Size doesn't matter... or does it?

Discussions about anything analog, digital, MIDI, synth technology, techniques, theories and more.

What sized setup do you prefer?

Hardcore - (The more the better)
9
18%
Big - (Approx. 15 synths/drum machines)
4
8%
Medium - (Approx. 10 synths/drum machines)
8
16%
Small - (Approx. 5 synths/drum machines)
25
49%
Softcore - (all in the computer)
5
10%
 
Total votes: 51

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Re: Size doesn't matter... or does it?

Post by c-level » Wed Oct 02, 2013 7:27 pm

maybe this is workflow but not size, but when i open up a past project and have to dash around 3-4 synths to stubbornly recall/actually remember what damn preset i used, it kills my vibe to create. ive also ceased buying external fx as it is much easier and faster for me to load an almost infinite number of ableton effects rather than use up precious inputs/outputs and time rendering to use outboard....

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Re: Size doesn't matter... or does it?

Post by silikon » Wed Oct 02, 2013 7:46 pm

I threw all my s**t out the f**k window; now all I compose on is an electric kazoo, a mic'ed up tambourine (Mr. Microphone, b***h), and a single doepfer LFO.

I'm the most productive musician on the planet, but my music sounds like 100 cats kung-fu fighting with kitchen utensils. :mrgreen:
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Re: Size doesn't matter... or does it?

Post by n3wt15 » Wed Oct 02, 2013 8:17 pm

i have a room full of synths, and am putting a large list of thins to sell off, too many things, though i love them all...its hard to get things done when is so easy to sit on a single synth for hours making sounds.

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Re: Size doesn't matter... or does it?

Post by Voodoo Ray » Thu Oct 03, 2013 1:08 pm

Medium setup. I like to have options that the small setup might not provide, but don't need or have the space for super-sized setups. Although I admit that they are cool.

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Re: Size doesn't matter... or does it?

Post by meatballfulton » Sun Oct 06, 2013 3:04 pm

Small for me...too much gear is too much clutter. Once you need a MIDI patch bay it's too big!

My pref is to have just a few boxes that can cover a lot of bases...ditto for software, keep it simple.
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Re: Size doesn't matter... or does it?

Post by Blue Monster 65 » Sun Oct 06, 2013 3:34 pm

I keep trying to get it down to one machine for me, which explains why I keep getting groove boxes or drum machines. I've got two guitars now (three if you count the cigar box) and that's kind of different for me, too.

However, in the past my setup was LARGE: 13 guitars, 8-track, 12 channel mixer, nine synths (to be fair, three were CZ-101s), four drum machines, two sequencers, two 16 space racks and two guitar amps. In my apartment. It was ridiculous. I got rid of all, save for one guitar. I didn't even have an amp to play it through for a while!

I think I much prefer the minimalist approach, though I do buy and sell a lot of stuff, just to try it out. I don't buy much (if any at all) vintage stuff these days as I get enough upkeep and repair work through the shop and studio that I can't be bothered with that sort of thing with my own gear.
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Re: Size doesn't matter... or does it?

Post by Aaron2 » Tue Oct 08, 2013 7:36 am

Wait, what? You make music with these things? I thought they were just for collecting, discussing and debating endlessly, and drooling over. :lol:

To me, collecting is just as important as making music. These machines are themselves pieces of art. So if it were up to me, I'd own every piece of gear that ever seemed interesting to me, even for a few moments. But obviously, at some point, reality, space, money, family, having a job, being a normal human being ... all those things factor in.

With that said, I've just barely starting recording anything at all. And I find that Ableton and a couple of pieces of gear tends to get the job done. But that doesn't mean that I want fewer pieces of gear! :D

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Re: Size doesn't matter... or does it?

Post by Hybrid88 » Tue Oct 08, 2013 11:03 am

Aaron2 wrote: ...To me, collecting is just as important as making music. These machines are themselves pieces of art. So if it were up to me, I'd own every piece of gear that ever seemed interesting to me, even for a few moments. But obviously, at some point, reality, space, money, family, having a job, being a normal human being ... all those things factor in
Actually that's part of why I asked the question. I guess you could say my setup is looking more like a collection of "things" than a organised studio, and yeah sometimes you have to pull yourself back and refocus the direction of things to something more practical.

I suppose it's something we all have to think about from time to time, what we decide to put our energy and focus into and what we want to get out of it in the long term.

And yeah some of these synths are symbols of modern art and design in their own right. At some point you have to decide if it's better to keep using them extensively (and allow them to take on potentially irreparable wear and tear) or to be more conservative about it. :geek:

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Re: Size doesn't matter... or does it?

Post by Aaron2 » Tue Oct 08, 2013 6:52 pm

Hybrid88 wrote:And yeah some of these synths are symbols of modern art and design in their own right. At some point you have to decide if it's better to keep using them extensively (and allow them to take on potentially irreparable wear and tear) or to be more conservative about it. :geek:
To be honest, I don't use my vintage stuff extensively. Well, I have too much stuff to use anything "extensively." But I find that new gear is just easier to use, in general.

Just last night for example, I had a blast with my new Volca Bass! 8-) Recorded a couple of basic tracks with it. Frankly, I'd rather use a newer mono like the Bass Station II or the Minibrute than some old, fragile thing like a Moog Prodigy (which I just sold - decided I'm not a "Moog guy").

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Re: Size doesn't matter... or does it?

Post by Andy_X69 » Fri Oct 11, 2013 11:11 am

Ideally, what you want is a setup where every piece of gear has its own identity where no piece overlaps too much with another.

I prefer a smaller setup with broad-spectrum instruments that all have their own identity. The Minibrute and Pulse 2 are both analog monophonics but sound nothing like each other. The Virus is its own instrument. The Andromeda is too. The Evolver sounds absolutely unlike anything else in my setup (nothing else uses Curtis chips or Prophet VS waveforms).

I think smaller, more "elegant" setups are cool. But there are so many different considerations. I find it difficult to recommend small setups to people that want to be able to make "everything."

But yes, my personal preference is small and elegant setups focused around covering as many bases as possible. I'd rather four REALLY AMAZING SYNTHS than ten mediocre or limited ones.
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Re: Size doesn't matter... or does it?

Post by tekkentool » Sat Oct 12, 2013 2:40 pm

Size of your skill's all that matters.

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Re: Size doesn't matter... or does it?

Post by loungedumore » Sat Oct 12, 2013 4:13 pm

Over the years I have fluctuated between all of these
Starting with just a sampler tape recorder and old tracker software

Then a decently large home set up morphing in to a joint venture with two others were we had
25 synths a few drum machines 4 computers and 96 ch of motu

When that ended went to all in the box for a couple years .

To now were i realize I am much more productive with a few items... think I'm going for the volca's , ms20 , Sub phatty ( i my sell ) a small rack with my eie , im4+ ( whenever I get it ) alesis mm8 rack , one midi master and two iPads .
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Re: Size doesn't matter... or does it?

Post by Blue Monster 65 » Sat Oct 12, 2013 5:50 pm

tekkentool wrote:Size of your skill's all that matters.
What is this ..."skill" ... you speak of? :lol:
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Re: Size doesn't matter... or does it?

Post by Jabberwalky » Sat Oct 12, 2013 6:12 pm

I just put together a few synths in the corner of the room, away from the computer. Just an es1, Paia9700s, Minikorg, and Sh2. I feel like I've been pretty productive with it, and it's also a s**t ton more fun.

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Re: Size doesn't matter... or does it?

Post by bvc » Fri Oct 18, 2013 1:25 am

I'm all about a minimalistic setup. I do everything from a DAW. Reason I registered here is because I was looking for an old synth to use as a master keyboard, as I find all the dedicated MIDI controller keyboards out there very cheap and not conducive to playing as a musical instrument.

Understand that the answers you get here are not indicative of the overall keyboard-based electronic music populace. If you ran this same poll elsewhere, you might see dramatically different results.

I personally feel that software synths can do anything hardware synths can do, in theory. The appreciation of old analog synths is akin to vinyl enthusiasts who say records sound better. They don't, but people like what they're familiar with. (This isn't to say analog synths don't sound as good as software synths, just that they don't necessarily sound "better," as that's subjective).

I truly hope hardware synths stay around forever, and that developers keep breaking new ground for decades to come. But, in my opinion, they have become more of a luxury than a necessity. I'm not going to say they are, by their very nature, a waste of space, time, money, and energy, but they would be to me, as I need to focus on creating and recording in the most streamlined way possible, and I've already figured out the best way to do that for me personally: DAW, interface, master keyboard.

In summary: to each his own.

P.S. - I very much appreciate the vaguely p**n undertones of this thread.

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