Tips to avoid or soften GAS (Gear Acquisition Syndrome)

  1. Redirect your GAS to cheaper Gear or software – that doesn’t exactly avoid GAS but it will reduce cost.
  2. Set a limit for purchases – maybe 200 Dollars or Euros per year
  3. Buy used gear – that is also reducing cost. And reselling used gear loses less money than reselling previously new gear.
  4. One in one out – for each device you buy, another one has to go.
  5. Avoid buying gear with overlapping abilities – I have a Digitakt, an OP 1, and an MPC 1. Quite overlapping 🙂
  6. Rent or borrow gear – I guess meetings and conventions could be good places just to try some gear.
  7. Set an interval for purchases – one piece a year.
  8. Learn one synth thoroughly before buying the next one.
  9. Use only one synth to make an entire track – you will learn to appreciate that synth much more.
  10. Put a synth on the shelf for a while – when bringing it back on the desk it will feel like a new one.
  11. Re-Watch tutorials about your synth – you might find new ideas and approaches.
  12. Rewatch reviews about your synth – relearn why you wanted this Synth.
  13. Use your gear differently – replug it, reroute the sound, turn it upside down – anything that helps.
  14. Buy books – not gear. Read something about Music theory. Or buy online courses to improve your skills.
  15. Create ten tracks with the cheapest gear you have – Creativity needs constraints – and you will appreciate what you have.
  16. Spend more time playing your synth and less time watching gear videos.
  17. Find out what you need instead of what you want. This leans on storytelling. Example: A hero wants to overcome his enemy, but he actually needs his family’s appreciation. Translating to synths: You WANT that new Synth, but you NEED to improve your skills. (At least I need to).
  18. Beware synth nostalgia. Yeah, vintage synths are great but very expensive.
  19. More Gear means more Problems – think about latency issues, connectors, compatibility, and firmware upgrades. And DUST!
  20. Try before you buy – or send a synth back if you do not like it.
  21. Did you have GAS before with other kinds of gear? Is it a pattern? Consider professional help!
  22. Remember: You will get used to any new synth within a few weeks. Then you will start your search for new gear again.
  23. Ask yourself: Do you want to make music or do you want to collect synths?
  24. Realize that only other gearheads care about your equipment. Real listeners just want to listen to your music.

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