To Buy, Or Not To Buy: 5 Questions to Ask Yourself Before Purchasing Music Gear

So you might be considering picking up some bargains in a seasonal sale, or just want to burn a hole in your pocket'¦ but do you really need new music gear? G.W. Childs plays devil's advocate.  

Are you experiencing a lull in creativity? Has the regular solution to your creativity become purchasing new gear, software, sound libraries and anything else you feel will take you to the next level?

The pressure to spend money is everywhere, and it's most oppressive when you feel that you need a plug-in or piece of gear that does something that the technology you currently have access to does not. To help you deduce whether a purchase is needed, I drew up a few things I ask myself, before I pull out the wallet.

1 - Do I Have Something That Does This Already?

Since the App Store landed in world economy, many smaller, more streamlined pieces of software have appeared that tackle one problem very elegantly, and that's it. In some cases, you may have an app, DAW, or plug-in that already does what you're after. A great way to determine if you already own something with pertinent capabilities? Go to the sales page of something you already have and take a look at its list of features. You may have missed something!

2 - Is it Just a Sound You're After?

With the way art, music, photography and movies are advancing, it's easy to think that a well produced patch bank holds the key to a particular '

Sound Designer, Musician, Author... G.W. Childs has worn many hats. Beginning in the U.S. Army back in 1991, at the age of 18, G.W. began learning electronics, communications and then ultimately audio and video editing from the Department of Defense. Upon leaving the military G.W. went on to work for many exciting companies like Lu... Read More


You're suggesting introspection and self awareness. This goes against every tenet of G.A.S. I can totally justify buying Ghost Writer because it had that Pink Floyd Echoes piano sound on it, and there is no possible way I could have created that sound in a pre-existing soft synth/plugin without opening one of them up and learning how to use them properly. And it was on sale too...
Here's my mantra that has worked a treat for years...

Do I want it?
Can I afford it?
Do I need it?
Will I use it?

Or - is it cheap enough on eBay to forget the mantra!

Want to join the discussion?

Create an account or login to get started!