getting too caught up in tech

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anoteoftruth
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getting too caught up in tech

Post by anoteoftruth » Mon Nov 22, 2010 6:32 pm

Do you guys ever find you get too caught up in the tech sometimes?

Sometimes I find myself spending more time looking at synths, researching synths, building imaginary modular systems in my head, thinking about how I can find money to buy new synths.... etc.. That I get almost lost for creativity when I go to make new stuff.

Like sometimes the infactuation with the tech kind of leads me away for why I liked the tech in the first place... to make great music...

Anyone else have this problems sometimes? Anything you do to overcome it?

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Re: getting too caught up in tech

Post by Cumulus » Mon Nov 22, 2010 6:58 pm

I solve the problem by concentrating on the gear I have.

I pick a piece of gear and then work with it exclusively for a while, delivning into the depths and pushign it to its limits. That give me an appreciateiong for what I have and it teaches me what I can accomplish with what I have.

When I was a kid I used to make music with Lincoln Logs, pots and pans, an egg slicer (with metal wires that worked like super-high-pitched guitar srings), empty bottles, whatever I had on hand. I carreid this asthetic into adulthood so that when I had my first home studio setup the window sill swere lined with every size and shape of empty bottle I could find as well as boxes of ofund objects that made interesting sounds.

The only synth I had at that time was my Yamaha CS-50 but I filled in the gaps with acousitc instrumetns and junk.

In short, I used what I had instead of lusting for what I didn't.

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Re: getting too caught up in tech

Post by anoteoftruth » Mon Nov 22, 2010 7:16 pm

Cumulus wrote: The only synth I had at that time was my Yamaha CS-50 but I filled in the gaps with acousitc instrumetns and junk.

In short, I used what I had instead of lusting for what I didn't.

I think that's a good example of what I'm talking about...

I started out the same way.. made music with found sounds, whatever I could get my hands on that made a noise... recorded with a old cassette tape player that had a built in mic... would put it up to a speaker of another player and record, than record myself and what the speaker was playing at the same time, as a makeshift 2 track...

Horrible quality, but man did I learn a lot.. everything, bottles, glass, collecting junk to bang on.. etc.. I mean.. no matter how you look at it, one had to be really creative to go find things that made sounds that way.

and now I sit in my room with all this gear that I just get lost inside... it's not even so much lusting after new stuff (which i am guilty of occasionally), but I get lost in the amount of tech stuff that I do have...

Maybe I should be finding different routes of getting sounds... going back to a simpler way to get material..

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Re: getting too caught up in tech

Post by blavatsky » Mon Nov 22, 2010 7:58 pm

I get bogged down on both my gear (digging into it) and researching new stuff. Finally stopped searching for synths/samplers as much but then you want/need effects, or new monitor speakers, or a better mixer/interface, and on...

I agree about focusing on one/two pieces at a time. When I start thinking about it like, well i have 4 possible samplers I can use, and 3 synths with X voices and X parts each, and then get into ok what is the sound for each patch, now I want to tweak it, run thru internal effects ..... my mind fizzles out. Then on top of that, come up with something fun and interesting to play, it can be overwhelming.

Limit yourself to 4 to 8 tracks for a few songs too - I'm guilty of wanting to fill every gap/track with c**p when really a lot of times the focus of fewer tracks (from fewer sources) will meld better IMO.

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Re: getting too caught up in tech

Post by nathanscribe » Mon Nov 22, 2010 8:14 pm

Completely. To solve it I buy more gear. Never works out.

On a more practical level, the advice to focus on one piece for a while is good. I get a lot of mileage from a Rogue through a couple of effects, for example, or working with one piece as much as possible before I want something it can't do. Then I move on to include another. It leaves a surprising amount of kit gathering dust, and it can be interesting to see what the dustier stuff is. Not always what you might expect, and often contrary to the dictates of GAS.

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Re: getting too caught up in tech

Post by cgren72 » Mon Nov 22, 2010 8:22 pm

I am buying subs for my car.. at least its not synths right? lmao.

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Re: getting too caught up in tech

Post by upfineclouds » Mon Nov 22, 2010 8:29 pm

I don't let tech stand in the way of my fun. I love simple gear that can be combined and recombined in different interesting ways rather than an ideal synth that does everything. I use a combination of carefully selected late 70's - early 80's gear with very modern hardware stuff.

I like Cumulus' approach with the CS50 and junk :-) It reminds me how I made a soundtrack using my metal keyboard stand, scissors and a software sample editor.

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Re: getting too caught up in tech

Post by madtheory » Mon Nov 22, 2010 9:08 pm

Try getting inspiration from other things besides what happens when playing around with gear? Or see what happens when you attempt to play guitar with alternate tunings, or borrowing from folk and classical. Transfer them to the synth/ keyboard. Doing cover versions is a good source of inspiration too. I often never finish the cover, I morph it into an original.

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Re: getting too caught up in tech

Post by Dogboy73 » Mon Nov 22, 2010 9:51 pm

I think you're talking about gear lust! It effects us all!! I love it ....... and I hate it at the same time. Boys & their toys. There's always a new synth or other piece of kit that absolutely must be added to our set-ups. I've been toying with the idea of getting hold of a vintage string synth for some time. In truth I could probably come close with what I have ....... but it's just not the same is it?! I still want one even though I can't afford it, can't be arsed with vintage gear, don't have anywhere to put it, it's a one trick pony anyway etc, etc. Basically there are loads of reasons not to get one & about two reasons for getting one & both of these are flakey to say the least!! The only thing stopping me is the ludicrously inflated price of vintage stuff these days. It's got silly and I'm basically just window shopping on fee-bay these days.

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Re: getting too caught up in tech

Post by nuketifromorbit » Tue Nov 23, 2010 12:26 am

I spend most of my time trying to recapture the productivity and fun I had when I still trusted korg and the electribe series :(.
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Re: getting too caught up in tech

Post by druzz » Tue Nov 23, 2010 12:49 am

madtheory wrote:Try getting inspiration from other things besides what happens when playing around with gear? Or see what happens when you attempt to play guitar with alternate tunings, or borrowing from folk and classical. Transfer them to the synth/ keyboard. Doing cover versions is a good source of inspiration too. I often never finish the cover, I morph it into an original.
thats a good one , we get so overwhelmed by the technical aspect sometimes , gear and synths and midichannels and tracks ... its fills our head . but music should fill youre head when youre creating . so first get it over with the technical aspect, then try to visualise the meaning, the concept , the mood of youre song or try to picture you performing it . have to know your synth very well to overcome the technical factor when its time to create musical sounds . have to focus on the sound modulation rather then on the knob twist ... :idea:

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Re: getting too caught up in tech

Post by griffin avid » Tue Nov 23, 2010 2:42 am

I find that I flip back and forth between two modes:
Guy who OWNS a studio.
Guy who USES a studio.

It's either spending time trying to make every synth accessible or trying to find The Best arrangement with the most flexibility or experimenting with different connections to maximize the whole gear list. Everything is neat, compact and labeled. I experiment with all the different ways to accomplish the same production tasks and usually make ...um...no music. I post on forums and re-read my synths VSE page over and over again. I even check on my stuffs used price...read debates on what's better than what and scour the net for additional resources.

OR

When I'm in my zone, I will use a synth and stand it sideways or stack it on top something else between uses (so that when I first place it down, the synth under it is accidentally triggered) . I will unplug something to make something else work. Once something doesn't work the way I expect or want it to, it usually gets skipped over -instead of figuring out what's wrong. The studio becomes a mess of wires and cables and even human litter. I disappear from humanity for a while and usually return with some music.


Eventually the clutter gets in the way of my productivity and the cycle starts over.
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Re: getting too caught up in tech

Post by bhrama » Tue Nov 23, 2010 2:58 am

I've suffered from this, as it seems most here do. :mrgreen: One recommendation I have is creating urgency, or a timeline. For example I play in a band, but were all dads and professionals and that makes it hard to actually play out live. We have practiced nearly every Tuesday night for the better part of 2 years. Nothing really changed, we were playing to play and having fun at it, but not really progressing. This all changed when we decided to play one show a month. Now our music is alive again, and the creative bug juice is flowing.

Another example was lately I was asked by a local band to re-mix one of their songs for an album release. I used all the existing gear I had, and really put the pedal to the metal to meet their deadline. This made me re-look my gear, and realize enough was enough. The remix turned out great, and I found new depths and life with my old gear...whew!

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Re: getting too caught up in tech

Post by Primal Drive » Tue Nov 23, 2010 3:44 am

I usually don't have time to get caught up in just the tech side of things since I'm always jumping from one instrument to another. I always start out by playing the drums for at least 4 songs that I'm working on. Once those tracks completed and to my liking, I begin on the guitar rhythm tracks.

Next comes the bass, either electric or synth. I know that seems counter intuitive, but I've found that by recording this way it's not only easier to get the right tone, but by playing against the drums and guitar the bass tracks sound more dynamic and fluid. After that are any keyboards (piano, organ, pads, etc.), then finally guitar and/or synth leads.

I don't do every song like this since some feature more keyboard than guitar, but my point is, having such a diversity of instruments to work with really helps me from getting bogged down on any one technical aspect.

And it's also a lot of fun. :)
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Re: getting too caught up in tech

Post by cartesia » Tue Nov 23, 2010 5:28 am

Chronic offender..

I think the internet is to blame mostly.. if I could get myself off the internet I'd probably use my gear instead of talk about it/think about it/read about it (and other gear)

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