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End-of-year reflections: synth G.A.S. vs. making music
Old 31st December 2010
  #31
Lives for gear
 
shadowfac's Avatar
 

Don't sell anything. Choose 2 or 3 (max) random synths and make a couple songs with them. Don't turn on anything else (cover them if you need to); those 2 or 3 pieces are all you have. Once those songs are finished, choose another 2 or 3 synths.
Old 31st December 2010
  #32
Lives for gear
 
Mr. Varaldo's Avatar
Thank you guys, I appreciate all the nice comments.

I posted three items on eBay and will keep going for a while.

This is what I plan on keeping :

Roland Jupiter-8
Roland V-Synth
Roland W-30
Roland VP-9000
Roland JD-990
Roland JD-800
Roland RS-202
Roland TR-909
Roland TR-808
Roland TB-303
Linn LinnDrum
Moog Memorymoog
Oberheim OB-Xa
Kurzweil K2500X
Synthesizers.com modular
Casio VL-1
Casio CZ-1000



These are on my selling list:

Roland Fantom XR
Roland S-760 with its library
Roland D-70
Roland W-30 (x2)
Roland Juno-G
E-mu Emulator II
Korg M1
Korg TR-Rack
Korg DSS-1
Korg Radias R
Korg DVP-1
Korg DW-8000
Generalmusic S2R
SIEL DK 70
BIT 99
Yamaha TX16W
Yamaha TX81z
Yamaha DX7
Yamaha EX5R
Yamaha YPT-400
E-mu Proteus/1
E-mu Proteus/2
t.c. electronic M300
Alesis Midiverb II
Alesis SR-16 (x2)
Ensoniq EPS
Casio FZ-1
Tascam 24/8 mixer
Lexicon MPX-1


and invest some money from the sales for a 4-core Mac Pro @$2500 and the EastWest Complete Composers Collection @$799 that expires on Jan 3.



-
Old 31st December 2010
  #33
Lives for gear
 

Where is the deal on this East West?
Old 31st December 2010
  #34
Lives for gear
 
Mr. Varaldo's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by operaman View Post
Where is the deal on this East West?
It's at their website:

Complete Composers Collection - Customized - Sounds Online

Normally I would never spend this kind of money for plugins, but hey, new year, new attitude for me, and the seven programs included are just too good. I might get into software
Old 31st December 2010
  #35
Lives for gear
 

When i was a guitar play i got easily overwhelmed by gear. It doesn't help i am rediculously indecisive. I had like 3 guitars and a few different amps and i had troubles deciding what to use. I tend to live a very modest minimalistic lifestyle as is so i think that has a lot to do with it. Just like big open empty spaces more than having tons of stuff in my house. Anyhow, i knew i was like this when i quit guitar and got into synths and electronic music. So i'm keeping it very streamlined gear wise out of the gate. This is reinforced by the fact i'm still pretty new to this side of music and don't have a lot of money. heh
Old 31st December 2010
  #36
Lives for gear
 
mike vee's Avatar
lately im all about trying to get rid of all weak links and really just have a very very focused, mid sized high end system instead of trying to add just add things that i get gas for every other week. Concentrating on my overall sound rather than just trying to buy anything I can to tinker with. I am trying to have like just one or two of the best things for that particular piece of equipment and ive started at the bottom up, selling any weaker links in the last month.. Like, instead of 4 cheaper effects units...two PCM70s...instead of lots of cheap compressors, one SSL g bus compressor for the 2 bus, then adding a high end drum bus compressor...instead of buying that next synth - buying really high end converters for the synths i already have (and if one of those synths doesnt excite me and have a solid foundation in my music, sell it!), etc. I want to have a smaller setup with all the best **** instead of a huge setup with mediocre and/or excessive equipment. Once this is done I can trust I have the best gear/classic gear for certain sounds and i can concentrate on songs again without wondering what else is out there all the time. 3 keyboards is all i ever want to have...that's enough for me...any more midi and recall **** than that for each song makes it annoying. I always want to be up and running in just a few minutes.
Old 31st December 2010
  #37
Lives for gear
 
Rusty_OHara's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr. Varaldo View Post
WHO's with me, with this plan for 2011??
I'm in.

Over 2011 my plan is to sell off a few bits of gear.

Maybe pick up an OctoTrack, and a nice bit of external processing, thinking a Therimonic Culture something or other at the moment.

Then start saving pennies for a Buchla system...

Rewire my studio and be happy with what I've got and just concentrate on making tunes... not spend ages buying, tweaking and selling bits of gear...

I think I'll (potentially) be endeavouring along different musical paths of exploration as well...
Old 31st December 2010
  #38
Gear Guru
I recently quit the band I was in for 5 or so years. (Chandeliers... from Chicago). I feel like I deserve to G.A.S. just a bit... but yeah. Once winter ends I better have something to show for it.

btw - so many great deals on ebay in the winter!! I never knew!
Old 31st December 2010
  #39
Lives for gear
 
laikenf's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr. Varaldo View Post
Like many here, I've got too much stuff. Too many keyboards, modules, software.... cables etc. I have to admit and be honest - it's overwhelming.

I spend most of my time like butterflies do in spring, dancing from synth to synth to try different sounds, tinkering endlessly, without ever focusing enough to sit down and record an actual good song from start to end.

Is this what I really want to do? No. I really think my music should be more important than the machines used to make it.

I have so many choices of gear to use, that I get so stressed out on which ones to use, that I never record anything anymore.

Back in the day when I only had a couple of keyboards, I was very musically prolific.

YES, this is GearSlutz.

You are SUPPOSED to look forward to the first person opening the new "this month's new gear" thread, and be PROUD to announce to the synth community what nice little toy you've bought lately.

You are ENCOURAGED to show off your studio in high-resolution pics of your high-end equipment.

You are EXPECTED to engage in pointless, epic arguments to defend your favorite analog synth against someone who says Fruity Loops is just as good.

And I'll admit to doing all these things, btw.

However, all these activities don't make any music to show other people... which should be the most important thing of them all (as much as I love gear like anyone else here)

So I guess in 2011 I will begin the descending cycle of the G.A.S. sine waveform, and start selling gear that I don't absolutely need - even if I like it.

I want to go back to having just a select, few, high-end pieces of equipment rather than having many, too many pieces of gear collecting dust, just for the sake of having them. And I want to have the most efficient, streamlined studio that works for me, and actually make music again.

WHO's with me, with this plan for 2011??
I hear and I'm in, after I get that MPC-1000 I'm saving for that is heh (need a solid sequencer and sampler to replace/upgrade my broken SP-404), but after that I'm set. I mentioned in another thread that my bassist just moved all his stuff to my studio and our only goal is to release a full length album with all the material we already have. We feel comfortable with all the gear we use and adding anything else (besides the MPC heh) would only slow us down (I used an MPC-1000 for over a year so I know the guy pretty well heh).

Don't know what to call it, but I just feel a need to not only put out a finished product, but I want to go back to performing regularly as well, and not much is really needed for a good live performance; a seq./sampler/drum machine combo (an MPC to put it in fewer words heh), a mono and a poly is all I need for a solo live performance (3 machines basically), who says you can't do something really nice with a simple setup like that?
Old 31st December 2010
  #40
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by laikenf View Post
I just feel a need to not only put out a finished product, but I want to go back to performing regularly as well, and not much is really needed for a good live performance; a seq./sampler/drum machine combo (an MPC to put it in fewer words heh), a mono and a poly is all I need for a solo live performance (3 machines basically), who says you can't do something really nice with a simple setup like that?
Amen brother! thumbsup
This is my whole set up now: Drum Machine, Synth & Sampler. Thats it. I don't care to spend thousands and thousands dollars on gear. If I can write a good track with a limited amount of quality equipment I am golden!

And yeah its quite unslutty of me to have such a limited amount of stuff when I am quite capable with dealing with more. I might want more, but I don't actually need more gear.
Old 31st December 2010
  #41
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr. Varaldo View Post
...For the record... I'm talking about 23 keyboards, 18 rack modules, several drum machines, effect boxes, modular ect. and [I]hundreds of darn cables.

Yeah well eh, that does change things. Go for it, 23 keyboards is way too many to ever realisticaly use imo... I've only got 6 at the moment which is boarder line too many... but most of all I ****ing hate cables too



.
Old 31st December 2010
  #42
Lives for gear
 
relis's Avatar
 

That's what I did this year!

Found myself spending to much time trying different synths and messing arround with gear layout and so on. And I didn't have SO many synths, had like 13-14 or so. In the same time I needed cash badly, so that was it.

I changed my mind about which synth to have, too. I used to think that I should have every type of sound available at my exposial. So I got FM synth, wavetable synth, a couple of VAs, a couple of romplers, few analog monos, few analog polys and so on. That was before I really thought off will I really need all of them for the song creations. Now that I figured it out, I found many of those synths redundan.

So, there are 4 synths and 4 sound processors in my room right now, and I'm happier than ever. Composed, at least, 3 or 4 good songs in last couple of months for my new project.


Go for it!
Old 31st December 2010
  #43
Lives for gear
 
tyler477's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by shadowfac View Post
Don't sell anything. Choose 2 or 3 (max) random synths and make a couple songs with them. Don't turn on anything else (cover them if you need to); those 2 or 3 pieces are all you have. Once those songs are finished, choose another 2 or 3 synths.
^this

I think you should try to make boundaries for yourself like take a week with a trio of synths and really learn them well and how they interact with each other and record it, then the next week move to the next three.


If it's about clutter then maybe just store the synths away for a later day, what would that be 100 a month for storage? worth the investment in the long run as synth prices will always rise. Like Popbott said, I think you will regret selling in the future.

Part of the beauty of hardware is learning to work withing boundaries, but there comes a point in a 'collector's' life that even these boundaries are expanded to a point that it's overwhelming. I think at this point you step back and reassess your personal artistic boundaries given your new knowledge on all your synth explorations.

Veraldo, thank you btw for your great contribution to the internet, *Synthmania).
Old 31st December 2010
  #44
Lives for gear
 
dhollmusik's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lumin One View Post
im all about this type of mentality. master a couple synths and just make music. use and be thankful for what you have. the toys are cool and all to have but they dont make music for you and i dont think they help you make better music.
It depends...I went from using just a Yamaha RS7000 and a midi keyboard to now just using the RS as a sequencer and the sounds coming from external synths, eq and effects. My music sounds better. That was my aim for now with all the new gear, to make my music sound better than when I was making entire songs with just the RS.

Whether the actual music is better, as in more interesting/gripping/danceable/musical, ...well, not sure yet.

But once you already have a small army of synths, effects, compressors and whatnot...then you don't need more, and getting more won't make your music better. If people get irrestible GAS then try trading rather than adding to the gear collection.
Old 31st December 2010
  #45
Lives for gear
 
roginator's Avatar
DONT SELL Emulator II!!!!!!!!! other is ok to sell heh

ITS ALFA AND OMEGA SAMPLER FOR MUSIC YOU MAKE!!!
Old 31st December 2010
  #46
Out of that list I would keep a Yamaha DX for that sound...

I took a look at the Composers Selection and to me it seems aimed at film score composers rather than songwriting musicians....although its a good deal I wonder how useful it will be...

Personally I think its important to have a good bread and butter ROMpler - plugin or hardware, like a Proteus 1000 or Plugstation Pro...AND a good selection of sample packs within your chosen genres....THAT way its focussed towards making music rather than slick sounding soundtracks...
Old 31st December 2010
  #47
Lives for gear
 
grumphh's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr. Varaldo View Post

and invest some money from the sales for a 4-core Mac Pro
Personally i think that selling hardware for a PC is a bad choice.

Remember that fantastic new shiny ultra fast PC you bought just 5 years ago?
What can you use it for today?

Hardware will last at least a bit longer than any PC will.

....


As for the original question - as i see it:
Basically some people do create music, and some don't.

The amount of gear is irrelevant to who does and who does not.

So if you are attached to the gear in some way (and have the space for it) keep the stuff - because it is not the gear that prevents you from making music, it is something within yourself.

And btw this is no personal criticism in any way.

Happy new year
Old 31st December 2010
  #48
Gear Maniac
 
darthtrader's Avatar
 

I don't kid myself that I'm some kind of musician and not some guy who likes toys that make weird sound. Sometimes I record the weird sounds and mess around with making it look like a track. Just doesn't seem worth the effort given the audience to really bother with making actual music for the stuff I like.
Old 31st December 2010
  #49
Lives for gear
 
metrosonus's Avatar
 

I do it for enjoyment and just trade tracks with my online buddies.

I just went software simply for the fact that I now have more than enough of what I need to write music with none of the hardware headaches. This isn't a pro con statement but more of one that it's just a hobby and about keeping it in perspective. I just want to write more, worry about gear less and spend the money on something else. House improvements, vacations, cars, retirement.. you can call me a life slut instead heh
Old 31st December 2010
  #50
Quote:
Originally Posted by darthtrader View Post
I don't kid myself that I'm some kind of musician and not some guy who likes toys that make weird sound. Sometimes I record the weird sounds and mess around with making it look like a track. Just doesn't seem worth the effort given the audience to really bother with making actual music for the stuff I like.
And that's OK.

Whenever somebody spends $10,000 on a grand piano to play in their home they usually don't get a bunch of flack from their friends about "C'mon man, you've got that sweet piano sitting there. Why aren't you composing a piano concerto? Why aren't you writing lounge tunes and playing them live?"

This dogma seems to only be associated with electronic instruments.
Old 31st December 2010
  #51
Gear Addict
 
target_destroyed's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by mike vee View Post
lately im all about trying to get rid of all weak links and really just have a very very focused, mid sized high end system instead of trying to add just add things that i get gas for every other week. I want to have a smaller setup with all the best **** instead of a huge setup with mediocre and/or excessive equipment. Once this is done I can trust I have the best gear/classic gear for certain sounds and i can concentrate on songs again without wondering what else is out there all the time. I always want to be up and running in just a few minutes.
I'm starting to adhere to this philosophy as well. I also only allow myself to have as much gear as I can fit on my desk and one keyboard stand. Needless to say I use mostly rack/desktop synths.
Old 31st December 2010
  #52
Here for the gear
 

I'm not gear addict, as I don't even afford to be one, but I've seen so many times how addiction affects people, in myself and others. It's a problem more than ever, as there so much cheap material and easy to get information available everywhere. People's minds just can't quite cope with that.

I've used to buy computer games uncontrollably, I had to have every game I wanted, couldn't just leave the store with one game. If there was a serie of games I was interested in, I had to have them all at once. I also had to have games of all genres, and every strategy game possible. They had to have the original boxes, manuals, everything. I had shelf full of games I didn't play, as I was overwhelmed by the amout if them. I couldn't choose one, my patience with the games became shorter. A lot of games didn't get touched at all. I felt depressed just by sitting to computer and looking at those game icons.

So I threw away/sold ~95% of them. I literally smashed few into pieces, that felt great. It feels like a ton of weight taken off you. I could focus on one game again, I ignored any good game offers or rare finds. I became a lot happier. I play games now maybe 5 hours a week compared to 40 hours of looking for good games and reading forums a week in the past.

I may have problems with obsessivity and perfectionism. I've kind of turned my obsession around, and thus become obsessed about ascetism and minimalism. I'm so much happier when I own very little material stuff. Same can be said about music hobby of mine, for longest time I've had nothing but an okay acoustic guitar, and I know exactly, that if I get much more, I know I will get into problems again. Just loving simplicity and freedom of having only little. It actually is freedom indeed, more gear doesn't necessarily mean more freedom, at least freedom of the mind, and that's your most important tool for creating music.

Looking at the picture you posted, it looks kinda worrying, but I know that Gearslutz have different standards than me. I can almost guarantee you'd be a lot happier with less gear. I wouldn't get anything done in that room at least. Keyboard should be available right away, not unplugged in uppershelf.
Old 31st December 2010
  #53
Lives for gear
 

Well, my philosophy on this is quite minimalistic actually!heh
I don't really see the need to have for example 10 different analog monos "for the different flavor" each one has.

What I basically do is this: I want to have one or two selected synths (max) from all the main sound synthesis techniques found in hardware...

Analog mono, analog poly, FM, PD, Additive, ROMpler, LAS, Wavetable, Sampler and Hybrid.

Plus I limit myself to a total of 12 synths tops and I prefer rack and desktop formats for space reasons. Add to this some software synths and effects and you're done imho. I won't be selling any of my current setup, I love all my synths and they're carefully selected after putting a lot of thought into. On the contrary, I'll be buying some more as soon as can afford them!
Old 31st December 2010
  #54
Jose Ramón Alvarado Villa
 
Don Solaris's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr. Varaldo View Post
Roland S-760 with its library
I'll buy the library if it's separate for sale.
Old 31st December 2010
  #55
Quote:
Originally Posted by grumphh View Post

Remember that fantastic new shiny ultra fast PC you bought just 5 years ago?
What can you use it for today?
You can use it for exactly the same tasks as 5 years ago...Just don't get caught in upgrading to the latest software whenever it's available and you'll be fine....

Somehow nobody complains about their synths not being up to date while with computers it's all that matters...

Just don't see buying a computer as an investment. It's a tool.
Old 31st December 2010
  #56
Lives for gear
 
metrosonus's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hemppa View Post

So I threw away/sold ~95% of them. I literally smashed few into pieces, that felt great.
I think it's easier than ever to get addicted to the short term reward cycle of just about anything these days. I wrote a blog article about that and how it pertains to time management if you or anyone else is so inclined to read it..

My guide to time managment. › C. Nathan Gunn III Esq.
Old 31st December 2010
  #57
Lives for gear
 
NWSooner's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr. Varaldo View Post
These are on my selling list:

Roland Fantom XR
Roland S-760 with its library
Roland D-70
Roland W-30 (x2)
Roland Juno-G
E-mu Emulator II
Korg M1
Korg TR-Rack
Korg DSS-1
Korg Radias R
Korg DVP-1
Korg DW-8000
Generalmusic S2R
SIEL DK 70
BIT 99
Yamaha TX16W
Yamaha TX81z
Yamaha DX7
Yamaha EX5R
Yamaha YPT-400
E-mu Proteus/1
E-mu Proteus/2
t.c. electronic M300
Alesis Midiverb II
Alesis SR-16 (x2)
Ensoniq EPS
Casio FZ-1
Tascam 24/8 mixer
Lexicon MPX-1

-
Slimming down that studio seems like a good idea to me. I have a pretty large studio but nothing like that. That being said, I can honestly say there's nothing in your sell list that I would like to add to my studio, and nothing in that list that I would keep except for probably the Emulator II. (And even that I would keep mainly for the history/cool factor, not that I think I would end up using it in tracks.)

One thing you mentioned in your original post was having to disconnect/connect cables to use various things, and that to me is a deal-breaker. See if you can get all your remaining gear down to the point where everything is connected and usable at all times. I use a Speck X.Sum to connect most of my synths/drum machines, and I might add a second one. I have four 8x9 MIDI interfaces as well. Everything is connected to patchbays but most importantly everything is connected via audio and MIDI at all times by default without patching a single cable. If I want to hook things up differently I can do so pretty easily with the patchbays but every synth and drum machine is playable (and recordable) immediately without touching a single cable.
Old 31st December 2010
  #58
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr. Varaldo View Post
These are on my selling list:

Roland Fantom XR
Roland S-760 with its library
Roland D-70
Roland W-30 (x2)
Roland Juno-G
E-mu Emulator II
Korg M1
Korg TR-Rack
Korg DSS-1
Korg Radias R
Korg DVP-1
Korg DW-8000
Generalmusic S2R
SIEL DK 70
BIT 99
Yamaha TX16W
Yamaha TX81z
Yamaha DX7
Yamaha EX5R
Yamaha YPT-400
E-mu Proteus/1
E-mu Proteus/2
t.c. electronic M300
Alesis Midiverb II
Alesis SR-16 (x2)
Ensoniq EPS
Casio FZ-1
Tascam 24/8 mixer
Lexicon MPX-1
...by the way, in addition to your keeping list, I'd also keep the Emulator and the DX7!
Old 31st December 2010
  #59
Registered User
Quote:
Originally Posted by plaid_emu View Post
Whenever somebody spends $10,000 on a grand piano to play in their home they usually don't get a bunch of flack from their friends about "C'mon man, you've got that sweet piano sitting there. Why aren't you composing a piano concerto? Why aren't you writing lounge tunes and playing them live?"

This dogma seems to only be associated with electronic instruments.
I disagree.

A piano is a traditional instrument, for which there is a massive library of existing music that can be played. Many/most people buy pianos to learn and play existing music, whether it be Broadway show tunes, Beethoven, Billy Joel, or Justin Bieber.

Someone who buys a $10,000 piano (and doesn't play it) is assumed to have bought it to be a piece of furniture. And a friend certainly might ask, "C'mon man, you've got that sweet piano sitting there. Are you ever going to learn to play that thing, or just put picture frames and flower vases on it?"

I really don't know anyone who has purchased an oboe or a violin without the intention of learning to play it.

All this being said, anyone can pursue enjoyment however they want, as long as it doesn't negatively affect someone else. Buy five violins and hang 'em on the wall - cool. Buy a synth and learn to play "Jump" or "Karn Evil Nine" - cool. Just turn the knobs and make weird noises - cool.

But the OP has expressed a desire to compose music.
Old 31st December 2010
  #60
Registered User
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr. Varaldo View Post
Thank you guys, I appreciate all the nice comments.

I posted three items on eBay and will keep going for a while.

This is what I plan on keeping :

Roland Jupiter-8
Roland V-Synth
Roland W-30
Roland VP-9000
Roland JD-990
Roland JD-800
Roland RS-202
Roland TR-909
Roland TR-808
Roland TB-303
Linn LinnDrum
Moog Memorymoog
Oberheim OB-Xa
Kurzweil K2500X
Synthesizers.com modular
Casio VL-1
Casio CZ-1000
Yikes. IMHO (and that's all it is) you're still keeping waaay to much stuff.

The music you make - or want to make - do you really need all of these instruments to make it?

Couldn't you compose enough music for a lifetime, simply with a Jupiter-8, V-Synth, TR-808, and a LinnDrum?

I'll bet you could.
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