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Decisions, Decisions: Bringing Common Sense To Gear Purchasing

Tapping all of information sources and understanding this research before making a decision

So you need a new “thingamajig” for your system?

The problem: there are so many brands and types of this thingamajig available, how do you best go about the process of choosing the one is exactly right for your situation? Sometimes buying a new toy – rather than being fun and exciting – is instead fraught with frustration and indecision. And the need rarely comes at a “financially convenient” time. 

Purchasing professional audio gear can’t be an impulse decision, because nothing in this business is cheap. If you guess wrong, it’s very difficult (and likely financially not possible) to justify buying yet another unit.

Therefore, the first rule is to determine right up front that there will be no hurry, and that emotions won’t rule the day. “What do I REALLY need?” is the key question.

Start by evaluating your market and considering your chosen place in that market. The needs of a small company primarily providing systems for local bands in clubs and smaller events are going to be quite different from a regional provider working concerts and larger festivals.

Meanwhile, a regional provider shopping higher end pro gear still might not actually need the level of gear required by a large company specializing in touring packages.

A personal example: My company is a regional provider whose primary clients are promoters of concerts attracting crowds of 2,000 to 4,000, as well as festivals that host “rising and falling” national acts.

Our current primary consoles are excellent desks that have all the necessary features, but once or twice a year, we encounter an artist that insists on more features, so we’ve lined up a reliable source (several hundred miles away) that cross-rents us the required desk. It’s a much more economically prudent approach for our particular business.

Note that this approach keeps emotion and ego out of the equation, leaving a carefully considered solution meeting the real need.

O.K. – let’s go shopping! 

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