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Finding worth and contentment in what you have. Keyboard Synthesizers
Old 21st September 2017
  #1
Lives for gear
 
xanderbeanz's Avatar
Finding worth and contentment in what you have.



My mom asked me what I wanted for Xmas/Birthday this year. She's just been made redundant, so I said that maybe she could put a little money towards me getting a nice cheap blue student Viola, so I can learn an unfretted string instrument.

GLISSANDO UP....

I suddenly in that moment, got hit with how much I used to value my birthday and Xmas presents, usually cheap stuff (the most expensive ever I believe was a £200 An1x in 2003 which I ADORED) and I was really content with a couple of synths and a DAW. I never upgraded from Cubase 3, I should look into that...

Anyhow, here I am now, older and much less content, and I think that the internet, including this site, has much to do with it, it creates uneasy background noise (chatter chatter chatter) in my own personal musings on gear.

I'm going to give the Prophet 08 as an example. I'm looking for one, or maybe a mopho X4, to have some nice filter FM DCO tones with a modulation sequencer, I'd take it to Wales and make odd sounds in a cabin or something.

Now, second hand Prophet 08s are about £1000. Yet they're trash-talked into the ground, the filter is crap, it's synth-on-a-chip, etc etc.
If something that is £1000 is not good enough, worthy enough, how are any of us slutz (apart from the ones that can afford say 10 lots of £4000 synths, unrealistic for most) able to feel content with what we have?

Heck, I'm a mid level slut, I have about £5500 in analogue and modular stuff, I'm probably contributing to this problem.

Yet, sometimes I look at my pile of gear and feel a deep sense of inadequacy.

Luckily, the moment I start using this gear, it goes away for a while, I tweak something on the TG33 or Kawai K11 (my cheapest babies) that sounds utterly original and then a song forms and I'm like "Whoa, I have good taste in synths!"

And I think this might be one answer to finding worth in your equipment, whether it be cheap digital junk or high-end hybrid analogue PPG envy-inducing gold, to USE it, to create songs and form positive memories with your gear.

So my point in posting this thread, well
I think it's mainly for the lurkers. I feel you guys, you're probably watching us lot and thinking "man, these guys have cool stuff!" but I tell you what, if I personally lost it all, all the gear, I'd be writing an album about it on a borrowed portasound the day after, it's all about the music really, and we get so tied up in acquisition and keeping up with the joneses, it's just not a path to happiness.

I also have a question for those with more than me, the guys with loads and loads of synths. I have a terrible recurring nightmare that one of you comes and visits me and laughs at my studio and belongings, before leaving.

I'd like to prove that this is a false and paranoid dream? I'd hope that even though my rig is modest, you'd stay and have a jam, I do have some knobby synths in case you hate menu diving

I'd like to thank Mr Varaldo, Plaid_Emu (that naked guy) and Slaughtrhaus for helping me start to form this more healthy gear narrative. I'm hoping to stop trolling rich people threads, I know it's not big or clever.

Please feel free to share your own personal contentment recipes!
Old 21st September 2017
  #2
Lives for gear
 
usedtohaveajuno's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by xanderbeanz View Post

Anyhow, here I am now, older and much less content, and I think that the internet, including this site, has much to do with it, it creates uneasy background noise (chatter chatter chatter) in my own personal musings on gear.
Damn straight my friend, it appears virtually the entire western world is unhappier, the richer they get (I use the term loosely, based on traditional living measurements) and the more "connected" they get.

Social media is the biggest killer of all. It giveth with one hand and takes 10 back with the other. I fear for my teenage nephews at times, who's entire life seems to be taken up with their self image on instagram, to the detriment of their own self-worth and happiness.

Being happy should be an aspiration and being content with the things you have, rather than the things you don't. I'm not really practicing as I preach just now when it comes to gear, but I do in most other aspects of my life

EDIT: This is a very British argument BTW. I know exactly where you are coming from. Not every other cultural background will!
Old 21st September 2017
  #3
Lives for gear
 
xanderbeanz's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by usedtohaveajuno View Post
Damn straight my friend, it appears virtually the entire western world is unhappier, the richer they get (I use the term loosely, based on traditional living measurements) and the more "connected" they get.

Social media is the biggest killer of all. It giveth with one hand and takes 10 back with the other. I fear for my teenage nephews at times, who's entire life seems to be taken up with their self image on instagram, to the detriment of their own self-worth and happiness.

Being happy should be an aspiration and being content with the things you have, rather than the things you don't. I'm not really practicing as I preach just now when it comes to gear, but I do in most other aspects of my life

EDIT: This is a very British argument BTW. I know exactly where you are coming from. Not every other cultural background will!
Cor Blimey Guv'nor, Shine your shoes?
Old 21st September 2017
  #4
Lives for gear
 
crufty's Avatar
Yo

It’s all good; anybody who laughs has their own problem. If your next step is toward your musical goal then that is good. I also know that my goals and tastes don’t need to match anyone else’s. I am good with that and happy for people who are happy with their journey.

I feel you in that I am having good luck with my iPad, making music for the first time in several years because everything is there. It works for me right now, as all my problems are me and not the gear. So it makes it easier for me to get better at what I suck at, and that’s what I need to work on.

Old 21st September 2017
  #5
Gear Guru
 
Karloff70's Avatar
 

'Just' listen to the light voices and avoid listening to the dark ones. It's quite simple, we all know which is which. It's just noisy out here. Ignore the noise and head for smiles. What gear you have makes little odds once you have just something that manages to help you express something to a quality result, and today pretty much anyone can have that for pennies.

Having a little desire for another inspiring tool later isn't necessarily bad. Just enjoy THIS bit of the road, too.

Finding contentment is nothing to do with gear, it's just finding contentment. Here. Now.
Old 22nd September 2017
  #6
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Gnalvl's Avatar
 

For me, GAS is a side-effect of not actually having enough time to use the gear I've got. I will go months with zero desire for any new gear, because I'm focused on some creative project or other (musically or otherwise). Other times I don't have one specific project I'm working on, but I'm coming up with lots of different patches and track ideas on the gear I've got, so I've got no unused creative energy.

Whenever I do find myself GASing a lot it's usually due to the following:
  • non-creative activities like social obligations taking up too much of my free time
  • putting in overtime hours in the office or being stuck in traffic till late uses up my free time
  • some malfunction in my set up, whether its a broken piece of gear or just a broken chair or bad desk ergonomics making it impractical to do music
It's when factors like these pile up that I find myself spending idle hours at work looking for flimsy excuses to buy new gear. Basically it's because for whatever reason I'm not able to do music in my free time, but I can get online and look at gear during slow times at work, so that becomes the focus of my creative energy.

When I find myself in that situation, usually if I reroute my mental energy into solving the problems that are preventing me from actually making music, then the GAS goes away and it turns out I didn't actually need any new gear.

Of course there are occasionally times when a new piece of gear solves a problem that is legitimately blocking me from making music. For example, I'd been spending a lot of time at my girlfriend's place lately and I have a computer there, but not a proper desk, so I basically have to work on the couch. At first I brought over a midi keyboard and an MKS-50 to play around with whenever I was feeling musical, but that proved still too big and bulky to work comfortably on the couch, so I recently picked up a JD-XI and a Korg Microkey which have made it easier to jam when I'm there.

Beyond that, after my first couple years of trying different stuff to figure out what I liked, I arrived at a lean set of gear which covers all my bases to my satisfaction:
  • MKS-80 + MKS-50 (analog poly's)
  • Microwave 1 + Ambika (hybrid poly's)
  • JD-990 (rompler)
  • twin Novation Remote Zeros (programming)
  • ADA-TFX (analog effects)
That's it, everything else I can do with software, so I don't feel like I need much else. I've trimmed out more redundant gear than I actually own at this point (Prophet 12, MW-XT, Mopho X4, XV-5080, Minibrute, TX802, DW8000, MKS-70, etc.) so I'm no longer worried about GAS overtaking my musical attention.

Every once in a while I'll try something new just to see if it really adds something worthwhile to my collection, but sell it within a few weeks. If I were to make any significant additions at this point, it'd be a Roli Seaboard and not a synth, because I think that'd add the most sonic variety not already present in my setup.
Old 22nd September 2017
  #7
Lives for gear
Dude, what are you talking about? I heard you do more with a DX-7 and other "throw away" synths that sounded better than some guys with a room full of vintage synths.
Old 22nd September 2017
  #8
Good stuff Xander. A few anti-gas meditations/mantras for the lurkers and veterans alike:

1. "Use it or lose it".
If you notice gear collecting dust due to lack of use, clean it up and put it away. If you don't miss it after an appropriate time then sell it. Anything not being regularly used that lacks sentimental value or collectors item status should go.

2. "Keep it simple stupid". If you spend more time setting up or rearranging things than actually making music you might have too much stuff or too complex of a setup-simplify.

3. "Don't drink the kool-aid". Fvckin Gearslutz will get you in trouble if you're easily swayed by groupthink. Have a plan and be confident that you know what you want to accomplish.

4. "Measure twice, cut once". Before you buy RTFM. RTFM. Then RTFM again. Watch videos. Read forums. Ask questions (after RTFM pls) on forums. this will help avoid buyer's remorse.

5. "Ain't nothing like the real thing baby". If you want a Moog, go ahead and save your pennies for a Moog rather than buying some copycat you can afford right now that won't fully scratch that itch.

Old 22nd September 2017
  #9
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Moonwhistle's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by slaughtrhaus View Post
Good stuff Xander. A few anti-gas meditations/mantras for the lurkers and veterans alike:

1. "Use it or lose it".
If you notice gear collecting dust due to lack of use, clean it up and put it away. If you don't miss it after an appropriate time then sell it. Anything not being regularly used that lacks sentimental value or collectors item status should go.

2. "Keep it simple stupid". If you spend more time setting up or rearranging things than actually making music you might have too much stuff or too complex of a setup-simplify.

3. "Don't drink the kool-aid". Fvckin Gearslutz will get you in trouble if you're easily swayed by groupthink. Have a plan and be confident that you know what you want to accomplish.

4. "Measure twice, cut once". Before you buy RTFM. RTFM. Then RTFM again. Watch videos. Read forums. Ask questions (after RTFM pls) on forums. this will help avoid buyer's remorse.

5. "Ain't nothing like the real thing baby". If you want a Moog, go ahead and save your pennies for a Moog rather than buying some copycat you can afford right now that won't fully scratch that itch.



Great stuff!

I will say also Xander that if the Prophet 08 interests you then have a go at it. I know too many of my friends that use them for touring, recording and getting it done. If you haven’t noticed by now there are some people here that will never be happy with any synth. Their hobby is saying what synths should be like, not what synths CAN do and being inspired to make great music.
Old 22nd September 2017
  #10
Registered User
Quote:
Originally Posted by Noisewagon View Post
Dude, what are you talking about? I heard you do more with a DX-7 and other "throw away" synths that sounded better than some guys with a room full of vintage synths.
This.

I've hearda little of your work, and you are rich in talent and taste. The gear clearly does not matter (much), but much respect for what you do.

I really appreciate people making music with affordable low end stuff. I won't lie - some of the sounds I adore come from gear I could not afford then or now. But I don't want to recreate somebody elses sounds anyway. I want to be inspired by them, and then make my own sounds - hopefully as good or 'better'.

I think there is hidden beauty in trash - and gear that other people may dismiss. I sometimes champion some cheap stuff that other people love to bash. Behringer and Line 6 for example.

DAWs have leveled out the playing field. When I was young and messing round with cassette tape - no gear could be good enough. Everything was layered in hiss and wobble and meanwhile the millionaires with Fairlights were cranking out the hits. But now it's different - anyone with a DAW can make perfect clean recordings. The problem now is the opposite ... how to get some dirt and mojo back into the music.

So now I sometimes reject stuff that is "too good" ... and buy cheap stuff that hits an emotional chord with me. Recent examples - a Behringer Tailspin vibrato. It's a little noisy - but then vintage BBD circuits were a LOT noisy. But compared with expensive digital vibratos - there is just something about it that I prefer.

Too much stuff can be very bad for creativity too. Most of the music I adore was created by musicians with access to very few instruments and tools - but they got good at using them and exploited everything to the maximum.

Keep up the excellent work - for all I know you could be hugely famous now.
Old 22nd September 2017
  #11
Lives for gear
 
Gnalvl's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by xanderbeanz View Post
I'm going to give the Prophet 08 as an example. I'm looking for one, or maybe a mopho X4, to have some nice filter FM DCO tones with a modulation sequencer, I'd take it to Wales and make odd sounds in a cabin or something.

Now, second hand Prophet 08s are about £1000. Yet they're trash-talked into the ground, the filter is crap, it's synth-on-a-chip, etc etc.
If something that is £1000 is not good enough, worthy enough, how are any of us slutz (apart from the ones that can afford say 10 lots of £4000 synths, unrealistic for most) able to feel content with what we have?
Speaking to this example, I actually had much the same feeling when I got a Mopho X4 as my 2nd analog poly. It didn't sound bad per se, it just didn't sound $1000 good and didn't feel different enough from VA. I did a bunch of A/B testing against my $300 Alpha Juno and preferred the sound of the Alpha in most cases.

But it was hardly the end of the world. I sold it and went to an MKS-80 as my bigger analog poly and that did give me the huge analog totally un-software-like sound I'd been looking for.

And the thing is, it's not like there's no hardware out there that sounds good at mod-sequencing with filter FM. There's just not many options that are analog/poly. But the whole idea that we have to have an analog version of everything can be a foolish obsession in itself.

If you don't like the P08 (or Matrix 6) filter, it doesn't mean you can't do filter fm or mod-sequencing in a hardware synth, it probably just means you need to bite the bullet and try a Virus or some similar VA and accept that some things are better done in digital unless you can afford a Modal 008.
Old 22nd September 2017
  #12
Lives for gear
 
xanderbeanz's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gnalvl View Post
Speaking to this example, I actually had much the same feeling when I got a Mopho X4 as my 2nd analog poly. It didn't sound bad per se, it just didn't sound $1000 good and didn't feel different enough from VA. I did a bunch of A/B testing against my $300 Alpha Juno and preferred the sound of the Alpha in most cases.

But it was hardly the end of the world. I sold it and went to an MKS-80 as my bigger analog poly and that did give me the huge analog totally un-software-like sound I'd been looking for.

And the thing is, it's not like there's no hardware out there that sounds good at mod-sequencing with filter FM. There's just not many options that are analog/poly. But the whole idea that we have to have an analog version of everything can be a foolish obsession in itself.

If you don't like the P08 (or Matrix 6) filter, it doesn't mean you can't do filter fm or mod-sequencing in a hardware synth, it probably just means you need to bite the bullet and try a Virus or some similar VA and accept that some things are better done in digital unless you can afford a Modal 008.
To be honest I think I have great filter FM and hardware mod sequencing already, I've basically got to pair either an OB6 or Microwave II with my QX5 sequencer, both do great filter FM and the QX5 lets you set CC's per step.

The other way I could do it would be via eurorack, using the An1x's control CC sequencer and routing one CC and velocity via my doepfer midi interface, then doing crazy shiz with the two control voltage lanes, like inverting them, quantising them, etc.

Just was interested, especially in the X4 as it's all in one and has a limited but rich functionality, might force a few tunes out of me!
Old 22nd September 2017
  #13
Quote:
Originally Posted by xanderbeanz View Post
Please feel free to share your own personal contentment recipes!
Since I've started to read Marx's Capital, it completely shifted my view on the world and especially on the subject of concentration of wealth.
As the last thread I've expressed this has been shutted off for "too much politics", I won't go further down that road. But still, you don't possess things, they possess you.


Here's an interview of Alan Oldham, where he says that the whole Detroit spirit was based on "you have to do with what you got".




Another one with John Carpenter, which talks about his beginnings and how you got to "make the best with no money".




You can also find an interview of Vitalic in his studio, where he explain his process for each album, basically he changes all his instruments to get more creative. That's an interesting take as it involves change by detachment, rather than accumulation.
Food for thought.
Old 22nd September 2017
  #14
Lives for gear
 
rids's Avatar
 

Well well well, if this isn't a finding worth and contentment thread looking back at me... So a long long time ago I madly sought out all the cool synths I could within reason. Researched all the Kawai 1-5 synths. Wanted to buy the SY-77, but ended up with a TG-33 instead. I had to make some tough decisions like buy a Fizmo and FS1R, but because of that I told myself I can't buy the Kawai K5000S, as I was going to only buy two of what I saw as the top exotic sounding synths at the time of my search. I purchased up a Sequential Prophet VS, Oberheim OB-1, even a Vermona Mars, which most people probably have never even seen. I went the route of going opposite of the VA crowd (that were raving about Supernovas, JP8000s, Viruses and the typical VAs) and bought Quasimidi gear. I had 3 Polymorphs at one time. I bought a Raven Max, Sirius, Rave-O-lution and Quasar. I could go on for a while and not sure why I'm just mentioning those synths...

Ok, I bought a lot of other stuff too including outboard gear, a lot of which I still have. But I got to the point that I realized there was quite a lot of gear I didn't click with like I hoped. I realized after a while that I got in over my head. It wasn't a bad thing for having fun, but it was a bad thing for making music. To be creative you have to learn your gear inside and out. I clearly was too overwhelmed by all the cool synths I had to be able to focus on one to learn it enough to utilize it properly. I learned and became familiar with a lot of synths in the process, but making my own music suffered a lot. Ultimately I wasn't happy with the direction I had gone as music is also an end goal of mine.

The only time you have control, is when you're telling your synth what to do and it does it. At least to the extent that you conjure something expected or unexpected, yet pleasing to you. If you are able to do that anytime you a minute free, then there's no guilt involved. If the thing sits there and looks back at you from the corner and you don't know how to comfort it buy pressing the right buttons and turning the right knobs on it, then it's the 'not you, it's me' syndrome and you need to get rid of it. It will weigh you down and take up space, and it will keep you from being able to do something constructive with other gear. But!! do you need to replace it with anything at all?... After a while you learn less can be so much more.

I basically went against what I just said and kept a lot, put it away and utilize newer stuff. Comparing and contrasting synths is a good thing. Sitting on synths that you know you don't click with is a bad thing. See. There, I did it again and contradicted myself. It's a battle sometimes to sort through your own inadequacies. The inadequacy of being a proper synth parent.

You have to treat your synths like children and nurture them. You discipline them when they get out of control and you let them know when it's ok to have free reign and go play and be wacky. If you aren't doing this, what are you doing? You shouldn't have been a parent in the first place. It's ok in the synth world, but get rid of the synth if this is the case. You'll hold your creativity back if you don't.

I've realized this over time and push myself more now to send stuff out the door if I realized I'm not getting along with a kid, I mean synth.

One trick is selling off your synths that you aren't clicking with and see if there is a correlation to your productivity with your other synths. A lot of times my productivity increases when I do this. Also, it's a good way to get a more expensive synth you want, by selling a bunch of stuff to get that. Or think of a synth or piece of gear you strongly feel you'd click with and sell a bunch of stuff that hasn't clicked. It's not only refreshing and a weight off your back (from lack of production), you can build new avenues of creativity because you might not have bought the new thing in the first place without having a big sell off.

This is what I like. I want to always sell my gear off that I'm only partly using. There's certain staple synths I'll always have, because I click with them in many areas, but I'm always going to be selling synths to try other synths out. I don't want to be using the same synths forever. I want to try out all the other synths out there. There's so many that I will most likely never get to try out and that's a shame, because life is short to hold onto synths just because, and in the process limit your exposure to other cool synths. Plus, you can use these new synths to create new songs for a new album or whatever.

Ah yes, finding worth and contentment. What would life be without it.
Old 22nd September 2017
  #15
Lives for gear
 
Rob Ocelot's Avatar
Alex, I think the real issue is most of us overthink the problem.

People with minimal setups fool themselves into thinking that more gear must somehow be better -- and sometimes forums like this one project the aura that it's the cool toys that make the music and not the musician. Everyone's yardstick for success and contentment (and the two are not necessarily the same thing) is of different length and made of a completely different material. My apples are not your oranges, nor should they be.

The real music is always inside you. Gear is a tool that can help the music make the transition from inside to outside. Better tools can make you more efficient but not necessarily more creative. By the same token twice the tools cannot make you express your music twice as fast, or instill it with twice the personal emotional energy.
Old 22nd September 2017
  #16
Lives for gear
 
Looneytune's Avatar
 

Happy to say I'm finally content! I still have the random thoughts of wanting more gear pop up but I SnapBack to reality and make music! No more lusting for what you don't have and be happy with what you got is my new motto
Old 22nd September 2017
  #17
Quote:
Originally Posted by xanderbeanz View Post
My mom asked me what I wanted for Xmas/Birthday this year. She's just been made redundant, so I said that maybe she could put a little money towards me getting a nice cheap blue student Viola, so I can learn an unfretted string instrument.
Wait, how has your mom been made redundant? Hopefully that was a typo and autocorrected from liutenant so she'd been making more money or something? Tell I'm not the only person "redundant" raised an eyebrow for. I guess all moms are redundant if you've already been born, but I'm glad mine is still around.

Last edited by StarfishMusic; 22nd September 2017 at 10:29 AM..
Old 22nd September 2017
  #18
Lives for gear
 
breakmixer's Avatar
 

I always come back to the fact that most of my favorite electronic music was made by indipendant artists with not much gear, look at the likes of Larry heard, Juan Atkins, Arthur baker, man Parrish. Mantronix etc. These guys did not have huge setups when they made their club classics. I think less is more and it actually annoys me and I feel overwhelmed by too much gear, and more gear can also have more technical problems arise, especially USB problems...IMO
Old 22nd September 2017
  #19
Gear Guru
 
fiddlestickz's Avatar
We are almost at total saturation point, it's not even cool to write great music with cheap minimal amounts of gear anymore cause lots of people have done that too..

Lots of gear and people will say oh that's all you can write..? Someone with a mic and a cheap sampler knocking out tunes and people will say oh yeah wow that's cool, but don't really care..

We are faced with unique challenges in the brave new world.. to be original in a field full of others wanting to do the same.. how do we win, how do we get to these new places when everyone has access to everything and everyone..?

Having lots of gear doesn't help, least not in my realm, having too little just reignites the GAS again, so once more we find we need to chase the middle, we are approaching a Goldilocks paradigm, a juxtaposition of gear versus time used, find your 'just right' and start from there is my recommendation..
Old 22nd September 2017
  #20
Lives for gear
 
xanderbeanz's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by StarfishMusic View Post
Wait, how has your mom been made redundant? Hopefully that was a typo and autocorrected from liutenant so she'd been making more money or something? Tell I'm not the only person "redundant" raised an eyebrow for. I guess all moms are redundant if you've already been born, but I'm glad mine is still around.
I merely mean redundant as in a "has lost her job" sense. Her dick company decided to relocate despite her team totally smashing sales records, she's an accountant, and a very good one.

She's not redundant "to me" lol
Old 22nd September 2017
  #21
Lives for gear
 
xanderbeanz's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by fiddlestickz View Post
We are almost at total saturation point, it's not even cool to write great music with cheap minimal amounts of gear anymore cause lots of people have done that too..

Lots of gear and people will say oh that's all you can write..? Someone with a mic and a cheap sampler knocking out tunes and people will say oh yeah wow that's cool, but don't really care..

We are faced with unique challenges in the brave new world.. to be original in a field full of others wanting to do the same.. how do we win, how do we get to these new places when everyone has access to everything and everyone..?

Having lots of gear doesn't help, least not in my realm, having too little just reignites the GAS again, so once more we find we need to chase the middle, we are approaching a Goldilocks paradigm, a juxtaposition of gear versus time used, find your 'just right' and start from there is my recommendation..
Do we need to win?

Old 22nd September 2017
  #22
Lives for gear
Quote:
Originally Posted by xanderbeanz View Post
Now, second hand Prophet 08s are about £1000. Yet they're trash-talked into the ground, the filter is crap, it's synth-on-a-chip, etc etc.
If something that is £1000 is not good enough, worthy enough, how are any of us slutz (apart from the ones that can afford say 10 lots of £4000 synths, unrealistic for most) able to feel content with what we have?
I think this is a bit of a silly way to look at it - price isn't indicative of quality/worthiness, especially for something as specific as what people want out of a synthesizer. Someone not liking Prophet '08 at £1000 doesn't mean they can't be happy with anything less expensive.
Old 22nd September 2017
  #23
Gear Guru
 
fiddlestickz's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by xanderbeanz View Post
Do we need to win?
yes.. because it means we succeeded in our goal to make something from nothing, and we like it..
Old 22nd September 2017
  #24
Lives for gear
 
manalishi's Avatar
We had it tough when we were kids. Twenty of us, huddling around a CZ-101 wall-wart to keep warm, while me Dad tried to write a hit tune, his chubby fingers incapable of playing single note melodies. But it was all sweet music to us.

Now I've got about 30 octaves of keys, 500 voices of polyphony, thousands of patches and more knobs than a boys boarding school. And all I feel is the slightest frisson of 'meh' when I play the theme from Blade Runner. That's if I can be bothered to turn on all the stuff in the right order, and find out whether "Synth Saw 27" is better than "Synth Saw 42" on the Integra 7.

I could make more music, but there's just no spare time; I've got to sit here pressing [F5] for all of my Ebay searches...
Old 22nd September 2017
  #25
Quote:
Originally Posted by fiddlestickz View Post
Having lots of gear doesn't help, least not in my realm, having too little just reignites the GAS again, so once more we find we need to chase the middle, we are approaching a Goldilocks paradigm, a juxtaposition of gear versus time used, find your 'just right' and start from there is my recommendation..
There's sense in that.

If I may add something... when in doubt, I recall how artisans proceeded in the past: they had tools and they had a method.
The tools for us are simply a set of efficient machines, within what we can afford. No more no less, looking beyond that is just ridiculous.

[RANT MODE] I know this is GS and there's this ongoing joke with GAS and all, but really? I've never felt GAS except when I was too poor to afford the bare minimum, so I don't think you can call that GAS anyway. [/RANT MODE]

About the method, now that's something entirely on another level and the real thing to focus on for me, creative process, workflow, organisation, all these things are for free and makes the real difference.

In the past, the method was kept secret amongst craftsmen corporations, so you guess what was considered important between tools or method...
Old 22nd September 2017
  #26
Lives for gear
 
synthRodriguez's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by xanderbeanz View Post
I have a terrible recurring nightmare that one of you comes and visits me and laughs at my studio and belongings, before leaving.
Nobody would be laughing after hearing your music. You do great work.
Old 22nd September 2017
  #27
Gear Guru
 
Karloff70's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by synthRodriguez View Post
Nobody would be laughing after hearing your music. You do great work.
And also, that is not a gear issue......nor will gear solve it.
Old 22nd September 2017
  #28
Lives for gear
 
Rob Ocelot's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by xanderbeanz View Post
I have a terrible recurring nightmare that one of you comes and visits me and laughs at my studio and belongings, before leaving.
Quote:
Originally Posted by synthRodriguez View Post
Nobody would be laughing after hearing your music. You do great work.
I'll second that.

I know you didn't start this thread to solicit admiration -- at least, I don't get that impression from any of your previous writings here.
(so take my next paragraphs of gushing with a grain of salt)

I've seen (and heard) you do great things from very meager starting materials, with a very high wheat-to-chaff ratio -- you don't overindulge in effects to hide things for example. You dig for the real essences of sound.

I think if all you had around you were rocks you would still make some interesting sounds and tunes. When everyone else around you sees just rocks, you see sounds and music. THAT, my friend is what true talent is.

The best contentment in life comes from nurturing and harnessing that talent. If it makes one other person a little bit happier to hear the fruits of your talent then you've more than succeeded.
Old 22nd September 2017
  #29
Lives for gear
 
Acidizer's Avatar
some of the coolest set ups are made up of smaller, well thought out purchases and the way in which they've been rigged up. i don't think any true slut would denounce... any set up, really.

i've bought and sold on again a lot of gear which i didn't connect with. though really my need for instant gratification is what makes me go through this wasteful cycle. GAS is a terrible thing

i don't have the space for a permanent set up really. i got a system-8 because of that vintage sound and multiple sound engines in the one box. this sound, combined with those knobs and sliders is something that DOES bring me instant gratification... now, at over a grand, it's not cheap, though hardly overpriced i feel for what what you get, unless you are a VA snob.

finally i have found something that i DON'T want to sell on - and more importantly, something i DO want to use regularly. i haven't even delved into more complex features like cross mod or whatever it is, partly because i am lazy, but partly because i'm still having a lot of fun as is...

if i wasn't a lazy bum, and didn't oppose menu diving so much, the JDXI (which i also own) could easily have kept me as engaged for as long, at a quarter of the price. but i have been on the system-8 solely for about a year - and no plans to wander onto something else... in fact, i'd like to 'master' it.

one of the coolest videos i have seen is a BoC cover on a volca bass, though i know i would never be able to tease this out of that little box (which i ALSO own)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PKQGM5iQXSo

a maestro coaxing stuff out of a more primitive set up/instrument will always (to me) be way cooler than similar coming from an opulent set up or instrument.
Old 22nd September 2017
  #30
Lives for gear
 
xanderbeanz's Avatar
Thanks, not my point of making the thread but it was very thoughtful.

I think talent, and thinking you're a "talented guy" can be a bit of a crutch too, a bit of a "status", what I'm seeking is to strip all of that bravado and status away and just be happy.

I once taught a guy with severe autism and dyspraxia. He couldn't play much at all, but was so happy that he could, with his rubbery dyspraxic fingers, use his whole hand to hold down one string, sliding it up and down to play 4 or 5 notes with the rest of the music group, to jam.

Totally ecstatic, how do I get THAT?
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