Trying out a new system to keep GAS in check

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TritoneAddiction
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Post 24 May 2024

We all know how easy it is to just continuously buy new stuff, while some of our older music gear purchases might not get used nearly enough (or at all).
I’m currently trying out a new system. And I thought I might share it since I figured I'm likely not the only one who has experienced gear acquisition syndrome here.

Basically for every minute of instrument practise or Reason usage I add 1 SEK (swedish krona) for me to spend on music gear (instruments, REs/VSTs, upgrades, hardware). This means I have to work more for my purchases. And while I'm saving up I simultaneously learn more and get more skilled with my current instruments/tools. It also has the benefit of preventing impulse purchases because if I'm saving up to something important I don't want to start over again because of some random impulse purchase. It automatically makes me prioritize better.
The thing is I can still buy a lot of stuff or even expensive stuff if I want. I just have to put a lot more time into my music playing/making.

Of course if anyone wants to try this out, you can set one minute of music activity to equal any amount of money you want. Like I said in my case I let one minute of music activity equal 1 SEK. 10 SEK is roughly worth around 1 USD.

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crimsonwarlock
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Post 24 May 2024

TritoneAddiction wrote:
24 May 2024
Of course if anyone wants to try this out, you can set one minute of music activity to equal any amount of money you want. Like I said in my case I let one minute of music activity equal 1 SEK. 10 SEK is roughly worth around 1 USD.
So, six hours playing around on a weekend 'earns' you the equivalent of 36 dollars. To me, that's roughly a new plugin every weekend. That is around 50 items a year, so how does that curb your GAS? :lol:
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Reached the breaking-point. CrimsonWarlock has left the forum.

PhillipOrdonez
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Post 24 May 2024

crimsonwarlock wrote:
24 May 2024
TritoneAddiction wrote:
24 May 2024
Of course if anyone wants to try this out, you can set one minute of music activity to equal any amount of money you want. Like I said in my case I let one minute of music activity equal 1 SEK. 10 SEK is roughly worth around 1 USD.
So, six hours playing around on a weekend 'earns' you the equivalent of 36 dollars. To me, that's roughly a new plugin every weekend. That is around 50 items a year, so how does that curb your GAS? :lol:
Because if you want a very expensive thing you won't want to restart it for a plugin every week cause there's the incentive to keep working to earn the shiny toy.

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TritoneAddiction
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Post 24 May 2024

crimsonwarlock wrote:
24 May 2024
TritoneAddiction wrote:
24 May 2024
Of course if anyone wants to try this out, you can set one minute of music activity to equal any amount of money you want. Like I said in my case I let one minute of music activity equal 1 SEK. 10 SEK is roughly worth around 1 USD.
So, six hours playing around on a weekend 'earns' you the equivalent of 36 dollars. To me, that's roughly a new plugin every weekend. That is around 50 items a year, so how does that curb your GAS? :lol:
We're all different. :puf_smile: Like I said "you can set one minute of music activity to equal any amount of money you want".
If you already spend a lot of time on music and only buy somewhat cheaper plugins, it's probably better to adjust the amount to what suits you.
I wouldn't get hung up on the numbers in my particular example. It's the concept itself I wanted to share.
I'm currently saving up to an instrument for about 400 dollars. Wasn't that long ago that I spent around 1000 dollars on an instrument. With those prices this system slows down the number of purchases and increases my practising time on a regular basis. And let's say I gather that amount of money rather quickly, might be bad for my wallet, but at least that means I've been practising a lot and learned a lot in a short amount of time. The biggest issue for me is buying shit without using it. I'm fine with buying shit as long as it gets used a lot.

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DaveyG
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Post 24 May 2024

It would probably increase my spend. I'd keep using it as an excuse to buy something - "Oh hey, I've accumulate 200 squids of pretend cash. Let's shop!"

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crimsonwarlock
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Post 24 May 2024

TritoneAddiction wrote:
24 May 2024
We're all different. :puf_smile:
My comment wasn't meant serious, hence the smiley :puf_wink:

I actually don't suffer from GAS, like, at all. My simple solution to get there, is treating my software studio as if it were all hardware. From that perspective, owning several things that are mostly doing the same thing is not useful. So, I only buy stuff that adds something new to my studio, and importantly, does something I can use in my style of music.

Running basically a RE-only setup also helps a lot. I don't even pick up freebie VST plugins when they come along. And when I buy an RE, it is because I have it listed as something I don't have yet, but will be useful. Needless to say, that list is largely done. There are only a few things on there, that are nice to have but not inhibiting my workflow for not having them. The RE ecosystem has everything available that one would need to produce professional results, with just very few omissions, like a physical modelled electric guitar (the one VST I'm still using). Or high-end orchestral stuff, but I wouldn't say Reason is an obvious choice for doing full orchestral mockups for movie soundtracks anyway.

All in all, a very relaxed place to be for me. Instead of chasing the next new shinny thing, I'm happily making music in my studio :puf_bigsmile:
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PhillipOrdonez
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Post 24 May 2024

I think it is a great concept, Tritone! Kjempebra!

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TritoneAddiction
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Post 24 May 2024

crimsonwarlock wrote:
24 May 2024
TritoneAddiction wrote:
24 May 2024
We're all different. :puf_smile:
My comment wasn't meant serious, hence the smiley :puf_wink:

I actually don't suffer from GAS, like, at all. My simple solution to get there, is treating my software studio as if it were all hardware. From that perspective, owning several things that are mostly doing the same thing is not useful. So, I only buy stuff that adds something new to my studio, and importantly, does something I can use in my style of music.

Running basically a RE-only setup also helps a lot. I don't even pick up freebie VST plugins when they come along. And when I buy an RE, it is because I have it listed as something I don't have yet, but will be useful. Needless to say, that list is largely done. There are only a few things on there, that are nice to have but not inhibiting my workflow for not having them. The RE ecosystem has everything available that one would need to produce professional results, with just very few omissions, like a physical modelled electric guitar (the one VST I'm still using). Or high-end orchestral stuff, but I wouldn't say Reason is an obvious choice for doing full orchestral mockups for movie soundtracks anyway.

All in all, a very relaxed place to be for me. Instead of chasing the next new shinny thing, I'm happily making music in my studio :puf_bigsmile:
Yep I tend to think in a similar matter. I pretty much have everything I want in Reason. Like you said, unless something offers something different to what I already have it's not that important. I can't remember the last time I bought a new compressor or EQ for example.
It's just that lately that I've found a new interest in new acoustic instruments other than the usual guitar/piano/bass/drums stuff. So my GAS is pretty much over as far as Reason goes. But with new acoustic instruments it's another thing. :puf_smile:
Maybe I'll reach a point soon where I feel it's enough in that category too. We'll see.

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TritoneAddiction
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Post 24 May 2024

DaveyG wrote:
24 May 2024
It would probably increase my spend. I'd keep using it as an excuse to buy something - "Oh hey, I've accumulate 200 squids of pretend cash. Let's shop!"
Yeah I can see how it might not work for everyone.
And really I'm not even sure it works for me yet. But I thought I should give this approach a try at least. If nothing else it's made me practising a lot since I started this. So in that sense it's already been a success.

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bxbrkrz
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Post 24 May 2024

Keep the system, but only purchase hardware, cassettes and records. Nothing digital. GAS will be in check. Maybe.
Last edited by bxbrkrz on 24 May 2024, edited 1 time in total.
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motuscott
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Post 24 May 2024

That new Turn2on Drawmer comp looks tasty...
Who’s using the royal plural now baby? 🧂

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DaveyG
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Post 24 May 2024

TritoneAddiction wrote:
24 May 2024
DaveyG wrote:
24 May 2024
It would probably increase my spend. I'd keep using it as an excuse to buy something - "Oh hey, I've accumulate 200 squids of pretend cash. Let's shop!"
Yeah I can see how it might not work for everyone.
And really I'm not even sure it works for me yet. But I thought I should give this approach a try at least. If nothing else it's made me practising a lot since I started this. So in that sense it's already been a success.
Hehe. You spent a grand on a bit of wood with a hole in it. That's fine. Live it, spend it, enjoy it. Have you made that album yet?
Me neither. :lol:

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MrFigg
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Post 24 May 2024

In my experience the only way to beat GAS is to keep buying stuff until there’s nothing left to buy. It seems to be working so far.
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motuscott
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Post 25 May 2024

MrFigg wrote:
24 May 2024
In my experience the only way to beat GAS is to keep buying stuff until there’s nothing left to buy. It seems to be working so far.
Argument pretty much settled.
Who’s using the royal plural now baby? 🧂

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TritoneAddiction
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Post 25 May 2024

MrFigg wrote:
24 May 2024
In my experience the only way to beat GAS is to keep buying stuff until there’s nothing left to buy. It seems to be working so far.
Sounds good. I’ll give that a shot next.

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MrFigg
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Post 25 May 2024

TritoneAddiction wrote:
25 May 2024
MrFigg wrote:
24 May 2024
In my experience the only way to beat GAS is to keep buying stuff until there’s nothing left to buy. It seems to be working so far.
Sounds good. I’ll give that a shot next.
Why wait?
Enjoy yourself. It's later than you think.
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avasopht
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Post 01 Jun 2024

I like the systematic approach.

My strategy was to try all-you-can-eat solutions for a while and then go back to using Reason.



Not knowing whether you could benefit from something new motivates GAS. We're a curious creature and that uncertainty will drive you to find out through a purchase.

The easiest way to do this is with something like EWQL Creative Cloud because you can try out a huge high-quality library for a short period with a low investment.



But your strategy is also good. It turns gear acquisition into a reward for using what you already have, which in turn can make you appreciate what you have much more.

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TritoneAddiction
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Post 02 Jun 2024

avasopht wrote:
01 Jun 2024
I like the systematic approach.

My strategy was to try all-you-can-eat solutions for a while and then go back to using Reason.



Not knowing whether you could benefit from something new motivates GAS. We're a curious creature and that uncertainty will drive you to find out through a purchase.

The easiest way to do this is with something like EWQL Creative Cloud because you can try out a huge high-quality library for a short period with a low investment.



But your strategy is also good. It turns gear acquisition into a reward for using what you already have, which in turn can make you appreciate what you have much more.
I imagine it's easier to "try out" software type of gear better, with subscriptions or trials which are pretty common nowadays. But in my case I've been drawn to acoustic instruments lately. And not the usual guitar, bass, piano etc which are easily available in most instrument local shops. I've instead felt an urge to explore and learn more unusual types of instruments, so far: ocarina, udu drums, rav vast, tongue drum. In those cases you kind of have to buy/order the instruments to try them out. But I would say I've had a lot of fun with these instruments. I guess in some cases you might be able to send instruments back. But at the same time I also think you can't really fully experience an instrument before you've gathered some skills over a longer period of time. So far no regrets :puf_smile:

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mimidancer
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Post 02 Jun 2024

I play daily. Lately, I have had trouble finishing tracks. Like most musicians, I suffer from a fair amount of GAS. I love music so much that I play daily. I might spend more with that reward system. That being said perhaps I could modify it to only pay for completed tracks, Interesting thought.

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stratatonic
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Post 17 Jun 2024

TritoneAddiction wrote:
24 May 2024
We all know how easy it is to just continuously buy new stuff, while some of our older music gear purchases might not get used nearly enough (or at all).
I’m currently trying out a new system. And I thought I might share it since I figured I'm likely not the only one who has experienced gear acquisition syndrome here.

Basically for every minute of instrument practise or Reason usage I add 1 SEK (swedish krona) for me to spend on music gear (instruments, REs/VSTs, upgrades, hardware). This means I have to work more for my purchases. And while I'm saving up I simultaneously learn more and get more skilled with my current instruments/tools. It also has the benefit of preventing impulse purchases because if I'm saving up to something important I don't want to start over again because of some random impulse purchase. It automatically makes me prioritize better.
The thing is I can still buy a lot of stuff or even expensive stuff if I want. I just have to put a lot more time into my music playing/making.

Of course if anyone wants to try this out, you can set one minute of music activity to equal any amount of money you want. Like I said in my case I let one minute of music activity equal 1 SEK. 10 SEK is roughly worth around 1 USD.
Sounds like a great idea! If you're a real sadist, you could subtract dollar amounts for indulging in bad habits. A box of doughnuts, subtract 10% from your current total. Ouch!

I curb my GAS by living in Canada, where the exchange rates (and/or music companies marking up even more) take the urge for purchases right out. Something has to be massively discounted for me to consider.

I am a sucker for used musical instruments/recording stuff, but the pandemic somehow cratered a bunch of pawnshops around here.

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Pepin
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Post 17 Jun 2024

Everyone is different, but my personal advice would be:
  1. Ignore sales entirely
  2. Don't go looking for a plugin until you've identified a concrete problem, workflow issue, or creative gap in your existing tools
  3. Always exhaust trial periods to be sure any potential purchase does what you need
"Hard mode" would be waiting for a sale, after you've done 2 and 3. But I'm convinced you'll still come out ahead if you buy at full price but avoid window shopping. The goal is to avoid a consumerist mentality. That's not to say it's easy or that I always succeed myself.

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MrFigg
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Post 17 Jun 2024

I just buy pizzas and cappuccinos instead as apparently that is what everything is measured buy these days. I am hopped up on caffeine and fat as you like.
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TritoneAddiction
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Post 23 Jun 2024

So I've tried this system out now for 6 weeks. I practised my way up to 3890 SEK (369 USD) which was my goal so I could make the purchase I was planning from the start. So now I'm back to zero again. :puf_smile:
Bought this btw: https://www.thomann.de/se/thomann_bc_do ... egular.htm

After these 6 weeks I've gathered some thoughts on this method.
First of all, it did make me spend more time on music, practising my various instruments and spending time in Reason, which was a very positive thing. I've definitely learned quite a bit during these weeks. More than if I wouldn't have tried this method.
It for sure prevents any form of impulse purchases. It really makes you value all the work you've put in. After all that work saving up money, the last thing you want to do is to start over again because of some dumb impulse buy.
Finally being able to make the purchase really felt like an accomplishment, like I really deserved it. It takes a lot of patience if you want to buy an expensive item.
It becomes very clear what musical items you actually value and want to prioritize purchasing and what products aren't that important.

Some downsides: Since I practised more and often pushed myself more than usual, my hands and fingers did become overstrained at certain points. During the end I felt like I had to slow down my practising in order to prevent potential injuries.
Another downside was that at times it became more about the numbers, collecting practise hours than actually enjoying playing. This wasn't always the case of course but sometimes it did feel different compared to only playing when I felt like it.

I would recommend people to try it out, of course with adjustments that fit their particular situation and needs.
Overall it's been a good experience. And I will continue with this method with a few modifications.

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stratatonic
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Post 24 Jun 2024

TritoneAddiction wrote:
23 Jun 2024
So I've tried this system out now for 6 weeks. I practised my way up to 3890 SEK (369 USD)
So.....by spending more time on music, practising various instruments and spending time in Reason,
you earned 369 USD in 6 weeks
which divided by 6 weeks is 61.5 US Dollars a week
Multiply by 52 weeks in a year

Equals $3198 USD to spend

Yes, I can see how this will keep your GAS in check... :? :lol:

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TritoneAddiction
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Post 25 Jun 2024

stratatonic wrote:
24 Jun 2024
TritoneAddiction wrote:
23 Jun 2024
So I've tried this system out now for 6 weeks. I practised my way up to 3890 SEK (369 USD)
So.....by spending more time on music, practising various instruments and spending time in Reason,
you earned 369 USD in 6 weeks
which divided by 6 weeks is 61.5 US Dollars a week
Multiply by 52 weeks in a year

Equals $3198 USD to spend

Yes, I can see how this will keep your GAS in check... :? :lol:
Dude if I was somehow able to do the impossible and get my lazy ass to retain this level of discipline for a whole year, then yes those $3198 are mine to spend. And I’d spend those $3198 with a feeling of pride too.
:lol: :lol: :lol:

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