Quality Vs. Quantity

Discussions about anything analog, digital, MIDI, synth technology, techniques, theories and more.
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TrondC
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Post by TrondC » Sun Apr 13, 2008 9:36 pm

JSRockit wrote:
Big Gnome wrote:
JSRockit wrote:For all of you who say you would not rebuy the stuff you aren't using and would buy something else instead, why don't you sell and then buy what you need? Just wondering.
That's a great question, to which my answer is, I'm satisfied with my setup and I'm comfortable with my workflow. There's newer, nicer equipment with which I could see replacing a few things, but it's just not worth it to me to undergo the irksome process of selling what I have, buying new equipment, and sitting down to learn in minute detail how all my new toys work.
Great answer... I can understand that.
I fell the same way. besides, living in Norway sorta makes it hard to try out new stuff all the time, so I have had the same stuff for ages now. the reason I won't just sell my electribes and get an MPC or something like that is simply because I've spent so much time learning my synths. But, I am very much considering to just spend some time doing some decent recordings of my current gear, then sell some of it off for a 303-clone or maybe an MPC, Vermona drum machne or so.

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Post by Doc Tonewheel » Sun Apr 13, 2008 10:32 pm

MrFrodo wrote:
Doc Tonewheel wrote:I have also owned many keyboards over the years, and have now just pared down to quality. No VA, just real analog. No clonewheels, just a real Hammond, real Clavinet, and real Wurlitzer, and a fantastic digital piano. My digital synths are software-based.
You must not be a gigging musician.
Actually, when I do play out I take the Wurlitzer, LP, an laptop. After playing out for many years, I'm done dragging close to 1000 lbs of stuff around.
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Post by ThinkTanx » Mon Apr 14, 2008 8:09 am

I don't think I would really change anything, mostly because I wouldn't sell what I have now. I spent the last year or so figuring out exactly what I wanted and felt I needed. I pared things down and tried to be really honest with myself about where I was headed creatively and what would best get me there.

Now, there are still some things I would like to add! Mainly filters and fx: the Ebbe und Flut and that new Sherman Restyler. I'm definitely about to buy the Soundtoys Native FX bundle because they have blown me away. I also wouldn't mind a TR-808 and a Prophet 5 (or some kind of killer poly) either. Oh, and 4 more mic pre's, an Apogee Rosetta 800, a couple more compressors, and a couple of outboard EQ's. :D
Last edited by ThinkTanx on Mon Apr 14, 2008 6:39 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Post by Yoozer » Mon Apr 14, 2008 2:08 pm

I think the less is more meme is terribly misunderstood.

It's not about quantity or quality. It's about focus and distraction. If you get distracted by a crapton of toys - like any magpie who gathers these things, "less" (as in quantity) may mean "more" (as in productivity) to you.
"Part of an instrument is what it can do, and part of it is what you do to it" - Suzanne Ciani, 197x.

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Post by cram1960 » Mon Apr 14, 2008 2:23 pm

Yoozer wrote:I think the less is more meme is terribly misunderstood.

It's not about quantity or quality. It's about focus and distraction. If you get distracted by a crapton of toys - like any magpie who gathers these things, "less" (as in quantity) may mean "more" (as in productivity) to you.
And if you don't get distracted by a crapton of toys, then having them may have no effect whatsoever on your productivity, to you.

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Post by Huppo » Mon Apr 14, 2008 3:47 pm

Great question, Stab.

If I truly did lose everything in my studio in the blink of an eye the first thing I would buy with the equivalent value is a good electric guitar, but I think this is supposed to be more about synths and studio gear, so I'll pretend that's not the case.

I started into my synth fascination by discovering softsynths pre-vst days. For the first bunch of years I worked exclusively within a software environment and haven't been that productive since.

I branched out into a bunch of inexpensive hardware synths and initially focused on rack mounted gear (XT, Q, Wavestation, Nord Modular, etc.) with a controller so as to cram a lot of stuff into a small space.

That gradually morphed into getting away from rack mount synths and getting nicer quality keyboards (PEK, V-synth, TI, Q, LP, P1, FIZMO, Z1, etc.) until my studio was so full of keyboard stands I couldn't even move. At that point I also kind of hit the 'too much stuff to concentrate' wall that's been mentioned. I was clearly accumulating gear for accumulation sake and the buzz of owning cool gear. It wasn't causing me to make music and wasn't really getting used much at all for anything. That caused my gear tide to start going out.

From an ever-changing total of about 30 synths a year or two ago I'm down to around 10 and several of those are on the chopping block, too. The nice thing is that by owning a ton of gear I was able to find out what really appeals to me and is musically useful.

In pursuit of minimizing things, I know I'd rebuy a V-synth first (but probably upgrade to the GT), definitely go for a TI again (though maybe a polar instead of the big one I have) and I'd probably go for a big three workstation for 'real' sounds. I am keeping a Fusion for that right now but I probably wouldn't buy another one due to the orphan status.

For my recording setup I unfortunately based everything around the idea of two inputs, so I can't record multiple, discreet stereo things simultaneously. If I were to start over I'd go for an 8 or 16 input concept with more $ spent on monitors.

I'm really in the process now of paring things down to just what I really like and use so maybe I'm mixing up that idea with the original question, here.

If I were to be totally honest with myself, I think I would turn my pile of gear into an all-software setup with one nice 5 octave synth for input. I'd probably choose a V-synth GT since I really like the way it feels and it offers plenty of realtime control. Plus I love what it does with sounds. Having done the 'gear creep' thing it might be very easy to avoid doing it again. I'd like to have my limited studio space more evenly allocated to recording, guitar, bass and drum stuff alongside the 80% synths it's been for the last few years.
~huppo

Please feel free to add me to your Foes list.

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Post by Hades » Tue Apr 15, 2008 3:48 am

Yoozer wrote:I think the less is more meme is terribly misunderstood.

It's not about quantity or quality. It's about focus and distraction. If you get distracted by a crapton of toys - like any magpie who gathers these things, "less" (as in quantity) may mean "more" (as in productivity) to you.


=D>

it doens't mean that because you have a lot of synths that they limit your creativity (or make one blurry mess of your frequency spectrum, as suggested by someone earlier).
I certainly agree this might be the case for some, but it doesn't have to be that way.
of the 10 (?? not sure) synths I have, I only use about 3 to 4 on a regular basis. but it's fun to be able to turn around and just switch on one of the synths I don't use enough when I get stuck while making a track.
most of the times, I won't find something useful, and I'll probably end up having more fun resampling something, or making some weird fx block,
but it's still just plain fun to have the few extra synths around.
and I never paid much for 9 out of my 10 synths anyway, since I bought them all used (except for my XV88, but that was my first), so I don't feel guilty at all for keeping them. so not much use of selling them anyway :lol:

point is : I know which ones will get me somewhere, and which ones won't. so I only use the 2nd category when I'm stuck with the 1st.
sometimes it's also just "liberating" in a way, to use a different interface (and especially a different type of synthesis !).

I do agree I hate adding new gear nowadays, since I've had it with the learning curves. I spent enough time reading all my manuals in the past.

and it's also true that diving into gearlust for a while is probably one of the best medicines to cure it. it's a bloody expensive medicine, but if you can't see that getting tons of synths won't get you anywhere after a few years (and thus start downscaling again), you're just plain stupid (or way too rich) !! :lol:

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Post by stikygum » Tue Apr 15, 2008 6:40 am

Hades wrote:
Yoozer wrote:I think the less is more meme is terribly misunderstood.

It's not about quantity or quality. It's about focus and distraction. If you get distracted by a crapton of toys - like any magpie who gathers these things, "less" (as in quantity) may mean "more" (as in productivity) to you.


it doens't mean that because you have a lot of synths that they limit your creativity (or make one blurry mess of your frequency spectrum, as suggested by someone earlier).
I certainly agree this might be the case for some, but it doesn't have to be that way.
of the 10 (?? not sure) synths I have, I only use about 3 to 4 on a regular basis. but it's fun to be able to turn around and just switch on one of the synths I don't use enough when I get stuck while making a track.


most of the times, I won't find something useful, and I'll probably end up having more fun resampling something, or making some weird fx block,
but it's still just plain fun to have the few extra synths around.


sometimes it's also just "liberating" in a way, to use a different interface (and especially a different type of synthesis !).

I agree with both views here. I think having more synths is good, but only to an extent. When you have synths you don't have time to learn and just sit there, it's probably better to sell them. And you'll buy it back if it's anything good, when you have time to learn it. It has to be limited or else you'll drown and feel stress from owning so many without anything to show for it.

Having those extra unique/special synths are nice to get your mind somewhere else...using a different interface, inspiration of different sounds, can help out in the process. They can easily be a jamming/tweaking distraction to. So you have to think about when you are just going to jam out stuff and when you actually and FORCEFULLY (important to stay focused on the goal) should compose a song.

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Post by crystalmsc » Tue Apr 15, 2008 8:44 am

stephen wrote:I couldn't do without my AN1x
Zamise wrote:2 Yamaha RS7000s (cant live without at least one)
that's 2 Yummies I just won't let go. Congrats for the 2nd RS Zam, are you linking the two as an additional controller for the other? :)
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