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Has anyone "De-complexified" and what were the results?
Old 4 weeks ago
  #1
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drockfresh's Avatar
Has anyone "De-complexified" and what were the results?

I find myself using simple things these days. more keys than buttons and knobs and menu-diving. No interest in hooking things up and barely an interest in turning things on. have you ever gotten rid of the rabbit holes and felt freedom in simplicity?
Old 4 weeks ago
  #2
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norfolk martin's Avatar
 

Sometimes one has to get initially get more complicated to make things simpler.

I always hated the process of plugging things in, routing them, and setting channel gain. I wanted one permanent channel for each mic, each synth, each amp sim. that way, each channel could be preset with the right gain, eq, routing for for each device, and left that way.

So i ended up with a 24 channel desk in my bedroom studio . Friends would ask me why I was going for so much "overkill" or complication. In fact, after the initial set up, it was marvelously simple. [1] turn on: [2] press the buss routing button on the correct channel: [3] play.

When the board finally had to go because of space limitations, I went to a 16 channel interface for much the same reason, although I'm unlikely to ever use more than two channels at any one time.

To me, if it takes more than two minutes from switch-on to being ready to record something, the logistics of a system could be improved. Now i just need a way to make the MiniMoog and the Boog warm up in less than 20 minutes!
Old 4 weeks ago
  #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by drockfresh View Post
I find myself using simple things these days. more keys than buttons and knobs and menu-diving. No interest in hooking things up and barely an interest in turning things on. have you ever gotten rid of the rabbit holes and felt freedom in simplicity?
yes indeed. I had a lot of great sounding, highly functional gear that was also deep/complex to use.

If I had a whole day or so to work on some ideas, I'd dive in and use some of that gear, but most times I just wanted to play or sketch out a quick idea so I'd break out the MKS-20, SH-101, and MIDIVerb II or something.

What I decided to do was limit the complexity to a small handful of effects units (H9000, tc4000) and a single moderately complex sequencer (QY-700). That way, I have a chance of fully understanding those units in my lifetime while I play and use the other simpler gear.

The results are - way less time with a manual open, less time digging through menu options, more actual playing time when I do sit down with my gear, way happier with the time spent.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #4
Gear Addict
I might swap everything for a set of bongos.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #5
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drockfresh's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by oldgearguy View Post
yes indeed. I had a lot of great sounding, highly functional gear that was also deep/complex to use.

If I had a whole day or so to work on some ideas, I'd dive in and use some of that gear, but most times I just wanted to play or sketch out a quick idea so I'd break out the MKS-20, SH-101, and MIDIVerb II or something.

What I decided to do was limit the complexity to a small handful of effects units (H9000, tc4000) and a single moderately complex sequencer (QY-700). That way, I have a chance of fully understanding those units in my lifetime while I play and use the other simpler gear.

The results are - way less time with a manual open, less time digging through menu options, more actual playing time when I do sit down with my gear, way happier with the time spent.
Moving the complexity to the effects is an interesting strategy

Thanks for sharing
Old 4 weeks ago
  #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by drockfresh View Post
Moving the complexity to the effects is an interesting strategy

Thanks for sharing
I've thought about that too. If you have a keyboard that has a good basic tone like a Juno you can play around more with the effects or layering the tones with something else. There's a lot of ways to keep things simple. I don't like stuff that has too many layers of annoyance like the Roland JX-10 double patch saving.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #7
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Rezisehtnys's Avatar
#mood

I'm doing this now; I only use the SY77 out of what I do have, so selling the rest of it and grabbing a Virus TI and K5000S to go along with it. Back down to 3 synths for my 3 tier stand, and they'll cover most all bases for me.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #8
Most of the time my synth patches are simple and more focused on finding the sweet spot, with a lot of internal or external HPF resonance.

Well except for the MS20M, that thing has amazing envelopes as explained here:

https://www.soundonsound.com/techniq...bout-envelopes

Effects though are where almost all my effort goes into every time, I try to take the moogerfooger series farther on every track.
Attached Thumbnails
Has anyone "De-complexified" and what were the results?-moogerfoogersynth.jpg  

Last edited by iksrazal; 4 weeks ago at 09:50 PM..
Old 4 weeks ago
  #9
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cane creek's Avatar
 

I own a Elektron Digitone and have just ordered a Model Cycles, i guess thats a prime example of De-complexified
Old 4 weeks ago
  #10
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drockfresh's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by cane creek View Post
I own a Elektron Digitone and have just ordered a Model Cycles, i guess thats a prime example of De-complexified
Elektron... for some of us that Re-Complexified

But I understand some of you have mastered the Elektron workflow

When I had one it was like learning a new language

No time for that !
Old 4 weeks ago
  #11
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Muser's Avatar
I usually think of things in terms of information assets and the flexibility and importance of those assets. my favorite information asset aside from memory and imagination, is probably Midi information. if you think about it, Midi is already a form of a simplified information asset and an important property of complexity is that the more certain kinds of complexity you have, the more your ability to use your memory as a useful asset, becomes impeded by the amount of information which is part and parcel of larger and larger amounts of distributed complexity.

so I have roughly three main tools which are complex but all of which have high degrees of memory recall structures. one is a V-Synth one is an MV8000 and the other is the computer. even though they are all essentially complex devices, they can also be used in any general basic and simple fashion too. so while on the surface can be simple, the additional underlying complexity gets addressed over time within the given device itself as extra assets.

because the devices are few and have high levels of recall, then the Midi information itself becomes the main musical focus as an information asset. it’s been reasoned out this way, so that I don’t get an issue with the type of complexity I dislike the most, which is always the ergonomic complexity of large amounts of differing gear, differing connections and differing interface and protocol types. if I wanted something sketchpad simple, I’d probably go with something like a Juno G or Gi. for my use cases, that is. as long as I can get at those information assets easy enough and, then plumb them into the other systems afterwards, then it wouldn't seem like useful information is just dissipating away into the either of complexity.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #12
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Sometimes you just want to play piano. Turn on Stage 2, and let time tick away.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #13
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Moonwhistle's Avatar
 

I'm usually running a passive CP70, SH101, tape echo and laptop/iPad these days.

Would ditch the tape echo if software didn't fail at emulating it.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #14
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Looneytune's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by drockfresh View Post
I find myself using simple things these days. more keys than buttons and knobs and menu-diving. No interest in hooking things up and barely an interest in turning things on. have you ever gotten rid of the rabbit holes and felt freedom in simplicity?
For me it wasn’t necessarily about the gear but the workflow. I don’t even attempt to turn anything on unless my sketch of the track/Skelton is ready. I do that with one keyboard.
Then I go to to work!

This has worked for me, I have a workflow for every thing! Each part of the track is broken down. I’m more efficient this way.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #15
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Yes, and greater productivity has ensued. Got rid of all digital hardware synths, most plugins, etc.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #16
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chaocrator's Avatar
i am Linux system administrator, and my motto is:
automate complex things once & forever, and then deal with simple ones.

works for music very well too.

complex things are not actually complex when can be done by pressing a couple of buttons. this is possible, for instance, by programming Axoloti and using Launchpad as user interface for triggering those programmed actions.

the result is highly optimized rig, where i can focus mainly on doing live percussion parts and/or tweaking lead synths performance parameters, althought none of my gear has any „song mode“
Old 4 weeks ago
  #17
Gear Maniac
 

I moved away from electronic music, now it’s only groups of real instruments. With no overdubs. If it isn’t audible in the room, it doesn’t wind up on the recording. Never been happier.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #18
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I recently did a simplification, so I can actually make tracks instead of thinking about configurations in my head. Results sound promising. You can read about my story in detail in my recent thread here: Sir Jamalot
Old 4 weeks ago
  #19
Too much clutter definitely irritates me, so I rotate a set of typically three instruments at a time with my mixer as the centerpiece. And usually have 5-6 pedals routed to aux/sends or inserts. My mic is always setup too. It’s not complicated but there is plenty of options. Everything else stored close by in a table or shelf in case I want to switch something out.

The most important part is that it’s setup and ready to use at all times. I can hit record at any moment too. After I finish a release I will evaluate how I can improve any issues that occurred. I keep things simple, and allow my results to improve gradually.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Thevegasnerve View Post
Too much clutter definitely irritates me, so I rotate a set of typically three instruments at a time with my mixer as the centerpiece. And usually have 5-6 pedals routed to aux/sends or inserts. My mic is always setup too. It’s not complicated but there is plenty of options. Everything else stored close by in a table or shelf in case I want to switch something out.

The most important part is that it’s setup and ready to use at all times. I can hit record at any moment too. After I finish a release I will evaluate how I can improve any issues that occurred. I keep things simple, and allow my results to improve gradually.
Yes! Having room to breath and explore and have fun and improve and learn while not being overwhelmed. In time one can add pieces if desired.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #21
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namnibor's Avatar
I did a cleansing once but the end result was just a massive blast from my intestinal past
Old 4 weeks ago
  #22
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I should add that my simplification was possible as a result of years of gained knowledge, I would not have known how to (let alone actually doing it) if I did not know how. Simplifying is not necessarily a simple thing.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #23
Quote:
Originally Posted by sds1fs1r View Post
I should add that my simplification was possible as a result of years of gained knowledge, I would not have known how to (let alone actually doing it) if I did not know how. Simplifying is not necessarily a simple thing.

Exactly, it takes time to figure out a workflow. Many factors are involved including your playing style, skill on specific instruments, recording goals, etc.. But there is tremendous value in driving towards this “effective workflow”. Especially if you want to release music on a consistent level.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #24
I need to stop thinking I'm going to compose an entire digital symphony with 4 movements and just record some tracks using my electronic percussion.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #25
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oldgearguy's Avatar
 

Sometimes you don't need the juggling bear riding a unicycle,
sometimes you just want the bear.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #26
Quote:
Originally Posted by chaocrator View Post
i am Linux system administrator, and my motto is:
automate complex things once & forever, and then deal with simple ones.

works for music very well too.
These days my code runs on about a hundred Linux servers instead of really small systems, we have an admin though I share a lot of that. I automate most of it.

For music the only thing I ever ended up automating was my videos ... 3 cameras and wav file sync into one video all by bash script ... its my sig,

However the more I get into sound design - I don't use samples and the drum machines are off - its a bunch of math and physics that can be as complex as you want to take it.

For me the song writing is the least complex part of it ... always on a piano with no effects.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #27
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Gringo Starr's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by drockfresh View Post
Elektron... for some of us that Re-Complexified

But I understand some of you have mastered the Elektron workflow

When I had one it was like learning a new language

No time for that !
I second that!

I have an acoustic guitar in three different rooms. There's a 12-string within reach of my bed. Every morning when my alarm goes off I sit up, grab my 12 string, and start noodling around. I often come up with good ideas in this 15 minute daze.

Over the past few weeks there have been a few times I came home turned on my modular system, computer, monitors, with the intention to start patching up a storm and ended up on the piano or acoustic for hours. Same thing yesterday... turned on all my stuff and then went into my bedroom and grabbed my acoustic guitar thinking I'd just play it for a few minutes while everything warmed up and a new song came to me and I ended up sitting there for two hours hammering it out.

Had I gone to play on the modulars instead I most likely would've had nothing after that two hours but a bunch of random crap recorded. All my good ideas come from acoustic guitars and a piano. So yeah de-complexifying for me equals better songwriting. However after the song is written is when I will attempt the re-complexifying approach. :-)
Old 4 weeks ago
  #28
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Sharp11's Avatar
 

One can find "de-complexifying" a complicating experience - imagine throwing out all your hardware only to find the plethora of options available ITB far outnumbering and outweighing the relatively simple (if labor intensive) solutions you had before?
Old 4 weeks ago
  #29
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chaocrator's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by iksrazal View Post
For me the song writing is the least complex part of it ... always on a piano with no effects.
agree. arranging is the most tricky part.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #30
In the process of rebuilding my studio this year I've finally tossed the computer out of the room. That really simplified things. I also got a workstation keyboard (K5000W) which has great master controller features and a lovely built-in sequencer that's incredibly fast and easy to use. Having these basic workstation features actually allows alot of streamlining in workflow and midi routing.

Ergonomics has been a big focus and many improvements in the placement and groupings of gear have been realized. All the vertical floor standing racks are being ditched in favor of tilt-racks, overheads and small strategically placed wall-mount rack unit. No more crouching or sitting on the floor to operate rack gear. And all open frame racks now too. No more blindly rooting around between the back of a rack and a wall to change a barely reachable. connection.

The groupings are done with a mind towards modularity. Each group is its own self-contained working environment which can function alone or connected with other groups. It gives me the flexibility to subdivide the studio into several mini-studios of various sizes and complexities. And allows for multiple simultaneous projects to be worked at the same time. A total reconfiguration will eventually boil down to selecting a mixer scene and a midi router patch.

Still have much work to do but already very excited by the possibilities.
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