This post was originally published on The Pro Audio Files.
A home studio begins innocently enough. A laptop, a basic audio interface, a mic and a MIDI keyboard. Boom! Home studio!
You spend some time getting excited and try to record anything and everything. And you start reading online. And the gear lust starts to take hold. And the wallet starts to empty. And the rot sets in. You know how it goes.
This is not a post about why cheap gear is better than expensive gear. This is not a post about making the most of your current equipment instead of buying more. It isn’t even about getting off the internet and spending more time in the studio.
It’s about pride.
The good kind.
Pride is the self-respect and satisfaction that comes from doing great work. Healthy pride is what gives you the confidence to take on a new project, to make contact with a new client, to raise your expectations of yourself. It’s contagious too — when you’re proud of your work, it’s likely that your artists and musicians will also be proud of the work they do with you. This creates a positive feedback loop that makes people more confident in working with you, which pushes you to do better work, which gets people talking about the great results they achieved with you
Unfortunately, a lot of the internet erodes that pride. Reading about other people with better gear than you, bigger projects, cooler clients will do that to you. It’s easy to spend less effort focussing on what you have and more effort focussing on what you don’t have. There’s always a better mic, a newer plugin, a cooler synth, a sweeter guitar. There’s always a better studio around the corner from you. The popular artists have already got great relationships with other producers. You’re in the dark. You’re left behind.
Rock What You Got isn’t just about making the most of what you have. It’s not about working hard. It’s not about doing anything.
Rock What You Got is an attitude.
It’s having pride in where you’re at. You’ve invested at lot of time and money and effort into doing what you do. It might be months, it might be decades. It might be hundred of dollars, it might be hundreds of thousands. You might have given up parts of a ‘normal life’ that other people take for granted. When other people are watching TV, you’re recording music. While other people are out drinking, you’re out meeting artists. While other people are going on holidays overseas, you’re upgrading your studio. You’ve come a long way — be proud of that. People trust you and appreciate your work — be proud of that. You have the best job in the world because you put in the blood and sweat and tears while you ignored the doubters and naysayers — be proud of that.
Sure, others have worked harder, longer, invested more, have better connections, etc. That’ll always be true. But that doesn’t mean that you’re nothing. Don’t succumb to black-and-white thinking. You’re not nothing. You’ve got skills and experience. You’ve got people who trust you. You’ve got momentum and conviction.
Be proud. You’ve got something. And you have to rock it.
Rock What You Got.