I'm a self confessed gear junky, hardware, software, plug-ins you name it.
Come to my place and it's a veritable den of technological audio iniquity. Although people like James Ivey take that to another level and he'll give anyone a run for their money.
However when it comes to writing and recording great music then all that stuff is next to useless without the talent.
Yes great gear is going to help when you come to capture that idea, but without it then your studio is all dressed up with nowhere to go, in fact you literally have no idea.
So my challenge to some of you reading this is simple, if you are going to invest then make talent your NUMBER ONE priority. If you are going to gather things than collect ideas and build relationships with the people that can make those ideas come to life.
Some may be reading this and think 'well no Shit Sherlock thanks for stating the bleeding obvious.' I agree this should be common sense but in reality there are plenty of people who have become gear collectors and not writers and producers. I've done it - consuming gear in a vein hope to fill the creative block, it rarely works.
They go into their studio and stare at the computer screen hoping for some inspiration - whereas when you find a great song and the musicians to get it down then the recording almost takes care of itself.
Talk to producer after producer and you'll hear them say the same thing, a great song arranged well and played by talented people almost records itself, as does a great recording almost mix itself.
When I was 16 I asked my Dad to 'lend' me the money to buy a Tascam 244 Portastudio, it was around £1300 in 1981. He said he would help me but he told me I would need to start producing some songs and getting somewhere with them before he would continue to help me in future. Wise words, he knew that the Portastudio would only be of value if there were some real tangible outcomes to show from the investment - he wan't investing in the Portastudio, he was investing in me.
So what am I saying, should you stop buying gear? No, but if you have load of gear and not much stuff to show for it then start investing in creative talent, then you'll see a real return on your investment.