Skip to main content

Some Thoughts About G.A.S.

Member for

21 years 2 months
Okay let's admit it. Stand up and say my name is and I have G.A.S.! I don't mean the burrito kind I mean Gear Aquisition Syndrome. You own a,b,c (i.e. Mackie, Shure 57s, AT 4050, ADAT etc. ) and feel you really need x,y,z (API, Nuemann, Neve etc) for your stuff to sound good. Before you refinance your house, max your Visa or lose your significant other think.

Can I afford this at all?

What am I trying to do with this gear?
(make tapes of yourself, pre production for your own tunes, basic demos for local bands, cut Celine Dion's next CD)

Am I a professional (getting paid), if so are my clients asking for this and will the return be worth the investment?

Am I getting everything I can out of the gear I own now?
A good engineer can make a decent recording with a bunch of 57s and a Peavey mixer, given a Neve 9098 and some Neumanns and it just gets better.

It's too easy to think that a Neve pre will make all the difference. Good tracking and mixing chops will go farther. If you hit the ceiling with what you currently own then look to the gear answers before you're in deep debt and selling your new gear for half the original price to pay the rent.

Just a couple of my pennies
Your thoughts?


Member for

21 years 2 months

Pro Audio Guest Tue, 08/14/2001 - 10:48
I think it's important to distinguish between Reactive G.A.S. and Compulsive G.A.S. The former is a legitimate and probably unavoidable phenomenon, while the latter is definitely pathological.

Reactive G.A.S. is when, in the course of your work, you realize that there's a gap in your toolkit, a sound that you can't get with what you've got. For instance, I've been using a Shure KSM32 for my #1 vocal mic the past year or so, and lately I've decided I need something with a bigger, more solid low end and a brighter upper midrange--maybe a TLM103.

Compulsive G.A.S. is when you open the latest Guitar Center flyer and froth at the mouth: "TLM103s for $699? I've GOT to have one!"

Then there's the hybrid version, Reactive-Compulsive G.A.S. This is when you hear a piece of gear in action in someone else's rig, or in a shootout, and fall in love with it. You may or may not have been dissatisfied with the equivalent tools in your own arsenal; that's irrelevant. You're infatuated, and you must buy. Lynn Fuston's preamp and microphone shootout CD's have induced particularly virulent cases of R-C G.A.S. in this observer.

Well, gotta go home and see if any new catalogs are on the doorstep....pant pant...


Member for

21 years 2 months

Pro Audio Guest Wed, 08/15/2001 - 00:52
ah, reactive vs. compulsive, I like that :D

here's a couple of tips from a fellow sufferer -

1. The WAIT ONE WEEK trick. During that week, do intensive research on that object of desire. Nine times out of ten the research will lead me to conclude I don't really want THAT ONE, I want THIS ONE... in which case, the clock starts again. And in the course of reading and pushing buttons and turning dials, I usually learn something.

2. The DORSEY test - as part of your research, make yourself read about two hours worth of posts from Scott Dorsey on The gear in question doesn't really matter - Mr. Dorsey's laser wit makes folks THINK HARD about what they're trying to achieve with it. The only side effect is a tendency to develop an irrational awe of Nagra tape recorders.

If the gear survives those two tests, it's not G.A.S, it's Fate.

(the new Lucid AD9624 sounds great, Fletcher!) :c:

Member for

21 years 2 months

Pro Audio Guest Wed, 08/15/2001 - 05:55
1. The WAIT ONE WEEK trick.

A similar tactic is to post a question about the gear you're salivating over to the Net forum of your choice. Inevitably, the responses will be mixed and will complicate your view of the item in question. As you sort through the conflicting opinions, your enthusiasm will cool enough to allow for rational thought, and you will realize that you can afford a B.L.U.E. Kiwi *or* a divorce lawyer, but not both.