Studio Simplification

A forum for discussing the pros & cons of buying a particular synth and for advice on buying synthesizers.
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hyphen nation
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Studio Simplification

Post by hyphen nation » Mon Sep 17, 2012 6:25 am

Greetings Guys,

I am curious to hear from folks about how they filter their gear. I am finding that 90% of my time is spent with my Elektron gear and my voyager. This is partially due to the fact that you can do so much with just that gear, and partially due to never really finding an ideal midi set up to synch everything. I find that my Mobius + SEM are getting less play, as is my x0xb0x, or Drumtraks.

It's not to say I don't love all of them when I plug them in and start playing with them. Often the shift and limits of something else inspires totally different kinds of music. It's just that for sheer ease and power, the Elektron stuff is almost always my first stop.

Here's kind of my plan for now. I am about a month out for finishing out a project studio in my basement. I am thinking that once that is done, I'll give my gear 3 months to see how much play each piece gets. If it's limited, I should consider selling it and investing in something else for the studio.

Thoughts? Opinions?

Does this seem rational?

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Re: Studio Simplification

Post by Stab Frenzy » Mon Sep 17, 2012 7:14 am

Yep, that's pretty much what I do. If something isn't getting used much it gets sold, no matter how capable it is or how much I enjoy using it. If something isn't being used it's just taking up space and financial resources that could be better used on something which could be adding to my system.

Because of this my V-Synth has been sold, the Tetra is gone even though it's a great synth to travel with, MPC is gone even though it was the centre of my setup for years and MEK is for sale at the moment. Every thing I get rid of is getting me closer to having a really powerful high-end setup; all I've kept as instruments are the Octatrack, Ultranova, Nord Mod G2 and my modular system.

I know what you mean about the Elektron stuff, it's just great fun to make music on. Really love what I can do with the Octatrack, even though I don't have quite the mastery of it that I had with the MPC. With practice I'll get there and then it'll be even more powerful.

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Re: Studio Simplification

Post by tallowwaters » Mon Sep 17, 2012 2:40 pm

It's exactly what I do as well, and like Stab, I have a pretty good grasp of what I can do with the instruments that have stuck around through the years. Getting rid of the c**p and clutter is cathartic.

The only stuff I won't sell is the stuff that I know won't net enough dosh to make the sale worthwhile (Alpha Juno, Microkorg, various drum machines), so I lend them to friends.
Brains can be used like a "stress ball," but only once.

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Re: Studio Simplification

Post by iProg » Mon Sep 17, 2012 2:48 pm

tallowwaters wrote:It's exactly what I do as well, and like Stab, I have a pretty good grasp of what I can do with the instruments that have stuck around through the years. Getting rid of the c**p and clutter is cathartic.

The only stuff I won't sell is the stuff that I know won't net enough dosh to make the sale worthwhile (Alpha Juno, Microkorg, various drum machines), so I lend them to friends.
I try to do this as often as I can, but sometimes a small rearrangement among the stands, cables, positioning or relocating can do the trick!

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Re: Studio Simplification

Post by Rick N Boogie » Tue Sep 18, 2012 1:49 am

I'm in the process of doing exactly the same thing. My crowded music room is more than just synths, as I'm a bassist since Moses, and like guitar too. Already slimmed down to 2 main synth's with my Virus packed, (but not going away, can't do it). Sold off a guitar amp, couple of smaller bass amps, and all but 1 guitar, and 2 basses. Feels good when you get your space back, and can concentrate on making music instead of feeling like you're in a music store.
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Re: Studio Simplification

Post by hyphen nation » Tue Sep 18, 2012 4:37 am

Thanks for confirming my suspicions guys. That's exactly my thinking...clean house and make music...
Last edited by hyphen nation on Wed Sep 19, 2012 5:41 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Studio Simplification

Post by meatballfulton » Tue Sep 18, 2012 12:21 pm

Don't forget your closets. Sometimes it's a good idea to just put the gear away rather than sell it, esp. if it will be difficult to replace in the future.
I listened to Hatfield and the North at Rainbow. They were very wonderful and they made my heart a prisoner.

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Re: Studio Simplification

Post by Pro5 » Tue Sep 18, 2012 1:00 pm

Am constantly refining my setup - finding my most used/useful synths are often the under the radar stuff (in my case SY77/JX-3P) rather than the 5 star super popular synths. I'd like to get down to just 2/3 synths eventually (hardware)

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Re: Studio Simplification

Post by bhrama » Tue Sep 18, 2012 2:29 pm

This is exactly how I've gone about it, although I've never had a huge set-up like some folks. If something is not being used, it moves on to someone that could use it. No real regrets with selling, have a few for buying....

I've found I create more with my streamlined set-up, as I don't end up wanting to include one synth to legitimize its place in the studio.

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Re: Studio Simplification

Post by tallowwaters » Tue Sep 18, 2012 6:24 pm

To tell the truth, I tend to have one weird synth for pure synthing. It never gets used in songs, doesn't see band action, etc, it's just there for quiet nights with the headphones, and I like that.
Brains can be used like a "stress ball," but only once.

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Re: Studio Simplification

Post by hyphen nation » Wed Sep 19, 2012 5:49 am

Yeah, I am tempted to clean up and narrow down to what I use the most, and then see what I need after...I could see picking up ONE super versatile synth to help with some of the scoring/sound design stuff I've been doing on the side.

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Re: Studio Simplification

Post by balma » Thu Sep 20, 2012 7:27 pm

Stab Frenzy wrote: Because of this my V-Synth has been sold
:facepalm:
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Re: Studio Simplification

Post by breckjay » Thu Sep 20, 2012 11:38 pm

Im in the same boat man. Got back from deployment and bought 3 synths, 2 basses, 2 amps, and a few effects. and all but 1 basses is for sale. I think GAS is a real disorder us musicians have from time to time. I remember when i bought my Korg EMX 1sd. Wanted one for about 6 years, bought one then bought a er 1. turns out i like the er 1 a lot more and it has less stuff on it ( go figure ). You just have to find what is right for you man. I think back of when i was 13 and had my cheap off brand basses from china. All i thought about was saving for my next one, then my next, then my next. Time will filter out everything. You can only play one at a time.
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Re: Studio Simplification

Post by somebedroomdj » Thu Sep 20, 2012 11:55 pm

While I don't have nearly the gear pile that a lot of people do, I find that it's enough to be distracting. I'm in the process of buying a house right now, so will finally be able to make a permanent area for my stuff soon. But before I go through all that effort, I plan on breaking my gear up into a few small setups that can exist independent of each other in different parts of the house (one setup in the basement, one in the bedroom, one in the living room, etc.) Then I'm going to only let myself use the pieces I've selected for each setup and see what gets used the most and which pieces play nicely together. Maybe then switch up some of the components, rinse, repeat and then I'll know what I really want to keep and what can be sold. Then I'll build the permanent rig and hopefully get a h**l of a lot more done than I do now.

My logical half knows damn well that I shouldn't keep anything that doesn't get used but I guess it's just like women and their shoes: You never know when a situation may arise when you *might* need it. lol And then, as someone else mentioned, some things will just not net you enough cash to make it worth the bother of selling and you think that you might as well just keep it.
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Re: Studio Simplification

Post by ninja6485 » Fri Sep 21, 2012 3:07 am

I like having a fair amount of gear, at least at this point in time. Maybe I won't in the future, who knows. Sometimes people get bored with only one or two items, and sometimes people feel cluttered with more than only one or two items. I think as long as you don't put the cart before the horse you can find the right balance to be inspired.

Speaking strictly for myself, I would never want to feel like if I didn't use something for a month or two that I should get rid of it. Making music takes time ; connecting with instruments takes time. The problem with GAS isn't that people collect tons of gear, it's that people don't have any real sense of commitment when it comes to buying and playing their instruments. People treat their instruments like employees, and their music making like an assembly line: when the employee stops doing the job, or can't do the job well, they fire it. Off to ebay. If they can't s**t out little song projects at a decent rate, something must be done to improve efficiency, so then it's onto ebay to find a solution. And then they wonder why they're not satisfied with their musical endeavors. Being satisfied takes commitment, and not deferring merit or blame to the gear or the amount of gear. The satisfaction is going to come from finding meaning in what you're doing, connecting in some way with what you're listening to, and finding meaning in your gear: be it one piece or a room full; one song a year or ten songs a week. It's that meaningful connection that needs to be the locus of your project. If you get that right, the rest falls into place on its own.
This looks like a psychotropic reaction. No wonder it's so popular...

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