My goal in this article is help you achieve a lifetime of tech satisfaction. Lofty goal ‘eh’. I want the home studio enthusiast to be fully satisfied with your studio, technology and environment as you compose music on your computer.

Preface


This article is written to help you break free from tricky marketing messages that guide you to costly and unnecessary purchases.

Who am I to help you start this journey?
Although I am no longer part of the industry, in past I worked among leaders in digital marketing. The simple goal is always the same. Manufacture consumer ‘needs’ and/or ‘trust’ to drive home sales. In the immortal words of the T.V. show Person of Interest, “You are being watched”. But you may not realize how deeply your vast personal details are being legally databased and mined.

In the 90’s and early 2000’s this trickery was an artform, but now practically anyone can do it using readily available computer based metrics and methodologies.

Marketers gain your trust through vlogs, blogs and social, etc. that seemingly are in your best interest. The feeling they create is an impulse not to lose, the solution they provide is purchase now.

The more a marketer knows about you, the easier it is to manufacture trust (Like a old friend). It may take a friend 20 years to learn about you well, however collective database mining creates a similar profile in seconds. Now the marketers sage and “Trustworthy” advise aligns well with your wants and needs. But not all is lost. There are some altruistic marketers who do it passionately for the betterment of humanity.

Ironically, this article employs marketing techniques for SEO using the key phrase How to compose music with your computer. Yet my motives are clear. I would like to share my thoughts in hope that it provides happiness and satisfaction to others.

Remember this:

  1. Wants and needs come easily, but rarely does true satisfaction.
  2. I want satisfaction to come to you naturally. To do this, we must slow down marketers from defining your wants, likes and needs. We must define those ourselves.

The method below is a small seed of perspective. As it grows, you’ll attain clarity, and easily wade through the onslaught of ads, straight to your own truth.

So lets get satisfied.

How to buy that beloved piece of tech?


A Pro Studio might afford the purchase and sale of equipment until they find the right fit. But as a home studio enthusiast, that’s usually an unaffordable option.

My analytical process centres around two 80’s pop culture references, but it works:

  1. “You must choose – wisely” – The Knight, Indiana Jones
  2. You “must answer me these questions three, ere the other side he see” The Bridge Keeper, Monty Python,

These Questions Three (aimed at tech purchases):

These computer music composer questions three.

1) What type of music will you make on your Computer?

2) What technology is required to make your music?

3) What order will you acquire this equipment over time?

So Lets find “The One”, “The Magical”, “The Beloved” tech
In 3 Steps


First, Define what genre of music you make with your computer?

You probably already have, but lets refresh by bringing those creative wants and needs back to the forefront of your mind.

By narrowing down your creative style, you will be 99% closer to choosing the right tech at the right time.

Second, what technology is required to make your music?

Buying tech is exciting.

Go out and research. Shop, shop shop, but don’t buy. Brainstorm a list of all the equipment you would want to buy if both studio space and money really didn’t matter. Dream.

Then categorise each item. I.e. Faders, MIDI Controllers, Microphones, VST’s, Plugins, etc.

Finally, and most importantly

In what order will you buy the tech?

How this works:
For each product in your dream list, answer these positively framed questions below. Score each question with 1 to 10 rating (1 being No or Disagree and 10 being Yes or Agree). The total score adds weight your final decision

Bonus: The very process of asking yourself these positively framed questions will provide clarity and perspective.

Does the tech: 

Score 1 (No or disagree) up to 10 (Yes or agree) 
Help make your music sound better i.e. Expression, Modulation or Vibrato Control?  
Work with your current hardware, software or other midi controllers?  
Physically fit in your work area?  
Make music creation easier? (How much will it improve workflow?)  
Have lasting power. I.e. not get outdated fast?   
Use common cables like USB (rather than proprietary hard to find cables)?  
Fill an immediate need for required equipment?  
Have a good value for its price?   
Consistently get good reviews?   
Have a good interactive feel? I.e. Well made  or positioned sliders on a fader.   
Have flaws you can live with?   
Have mostly recent reviews?   
Reviewer have ZERO affiliations to the product?   
Reviewer admit to purchasing the tech with their own money?   
Be something you use for many years?   
Have lots of online user tutorials to help you use it to its fullest?  
Include good tech support?   
Add more of your own ‘Positively Framed’ questions to this list.    
TOTAL SCORE:   

Search google to get more ideas of questions. For example, query “questions to ask before purchasing tech” among other searches. Thousands of results are provided, one might stick. Like Bridget Nyirongo’s 6 QUESTIONS TO ASK YOURSELF BEFORE BUYING NEW TECHNOLOGY FOR YOUR BUSINESS. I found that on my first try and it already adds good perspective.


Example of my Bad Choices

I wanted a Cubase fader control.

Pushed ads, YouTube vids and reviews were quickly painted into my online profile. I felt the need to immediately buy a particular Fader. It’s video’s were all over the web. The impulse buy was almost made without further research. Judging by the reviews, it’s good tech. I thought I needed it immediately. Some said they couldn’t live without a fader (that made me want it more). However, as I later found out, this Fader didn’t EXACTLY suit my needs.

During research I also saw the DAW Controller. Reviews online made a very compelling case. It is apparently very popular tech. Again, I almost made the impulse buy.

I asked for the DAW Controller for Christmas. But shortly after, I realized this controller didn’t fully fit my needs.

More importantly and unfortunately, I realized that there was another more important category of tech I needed to acquire first. An expression controller.

DOH, Now what. It’s all very pricey.

Example of my Good Choices

I needed an expression controller to help me created symphonic scores. This need was more immediate than the fader or DAW controller I wanted (and still want). Miles of research were completed on this tech. Finally, I narrowed it down to a particular model that suited ALL my individual needs. Even after learning its usefulness, I waited several months before purchasing.

In the end, I got it as a gift from my wife (She was listening “always listening Wozowski”). It makes me incredibly happy to use this expression controller. Without a doubt, I will love playing with this tech for years to come. That folks is the win I want you to feel about every purchase.

I constantly work to attain clarity before purchasing.

MonogramCC Traveler Console
The beloved expression controller I chose. Now go find what’s perfect for your personal needs.

My hope is that you build upon this method to suit your individual needs. I hope it helps widen your perspective and brings you true satisfaction.

– One of the freqs

Go forth and buy tech, save money and most importantly I wish you pure satisfaction in your music making adventure.

PS. There is one type of marketer that I will always support. Those that help true musicians and grass roots artists that simply want their music and art to be heard and enjoyed by the world. You are solid in my opinion and thanks for your service.

We all have an intrinsic benefit from listening to music and experiencing art. Its how emotion is shared. In my opinion, that product will always be for the greater good.

A Home Studio Beginners Guide
How to Compose Music with a Computer

List of Articles:

  1. How I began composing on a computer
  2. Learn what kind of equipment and software makes music?
  3. What speakers or headphones does a home studio need?
  4. What studio furniture makes sense?
  5. How to buy music composing tech in a world full of marketing?

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