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Budgeting For Your Next Purchase

  1. Fade

    Fade

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    In 2013, everyone is hurting financially (unless you're a Powerball winner, and if you are then why are you reading this? You should be on a tropical island sipping fancy drinks), and when it comes to making beats, money can be very tight. Buying the latest hardware or software is expensive, as we can all attest to. Once you buy your main pieces of gear, you then have to add your software and then all the little things such as cables, stands, drives, and much more. Add all that up and you will break your bank account real fast. The goal of this article is to help you make smart purchases and still have some money left in your pocket.

    Assess Your Goals

    You first have to ask yourself if you're planning on making straight up beats, or if you are looking to do complete projects with recording, mixing, and everything in between. The reason why I'm saying this is because let's say for example you just want to make beats - something like Maschine might be the ultimate solution for you.

    However, if you're making beats for an Emcee or if you're looking to shop around your beats, you'll want them to have the best sound quality. If that's the case then you'll need other things such as a DAW, good reference monitors, stands for those monitors, cables, and more. The quicker you know what kind of beats you're trying to make, the easier it will be to make some smart decisions.

    Buy Something Simple

    As I mentioned, if you're just making beats, keep everything simple. Buy something like Native Instruments' Maschine or Akai's MPC Renaissance. You can make beats non-stop, it's straightforward, simple, and fun. They both give you the ability to mix down your tracks, so it's pretty much a one-stop solution for all your beat making needs.

    It's not just about making beats, though. If you're looking to just add certain pieces of gear to your studio, then you could also keep it simple by buying a controller, such as a keyboard or pads.

    Buy Something Expensive

    What? Buying something expensive just defeats the purpose of this article, doesn't it? Yes and no. What I'm saying is that if you want to buy hardware or software that is really expensive, you should consider doing so. I know that many of you reading this are on a budget but this is where you need to ask yourself if you want to spend your money on something within your price range, or something that you really want.

    If you want an expensive item, you should consider saving up for it. If you decide to buy something that's for example, $5000, maybe it's worthwhile. If you save your money and wait, in the long run you will save because that $5000 gear that you just bought is still being used daily and you're not even thinking about buying anything else. Unless you are thinking about buying something else, then you WILL end up broke!

    Put It On Credit

    If you must have an expensive item, you could also put it on credit and a payment plan. Even if you're only buying something cheap like a $100 keyboard controller, you could put it on credit and pay it off monthly. This is ideal for many beatmakers out there but I know there's probably some of you that would prefer to actually pay for their items up front rather than have debt. Having debt is not fun at all, but if you're budgeting properly then there shouldn't be a problem.

    Buy It Used

    Buying used has never been a big thing for me because I don't trust anyone and I can't take their word for it. It's also the fact that someone else had their dirty fingers all over those keys and pads, so me having something used is a big turn off. However, if you don't mind buying used, then you will save yourself lots of money.

    When you're buying music gear at a retail store, you have to pay the manufacturer's retail price, plus the markup that the store has added to that. This is why some stores will charge more than others, but either way you'll end up spending a lot. Used is always the cheaper option, but you have to also be careful and make sure you're not buying something that is about to fall apart.

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    Budget For Your Next Purchase

    Whether you buy something new or not, always budget for your next purchase. You never know when you'll need some new cables, or when you have that certain itch to get the latest gear, so always prepare.

    Put $20 aside every chance you get. Even $5 will do, and before you know it, you'll have a few hundred (or thousands) for your next purchase.

    Use What You Already Have

    Here's an idea - don't buy anything! If your money is really tight, you could ask yourself what type of gear you want to buy, but you can also ask yourself if you should buy anything at all. I know how it feels when a new version of Reason comes out, or a bigger and better controller was just released, but it doesn't always mean that you have to get it.

    You must remember that all these companies are trying to make money, and specifically, get YOUR money, so they spend a lot of their own money on marketing, trying to get you to buy. Most of the time it works, but you still need to remember that it's all a part of business. If you don't get the latest this or that, remember that there will always be a new this or that, and there will always be something on sale. Be patient.

    The upside of not buying anything at all is that you save your money, but also it's that you are then forced to use what you already have. We all tend to get tired of our old gear and lust for something new, but if you have no other choice but to use a busted up computer with an old version of FL Studio, then so be it. You will find that your creativity will increase and your beats will sound much better - just make sure to put in the effort.

    Conclusion

    Hopefully this article helps you in making some wise decisions on your future purchases. It's tough to get by today, and it's even tougher trying to spend whatever money we do have on good products that will last us a long time. Do your research, budget, and buy what is the most suited for your needs.

    Further Reading Related to Beat Making
     
    Last edited: Jan 17, 2016
  2. Pug

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    Dope article. People should definitely see if it's something they really want to dive into before taking the plunge. Shit can get expensive fast, and if you don't have the heart for it, you've wasted a lot of loot!
     
  3. Fade

    Fade

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    Exactly. I think that part of the article is the most important, that's why I saved it for last.