear with the vain hope that it will be the solution to all of their problems. “My vocals will sound professional if I get that expensive mic.” “My mixes will be better if I get this plug in.” “I’ll be an amazing guitarist if I have that guitar.” There is a small amount of truth to some of this, but for the most part better vocals, better mixing, and better guitar playing are achieved through more than just fancy gear…like maybe a more skillful vocalist, engineer, or guitarist. Check out “The Myth of the Cheap High Quality Studio” for more about this.
It’s all in the name
It’s called lust for a reason. Just like sensual lust vs. love, giving into your lustful desires usually leaves you unsatisfied and wanting more. Once you get that plug-in, your mixes sound a little better, but now you need those fancy monitors to take you to the next level. You just keep wanting more and more…never satisfied.
The real trick is to transform your gear lust into gear love. Its just like romantic lust and love, where both work hand in hand to keep you physically and emotionally attracted and committed to another person. So let your intense desire to have a new piece of gear give you the drive to research it and find a way to check it out before you indulge. Then, once you’ve purchased it, learn to love and appreciate what a valuable tool it is in your audio arsenal. Finally, rekindle your excitement for it by using it in new ways. By doing this, you will minimize ‘the grass is greener on the other side’ myth and your mixes, musicianship, and wallet will thank you for it.
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