Whether you have a Neve 8078 board mixing console or just a laptop hooked up to an interface and couple of speakers, the results will speak for itself. Everything I record these days is recorded, mixed and mastered without the help of an outsider. I play all the instruments and as much as I hate singing, I do all the vocals myself too. I learnt a long time ago that if I want to continue making music, I need to be self reliant. Being in a band held me back for a long time, to be honest. I am happy to be able to be creative without the interference of others. There is a lot of freedom in that.
I don't do this for a living, so the amount of time I have to dedicate to it varies depending on how tired I am after work and family duties. There have been months and years at a time when I just wasn't up to it. However, these days I am making a concerted effort to be more productive. Seeing my ideas through and putting in the work means sacrificing sleep. I have at least one new album worth of decent songs almost done and another two albums worth of material also in the works.
The new songs are much longer and don't fit the structure of pop/rock songs anymore. There is a lot more musical content in these songs and they go to places I wouldn't normally go if I want to get my song played on the radio. At this point in my life I am just making music for myself, so I'm not too concerned about pleasing an audience. I'm grateful if anyone is still tuning in but reaching a bigger audience isn't much of a concern anymore.
Music is an end in itself for me. That's how it was when I was a kid and that's how it is now.