JEFF SHATTUCK MUSIC

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• When does technology cross the line from enabling to disabling?

As I sit here and gloat over the fact that I just got a totally legit, brand new copy of Adobe Creative Suite Master Collection for under $200, I have to ask myself: will it open doors to possibility or stand as a wall between me and my objective, which is to write, record and market my songs?

As with all technology, probably a little of both, because all tech is a blessing and a curse.

On the positive, tech enables me to do all kinds of things on my own, from designing this blog, to creating album artwork, to recording demos, to shooting photos and videos.

On the negative side, tech is seductive in that it always offers more, more, more, taking me away from my core objectives.

So as I delve into my new Adobe software, it will be incumbent on me to know when to say ENOUGH and turn a task over to someone else, budget permitting.

In fact, I think this is one of the most important things home recordists have to do: limit themselves. Because with more tracks, more plug ins, more ways to manipulate sound and images, it's way too easy to stop writing songs; it's also way too easy to delude yourself into thinking you're saving money in the long run as you do more and more on your own. Sure, your DIY chops might help you shell out fewer greenbacks overall, but in the end how much real VALUE did you get for your money? How good are your home recordings really, your home-made artwork, your Flip shot video?

No, in my opinion, do as much as you realisticallly can on your own, but through trial, error and unflinching honesty, learn when it's best to call in an expert. Otherwise, you'll spend all your time futzing around with new gizmos instead of creating.

Okay, I'm off to check out my new Adobe software (doh!).