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End-of-year reflections: synth G.A.S. vs. making music Keyboard Synthesizers
Old 31st December 2010
  #61
FWIW, I would be keeping the DX, TX16w & m1 - signature sounds etc.

I'd bin the JD800 - you've a JD990, which imho, is better.

Of course, (and with the utmost respect) ALL imho
Old 31st December 2010
  #62
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shaft9000 View Post
oh, Lord.
just sell it all and buy a really nice guitar.
you know you want to. heh
At first it may look like better solution but then the reality is again quite different:




Unless you mean acoustic, in which case the OP just gets bored and offs himself =(.
Old 1st January 2011
  #63
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Pale Pyramid's Avatar
Don Solaris , just saw your new avatar for the first time while reading this thread . Truly hideous !!! heh
Old 1st January 2011
  #64
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zerocrossing's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr. Varaldo View Post
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 am partially with you. Mostly because of a natural end of an "era" than any conscious decision. I went without buying gear for a really long time due to money and school (which I put myself though) so I went a bit hog wild once my career took off and I had some extra money.

But now I'm in a really good place. Sure, I look at gear and software, but it doesn't seem to take much to talk me out of it. Don't get me wrong, I'd still love an Omega 8, but I don't obsess about it. I have a room full of wonderful gear and fantastic software and while it's hard to get out of the G.A.S. habit, it seems to be more irritating than fun these days.
Old 1st January 2011
  #65
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Quote:
Originally Posted by keybdwizrd View Post
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.
Some interesting points here.

However, i would think that many people do buy synths because they indeed intend to make music with them.

But unlike other instrumental endeavours it turns out that the effort involved in actually creating something listenable is much harder than anticipated and does lead to the musical instruments being bought/collected purely on a hobby basis.


I think that the nature of "electronica" makes it harder to produce something worthwhile because you do not only have to learn a couple of chords/notes to produce something your family can hum along to but effectively have to be composer, player, mixing engineer and producer at the same time.

Unlike other styles of music, electronica relies very little on learning other peoples work - i.e. learning a beatles song on the accoustic, or the moonlight sonata on a piano - so that you have nothing to fall back on.
(Just look at how many JMJ or Kraftwerk tribute bands there are?)

In electronic music either you create something, or you don't. There really isn't much middle ground as with other instruments.

Fortunately if you don't create you can still noodle around on your gear and produce pleasing (or not so pleasing) sounds and have fun while doing it.


...and the nature of building complex home studio setups lends itself to the slightly nerdy type who is as fascinated by the tech side of things as he (yes, 99.8% males heh) is by music itself.
Old 1st January 2011
  #66
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr. Varaldo View Post
...
It is a great home studio, but I am overwhelmed... I can't play them all. I am not an octopus, I'm simply a man with two arms and two feet.
LMAO! I can just see it, your face on the body of an Octopus jamming away on those keys! Haha...

Very courageous of you, your original post. I totally understand where you're coming from. I used to feel the same, like I've got too much gear, and am always getting lost in patch cables and possibilities. Occasionally I still do, but I've found a workflow (out-lined below) that's really helped me become more productive.

May I suggest an alternative to selling? Storage! What I've started doing is deciding which equipment to use for a particular project and then moving stuff OUT of the studio. That initial decision on what to use is not always easy, mind you, but once you commit and focus, you'll be shocked at how the music just starts to flow.

I am not a hoarder or collector, but I can't bring myself to let go of gear easily. In fact, I've only sold a handful of synths over the years, and they were ones that I simply didn't like any more. Otherwise, even if I'm not using a synth much, I will keep it around because YOU NEVER KNOW! heh

Beautiful studio, BTW. It looks to me like you have plenty of space to try another idea which is to break things down into little "workstations" instead of having one huge monster setup with a central command. This is how I've setup my own studio. For example, in one corner I have a "compuphonic workstation" where I have only a Promars, a Jupiter-4 and a CR-8000 drum machine and a few FX pedals. That's it. The sound goes into a little Roland cube monitor underneath the Jupiter - in mono (MONO ROCKS!). It's so simple. I am making music within minutes with this setup.

Then I have other "workstations" such as an 80's Roland DCO love fest workstation with a JX-3P and Juno-2. Each workstation has its own recording/monitoring facilities using "obsolete" gear (e.g. old serial MIDI interfaces, old iBooks, old guitar amps, etc.). The idea is simplicity, immediacy, independence and completeness (as much as possible).

I have long since abandoned the Central Services approach to my studio. I found I was losing WAY too much time filling out B-6 forms instead of making music!heh
Old 1st January 2011
  #67
Quote:
Originally Posted by keybdwizrd View Post
I disagree....(edit)

But the OP has expressed a desire to compose music.
I'm trying to figure out where the disagreement is. I happen to agree with everything you said. My comment was directed at darthtrader who expressed little interest in composition.

I guess my point was that some people will spend $10,000 on a piano and only play existing music without composing anything original and nobody prods them about their lack of tunes on Soundcloud. Not so much the "buy the piano as furniture crowd".

Seems like there's always somebody jabbing the dude with the room full of synths... "Where's the tunes, man?!!"

Just because somebody owns a vintage race car doesn't mean they have to actually enter themselves into competitive motorsports to feel good about their purchase. What's wrong with just driving it for pleasure's sake on a nice sunny Sunday?
Old 1st January 2011
  #68
Quote:
Originally Posted by maisonvague View Post
I have long since abandoned the Central Services approach to my studio. I found I was losing WAY too much time filling out B-6 forms instead of making music!heh
heh

I can just hear the ads on Sonic State:

"Do your patch cables look old fashioned? Out of date? Central Service's new audio cables are available in wide variety of designer colors to suit your demanding tastes."
Old 1st January 2011
  #69
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Quote:
Originally Posted by grumphh View Post



I think that the nature of "electronica" makes it harder to produce something worthwhile because you do not only have to learn a couple of chords/notes to produce something your family can hum along to but effectively have to be composer, player, mixing engineer and producer at the same time.

I couldn't agree more with this. The learning curve is INSANE. I had no idea what i was getting into when i started. I progress a little each day and thats all i can do i guess.
Old 1st January 2011
  #70
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One thing to keep in mind while you're slimming down --

Try unplugging/removing everything you're going to sell first. Now sit down and work on some compositions while you have those machines up for sale. Since you're a very good sound designer, I would guess that you could even slim down some more.

What I'm trying to say is that (for me anyway), I have never been in the the position with a synth (drum machines/TB-303 are different) where I was stuck and felt I absolutely needed a sound for a track and couldn't get it from the gear I had on hand.

Sure, the Prophet 5, MemoryMoog, Oberheim OB-... gear all sounds different, but there's also a lot of overlap too. Track which of those get used the most and least and slim down even more.

Use the extra funds to upgrade your reverb/processing and you'll be set.

Humans usually do better with less choices, not more.
Old 1st January 2011
  #71
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OK, so here's what I would keep from your lists...

Analog Poly: Jupiter 8, Memorymoog, OB-Xa
Analog Mono: Synthesizers.com Modular
FM: DX7
PD: Casio CZ-1000
Sampler: Emulator II
ROMpler: JD-990


As for the drum machines, I prefer to keep my drum sounds strictly in software so I'd ditch those...

I'd also get a Roland D-550, Kawai K5000R, Waldorf MW and maybe a Yamaha FS1R and another analog mono...


I'd ditch all the other synths from your lists actually...just my ideas...thumbsup
Old 2nd January 2011
  #72
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Mr. Varaldo's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by msl View Post
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 .
Sing it, bro... heh I hate cables. Hate them. Unfortunately, we can't do without them at the moment. The future will be wireless.

Quote:
Originally Posted by roginator View Post
DONT SELL Emulator II!!!!!!!!! other is ok to sell heh

ITS ALFA AND OMEGA SAMPLER FOR MUSIC YOU MAKE!!!
Hehee... that's true, it's a classic sampler, but my E-II is acting up, so I will only sell it to replace it later with one that works better... I'm keeping the 200+ disk original library though!

Quote:
Originally Posted by SWAN808 View Post
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...
Yeah, probably I'll keep the DX7 as well... even though I've got NI FM7, it's a classic synth.

The Composers Collection might be a bit film score oriented but check out the sounds... they are second to none in the business right now... and that's undeniable, isn't it... I mean, let's just use our ears.... plus, one of the libraries that come with it is "Goliath", which is a "rompler-like" sound set if you will... I don't know how those guys do it... but those EastWest sounds are beatiful and huge.

Quote:
Originally Posted by grumphh View Post
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
You make a good point, and I am still torn if I should spend $2,500 to 3,500 for a 4-core or an 8-core Mac Pro, when I have - right now - an extremely fast, self-built 4-core i7 PC that can handle anything. The only thing is that I can't run Logic on it, but maybe I will have to live with it. I'm downloading the latest Sonar upgrade (X1) as I'm writing this and if it's as good as it seems... I can get the PC version of the CCC and be happy with it for now.

And I will admit that you are also right on the second issue... the amount of gear is irrelevant to who does what and how doesn't... You're right. But in my case at least... all this "stuff" has become a huge distraction, just because "it's sitting there" by me.

Thank you also for being nice to me. Ordinarily you would simply reply to me with a "you suck" type of comment, so I appreciate your comment. Happy New Year.

Quote:
Originally Posted by metrosonus View Post
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
Excellent choice. You are doing the right thing, software is not as bad as "some GS members" make it out to be, and it's great that you can keep things in perspective.

Quote:
Originally Posted by laikenf View Post
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 ) would only slow us down (I used an MPC-1000 for over a year so I know the guy pretty well ).

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 ), 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?
You can do something really nice with - say - just a bunch of FREE software downloaded from Shareware Music Machines. Like Grumphh was saying... the amount of gear doesn't make the music... the player does

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hemppa View Post
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.
Believe it or not, I am not at all one of the worst cases of people with synth G.A.S. on this forum. Just take a look at the 'Pics of your slutty setups' thread and you'll see cases that are much, much worse than mine lol

Quote:
Originally Posted by projectwoofer View Post
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!
I agree with you - and I have followed that rule since the '80s... I've always had all those types of different synthesis techniques as you have mentioned (no V.A.? )

Quote:
Originally Posted by Don Solaris View Post
I'll buy the library if it's separate for sale.
I thought about it... I think about it.... I don't think I want to sell the S-760 or the library! sorry Don...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Radiance View Post
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.
That's true but things get more complicated with MACs. They cost 3 times as much as a similarly spec'd PC. Spending $2,500 or 3,500 on a computer is a big decision... perhaps getting a used Mac Pro is the way to go for me. I was considering the iMac, but it doesn't have PCIe slots...

Quote:
Originally Posted by NWSooner View Post
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.
I ended up getting a couple of patchbays again, so things should get better, especially if I get rid of the hardware mixer and get back "In The Box" ITB. The hardware mixer is great for the tactile feel, but complicates and slows down the workflow :(

Quote:
Originally Posted by projectwoofer View Post
...by the way, in addition to your keeping list, I'd also keep the Emulator and the DX7!
Yeah.. I think I will (only selling the E-II temporarily)

Quote:
Originally Posted by keybdwizrd View Post
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.
Yes, I could! heh Actually, right now, at this moment, I think I could do it all with one DAW - doesn't even matter which one anymore. It's a mindset... and I think if 2010 for me was the year of renewed G.A.S.... 2011 will be the year of renewed musicianship.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ScoobyDoo555 View Post
FWIW, I would be keeping the DX, TX16w & m1 - signature sounds etc.

I'd bin the JD800 - you've a JD990, which imho, is better.

Of course, (and with the utmost respect) ALL imho
The DX7 and M1 are good to keep, even though I've got software emulators of all , even of the D-50 on my V-Synth card... However the TX16W, while it has a very cool library... is really old technology and I don't find myself using it often, because I dont' want to mess with the loading time for loading the samples. If I keep old samplers, it will have to be only my favorites: W-30, S-760, and Emulator.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Oden View Post
At first it may look like better solution but then the reality is again quite different:




Unless you mean acoustic, in which case the OP just gets bored and offs himself =(.
Hahahaha... see, guys... keyboard players aren't the only ones who fall prey of G.A.S. ...

Quote:
Originally Posted by maisonvague View Post
LMAO! I can just see it, your face on the body of an Octopus jamming away on those keys! Haha...

Very courageous of you, your original post. I totally understand where you're coming from. I used to feel the same, like I've got too much gear, and am always getting lost in patch cables and possibilities. Occasionally I still do, but I've found a workflow (out-lined below) that's really helped me become more productive.

May I suggest an alternative to selling? Storage! What I've started doing is deciding which equipment to use for a particular project and then moving stuff OUT of the studio. That initial decision on what to use is not always easy, mind you, but once you commit and focus, you'll be shocked at how the music just starts to flow.

I am not a hoarder or collector, but I can't bring myself to let go of gear easily. In fact, I've only sold a handful of synths over the years, and they were ones that I simply didn't like any more. Otherwise, even if I'm not using a synth much, I will keep it around because YOU NEVER KNOW! heh

Beautiful studio, BTW. It looks to me like you have plenty of space to try another idea which is to break things down into little "workstations" instead of having one huge monster setup with a central command. This is how I've setup my own studio. For example, in one corner I have a "compuphonic workstation" where I have only a Promars, a Jupiter-4 and a CR-8000 drum machine and a few FX pedals. That's it. The sound goes into a little Roland cube monitor underneath the Jupiter - in mono (MONO ROCKS!). It's so simple. I am making music within minutes with this setup.

Then I have other "workstations" such as an 80's Roland DCO love fest workstation with a JX-3P and Juno-2. Each workstation has its own recording/monitoring facilities using "obsolete" gear (e.g. old serial MIDI interfaces, old iBooks, old guitar amps, etc.). The idea is simplicity, immediacy, independence and completeness (as much as possible).

I have long since abandoned the Central Services approach to my studio. I found I was losing WAY too much time filling out B-6 forms instead of making music!
This is a very interesting concept and something that I - also - have experimented with in the past - namely, I had the standard "ROMpler" music writing desk, but on the other side I had the MEGA-TECHNO-CORNER where I had TR-909, TB-303, W-30, MKS-50 and various effects! In the past years, I've settled on the "Central Services" but maybe I should give it a try again?? I like the idea of simplicity and immediacy, sit down and play type of thing.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Estin View Post
I couldn't agree more with this. The learning curve is INSANE. I had no idea what i was getting into when i started. I progress a little each day and thats all i can do i guess.
We've all been there... it's a slow process, but these days, with the Internet, if you want you can easily get an answer to everything... I wish my generation had this tool back then!

Quote:
Originally Posted by oldgearguy View Post
One thing to keep in mind while you're slimming down --

Try unplugging/removing everything you're going to sell first. Now sit down and work on some compositions while you have those machines up for sale. Since you're a very good sound designer, I would guess that you could even slim down some more.

What I'm trying to say is that (for me anyway), I have never been in the the position with a synth (drum machines/TB-303 are different) where I was stuck and felt I absolutely needed a sound for a track and couldn't get it from the gear I had on hand.

Sure, the Prophet 5, MemoryMoog, Oberheim OB-... gear all sounds different, but there's also a lot of overlap too. Track which of those get used the most and least and slim down even more.

Use the extra funds to upgrade your reverb/processing and you'll be set.

Humans usually do better with less choices, not more.
This is a great piece of advice, and yes, I think I'll do that for the synths I'm unsure about selling (Roland D-70 for example... it's old and obsolete... but there's something about that sound that ... just .... or maybe I'm being nostalgic since I grew up with those sounds?)

Yes, I have to agree 100%... I think humans do do better with less choices, not more.

Quote:
Originally Posted by projectwoofer View Post
OK, so here's what I would keep from your lists...

Analog Poly: Jupiter 8, Memorymoog, OB-Xa
Analog Mono: Synthesizers.com Modular
FM: DX7
PD: Casio CZ-1000
Sampler: Emulator II
ROMpler: JD-990


As for the drum machines, I prefer to keep my drum sounds strictly in software so I'd ditch those...

I'd also get a Roland D-550, Kawai K5000R, Waldorf MW and maybe a Yamaha FS1R and another analog mono...

I'd ditch all the other synths from your lists actually...just my ideas...
Not bad at all! Very similar to what I'll keep... Ironically, the Roland D-50 is my favorite synthesizer ever, bar none, but mine broke a while ago, and haven't replaced it yet. I do have a "copy" on the V-Synth card.

I definitely will want to add a Waldorf-type sound in the future... but I'm thinking.... PPG ... lol.... or perhaps a yellow Q if I can find it.

-------

Thank you all for your comments, much appreciated, guys...

I'll post again in the future when hopefully my studio will be simplified.

Happy New Year

-
Old 2nd January 2011
  #73
Lives for gear
 

I personally don't think selling hardware to buy a new computer is that bad of an idea. Sure the it looses value quick, but the computer is the figurehead these days. I do think selling your hardware to buy a computer you don't *NEED* is a bad idea especially after you said your current one is plenty for you. Your just GAS'n with computer stuff instead of synths then. Also why bother changing to Mac if you don't *NEED* to? It just changes the way you have to do things and adds to even less time making music. Especially if your not super proficient with the Mac OS to begin with.
Old 2nd January 2011
  #74
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kilon's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Estin View Post
I couldn't agree more with this. The learning curve is INSANE. I had no idea what i was getting into when i started. I progress a little each day and thats all i can do i guess.
Thats the only thing you should do actually. Take your time, do it step by step, put your feet firm down to the ground. There is no need to hurry.

Synths are more about understanding the nature of the sound than understanding the technical details. And remember there are a million things you could do with extremely little. It does not matter how much you but what you do with what you know. Limitation is the best teacher always. Each time you learn a new thing ask yourself. Do I really need this ? Be practical.

It true that computers loose their value quite quickly, but the need to upgrade now with 4 cores, 8 cores and 16 cores is alot more small than the old days of single cores. And this need it is getting smaller each year. You can easily keep a computer for as long as it lasts and never get bored of it.

For example let say I got a Virus TI used for 5-10 years and I got bored with it. It is not so difficult , it is afterall only a virus, one synth , alone. After 5 years it will lose some substantial value from 30% to 50%.

A computer in 5 years may lose up to 70%-80% but you can change its software all the time, you will be hardly ever bored with it, and because the current computer are extremely suitable for the needs of music making , you can afford to never sell your computer , use in the meanwhile any synth you like and never lose any money.

I bought my imac to be used mainly for audio recording of my hardware synths, which use very little cpu, it has a core 2 duo at 2 ghz . Now I use all the VST alchemy and Octopus , and still I am perfectly fine with my iMAC. Just because new computers came out, now new imacs are quad core that does not affect AT ALL how useful my imac is to me. And since I work minimal, there is absolutely NO NEED to upgrade or sell my imac. I can keep it as long as it remains alive and it will always be as useful and valuable to me as it is now.

I have not even upgraded the OS , I am still using Tiger and that makes me 2 versions behind. But I will upgrade to Lion when it is released, not because of music, but because of software development that I do, and I want to keep my setup current. If I was doing only music with my imac , I would not have upgraded even the OS.

And if you are worried about staying behind, the only thing to do is visit KVR and download Cheap Second hand VSTs and music software.
Old 2nd January 2011
  #75
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr. Varaldo View Post

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??
Grats but i can save you even more time: sell it all! get yourself a simple daw and omnisphere and challenge yourself to make something worth while and if you cant your out, but if you can buy what you miss the most.
Old 2nd January 2011
  #76
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr. Varaldo View Post
I agree with you - and I have followed that rule since the '80s... I've always had all those types of different synthesis techniques as you have mentioned (no V.A.? )
Hahahah....well, as much as I love digital synths, I'm not into VAs at all actually! I prefer to use the real (analog) deal! I like to use digital synths not in order to emulate the analog sound, but to produce timbres that analogs simply can't...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr. Varaldo View Post
However the TX16W, while it has a very cool library... is really old technology and I don't find myself using it often, because I dont' want to mess with the loading time for loading the samples. If I keep old samplers, it will have to be only my favorites: W-30, S-760, and Emulator.
May I also suggest the Emax I...more reliable than the EII, rack format and the same SSM filters! Plus it can read the EII library with this utility: E M X P thumbsup
Old 2nd January 2011
  #77
Lives for gear
 
grumphh's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by projectwoofer View Post
Hahahah....well, as much as I love digital synths, I'm not into VAs at all actually! I prefer to use the real (analog) deal! I like to use digital synths not in order to emulate the analog sound, but to produce timbres that analogs simply can't...
Slight sidetrack - but aren't VA's capable of some sounds that anlogues can't do either?

Not an expert at all (since i don't actually have any Va's), but isn't a lot of at least 90's electronic music (and possibly much more) characterised by some sounds (e.g. the supersaw) that only VA's can do properly?
Old 2nd January 2011
  #78
Lives for gear
Quote:
Originally Posted by keybdwizrd View Post
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.
The list to keep needs to look more like:

Moog Memorymoog
Synthesizers.com modular
Kurzweil k2500X

Then add: Sherman Filterbank, OSC to CV converter and a copy of max 5, live, and the maxforlive package plus a copy of zebra 2.

All you need is enough to cover the spectrum. Anyone can do anything with a good subtractive poly, a good modular, and a good digital behemoth like the kurz or ensoniq stuff. With a list like that you still can do every synthesis method out of the box.

The rest can all be dominated by software.
Old 2nd January 2011
  #79
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by grumphh View Post
Slight sidetrack - but aren't VA's capable of some sounds that anlogues can't do either?

Not an expert at all (since i don't actually have any Va's), but isn't a lot of at least 90's electronic music (and possibly much more) characterised by some sounds (e.g. the supersaw) that only VA's can do properly?
True but, to my ears, VAs in general sound like a cheap, plasticky version of a real analog synth...after all, I'm not into 90s techno or any form of EDM actually...

My idea of a "digital" synth is one that sounds really different than an analog...FM, PD, Additive, ROMpler, Wavetable, Granular etc is my idea of digital...when I want subtractive and filters I prefer analog...with some exceptions of course!heh
Old 2nd January 2011
  #80
Lives for gear
Quote:
Originally Posted by projectwoofer View Post
True but, to my ears, VAs in general sound like a cheap, plasticky version of a real analog synth...after all, I'm not into 90s techno or any form of EDM actually...

My idea of a "digital" synth is one that sounds really different than an analog...FM, PD, Additive, ROMpler, Wavetable, Granular etc is my idea of digital...when I want subtractive and filters I prefer analog...with some exceptions of course!heh
Most of the sound of analog comes from the filters alone (hint: emulator II, CEM based dco synths) since they are the most complex part of a synthesizer at least mathematically speaking. The oscillators themselves not so much. In a few analog behemoths the oscillators can have more bite, but in most cases a sawtooth wave is still a sawtooth wave and if you don't skimp out on the digital oscillator design, (generated rather than simple wavetable, and definitely not one of those crappy non-interpolated free amateur vsts) it will sound just as good as a full analog when ran through an analog filter.
Old 2nd January 2011
  #81
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by systematika View Post
Most of the sound of analog comes from the filters alone (hint: emulator II, CEM based dco synths) since they are the most complex part of a synthesizer at least mathematically speaking. The oscillators themselves not so much. In a few analog behemoths the oscillators can have more bite, but in most cases a sawtooth wave is still a sawtooth wave and if you don't skimp out on the digital oscillator design, (generated rather than simple wavetable, and definitely not one of those crappy non-interpolated free amateur vsts) it will sound just as good as a full analog when ran through an analog filter.
Well I partially agree with you...

However, there are differences between various oscillators due to the generated waveforms not having *exactly* the same shape...plus vintage designs often feature random subtle pitch fluctuations-but this can be emulated pretty easily on a modern synth with a decent modulation matrix.

An interesting example of how different various oscillators sound are the samples on the vintage synth card on the JD-990...each sample has its own distinctive sound, add to this the "analog feel" and...yummy! But this is another story whatsoever...heh

But yeah, I agree that almost any sound source when routed to a good analog filter can sound very interesting! That's how I use my 4pole after all!!!
Old 2nd January 2011
  #82
Lives for gear
 
NWSooner's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr. Varaldo View Post
I ended up getting a couple of patchbays again, so things should get better, especially if I get rid of the hardware mixer and get back "In The Box" ITB. The hardware mixer is great for the tactile feel, but complicates and slows down the workflow :(
You might consider putting some of the money you get from slimming down the studio towards a dedicated controller. I use a Euphonix MC Control V2 but there are lots of other options with various control protocols. Then you still have tactile control while ITB.
Old 2nd January 2011
  #83
Jose Ramón Alvarado Villa
 
Don Solaris's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr. Varaldo View Post
Hehee... that's true, it's a classic sampler, but my E-II is acting up, so I will only sell it to replace it later with one that works better... I'm keeping the 200+ disk original library though!
Go with Emax I. Much less space, 90% identical sound.
Old 2nd January 2011
  #84
Lives for gear
 
NWSooner's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by supersuper View Post
Grats but i can save you even more time: sell it all! get yourself a simple daw and omnisphere and challenge yourself to make something worth while and if you cant your out, but if you can buy what you miss the most.
Crazy talk. I have Omnisphere and I think it's great. I could definitely see using it instead of any sort of hardware ROMpler if you wanted to stay software. But as the only synth of any kind other than what comes bundled with your DAW? I don't think so.

If forced at the point of a gun to go software only I could probably get by on Omnisphere, Komplete, and DCAM Synth Squad. If I could only choose one it would be Komplete. But why limit yourself? There's a world of software and hardware out there.

As far as the idea of selling everything and buying what you miss the most... a lot of the best (vintage) stuff is difficult to find in good condition, is much more expensive to buy now than it was when you first bought it, and may be difficult to impossible to find in the condition your previous one was in. So as far as that goes I definitely agree with the suggestions above to put something in the other room for a while rather than the idea to sell and re-purchase.
Old 2nd January 2011
  #85
Lives for gear
 
omegaomega's Avatar
 

It seems to me that what you really need and crave for is a CHANGE... It seems that you are feeling heavy having all those machines around and probably overwhelmed too.
So do what you feel is going to make you feel better.

I have two propositions for you.
Either store your machines and use just 3 for quite a long time, for example 6-10 months and only if you feel you mastered them/bored of them go to the storage room and replace them with a other trio and so on.
Or, keep just ONE hardware synth and make audio multitracks with it. Then process the audio tracks ITB to make them sound good for the song you are working on.
This is also liberating and can sound very good too.
For example I was shocked to listen to a Youtube video track with all tracks being just a TX7 multitracked (and if I remember correctly I think without even any effects added!)

I would also like to thank you for your Synthmania site. I have spent a lot of time there during the years listening to gear demos before buying it.

In the end, just follow your heart man.
Old 2nd January 2011
  #86
Lives for gear
 
roginator's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Don Solaris View Post
Go with Emax I. Much less space, 90% identical sound.
WRONG!!!
Old 2nd January 2011
  #87
Jose Ramón Alvarado Villa
 
Don Solaris's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by roginator View Post
WRONG!!!
heh I may not be correct 100% but the only greater difference i've heard is in the filter resonance. Emax I with higher settings can get more aggressive, while Emulator II will get more low end on the filter. I prefer the squelchy filter of Emax though.

Vintage Synth Explorer • View topic - Comparing Emulator/Emulator II+/Emax transposition + filter



But interesting thing is that the sample playback is very similar. Only difference i've found is that Emulator II has a gentle LPF at about 10 kHz. Simple EQ above 10kHz solves the problem. Filter response looks like this:



Green line: Emulator II
Blue line: Emax I
Source sample: Vocal Aahs

Bottom line: their sample playback is virtually identical if LPF filter is applied to the Emax. There is a difference in their filter resonance, but given 90% of sounds DO NOT use resonance, i stand by my comment they're 90% identical.
Old 3rd January 2011
  #88
Lives for gear
 

I want an Emax I rack! But it seems they're a bit hard to find on the bay...
Old 3rd January 2011
  #89
Lives for gear
 
alexp's Avatar
Different strokes I guess..

I have a ton of hardware, and make a ton of music. In fact I havent been this productive in a couple years. A lot of people are trimming down their studios, but make sure you know thats what you want to do. Theres nothing worse than selling a bunch of stuff off, and then realizing that the inspiration was being able to turn it all on.


alexP
Old 3rd January 2011
  #90
Lives for gear
 
Mr. Varaldo's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by alexp View Post
Different strokes I guess..

I have a ton of hardware, and make a ton of music. In fact I havent been this productive in a couple years. A lot of people are trimming down their studios, but make sure you know thats what you want to do. Theres nothing worse than selling a bunch of stuff off, and then realizing that the inspiration was being able to turn it all on.

alexP
Yes... I am sure it's what I want to do. In 2010 I fell prey of G.A.S. again and bought an insane amount of stuff, and went from mixerless "ITB" back to "OTB" with full-blown hardware mixer, 24 channels, separate hardware FX boxes, more and more keyboards, more and more modules etc.

Yes, the sound is a bit different OTB, more "analogue" if we want to use that term. It is good, it's undeniable.

However, I realized all these extra components slow down my workflow, overwhelm me and make me "lazy" - that's just me. Of course it will be different for other people.

I love having a real hardware mixer with 24 tactile faders to move, I really do... but have realized, after a year of this, that I do go a lot faster by staying ITB, I get less distracted, and can get 90% of the sound I'm getting OTB.

Besides selling keyboards / modules, I want to go back at having this type of workstation:

computer keyboard and mouse on top of table
MIDI controller keyboard on the bottom tray

That was the combination that really worked for me.

Similar to this. No hardware mixer

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