I love gear. I’ve always been obsessed with anything that has lots of blinking lights and buttons to push. We DJs talk about gear, we drool over gear in music stores and online catalogs. And of course, we buy gear. Lots of it. There’s nothing like the rush of getting that package from the UPS guy. It’s here! It’s here! That expensive thing that I can’t afford and really don’t need but that is filling up an emotional void somewhere deep inside me! We’re addicted brothers and sisters. Not to offend our gear vendor brethren, but just like the fast food, tobacco or alcohol industries, that’s just where they want us.
The main problem with my addiction to gear is that I’m poor. When there is a new light, or mixer or speaker or whatever that I’m suddenly hot about, I literally feel anxiety over my inability to afford it. I’ll obsess over strategies to afford it. Or worse, ill just buy it. Likewise the fix of actually holding that new toy in my hand is second only to sex or chocolate cake.
So if you’re like me and find yourself going into hock over the latest blinkey, button-ey doohickey thingy, this is an intervention. You need help and we’re all concerned about you. Allow me to be your sponsor and offer a few suggestions to get that gear monkey off your back (disclaimer: none of these things work for me but I have high hopes for you):
- Don’t let you’re email inbox get flooded with junk mail from every gear dealer in the world. Of course it’s important to stay on top of gear trends and advancements but limit your subscriptions to a couple main companies and unsubscribe from the rest. This is just temptation.
- Don’t visit your local music store just to browse. This is like going grocery shopping when you’re hungry. No I don’t need 3 boxes of Cocoa-Puffs, but it seemed like a good idea at the time.
- Don’t compare your rig to every other DJ on every online forum. Sharing gear set-ups can be a great learning tool and can help refine your rig appearance. But keeping up with the Joneses is hard when Mr. Jones is a prince and you are a pauper.
- Clean up, repair and set up your existing gear a little differently. This is like role playing for married couples. It can put a fresh face on stuff you already have and you can act like you’re meeting this hot new mixer for the first time. “Hey you sexy moving head, come here often?”
- Focus on the performance elements of your DJing more and the technical aspects a little less. Rehearse your public speaking skills. Concentrate on music programming. Stuff like this may take the spotlight off your spotlights.
Upgrading gear is important. You do need state of the art stuff to really make an impact. But the stuff you have now is probably working just fine. You don’t need to overextend yourself financially (the cost of which may end up being passed on to your customers) to look and sound great.
Welcome to rehab. I’ll be the one binging on vodka and chocolate.