Spending time in the studio and spending all of my money. I've been working non-stop to get this studio life moving forward finally. Now that I have much more stable jobs than Nashville and when I first moved back up here, I've been on a spending spree with this new found freedom of having money to spend for the first time in years. Once I finally transported everything I owned out of my dingy rented storage space in Nashville to a new house in Boone, it's been nothing but "Mindset Baller" and to do that things tend to get pricey obviously. I've decided that I'm done with buying used equipment off Ebay or Craigslist, or finding the cheapest version of something good online. No. Instead, from now on I'm investing in nothing but top of the line mics, monitors, sound proofing, etc... Because even if it takes you longer to get, it will sound better and last longer than the $80 MXL microphone off Amazon, and if you're starting out with a bottom of the line microphone (like I did) don't for long because your not learning to mix vocals correctly because you're not hearing the audio correctly.
If it's not something so technologically advanced (like microphones, processors, etc) that you can build it yourself... Then build it yourself. Everything audio related up's the price on anything, for example; a desk for an office will be less expensive than a similar desk build for a recording studio or something just because that's how it's always been. However, in my opinion, this makes the process of building your own home studio more interesting and fun when it's from the ground - up. This will SAVE TONS of money in the long run. If you don't have Google Sketch-up and are looking to build a quality studio desk, baffle, absorber, diffuser, or monitor stands; Google Sketch-up has loads of pre-made designs already laid out with measurements and everything and because it's editable, you can customize whatever it is to form and blend in with the style of your studio.
I'm still saving up for a new pair of monitor speakers,(Yes, ok, the KRK Pro's like everyone else), doesn't matter if everybody else has them, since they're so inexpensive comparatively, everybody having them is a very good sign.
Click To See KRK PRo's
Plus my Sweetwater sales representative recommended them to me (If you buy off Sweetwater and don't have an assigned sales representative you are missing out because the tech support is the BEST).
Slowly dying, my MXL cardioid (1st mic ever) is in it's rightful box awaiting a longer life of solitude, you let me down, not sorry... About to invest in an Audio Technica AT-4033 Cardioid Condenser and stoked as a salamander. This was my favorite in SAE Nashville Audio School and it still is up in my top 5 list.
Click Here to See AT-4033
One thing I will buy secondhand off Ebay or Craigslist in the audio world that I'm not too worried about is Shure Sm-58's and Sm-57's. The 58's have been around at every venue everywhere since the beginning of time and are some of the most durable and long lasting. I've seen somebody drop a SM-58 top down straight into a beer and they took it out and it sounded fine. It could not have been good for it though so I wouldn't recommend trying. The 57's, like the 58's are used for many instruments and no matter what, if you wan to be able to record everything your going to have to have at least 8 mics just to record a drum kit correctly.
The most expensive piece yet I've invested in is a Traktor S4 for playing my beats live and mixing dopeness around it. Not yet dope but I'm practicing. But, whoa, honestly for what I did to save for this and how expensive it was, it really still kind of a piece of junk because of the fact that it is still just a controller hooked USB to a laptop (MAC :)) and made in China. The real deal DJ mixers are in the 1500 to 3500 rang,e I would say going with a set of Pioneer CDJ's and a digital mixer from Akai or Native Instruments. Still Saving up for my first PA System that will be quality but cheap enough I wont mind blowing to bits with BASS.