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FOG - fear of gear
Old 19th July 2018
  #1
FOG - fear of gear

Hi fellas,

I not only have suffered from GAS, but I am now in a fog - I have fear of gear. Instead of playing with my new toys, I instead read about them and watch videos of other people playing with them and talking about them.

I have owned synths for only a few months - I made my first purchase, a Microbrute, on April 29th. I am recently retired, with mad money now that my house and car are paid off. I love my stuff, but it's easier to plan to play later than to do it today. Rooms need to be organized, accessories considered.

My latest is the Subsequent 37, which I am totally in love with. but I am waiting for the EP-1 and the dust cover to arrive from Sweetwater to really get into it.

Then there is my latest Netflix binge, which takes up so much of my time. There are eight seasons to get through! (I won't say which series.)

I am a little tongue-in-cheek here, but I do want to be creative, and I know I can be.

Advice or sympathy?

Mark
Old 19th July 2018
  #2
Deleted b5734b5
Guest
Old 19th July 2018
  #3
Lives for gear
 
playstation's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
I got X Plane 11 flight sim and found that watching videos of people doing flights is funner than messing around with it myself. I lose interest in synths and go back to plonking out Beatle tunes on piano quite regularly then back to synths for a short time rinse and repeat. ADD I guess.
Old 19th July 2018
  #4
Gear Guru
 
Jamie munro's Avatar
 
🎧 5 years
MAN THE F UP BRO

Play the damn keys
Old 19th July 2018
  #5
Here for the gear
 
🎧 5 years
If I bought something like an Octatrack I think I would initially approach it with a certain sense of trepidation but other than that there's nothing to fear.

I would hazard a guess that for most hobbyists what keeps them away from their gear is a lack of time, especially if you have a family.
Old 19th July 2018 | Show parent
  #6
Kja
Lives for gear
Quote:
Originally Posted by Deleted b5734b5 View Post
What tf is that? A monkey? Freaky looking
Old 19th July 2018
  #7
Deleted b6e9904
Guest
Well don’t buy any more synths for now. That’s not gonna fix anything. In fact i’d go as far as to say that it would just exasperate the problem. Do you have any fx? Might be why you’re intimidated or whatever, because you can’t seem to get your gear to sound as ‘good’ as the demos you’ve heard. Whether it’s subtle or blatant, they have usually got them running through reverbs/delays (whether they admit to it or not) which pretty much automatically makes everything sound better. Next purchase should be a little fx unit. You don’t have to spend much to get a good one.

Oh, and cancel your Netflix and focus. Every episode of that drivel you’re watching is lowering your IQ.
Old 19th July 2018 | Show parent
  #8
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jamie munro View Post
MAN THE F UP BRO

Play the damn keys
Thanks, Jamie. That's really all there is to it.
Old 19th July 2018 | Show parent
  #9
Quote:
Originally Posted by Roxetten View Post
If I bought something like an Octatrack I think I would initially approach it with a certain sense of trepidation but other than that there's nothing to fear.

I would hazard a guess that for most hobbyists what keeps them away from their gear is a lack of time, especially if you have a family.
No family, plenty of time. Might be laziness more than anything. Thanks.
Old 19th July 2018 | Show parent
  #10
Quote:
Originally Posted by BoardsOfBurnley View Post
Well don’t buy any more synths for now. That’s not gonna fix anything. In fact i’d go as far as to say that it would just exasperate the problem. Do you have any fx? Might be why you’re intimidated or whatever, because you can’t seem to get your gear to sound as ‘good’ as the demos you’ve heard. Whether it’s subtle or blatant, they have usually got them running through reverbs/delays (whether they admit to it or not) which pretty much automatically makes everything sound better. Next purchase should be a little fx unit. You don’t have to spend much to get a good one.

Oh, and cancel your Netflix and focus. Every episode of that drivel you’re watching is lowering your IQ.
Thank you for the advice about FX. I'll look into that. But no more synths, for now.
Old 19th July 2018 | Show parent
  #11
Deleted b6e9904
Guest
Quote:
Originally Posted by Markonmac View Post
Thank you for the advice about FX.
I reckon my advice about Netflix was more pertinent.
Old 19th July 2018 | Show parent
  #12
Quote:
Originally Posted by Deleted b6e9904 View Post
I reckon my advice about Netflix was more pertinent.
I think you're right.
Old 19th July 2018
  #13
Lives for gear
 
channelite's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Turn them on and start playing. Have a way to record once you hear something interesting. I use an iRig and AudioShare app on my iPhone to record jams and potential loops. Then export them to Dropbox for later use in your daw.
Old 19th July 2018 | Show parent
  #14
Quote:
Originally Posted by johnnyboy5000 View Post
Turn them on and start playing. Have a way to record once you hear something interesting. I use an iRig and AudioShare app on my iPhone to record jams and potential loops. Then export them to Dropbox for later use in your daw.
I did use the Music Memos app on my iPhone yesterday to record an interesting bass riff from my Moog.

Thanks johnnyboy.
Old 19th July 2018
  #15
Lives for gear
 
🎧 5 years
definitely don't get into buying loads of stuff. 'less is more'.
set things up in a space so you can go in there, fire it up
and get a tune finished, recorded. be on top of it, not it
on top of you. (or something like that...)
Old 19th July 2018 | Show parent
  #16
Quote:
Originally Posted by babylonpanic View Post
definitely don't get into buying loads of stuff. 'less is more'.
set things up in a space so you can go in there, fire it up
and get a tune finished, recorded. be on top of it, not it
on top of you. (or something like that...)
Well put. Thanks!
Old 19th July 2018
  #17
Lives for gear
 
🎧 5 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Markonmac View Post
I am a little tongue-in-cheek here, but I do want to be creative, and I know I can be.

Advice or sympathy?

Mark
I do know the feeling, I enjoy reading and watching stuff aboout gear, and planning purchases and filling in gaps almost as much as playing with the stuff.

There are probably all sorts of ways out of it. You could try and get into a routine, eg reserving certain times of certain days for actually using the stuff. Or set yourself specific challenges.

Or watch videos that inspire creativity, trigger ideas and help build confidence as much as videos about the gear itself.

Good luck, I have work to do on this front myself, although I am not planning to take the advice of not buying more gear, because I am in no doubt that this is where some of my passion is and its not actually the thing that really gets in the way of my own creativity.
Old 19th July 2018 | Show parent
  #18
Gear Guru
 
Yoozer's Avatar
 
1 Review written
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Markonmac View Post
No family, plenty of time. Might be laziness more than anything. Thanks.
Unless you know you're lazy, it's also fear of "what if I make something and it's going to suck? That's not going to feel good."

Of course it's going to suck. You have to get through that.

Watch THE GAP by Ira Glass on Vimeo

And remember - it's better to have 10 songs of which 9 suck than 1 song of which 90% sucks.

Don't aim for mediocrity. Go for the best you can do, and you'll look back fondly on your work a few years later, instead of in shame.

And don't buy any synths - just something to multitrack if you don't have it yet. If you really want to push yourself - not even effects. You can fake an awful lot of effects just by recording another track with the same sound.

Slightly out of tune for flanger/chorus. Delay it and lower the volume (or filter cutoff) for echo. Delay it and lower the volume and transpose it a fifth or an octave for something really neat. Play the second track with a different synth set to almost the same sound. Sustain it and lower the volume to fake reverb (or just play it back in a room and record the audio with a microphone). Old video game consoles that did not have true built-in effects or CD/mp3 audio used all these tricks and more.

You don't need a top of the line DAW for this. If you don't want to go too deep in the rabbit hole, get a small 2 in/2 out audio interface with MIDI I/O and use the included "lite" version of whatever DAW is included, and don't use any of the included instruments. If your computer's not the fastest anymore, that's actually a feature and not a bug because you'll be forced to record everything as audio since that's the cheapest to play back.

The alternative is buying a Zoom R8 or something (or god forbid, a 4-track cassette recorder) and additionally, something that can record and play back MIDI. That's going to cost just as much.
Old 19th July 2018 | Show parent
  #19
Quote:
Originally Posted by SteveElbows View Post
There are probably all sorts of ways out of it. You could try and get into a routine, eg reserving certain times of certain days for actually using the stuff. Or set yourself specific challenges.
A routine worked out well for me when writing was my primary hobby. Got two drafts of a novel out of it.

Thank you, Mr. Elbows!
Old 19th July 2018 | Show parent
  #20
Deleted b6e9904
Guest
Quote:
Originally Posted by Markonmac View Post
I think you're right.
Richard D James said in interview once that how he makes so much music is that he gets himself into a position where he’s got literally nothing else to do. He makes music because he’s bored. It’s either knocking out tunes or staring at the wall. I’d go along with that, it’s good advice.

Thing is, making music is challenging. It’s one of the hardest things in the world to do well. Which is why it’s so well paid if you get good at it, I suppose. So if you have distractions all around, especially something passive like sitting down and watching stuff, feeding your face with popcorn, you’re going to be more inclined to do it - it’s something to do with biochemistry- activating the dopamine system with the least amount of effort is subconsciously preferred to working really hard while there’s a pretty high risk that nothing will even come of it. That’s what you’re fighting against. But the rewards are obviously much higher. There’s no better feeling than making a track you really think is great, and then having some success with it - even if that success is just good feedback and a few downloads online.

I think younger people find it easier to make lots of music, because they haven’t yet had a lifetime of building up terrible habits of doing the easy thing for instant gratification.
Old 19th July 2018 | Show parent
  #21
Quote:
Originally Posted by Yoozer View Post
Unless you know you're lazy, it's also fear of "what if I make something and it's going to suck? That's not going to feel good."

Of course it's going to suck. You have to get through that.
Lots of good advice, Yoozer. Thanks.
Old 19th July 2018 | Show parent
  #22
Gear Guru
 
Jamie munro's Avatar
 
🎧 5 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Markonmac View Post
Thanks, Jamie. That's really all there is to it.
happy to help Mark

seriously though, don't get bogged down in all the BS, you are retired, enjoy a synth before diving to the next - it is really nice to go flat out on a new hobby but not at the expense of the hobby, make sense?

Play on
Old 19th July 2018
  #23
Kja
Lives for gear
Nothing is more fulfilling and rewarding then great tracks to show people that you made! What a great feeling! Plus it is impressive! Or have nothing but wasted time, its up to you? That alone is enough to scare me into keep creating.. Plus you should really enjoy creating, don't just be another fat leach of society.. Show the world how you feel and you will be surprised how many will like and will relate.

P.s. give me a copy when your done too! I wanna hear!
Old 19th July 2018 | Show parent
  #24
Quote:
Originally Posted by BoardsOfBurnley View Post
Richard D James said in interview once that how he makes so much music is that he gets himself into a position where he’s got literally nothing else to do. He makes music because he’s bored. It’s either knocking out tunes or staring at the wall. I’d go along with that, it’s good advice.
I admire his work. I will take his words to heart.

Thanks again.
Old 19th July 2018 | Show parent
  #25
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kja View Post
Nothing is more fulfilling and rewarding then great tracks to show people that you made! What a great feeling! Plus it is impressive! Or have nothing but wasted time, its up to you? That alone is enough to scare me into keep creating.. Plus you should really enjoy creating, don't just be another fat leach of society.. Show the world how you feel and you will be surprised how many will like and will relate.

P.s. give me a copy when your done too! I wanna hear!
Awesome. Thanks, Kja.
Old 19th July 2018
  #26
Lives for gear
 
🎧 5 years
I'm pretty sure its a confidence and comfort zone thing for me, rather than instant gratification vs the perils of trying to be creative. I'm really confident at learning how to operate new equipment, and I really love learning every aspect of new gear. I also tend to see the cycle of buying more gear as being a symptom of my other deficits, rather than a cause of them. And when I've tried to do things like tell myself I'm not allowed any more gear till I achieve results creatively, it doesnt work, I just find something else non music gear related to fill that gap.

I would really like to harness my love of learning towards learning more about how to actually make a song, but I've rarely found resources that inspire me and frankly a lot of the time I dont know quite where to start. At the risk of going a bit off-topic, and certainly not wanting to hijack this thread for my own ends, any tips on where to start with this side of things in this internet age?
Old 19th July 2018 | Show parent
  #27
Gear Guru
 
Jamie munro's Avatar
 
🎧 5 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by SteveElbows View Post
I'm pretty sure its a confidence and comfort zone thing for me, rather than instant gratification vs the perils of trying to be creative. I'm really confident at learning how to operate new equipment, and I really love learning every aspect of new gear. I also tend to see the cycle of buying more gear as being a symptom of my other deficits, rather than a cause of them. And when I've tried to do things like tell myself I'm not allowed any more gear till I achieve results creatively, it doesnt work, I just find something else non music gear related to fill that gap.

I would really like to harness my love of learning towards learning more about how to actually make a song, but I've rarely found resources that inspire me and frankly a lot of the time I dont know quite where to start. At the risk of going a bit off-topic, and certainly not wanting to hijack this thread for my own ends, any tips on where to start with this side of things in this internet age?
search GS for your problem, there has been a million people with the same mindset

it always comes down to the same or similar thing though, read some theory and do some practice to keep the brain moving forward and thirsty

more play makes jack happy - less makes him go to work or something equally as soul destroying

gear is best enjoyed - use the web at different times and don't watch videos of your own gear or other gear (especially fx or synths) while learning gear, it is poison.
Old 19th July 2018 | Show parent
  #28
Quote:
Originally Posted by SteveElbows View Post
At the risk of going a bit off-topic, and certainly not wanting to hijack this thread for my own ends, any tips on where to start with this side of things in this internet age?
I would like know that, too, Steve. Hijack with my blessing.
Old 19th July 2018 | Show parent
  #29
Lives for gear
 
🎧 5 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jamie munro View Post
search GS for your problem, there has been a million people with the same mindset

it always comes down to the same or similar thing though, read some theory and do some practice to keep the brain moving forward and thirsty

more play makes jack happy - less makes him go to work or something equally as soul destroying

gear is best enjoyed - use the web at different times and don't watch videos of your own gear or other gear (especially fx or synths) while learning gear, it is poison.
Thanks. To be honest I dont even know what terms to search for!

I've certainly had tons of fun and got the creative juices flowing when it comes to individual equipment and small combinations of equipment, and just relaxing and playing around with few expectations, at least to the extent that I do ok with the sound design side of things. Its taking it beyond that point where I fall down.

And yes, thanks for the timely reminder about theory and practice, I got well past the stage where I was deliberately avoiding such things for silly reasons, I am more than up for it now, I just need to find the right resources to start me off.

Thanks again.
Old 19th July 2018 | Show parent
  #30
Gear Guru
 
Jamie munro's Avatar
 
🎧 5 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by SteveElbows View Post
Thanks. To be honest I dont even know what terms to search for!

I've certainly had tons of fun and got the creative juices flowing when it comes to individual equipment and small combinations of equipment, and just relaxing and playing around with few expectations, at least to the extent that I do ok with the sound design side of things. Its taking it beyond that point where I fall down.

And yes, thanks for the timely reminder about theory and practice, I got well past the stage where I was deliberately avoiding such things for silly reasons, I am more than up for it now, I just need to find the right resources to start me off.

Thanks again.
It's extremely hard to point or advise the direction, each individual is , well, individual plus the web is a mass of over grown BS and half of it will waste your time or be of little use.

Practice practice practice is the best, record, save, start again, record, save, start again. You will get better at starting, recording and finishing if you keep doing it, same as riding a bike, do more miles to get better, it's that easy. Miles and miles and miles, sweat it out and enjoy the agony knowing full well your compatriots are also suffering with a common goal.

Don't keep going over ideas, do something with an idea and see where it goes, don't think about saving ideas, don't revisit ideas, they will continue to land in your lap the more you play.

Enjoy it, if it's a strain or you are forcing it then take some time away or do something musical that's different, record some samples, mangle, program a preset, make 20 drum loops, build some effect chains.....

There is tons of stuff that all counts in the end and each little thing is its own little avenue of inspiration.
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