There’s a request I keep getting regularly. It comes in different shapes and forms but the gist is always the same. Here’s an example of an email I received:
“I began with the program Logic pro X. But i have a problem: I want to get some plug ins for this program, i’d like to get it for free, because buying it is too expensive for me at the moment,
so i like to download it, but it’s so hard to find it…
I need the following plug ins:
[followed by a list of paid plugins]”
Now, ethics aside, there is something quite big at play here that I want to address. Something that is especially difficult to understand when you’re first starting out in music.
The above email reminds me of myself when I was younger. I admit I used to download loads of pirated plugins back then. It was so easy and there was not much peer pressure against it – quite the contrary. So trust me when I say this comes from personal experience.
Piracy a trap. You’ll be much better off using legit software. If you are serious about your craft, start investing into it. Even if it takes time to save up money.
Buying your tools forces you to develop your workflow. It forces you to figure out what you really need and makes you plan how everything fits in and plays together. Over the course of a few years you will see improvement which would not take place had you not began investing in your tools.
It is much easier to get work done with a limited set of great quality tools that work well, as opposed to a whole bunch of cracked software that is often unstable and may even come with malware.
Paying for your tools makes you value them more. This is basic human psychology. You are more likely to put time into learning your tools properly when it’s something you’ve personally invested in. With pirate software you skip and fast forward through things, only to lose focus and end up back to zero.
You will feel better for doing the right thing. Confidence is something a lot of us struggle with especially when first starting out. Staying clear of piracy helps.
The cumulative results of all of the benefits listed above?
You will see much faster improvement in your skills. You will make better music and advance your craft. You will begin to discover your own voice. I promise. I wish I had realised those things sooner.
In the recent times I’ve began to get back to making music with hardware equipment. It is the exact same dynamic at play there. Being invested into a limited set of tools with a limited (but well thought out) set of features can be so rewarding.
Mindless confusion or mindful progress. The choice is yours to make.