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)
Big - (Approx. 15 synths/drum machines)
Medium - (Approx. 10 synths/drum machines)
Small - (Approx. 5 synths/drum machines)
Softcore - (all in the computer)
Total votes: 51

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

Post by Hybrid88 » Tue Oct 01, 2013 2:54 pm

Ok, just something I've been pondering recently and I'm interested in what results a poll would yield.

I'm talking setups. This is obviously a very personal thing, but what works for you? Is a big room full of synths your ideal workspace? Or are you happier working with a few good pieces you know well to get the job done?

This also includes your studio environment, how a big or small setup affects your creative mood etc.

I'm also curious as to what differences there are between dreams and reality as the allure of a big setup can often distort the truth of the practical realities. A lot of outside factors can determine these preferences. So try and keep your answer to what you *know* works for you in making your music.

Discussions welcome.

Cheers guys :)

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

Post by Infinity Curve » Tue Oct 01, 2013 4:08 pm

I find I am way more productive when limited to just a couple pieces of gear; I tend to get bogged down with too many options and don't get anything done when I have a desk full of gear.

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

Post by antilles » Tue Oct 01, 2013 4:43 pm

I'd say a medium setup for me works well, allthough I have a big setup right now. I also feel that havnig to much gear just ends up distracting me. On the other hand I do need a certain amount of synths to cover the sonic spectrum.

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

Post by synthroom » Tue Oct 01, 2013 9:27 pm

I've never been productive, no matter how many synths I have. So I figure the more, the merrier!
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Re: Size doesn't matter... or does it?

Post by Shutoku » Tue Oct 01, 2013 11:03 pm

Currently using a 3 keyboard rig. I might like as many as 6, but that is the max.
I only want what I need though. I'm not really into excess.

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

Post by Zamise » Wed Oct 02, 2013 12:00 am

I put softcore. My most productive moments are on a certain single piece of gear, not computer, even though I've got a lot in the so called studio.
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Re: Size doesn't matter... or does it?

Post by Swayze » Wed Oct 02, 2013 12:02 am

Good question, reminds me a lot of the ITB vs. OTB thread. I prefer a smaller setup myself. I like to use a couple keyboards and modules. Building songs with drum samples in my DAW as opposed to using a drum machine has been very liberating. The more gear I have, the more time I spend building patches...which is not at all a bad thing. I personally just need to devote more of my time to recording music.

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

Post by griffin avid » Wed Oct 02, 2013 2:01 am

This always a tough one when you weigh the numerous people that say "I am am more creative with less"
And I always think, so there's no way for you to be creative except trouble-shooting a problem related to a lack of gear?
I see the value in experimentation of a How do I....

But I also see creativity by avoiding spending time solving small problems and focusing on larger music-production-related issues. If I was an artist who wanted every song I created to sound a certain way or be related, then yeah, I would be content using a small number of tools or a singular piece. I don't know what that end-all, be-all piece of kit would be that does hardware synthesis, sampling, polyphony, weirdness, classic tones, drums, manipulates and generates...

Has tons o' knobs and is dead simple to work and navigate and above all is inspiring without too much maintenance...
and of course able to cover numerous genres on top of that. That to me, still requires a kit list.
I have a lot of stuff but I don't use it all on every track.

If I think to eliminate the redundancy or similar ground that's covered, it's still a fair amount of gear.
And I also think released music creates a timeline or signature stamp of your sound.
And even if it was awesome, I think an artist wants to change the direction/sound/character/mood/whatever -
I think it's called getting stale when you repeat, starting to suck if you go a place no one wants to follow and growth if you get better or your fans like the change-ups.

I think a lot of that is related to what gear gets used and what gear gets dusty.
Along with all the other common factors, but gear is included.
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Re: Size doesn't matter... or does it?

Post by Joshy » Wed Oct 02, 2013 2:31 am

I work a lot better with a slim setup, and more gear tends to spread me thin. That goes with my virtual instruments, and out board/FX as well. So I've usually got 3-4 hardware synths, same number of VSTi instruments, around 10 FX VSTi, and probably 5 out board.

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

Post by Black Tomorrow » Wed Oct 02, 2013 6:27 am

I did my best work when I had nothing more than a rompler, a cheap analog, and a drum machine. That being said, given the space and money, I have the inclination to fill several rooms with instruments. And I did have about 15 in my setup when it got to its craziest point.

Now, with future space constraints (a converted bus) I'll be downsizing to a V-synth, and an MG-1. Everything else will have to be software.
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Re: Size doesn't matter... or does it?

Post by vicd » Wed Oct 02, 2013 7:35 am

My "one-track mind" has difficulties keeping focus on a large setup... and anyway it's either track-by-track recording or jamming on at most 3 or 4 pieces of gear, not more.

I don't like the drums, but the drums like me!

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

Post by Alex E » Wed Oct 02, 2013 7:37 am

The only thing that concerns me is that I use what I own. It doesn't matter if you own a Memorymoog, OBXa and a Jupiter 8; they're useless without someone making use of them.

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

Post by commodorejohn » Wed Oct 02, 2013 7:44 am

It's kind of complicated for me. I find I work best when I can sit down with a piece of equipment and just compose, and my actual best work (really, my entire body of work) at present has all been done on the computer; however, as I've been getting into hardware synths, I've found that I get a lot more satisfaction out of working with real gear; it sounds better and it's more hands-on and intuitive. So I prefer a simpler setup for presenting fewer distractions from the work of composing music, but I also prefer a larger setup as I explore different hardware synths and discover their individual character. Hopefully some day I'll hit the right balance point...
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Re: Size doesn't matter... or does it?

Post by tamla » Wed Oct 02, 2013 11:26 am

I feel better when I have more gear around me, and I'm always adding to the collection which always fuels the creative process, but in reality I probably end up using a couple of bits and pieces at any one time depending on mood/project. The real downside is I am always in a state of disrepair, with some pieces unused for months at a time. The keyboard subs-bench is 8-strong and rising, whilst I have had to take all my samplers and fx units out the the rack (20U btw) to make room for more synths.

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

Post by Pro5 » Wed Oct 02, 2013 5:57 pm

smaller setup. 2-4 synths max. for clarity and productivity. Have had massive setups before (15+ keyboard synths all set up at once :lol: :lol: ) felt like a kid in a sweet shop and was using sounds from synths just because they were there.. was in serious danger of floating away in a sea of my own s**t.

I manage to keep them down these days and have only 2/3 setup at once.

Another thing i found - seriously helps - if I've done all the recording on a song/album and wont NEED the synths again for a while, just unrouting their cables etc has helped me focus on mixing etc. Otherwise I tend to just put them on and play for hours as it's too much 'fun'.

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