We said it before and we'll say it again: We LOVE gear!
But, gear is probably not the thing that's holding you back. In fact, researching and buying new gear might actually hold you back get in the way of you reaching your goals.
Here's a couple of reasons why:
- People made great records before the gear you're thinking about buying even existed
- The most valuable skill: How to force your gear to be good
- You might be buying gear because you're worried about what people think of you (We're definitely guilty of that and it's a mindset issue that needs to be addressed if you want to be successful as an artist)
- Buying gear can be a delaying/procrastination tactic and keep you from doing the thing you actually need to do
- The research for new gear comes at a HIGH cost: Time
There are many more reasons, so make sure you listen to this episode, as it will make your future purchase decisions easier and give you more clarity about what (not) to buy and why (not).
Book A Free Coaching Call With Benedikt:
This episode was edited by Thomas Krottenthaler.
Benedikt's voice on this episode has been recorded with the Antelope Axino Synergy Core.
TSRB 95 - You Need To Stop Buying Gear
[00:00:00] Benedikt: I think the main reason why we want you to stop buying gear, because we want you to succeed. We want you to make recordings that people actually care about. And for many people, this means they need to stop wasting money and put it towards things that can actually help you achieve that. Hello and welcome to the self recording band podcast. I am your host then at a time, and I'm here with my friend and cohost, Maximo and flood. How are you? Welcome.
[00:00:38] Malcom: Hello I'm great. I I'm excited to do this episode, but I also feel terrible about it because we are releasing this after black friday and we should have done it before.
[00:00:46] Benedikt: Oh, I didn't even realize you're totally right.
[00:00:50] Malcom: We failed you listeners, but it's Okay. You'll be ready for next time. And you'll be, uh, you know, there's always Christmas deals and stuff on, on, uh, going on. So this will still be very helpful, I think.
[00:00:59] Benedikt: [00:01:00] Yeah, you're right. You're totally. right. I mean, by, at this point, like when this will be released, it's not even. cyber week black week, whatever anymore. Probably because
[00:01:08] Malcom: Uh,
[00:01:09] Benedikt: I mean, who knows how long they looked at the sales, but like in this case, I think it's two, it's going to be too late.
[00:01:14] Malcom: It just seems like all of November and December are just perpetual sales. So hopefully this is helpful. But before we get into that, I want to give everybody a second chance here. Last episode we asked for reviews. If you haven't done that, go leave us a review, please, please, please. we need them and we want to have bad-ass guests on and reviews help us do that. So just head to apple podcasts or whatever your podcasting is, but Apple's best and leave us a nice, shiny five star review, and also, uh, write some words about how the podcast has helped you. We would super appreciate.
[00:01:49] Benedikt: Thank you, Matt. And thank you for leaving for doing that and leaving us a review. Yeah. We've explained all the reasons why in the last year. So go back and listen to that and then [00:02:00] do do it, do it.
[00:02:02] Malcom: Do it. Yeah. Yeah. The last episode was like, mostly about being actionable in the end. That was kind of the takeaway. And so if you haven't left a review, you have not been actionable.
[00:02:14] Benedikt: Totally. Right. All right. Now you know, this is one of those episodes where the bencher is a little hard because we D we did two in a row and I already asked what I wanted to ask. So is there anything you
[00:02:25] tell us?
[00:02:26] Malcom: Well, uh, I got some, that's told the, uh, it's me being here.
[00:02:32] Benedikt: Okay. Okay. Okay.
[00:02:33] Malcom: Um, I am buying gear like crazy man, so much gear. I'm just, I am buying tons of gear for my film work, like more gear than I've ever bought in my life in the last month. It's insane. And then, uh, I am also going to pull the trigger on one of the new MacBook pros
[00:02:51] going to do it. I don't know exactly when it hasn't happened as of this very moment, but probably by the time people hear. It will have happened so [00:03:00] exciting. Exciting. Now let's talk about all the reasons that's a bad idea.
[00:03:06] Benedikt: Okay. So, Yeah. I don't think it's a bad idea in your case to buy and you and your computer. Uh, we've talked about that before we hit, we hit record today and I think Malcolm, you should absolutely get a new one in your case. And I've, I've taught the same thing yesterday to one of the people that I, that I am in contact with about the coaching and he's a member of the academy community and stuff. So he was asking the same thing and I said, yeah, he's on a 2010 refurbished MacBook, I think. And I said like, yeah, you need a new computer
[00:03:36] at school.
[00:03:37] Yeah, that's bad ass like that this thing still works and he was still, and he was like, I know this shouldn't be top priority. But I really think at some point I need a new computer and I was like, yeah, that did gets it. Like he was, he's been on that computer for 11 years and he's still not sure if he should spend money to buy a new one. Like, that's exactly what I'm talking about. So you get it.
[00:03:57] Um, yeah, but in, in [00:04:00] that case, I also said, Ben, I think it's really time for a new computer in most cases. This is not true and it's not only true, not true for computers. It's true for almost every piece of gear. And that's why we do this episode today. We call it this episode. You need to stop buying gear. And in like 90% of all cases, it's true. You don't need whatever you want to buy right now. Probably if you have a working setup, if you can technically do what you need to do, you probably are.
[00:04:29] Malcom: Yes. Yeah, you need to stop buying gear. That's that is the phrase to think about, um, One thing I want to quickly say is that that's really nice that you're, uh, the fellow, you were just mentioning buying that computer, had you to bounce that off, like, uh, somebody in a more experienced position to be like, Hey, yeah, you're ready for it. This is a good idea. That's cool. But, but yeah, normally it's just us and Google and a deep rabbit hole of YouTube videos to make this decision and it gets tricky. It gets very tricky. [00:05:00] So to, to call somebody out, uh, immediately a group of people out guitarists, you're your most guilty. If we're talking about bands, guitarists hide behind their gear. So, so, so much everybody does. You know, with the exception of a vocalist, so many vocalists, like don't even own a mic, kudos, smokeless, good on you. You know, you buy a lot of scarves and cool outfits, but
[00:05:24] Benedikt: Yeah,
[00:05:25] Malcom: that's different. Um, but, uh, but guitarists ho amps, guitars, pedals, you know, What else do they buy? I'm sure there's more than I'm not even thinking about different speakers, different pickups, different guitar cables, the monster cable, a hundred dollars guitar cable. That is stupid.
[00:05:44] Benedikt: I D I did that. I just wanted to know if it's worth it. And it was
[00:05:47] Malcom: You had to know.
[00:05:48] Benedikt: Yeah, I had to know, and it
[00:05:49] Malcom: was
[00:05:50] it worth it
[00:05:50] Benedikt: it was great. It was definitely not a bad cable, but it was not worth it.
[00:05:54] Malcom: Mm mm,
[00:05:57] yep. There you go.
[00:05:58] Benedikt: yeah, exactly. So [00:06:00] totally right. That guitarists, you are guilty of that for sure. But I think we all, as like engineers, producers, we are absolutely guilty of that as well. I like so many times I've bought things because I really thought that this was going to take my, my production quality to the next level. And I actually managed to convince myself that this was actually true. But now I know that most of the time, this wasn't what made me better. What made me better was taking the time and spending time with whatever I purchased and practicing and like training my ears that way. And like the, the, the purchase of forced me to put in more. And that's what made me better and not the purchase itself, but you can do that without the purchase. You can just spend more time, practice more and you get the same results. So I can't say that w with the exception of very few things, I can't say that a purchase ever made a big difference or like move the needle much for me. Like the only, the only difference is when you, when you're not technically capable of doing something, like when you have [00:07:00] four channels right now, but you need eight or 10 or 12 to record a drum kit. Of course, you need more inputs. That's the technical requirement. You've got to buy something, but if you already have the amount of challenge you need, if you, if the latency is low enough, if your computer is fast enough, if you have enough microphones, you will have not. And I don't even say probably you have not maxed out what you can do with, with what you have right now. You are, you have not reached the limit and you should try to explore what you can do with your equipment before you buy something.
[00:07:33] Malcom: Yes. Yeah so, uh, align, we came up with, in our notes here that I think we should state right off the top is that people have been making good records, fantastic records since before the gear you're using even existed. Um, so for me, I like look around me and I'm like, I have these like beautiful Apollo interfaces that didn't exist. When my favorite record was made. I have a camper that exist where my favorite records were made. Um, [00:08:00] like, like this gear. That's amazing. And it's awesome. And I love using it, but it's still possible to me. Just world-class records without any of it as well. Right. Um, so they're not technical requirements for my job, really. And I think what you just said, Benny technical requirements, that is like the key requirement like that you just have to look at. Is it like a technical requirement for me to be able to do what I need to do? I can't record this instrument without this piece of gear. That is really like the main thing.
[00:08:32] Benedikt: Yeah, absolutely. The other thing, and that's, that depends on. The situation and whether like, for some people, music is a hobby. Other people do it as their job. Some people need to be more efficient than others, but so it depends on your situation, but the next the next best reason to buy gear after the technical requirement is if the gear saves time or makes you makes it easier to focus or, or like, yeah. Like for example, to, [00:09:00] to, to show you what I mean, in business. If I buy something that does the part of the work for me automatically, I can use my time to work on something else that will move the needle. And that just frees me up. It's an investment, but if recently my time up,
[00:09:17] Now, so it's not a technical requirement. I could do it myself, but it would take longer. And I could not do, I could not focus on other things if I didn't make that investment, that could be true for you as a musician as well, like as a Africa recording musician. So for instance, And ever tune guitar could be something like that. So I'm not saying you all have to buy new guitars now, because we already said it as guitarists are guilty of that already. So, but like an ever tune is a different kind of investment for me in many cases, because if you are somebody who records a lot, like if you're recording, I don't know if you're releasing one or two songs a month or so. And you're constantly recording. You're constantly in the studio working on new things. That might actually be, actually be a [00:10:00] really good idea because the amount of time you'll save, because it don't have to spend that much time tuning compared to the traditional. That could be worth the investment because that could, that could mean you, not only does it save your time that you can spend on other things like marketing your band, or like get the word out and book shows or whatever, but it also, it can also mean that you might be able to do better art because you could focus on the performance and the recording so much better. You're not constantly interrupted by the tuning breaks as much. And so that could actually be. A smart investment and not just one that feels good, but doesn't do anything for you. Or it could be that the whole band invests in some sort of, I mean, there are free ones, but maybe you want to invest in some sort of collaboration tool or productivity tool that you can use as a band together. Maybe you need one platform to share your files, communicate and do whatever there are free solutions, but there are also great paid ones. And if the one you choose. Helps you be quicker, have more fun, make better art and like [00:11:00] helps you like save time that you can spend on other more important things. And that could be a great investment. So,
[00:11:06] Malcom: So now it's a slippery slope because it becomes really easy to justify. I like having this, so I need it. Right. So there, there's a kind of like a three principle core thing that I talk about actually, a lot on the, your band sex of business podcasts. And it is well in business is really easy because we, we base it against dollar amounts usually. So that makes it really easy to make the decision will this equal. Good. All right done.
[00:11:31] Benedikt: Yeah.
[00:11:32] Malcom: Will this save dollars? Good. Done. But uh, with art, it's a little harder to pin down, but essentially the concept concept is yeah. Automation, delegation, elimination. If it's one of those things, do it. So, so for me it was like, okay. Uh, Kemper, for example, that a. Gives me, you know, instead of having to have like three different backline amps in my studio, I have one and it also lets me sell my entire pedal board. So I'm saving [00:12:00] money. That way set up time is done. So it kind of like, honestly, it's programmable, so I could delegate some of the jobs, like pedal changes into it as well. It was like the easiest buyer I've ever had to make was done. Um, so like that's one or I have, you know, time-saving tools on my computer that are just no-brainers like that as well. Where they just, you know, automate processes for me, save time. That's the main reason I want to buy the new computer that I mentioned at the start of this episode actually, is that it's going to earn me back time which pays for itself with the value that I attached to time. Right? So time has to have a value which actually brings us to another point on our list. And that is that possibly one of the highest costs of buying gear is actually the time you spend researching. The time you spend scrolling through forums and asking questions to on these dark places of the web, and then watching countless YouTube videos that time that you're spending on all this stuff is a [00:13:00] killer for your art. It is time that should be spent making art, writing, being creative with all of the stuff you already have.
[00:13:08] Benedikt: Yes, totally. Yeah. You've said it there. And it's, it's also the. Yeah, you're right. I think the time researching, I would have to, like, I would have to track that time and like, I would have, I that's something I should do. I think it just makes me think, because I do like. I've research whenever I buy something, especially if it's expensive, I'm the type of person who like compares everything, does a lot of research, but, and I, I usually track my time on everything, like when it's business-related work-related, but I don't really track my time when I researched, because I do that whenever, like, usually in breaks or like, you know, I, I, I don't consider it work, but it should be work time actually be like, it's part of my, what I do for a living. So I should track the time and I would be interested in how much time I spent actually researching, because it will probably be a lot. And sometimes it would, or oftentimes it would probably be [00:14:00] better to just buy two different options and then send one back after you've tried them instead of like researching for hours or so. so
[00:14:07] Malcom: a doubt. That is exactly what we should all do is just actually try it out rather than just speculating. Yeah. And then there's So many times like, because I've gotten good through my processes that we're kind of talking about today about not always buying something that I want and I would smarty my natural instinct to just consume, That time is a total loss. I spent time researching it, then talk myself out of it. It's like, okay. Like all there's, there's no benefit for me knowing how this different piece of gear works. Like I could tell you more about this short Axion digital wireless system than anybody, you know, and I don't own it. And I don't think I will. That is, that is pretty dumb.
[00:14:47] Benedikt: Yeah, sure.
[00:14:49] Malcom: I shouldn't even know the name of it.
[00:14:51] Benedikt: Yes, exactly. Exactly. And you know, part of it is, that's also something we wanted to talk about. Part of it is that it's a delaying tactic. Sometimes it's just, [00:15:00] we know we need to do something else. That's much more. But for some reason it feels hard or we feel like, oh, WellMed, we, maybe we have not breaking it down, broken it down into digestible steps. So it feels like this big thing. And we don't know where to start. And it's so instead of taking the first step and actually starting, we delay the whole thing by. Thinking we'll need to do some research first, then maybe I need a new piece of gear for that. And then we go down this rabbit hole and we research and we try to convince ourselves that we can only start after we bought this new thing. When in reality, we should ignore all of that and just start with what we have. And only if we hit a, like a roadblock that we can't overcome with what we have, then we need to think about, can I solve this by throwing money at it? And, and like, yeah, but usually we delay things because it's just simpler to just open up the browser and look for new shiny, cool things that we can buy. And then when we have this new thing, then we'll take action for sure. Which is often not the case then. [00:16:00] So.
[00:16:01] Malcom: Yeah. So shout out to my buddy, Kevin and the band Supreme remedy. He's a active member in the community and this or the podcast he messaged me. And I will say that I don't think he was using the sense of delay tactic. I think it was just more of a. Consideration. He was having like, oh, this would be fun to try this new piece of gear, the next number recording, which is totally great. There's nothing wrong with that, Um, but it was this conversation that made me think about doing this episode in the first place. And he was like, should we rent some like a better preamp and maybe like a lunchbox channel strip for doing vocals when we go and do our little recording trip coming up. And it was like, Well, no, like you don't need it, you don't need it. Um, but like for fun. Sure. And will it be better? Possibly. It totally could be, but like, don't let that be the thing that stops you from just going and doing,
[00:16:51] Benedikt: Yeah, I think that, yeah, it shouldn't stop you. And I think the question you should ask yourself is if you have the money and everything else, that's more important has been taken care of [00:17:00] and you want to do it, then absolutely do it. But usually there's some other thing that you could use your money on, or like for that is more important. And you should do that first and only if that's not the case, then go for it, go for whatever you want to buy. We want it to buy. So there's this hierarchy of importance basically. And you got to, it's just a matter of priorities. Um, usually, so in this case, I don't know, I don't know him and I don't know the situation, but for many people, when they think that they need a new preempt or new microphone or whatever for the project, sometimes they don't, they don't need nothing or they don't need anything at all, but sometimes they would actually need. A new, I don't know, a new drum heads or like spare drum heads, or
[00:17:43] Malcom: right.
[00:17:44] Benedikt: maybe it would be a better idea to rent a really good room instead of the really good preamps or maybe like whatever it is like, or, or maybe education. Like we've talked about it in last week's episode where. We said the too much information or the wrong kind of information or not [00:18:00] questioning information can be dangerous, but still we also said information is absolutely education is also absolutely important. So it, you might lack some, yeah, you might lack some absolutely critical, critical knowledge, and you need to learn first and, and spend some time experimenting and do some, doing some exercises first before you can. Do this, this project successfully, and that is what you should focus on instead of buying a new thing. So that is the case with most people, probably myself included, like when I started doing the videos for a course, for my course, for example, I was terrible at it. I'm still not good at it, but because I'm not a video person that I so, but I, when I started, I was really terrible at it. And what I should have done was I should have educated myself more. And just get it done with the stuff that I, that I have, but I immediately went online and I was searching for the best camera and the lighting. And like, [00:19:00] should I buy final cut or premiere? Or should I go with DaVinci or whatever, all these things that sort of rabbit hole. I immediately distracted myself and like delayed what I actually had to do with all these things. Instead of just learning how to, like, what is good lighting actually? Like what, how can I set the camera that I have? How can I make that work? Because it is actually pretty decent and all that sort of stuff. But for some reason I skipped the knowledge and went straight into buying mode. When I, when I had to solve this problem.
[00:19:28] Malcom: Yeah. Yeah. So that, yeah, that's fascinating. Um, it brought up a good thing because I'm, I'm totally interested in some video content stuff right now as well. So I've been down the exact rabbit hole. You just talked about DaVinci or premiere or final cut or. Uh, I've been researching different Sony cameras. And again, I don't own any of these things I'm talking about right now. They're just stuff I know about. They're taking up space in my day. That's done now even more dumb. This is what the little aha moment I have while you're talking there was is that, you know, all the stuff I need to know, you've already been [00:20:00] down the rabbit hole. I could have just asked you. I literally could have just been Benny. What should I get? Because I know that you've done all of this. And you just been like this camera, this program will have the same ones. I can help you,
[00:20:11] Benedikt: Yup. Yup. True.
[00:20:12] Malcom: ah, hours of my life.
[00:20:15] Benedikt: Totally, totally, true. Totally true. Yeah, exactly.
[00:20:18] Malcom: So crazy. So crazy.
[00:20:21] Benedikt: Yeah, Ask me, dude. I mean, I'm still not really good at it, but I've made a lot of like some mistakes and I've done some research so I can definitely offer you advice. So yeah, I
[00:20:30] mean, but it's, it's what we naturally do for some reason. And also we try to tell ourselves that some things are way too expensive and we can never afford them. And we don't ever want to spend that kind of money on that. But on other things, we are happy to spend that kind of money. So it's also this priority thing. No, there's no way I would, I could spend so much on, um, like an opportune bridge. Like I don't need it. I have a great guitar, right? I can, I can not spend that much money on an online course or [00:21:00] coaching, or maybe I dunno, maybe you need a new computer because you on your 2010 Mac book and it just is not fast enough anymore and you cannot run pro sessions properly, but for some reason you just don't, you just don't want to spend the money, but instead of. It's not that you don't have any money usually, but instead you buy other things that are not nearly as important to you, but you happily spent the money. It might not be a big chunk at once, but over time, like if you think of it over the course of a couple of months, the amount of money you spend on total crap that you don't, that you won't remember shortly after you've bought it. It's pretty big. Usually for most people, I'm not saying everybody, like some people just have more money than others, of course. But usually we all are happy to spend money on stuff that when we are very honest to ourselves are like, it's not really important to us. It doesn't help us achieve our goals. It doesn't get us closer to where we want to be, but we still buy them without thinking about it. And other things that would actually be important for some reason, don't excite us as [00:22:00] much and we are hesitant to spend money on. So it's not only that you need to stop buying gear. You need to stop buying like crap so you can afford the few things you really need.
[00:22:11] Malcom: Yes. Yes. So for audio engineers, there's, we'll, we'll call it two dude groups of people in this one, uh, audio engineers, as plug-ins usually I'm definitely guilty of this, you know, spending a hundred bucks here, 50 bucks there, 200 bucks a year on some plugins that are fun, but like, I've definitely got. Catalog of unused plugins for 12 months, you know, like that. I need. to just go and delete it off my computer. Re actually recently found out you can sell plugins used. I had no idea, so that's great. Will I ever do it? That's another question now. Uh, but so like Yeah. Plugins where, you know, I could have not bought those and upgraded it. Uh, got more channels. If I needed those, we've got different speakers, which are, you know, speakers are hugely important to what I do. And I'm happy with what I got right now. But like, you know, like the point is if I needed something, like, I didn't need these plugins because I'm not even using them. [00:23:00] They were just, I just got caught up, you know? So, uh, that's one thing for guitarists it's guitar pedals, again, a hundred bucks a year, you know, to treat them, it comes up for a really cheap, Ooh, I wanted one. Now, I've got a third distortion pedal on my fricking thing,
[00:23:15] Benedikt: Yeah.
[00:23:17] Malcom: you know, like that's where, where it's happening and, and your guitar can't even be intonated that like, you know, like you need a real guitar man. Not, not three different distortions. So the, I think that's, you know, everybody's got their, every, instrument's got their little thing, um, you know, bass players buying pedals in the first place, or, you know, anybody buy it a pedal when they don't own a tuning pedal. That's my favorite.
[00:23:40] Benedikt: Yeah. That's the fast actually. Yeah, that's absolutely. That's, that's insane.
[00:23:46] Malcom: If you don't know that you metal
[00:23:47] Benedikt: Yeah, no shit. I know drummer who is in the band assigned band, who are it's a pretty big German indie label that they, I think, I think it's the oldest indie label, uh, in Germany. Anyway, [00:24:00] he he's been in that band for, I don't know, 15 years or so. And they, um, they've released three or four full length albums and like, yeah, they are active. Great. And I think for the first 10 years or so, if they're of the existence of their existence, that drummer of that band, and he's a good friend of mine, like Alex, you know who I'm talking about. He didn't own a drum kit. He didn't own, he didn't even own, I think stick. Or anything, he just borrowed everything he needed for every single show. Like he always used other people's gear, other people's drums and like stuff. We always made fun of him because he just constantly borrowing. When they, when he came to the studio to work with me, he borrowed a snare run from someone and he came with like stuff from other people all the time. And at some point he finally bought his own key here, but he didn't like to be fair. He didn't buy any other crap. He didn't eat as well, like when it comes to music, but he, for sure spent, I just assumed, but because he's just a [00:25:00] human, like we all, I assume he spent a lot of money on other things in his life. It doesn't value as much probably. And it took him 10 years or so to realize that this is really important to him. And he probably needs to have his own drum kit at some point.
[00:25:13] Malcom: That's hilarious. That's so funny. Yeah. Very good. Very good.
[00:25:19] Benedikt: So might not only be music stuff that you need to start buying. That's what I'm wanting. What I want it to say. Maybe you need to stop buying other things in your life that you just don't value. So you can buy the few things you really need in music. And you gotta be careful of course, because that, because that, doesn't mean you should save money to again, buy crap. You don't need to save it to buy the stuff you really need, you know, so
[00:25:42] Malcom: Yeah, there, there's like a whole thing in here that we're not going to get into, but like being good and intentional with money is like a learned skill that I really encourage musicians to do because we're naturally bad at it. So. If you're in your early twenties right now, and you have $20,000 [00:26:00] worth of gear and you make that, like that's all you make in a year. You've grabbed some finance books,
[00:26:05] Benedikt: Yeah,
[00:26:06] Malcom: help yourself out. Do your, your future self a favor, please. And then come buy me a coffee down the road and thank me.
[00:26:14] Benedikt: totally. Totally That's a skill I had to learn. Um, and I learned it very, very late. Um, I, I, I, I, yeah, that's, that's definitely something you have to learn. I, I'm not stupid, but I still didn't know how to handle money. Well, for the longest time of my life, I learned that as an adult, when I already had a family and I needed to figure it out before that I didn't have a clue. And I was spending money carelessly and I didn't save money and I was just not good at it, but I had to learn it and it can be done. So.
[00:26:44] Malcom: Yes, it can be done. Yeah. I made huge mistakes in that. Yeah. You know, this, this isn't even about buying gear because you're going to go into debt, but that's a, like, I see it all the time working with bands where I'm like, there's no way this kid. Recording guitar and you here can afford [00:27:00] the shitty brought in to use today. This is bad news. The loans that the music store in town gives you are bad deals. So just worth mentioning it's nothing's worth debt, no gears worth dead.
[00:27:13] Benedikt: Exactly. So, and then also that is something that I, that I w I'm observing all the time. I'm seeing people do all the time as they, again, when it comes to priorities. When you say that your priority or your goal is to achieve something, whatever it is, And you're really honest to yourself. You you're going to realize that it takes that it will take some sort of investment can be, time, can be money can be both, but it won't come like it just doesn't fall into your lap. You'd have to do something for it. It's just effort, time, money is required. And for some reason, so many people and musicians, like, I feel I can only speak about musicians, but so many of you. I think that you can get [00:28:00] to your goal very foot for close to nothing, or like for, for not much money. And it just, you can go in, I dunno, you can just cut corners, not spent much. Um, you don't, you don't want to pay for like studio time maybe, or for proper education or stuff like that, that you really need because otherwise you just can't do the thing you want to do or promotion getting on. Doing, I dunno, you're doing stuff that actually moves your band forward. So, so many people think that you can save money on these things and still arrive at your goal, which is usually not the case, but at the same time, oftentimes these people come in with all the gear that they actually can't afford. And I'm like you manage to get all these things. Like, how did you do that? When you CA when you tell me you can't do the things that you really, really need to do. So it's not only limited to gear. It's also other things that you need to do. If the goals you are talking about are really your goals. Like if this is really your priority, like if you want to be on those playlists, if you want to [00:29:00] play that tour, if you want to, put out a record that people really care about. You have to do something for it. And it's probably, it probably has to do with time and money investments that you have to make. So you've got to figure out how you, you are going to do that. And if, if not, this can't be your goal. It's just not as important. And if you, on the other hand spent a lot of money on other things that didn't get you closer to that. Then there's something off here. There's just, something needs to change, you know? And that's, that's, I think the main reason why we want you to stop buying gear, because we want you to succeed. We want you to be the musician you want to be you. We want you to make great, great recordings that people actually care about. And for many people, this means they need to stop wasting money and put it towards things that can actually help you achieve that.
[00:29:46] Malcom: Yeah. Wow. That's, that's totally accurate your, your actions. Speak like, you know, like your actions are what actually, they, they tell us your priorities, you know? and if it's mountains of gear [00:30:00] and no record to show for your like band you've been in for five years, like your band doesn't exist until you've got music out. That's just really the reality of it. Um, you know, you might exist in your local dive bar, but you don't exist on a, like a national or international stage until you've released real music that people want to listen to. So if that's not happening, Your money is being invested into the wrong place. Most likely.
[00:30:22] Benedikt: Yes all with the exception of enough music being Your hobby that you just enjoy doing at home. And all you want to have is a nice guitar. And you want to play that for you. Totally fine, nothing wrong with that. We all have hobbies and things we love and these can cost money. And if that's your goal then totally. I
[00:30:39] Malcom: You're nailing it.
[00:30:41] Benedikt: So
[00:30:41] Malcom: yeah. Your priorities, you should just, you know, write down your priorities and then see if your, uh, income statement and expense statement matches that.
[00:30:50] Benedikt: Yeah. absolutely. Now. Part of why people buy things they don't need. It's not only the delaying tactic, but it's also that they're [00:31:00] worried about what people think of them. So.
[00:31:02] Malcom: Yeah.
[00:31:03] Benedikt: It might be like there's hype all the time. There's like whenever a new plugging comes out, that everybody loves you feel like you have to have that because that's what apparently what everybody's using. Or whenever there is a new with, with like guitar, amp, simulations, or drum libraries, it's often the case. Like somebody puts out a new sample library. Everybody seems to use it. Somebody puts out a new amp. Some everybody seems to use it. So you feel like you have to use that as well, because. It might be that you make amazing sounding music with your old part or whatever, but that just doesn't look as cool. And you are worried about what people think about you. If you are using that instead of the new fancy, whatever. So you buy the new thing, it might not get you better results, but you feel better because now you have something. And so it might not be that you delay things. It might just be that you need it because you want to feel better about your decisions, about the stuff you're using or are you worse? You worry about what other [00:32:00] people think of you when they note when they learn how you created your music. The truth is nobody cares. Like nobody cares how you created that music. So yeah, just
[00:32:10] Malcom: Yeah. Or at least such a small amount that it doesn't matter, you know? Um, I'd like, I think there's, maybe some people think that being able to tell the story of using cool vintage gear will like. You know, to get people interested in the band, but it's like, you're talking about like 12 guys that are going to care about the vintage fuzz pedal or something, you know? Um, I mean, if it. sounds right and it's the perfect tool. Great. But don't use it because of. What you think people will think, right? Um, Yeah. Nobody, nobody cares. You, you do see it a lot when you are playing shows with other bands and the other band sounds better than you, everybody starts thinking of mocking. Well, like what do they have that makes them sound better than
[00:32:51] Benedikt: Skilled, usually.
[00:32:53] Malcom: Exactly. Yeah. So the most valuable skill, and I truly believe this is how to force [00:33:00] your gear to be good. Anybody that can figure that. Is going to do just fine with their music career. And I have like the perfect example. There's a fellow in town here named Jesse Roper. He is extremely successful here. You can put like 4,500 people into a venue and, and just killing it. Amazing guitarist. I played in his band For a little while, picked up his guitar. I like couldn't play it. The action. Outrageously high, the saddles are like corroded into place. So you can't even intimate the damn thing. He plays, it sounds like butter. He just can wrangle that thing. He's just been that's his again, it's literally an extension of him. That guitar is an extension of Jesse and he makes it sound unbelievable. And producer, every producer he's worked with has been blown away that it works. They all try and pry it out of his hands. He convinces them that let them use it. And it sounds great. It's like truly defies the laws of guitar, but it [00:34:00] works. He can make it sound amazing. Um, He can do that with anything. It's not just that guitar. He picks up a guitar like a nice guitar. That sounds amazing as well, you know? So, but like, literally it's just amazing. Um, so if you can do that with the gear you have, if you can just figure out, okay, it's not working right now, how can I make it work? I just got to like, keep messing with it, change my technique, whatever, until this sounds good. You're going to be love and life. That is a good one.
[00:34:29] Benedikt: For sure. Absolutely. Yeah, totally. And it goes back to what I said in the beginning that every time I bought something, it was not the thing that got the improved, my skills. It was the time I spent using that thing, then like that, that was what made the difference. And I could have just done that without buying the new gear. So. Just learning to use what you have, make it work for you make it your own. And not only will that make you better, but you might develop like unique sounds or a unique Sonic character or something that [00:35:00] only you have it's like with the perfect example was what you just explained. Markham. I bet. No other person sounds like him. And like, you can't like you can't mimic that you can replicate that that's him and his guitar. And like, nobody will sound whatever sound like that. So you can even make. Something you can even get to do that sort of situation where you create something unique and truly exciting that only you have, because you spend so much time with that thing you have. And it's just part of you. It's an extension of you. And that is much that is worth so much more than having so many tools that you barely use. So the most valuable skill really is to, to know how to use the stuff you already have to force your gear to be good. As you, as you said, Absolutely agreed now to, just to go back one more time to what we said before, like, without, with other people think of you, you said that some people, like a small percentage of people might care. The funny thing is also, I think. The people who do [00:36:00] care, they even find it more impressive to learn that you did what you did with some sort of crappy thing that you've always used then knowing that use this, this, uh, vintage thing or the newest plugin. So Malcolm and I, we certainly care about how people make records and what they use because we're geeks like that. And which is interested in that. But if we hear a story. Of someone sounding amazing on an old guitar or someone creating these amazing tomes with an old pod or with some crappy thing that they use that is even more impressive to us. Like, you know, so, so it's not like even if people can. It's not hurting too. It's not hurting you in any way to admit that you do that with whatever you have. So I don't know. And I think that no musician ever has sold more records or, or like had a number one hit or whatever, just because they used a certain piece of gear. I might be wrong here, but the majority definitely hasn't so
[00:36:55] Malcom: Yeah. Yeah, totally. No, I think you're right. And you know what, there's a, it's almost [00:37:00] with guitarists in particular. It's like almost so irrationally the other way around where they're like, oh, I don't want to admit that I used a modern guitar solution because that's not cool. I, I want to tell people I used vintage and. That I've spent way too much money on, but in reality, we went direct in and use snaps
[00:37:17] Benedikt: Yeah.
[00:37:19] Malcom: and it was like, no, that's awesome. That's so cool because it means that you can have like world-class guitar tones for a hundred bucks. Like you're winning.
[00:37:26] Benedikt: Totally. Totally. Yep. Now there's one thing you, I there's one situation where I encourage people to buy new things and like with the exception of technical requirements and like, um, workflow and stuff we send in the beginning, but there's one situation where I think it can be worth thinking about it. And that is if you reward yourself from time to time. But that is the important word here, like reward. That means the order is important here. So it's the opposite of buying things and then doing the work it's like doing the work, accomplishing what you want it to accomplish and [00:38:00] then rewarding yourself with a nice piece of gear. I think that is really powerful because that might give you the extra little motivation to actually do things. Like if you say, okay, I'm, uh, I want to do this, this, whatever, as isn't my cause I want to do these videos. But I only, I'm only going to buy a new camera or this program when I actually published the first 10 videos or so like when I have my process down, when the thing I have is working when I am, when I have a workflow and when I'm constantly putting out videos, then I can upgrade my gear. Or when, or you say like, I want to record my first song, first self produced. So I'm going to have this interface. I have this, uh, these microphones. I will only upgrade stuff when my first single is completely done. For example, X do set some goal and then we've warmed yourself with something that can be powerful. And I don't think that's a bad idea because then you do the work first and then you reward yourself and with like fancy gear, I think. And that is something that [00:39:00] I've heard a lot of people say, and that's so true with like fancy gear. I think. We have to earn that stuff. Like we don't deserve to have certain things yet. Like, I don't have like, part of it is that I don't, I don't think I need them at all, but I don't have. Racks of like expensive artwork here. I have some, I have some tools that I really love and, and think I need, and that I use, I have some things that don't really need and I should sell probably, but like, I don't have a big console and like racks of gear. I don't have like half a million or whatever, um, sitting around in gear because I think I didn't earn that. I didn't, I don't deserve that yet. If I'm a multi-platinum mixer putting on one number, one hit after the other or whatever, maybe then. I could do that. I don't know if I would, because I don't think I need them, but I think you have to work for those things and then you can reward yourself with them and these things should grow with you, but you shouldn't start out wanting to have it all before you even make the first step. So [00:40:00] the order is important to you and sometimes we just, we just not there yet. We just have to. The honest. Yes. It's ourselves. Look at our bank accounts, look at our skills, look at our, what we've the work we've put in and just be honest and think we are not there yet. This is for people who've put in the work who can have, who can pay for that thing with the work they are doing with it. And then it is a good investment. And before that it's just an expensive hobby or something you shouldn't do.
[00:40:26] Malcom: Yup. Agreed. Yeah. Um, there's nothing wrong with rewarding yourself. There's, there's nothing wrong with buying gear, just for fun, even, and, and for creativity, you know, buy new pedal and you write a new song, it works like a charm. It's pretty magical. But w what we're trying to say is that it needs to stop getting in the way of what really makes. Um, both financially, both creatively, both with time, um, and efficiency as well. There's, there's just other things that have to be at the top of your priority list. So there, there's definitely some people in our community, I'm sure that needed to hear this. Maybe I [00:41:00] needed to hear it.
[00:41:01] Benedikt: Yeah,
[00:41:02] I sure
[00:41:02] Malcom: and, and then there's gonna be others of you that are totally fine. On what you were just saying about the order of things. I, I mentioned at the start of the episode that I have bought more gear in the last 30 days. Then previous years combined. That is because I got a very, very big gig, like the biggest gig in my life, the biggest contract in my life, for sure and it's a technical role.
[00:41:23] Benedikt: Yeah.
[00:41:24] Malcom: And I'm buying it now that I got the gig, which is actually terrifying because I've just been like paying for fast shipping and shit to get it in time. But like, I didn't buy it preemptively, you know, it was like, okay, now I've got it. I have to buy it. I'll also worth mentioning. I had the savings in case something like this happened. It's I'm not like, you know, I just really hate people buying gear on debt. There's no return on a guitar pedal, no return on investment. So really, uh, be responsible with that stuff.
[00:41:55] Benedikt: Yeah, for sure. Yeah. All right. So [00:42:00] these have been, I think like the last episode and this one together, if you take that advice, think about it. And like, you have to be honest to yourself, like this is, this only works. If you really. If you really open to these sort of ideas and that sort of advice. But if you take a look at what you spending, how you spend your time, how you, what education you consume, how you procrastinate, how you delay, the things you actually need to do. And we all do that. So it's not us talking down, do you? And we know everything that we do, that we make those mistakes all the time. Um, we're still getting better at it. So I think, but I think if you take these two episodes, last one and this one. And really try to implement what we, what we were talking about here. Really try to limit yourself and to make wise decisions. This is, this, this could be the most important episodes of all, basically, because this is probably one of those things or both together are probably what are what's holding you back. [00:43:00] So if you take that advice, if you consume the right amount of information and then take massive action, and if you spend your money on things that actually move the needle and not on stuff you don't need, then you'll be so much better off and you'll make progress so much faster that I think, I honestly think this, these could be the two most valuable episodes because everything else only will, will really make a difference. If you apply what we've been talking about in.
[00:43:30] Malcom: Yeah. You know, I want to give a quick nod towards your coaching platform, Benny. So if you're listening and you're not aware of Benny offers, um, coaching calls and, and to help guide you through what you actually need to be doing, and the truth be told if you were to take, go back through all the episodes that we've released, we're on this as a 95 now We've given you everything you need to know to make a great record.
[00:43:55] Benedikt: Yeah.
[00:43:56] Malcom: Like it's, it's all there. Like there's always more to learn [00:44:00] and there's always new techniques, but what you need is in this podcast, you've already heard it. So if you just aren't able to like wrap all these ideas together and do it that way. Jump on Benny, jumped on a call with Benny, you know, um, like he will get you over the next.
[00:44:17] Benedikt: For sure. Thank you Malcolm for that. Uh, but for
[00:44:20] Malcom: Yeah. At the very least join our community on
[00:44:22] Benedikt: Yes, that's the, I think that's the first step. Um, because that, that is the, the minimum. Like, it, it doesn't require any sort of effort or anything. Just join the community if you're on Facebook and start yeah. Introduce yourself and start interacting with other people, ask for advice and just supercharge your learning that way and just, yeah. Just be so much more efficient than just doing the research on your own. That's part one. And then yeah, the coaching calls definitely jump on those calls because there's no risk. Like the worst thing that could happen is that we both, we will talk about, about both those things, basically that we've been talking [00:45:00] about in these two episodes. We'll discover what it is. That's holding you back. We'll discover why you're not hitting a unit, reaching your goals. We talk about the roadblocks you might've hit, or the plateauing you've might've read. And the worst cases that you walk away with a plan and more clarity, and the knowledge of like what it is that you need to work on next. And then we just part ways and you'd go and implement stuff. So that is the worst case that could happen. The best thing would be we continue to work together and we actually overcome all those things in the shortest amount of time possible. But even if that's not the case, You will have so much more clarity and we'll get to the core of what it is that that's holding you back and we'll figure out what it is that you'll actually want because so many people don't even know that. And I I'm like with all the calls I've done and I've done more than 20, more than 20 at this point, we've launched it like six weeks ago or so. And I've done more than 20 calls, um, discovery. And, and tons of DMS and emails and all that. Not [00:46:00] only calls and like 95% of all the cases, it was one of those things that we've been talking about today, or last week that was holding people back. It was the, the wrong priorities, wasting money, wasting time consuming, too much information without like actually taking action. It was knowing a lot, but not knowing how to connect the dots. Like some of these. Was almost always the case. So let's talk about that. Let's talk about that. Let's figure out what it is you need to work on and then whatever you do to address it is up to you. But like, it doesn't hurt to do that and you'll walk away with more clarity for sure.
[00:46:38] Malcom: Yeah. Yeah. That's such a good idea and worth noting that Benny and I both do this, like. Call up other people for the same reason, we have our own coaches for different things. I got called hope on a film set just recently. Cause I didn't have a soldering gun. They're like, Hey, you're a sound tech. You're meant to know that. And I was like, you know what? I should. So I'm going to go buy a course on how to solder shit. I can't believe, I don't know how [00:47:00] to do that.
[00:47:01] Benedikt: Yeah. Yeah, exactly. So yeah, we do that all the time for sure. All the time. Now, what we didn't mention now is the URL you need to go to is the surf recording band.com/call that's the one.
[00:47:13] Malcom: Yep. And then slash community for the facebook group and, uh, the, the first, the, the little, uh, introductory call with you It's totally free. Isn't
[00:47:20] Benedikt: it's totally free. It's an hour. Um, and it's, it's totally most, to be honest with most people it's been more than an hour, but it's officially an hour. It's completely free. And yeah, no strings attached. Just hit
[00:47:31] Malcom: That's awesome. I'm jealous, man. You get to talk to everybody. I just, this is all one way for me I talked to you and people hear it, but
[00:47:37] you actually get to
[00:47:38] Benedikt: Yeah, it's so much fun. It's so much fun. It also teaches me so much about our community, about what people actually need to know about the content we need to make. I got so many ideas written down already from these calls. So, uh, you'll you all, will, you will all benefit from that, like, um, for sure.
[00:47:54] Malcom: That's great
[00:47:55] Benedikt: Cool. All right. Um, that's enough next [00:48:00] week. We're going to be back with, I don't know yet.
[00:48:04] Malcom: I got an idea. I'm going to bounce it off you after we're done.
[00:48:06] Benedikt: Okay. All right, let's talk about that and then see you next week. Thanks for being a listener. Bye bye.
[00:48:11] Malcom: Bye.
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