On the importance of using "hot" gear

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Re: On the importance of using "hot" gear

Post by Aaron2 » Sat Jan 16, 2016 7:19 am

As someone else said, electronic music isn't the only genre that's gear-obsessed. I've played guitar since I was a teenager, and I've always heard the talk about the classic guitars and amps, and I never cared. I bought what I liked that was in my price range and made it work. Oddly enough, I'm more influenced by hype about synths and drum machines -- now that I'm in my 40s -- than I ever was about guitar gear. Maybe it's the Internet! :lol:

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Re: On the importance of using "hot" gear

Post by raito » Sun Jan 17, 2016 4:07 am

KBD_TRACKER wrote: Imagine the wry, slightly droll reception, if at a musician's party somebody described his studio as primarily composed of a TR626 drum machine, an EX800 synth module, a Behringer mixer, and an Alesis Midiverb effect box .... :mrgreen:
Then imagine that, after that reception, that somebody casually mentions the gold record they got with said gear.

I love gear as much as the next guy. But gear does not make music.

In another endeavor, there is a continual set of fellows of intermediate ability who are absolutely convinced of 2 things. The first is that they believe that better gear will finally propel them into their rightful place among the truly skilled. The second is that they're utterly convinced that the top guys have some secret knowledge that they just won't share. Both are incorrect.

They never seem to have an answer for the question that follows their first belief, "If that piece of gear would make you so much better, why is it that I just kicked your butt using borrowed equipment?" And they darned sure never believe what they're told regarding secret knowledge, which is that there's no secret, only hard work.

To bring this around to something resembling the topic of this thread...

After I'd purchased my first keyboard (Yamaha PS-20), I had it over at a friend's place. Now, I'd bought that particular keyboard because I could afford it, and it had the 3 sounds I needed most -- piano, organ, and harpsichord. While I was there, another guy happened to visit. He'd been playing keyboards since he was about 6, been in bands forever, etc. Much better player than I was, or probably am today. He made that thing sing.

Elsewhere, there was a thread on writing songs. The author was bemoaning the fact that he couldn't write songs because he couldn't currently record. I asked him to look at some sheet music of his favorite songs. There isn't much more there than melody. chords, and an indication of rhythm. You can go a long way with that.

I also see elsewhere the complaint that various synths these days don't have enough knobs, because knobs are essential for live performances. Well, Sturgeon's Law notwithstanding, most of that sort of music seems to twiddle knobs instead of having any sort of song to play. It's not that one couldn't make a great piece from the idea of simple patterns whose timbre changes over time. I mean look at Ravel's Bolero, which is the original exercise for that. It's that most often turning the knob live doesn't actually make the song better.

These days, I have more money than time. That's fine. I have a family now, and I can afford the occasional piece of gear. But the truth is that I played the best when all I owned was that PS-20 and an ARP 2600. I was most productive when I added a Juno-106, TB-303 and TR-606. Now I have a lot more stuff, but I don't play as well and I'm not as productive. It's not a complaint, as I made those decisions deliberately.

The best investments I've made in music were time to practice, and my college-level theory courses.

But I still like gear. :lol:

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Re: On the importance of using "hot" gear

Post by greggybud » Wed Jan 20, 2016 11:10 am

I agree with most things said above. Honest!

But for a slightly different perspective, and something perhaps only 10-12 owners use in the world use, listen to the Yamaha GX-1.

This guy is re-building Benny Anderssons GX-1.
https://www.gearslutz.com/board/electro ... alive.html

I have absolutely no doubt that Abba's hits would still have happened had they not used the GX-1. IMO it's really about composition and not so much the gear, techniques such as re-amping, or a world class Polar Music Studio. But, when I really listen to the GX-1 on their later hits, I realize how special and unique this beast is. The CS-80 can't even come close. Near the end when things were dissolving, Benny basically did everything on "The Day Before You Came" on the GX-1.

Again, not disagreeing on most anything above...just looking at a different perspective.

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Re: On the importance of using "hot" gear

Post by Push-Pull » Mon Jan 25, 2016 10:59 pm

Totally agree with Raito ! Image
The making of my modular... (ok it's in french, but the pictures are easy to understand !)

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Re: On the importance of using "hot" gear

Post by gs » Tue Jan 26, 2016 7:34 pm

There may be times where having a "hot" piece of gear is important... if you are doing a big gig (festival, etc.) and you want to make an impression appearance-wise, or the festival is being sponsored by Korg or Nord, or whatever. But if you are an average "Joe Weekend Warrior" type (like me), the only person it will make a difference to is me. The audience is mostly paying attention to the lead singer, anyway. As long as I'm comfy with my gear, and they do the sounds I want them to, it's all good.
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