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On our relationship with gear...
Old 24th February 2003
  #1
Capitol Studios Paris
 
jon's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
On our relationship with gear...

Hmm...this being the Gearslutz forum...it got me thinking about our relationship to gear...and one thing I seem to have found over the years...is that the more gear we have, the less my emotional attachment to the gear...the gear becomes merely a means to an end, not an end in itself.

Anybody else feel that way? Or differently?

Another thing I've found...the more gear, the more it becomes necessary to spend to get to the next level. The gear itself is kind of secondary; it's the next level that's interesting. It seems like it will never end...until death, bankruptcy, or retirement, whichever comes first.

Or does it? Your thoughts?
Old 24th February 2003
  #2
One with big hooves
 
Jay Kahrs's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
There's plenty of gear I'd like to own but not much that I actually need to make better sounding records and help serve my clients. The only thing I really NEED is a new DAW rig with at least 16 channels of simultanious I/O at 24-bit, right now I only have 8 at 16/48khz. If I can't make a decent sounding product at this point the only thing I have to blame is me, not the gear.

At this point I'm not upgrading anything or buying anything that would need to be replaced, I'm buying to add to the collection. I also think that if I was just recording my own projects I wouldn't own half the stuff I actually do. Sure, I'd love a pair of Pultecs, U67's, a bigger console, several more 1176's etc. but I don't NEED it or even want it. For a commercial studio, at some point you have enough gear to make a record and then people always bring in their own racks with their own toys that they need to use. So, I guess I don't need more gear and I really need more tie-lines!
Old 24th February 2003
  #3
Gear Guru
 
thethrillfactor's Avatar
 
4 Reviews written
🎧 15 years
Re: On our relationship with gear...

Quote:
Originally posted by jon
Hmm...this being the Gearslutz forum...it got me thinking about our relationship to gear...and one thing I seem to have found over the years...is that the more gear we have, the less my emotional attachment to the gear...the gear becomes merely a means to an end, not an end in itself.

Anybody else feel that way? Or differently?

Another thing I've found...the more gear, the more it becomes necessary to spend to get to the next level. The gear itself is kind of secondary; it's the next level that's interesting. It seems like it will never end...until death, bankruptcy, or retirement, whichever comes first.

Or does it? Your thoughts?
So you are not as attached huh?

That's actually a good place to be. These days I am more obsessed with how I will obtain it than what it is.

I agree about spending towards the next level, but I think its different for everyone. For some the next level is just enough to complete their projects. For me its being able to mix and produce without having to think as much. Where its a natural extension from my brain/heart/ears to my fingers.
Old 24th February 2003
  #4
Lives for gear
 
e-cue's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
I don't usually let people smoke cigarettes in the control room, because it damages my gear (my health and comfort come in second).

Gear = Children

I don't let my gear talk to strangers.
Old 24th February 2003
  #5
Gear Addict
 
🎧 15 years
E-cue, I hear some people rent their "children" out to strangers . . .

Bear
Old 24th February 2003
  #6
Founder
 
Jules's Avatar
I rent my gear out. I dont care much at all if it gets 'dinged' or scratched up a bit..

As long as it works!

Some items I dont rent

4 x Helios
ProControl
ADAM SA4-C's

Pretty much everything else is rentable..

Old 25th February 2003
  #7
Lives for gear
 
C.Lambrechts's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Re: On our relationship with gear...

Quote:
Originally posted by jon
Another thing I've found...the more gear, the more it becomes necessary to spend to get to the next level. The gear itself is kind of secondary; it's the next level that's interesting. It seems like it will never end...until death, bankruptcy, or retirement, whichever comes first.

I know what you mean, although at 37 I find myself in control more then a couple of years ago.

There were times when I would just buy something and not have a clue on how I was going to pay for it. And it put me in a lot of trouble at several occassions ... both financialy and in my private life. Now I buy stuff when the money is sitting in the bank. I don't even order it before the money is there, except on some occasions that require bank / lease solutions.

hmmm ... suddenly remember AES Amsterdam is only bout a month away ...... evileye evileye
Old 25th February 2003
  #8
Lives for gear
 
oldgearguy's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Re: On our relationship with gear...

A couple comments. I'm primarily a synth guy and at one point I thought it would be neat to have at least one of every classic and/or rare synth ever made. 15 years later, I can say I got close. :eek:

I discovered two things -- first is that after a certain point, the amount of gear I had to deal with effectively paralyzed me. It didn't help that I had to tear it all down to move twice in the span of 4 years. The task of setting up everything and getting it all wired, cleaned, calibrated, etc was daunting. The second thing though is the key issue for me -- I love the sound of these instruments. Each one has it's quirks and strengths. Getting rid of any of them was like selling your children.

After the last move I sat back and decided what I wanted to do. I decided I wanted to set up a home studio for real and not a museum, so I made the choices and started selling off some gear to make room and raise cash. Once I started getting rid of gear, it became easier to part with it and my emotional attachment was less.

I do agree that the dollar amount tends to creep up over time. In my case it was mainly because of the rarity of some of the pieces I was looking for. Now that I've got a fairly stable set of keys, drum machines, etc, I can start going crazy buying effects. (Anyone got a Lexicon 480L for sale?)

I keep coming back to that feeling I get when I power up a piece of equipment that I've never heard before - whether it's a reverb, delay, synth or whatever. When it is good, it's this indescribable feeling of pure joy or happiness or something that washes over me. I find myself just sitting there thinking how damn good it sounds and just being amazed. That feeling is why I keep looking around and buying things I haven't heard.

That feeling is also how I describe the difference between a piece of gear being a tool or an instrument. Some things just seem to be musical - they improve anything run though them.
Old 2nd May 2005 | Show parent
  #9
There is only one
 
alphajerk's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
there is somethign to be said about the simplicity of setups and the constraints of what one has to work with to make a recording [or any artistic endeavor]. i was talking with an art critic a while back [artist himself and has a few magazines that cover sculputer and visual arts up in NYC] and he was telling my about "inmate" art and how they would come up with the most percular things to to "create" art out of.
Old 2nd May 2005 | Show parent
  #10
Lives for gear
 
Ziggy!!'s Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by alphajerk
there is somethign to be said about the simplicity of setups and the constraints of what one has to work with to make a recording [or any artistic endeavor]. i was talking with an art critic a while back [artist himself and has a few magazines that cover sculputer and visual arts up in NYC] and he was telling my about "inmate" art and how they would come up with the most percular things to to "create" art out of.


Nothing evokes the imagination like a set of limitations. I only ever thought about it from a composition standpoint but it definately makes sense from a production point as well...

Having loads of gear would probably result in the user just going to items for specific reasons (eg. Only ever using a 1176 on guitar, using an Al Smart across the stereo buss, etc for example because its tried and proven). By being limited in choice of gear the user would look for different, more creative ways to apply the small amount of gear they have...
Old 2nd May 2005
  #11
Gear Maniac
 
Dickens's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by jon
Hmm...this being the Gearslutz forum...it got me thinking about our relationship to gear...and one thing I seem to have found over the years...is that the more gear we have, the less my emotional attachment to the gear...the gear becomes merely a means to an end, not an end in itself.

Anybody else feel that way? Or differently?

Another thing I've found...the more gear, the more it becomes necessary to spend to get to the next level. The gear itself is kind of secondary; it's the next level that's interesting. It seems like it will never end...until death, bankruptcy, or retirement, whichever comes first.

Or does it? Your thoughts?
Like collecting baseball cards...expensive baseball cards at that. LOL! Boys will be boys.
Old 2nd May 2005 | Show parent
  #12
Gear Guru
 
thethrillfactor's Avatar
 
4 Reviews written
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ziggy!!
Having loads of gear would probably result in the user just going to items for specific reasons (eg. Only ever using a 1176 on guitar, using an Al Smart across the stereo buss, etc for example because its tried and proven). By being limited in choice of gear the user would look for different, more creative ways to apply the small amount of gear they have...

Or could make your mixing job much harder by taking more time to find a solution for issues that could be solved with the right gear.

The longer you take, the more you risk losing the onset of inspiration that fuels the mix to begin with.

Nothing in my opinion is worth that.

It really comes down to what you do and how you work best.

No one tells a carpenter"hey i am going to set limits on the way you will build my house by just letting you use a hammer and a nail"?

If this is the case, why do it to an engineer?
Old 2nd May 2005 | Show parent
  #13
Lives for gear
 
🎧 15 years
Creativity and working within limitations can be good, but if a client is paying the tab, having the right gear (and enough of it) to get a job done quickly can make the client very happy, and a satisfied customer sometimes comes back. A dissatisfied customer seldom will. The former might tell future customers about you, the latter will certainly tell future non-customers. As far as most of my clients are concerned, they want something done without spending a fortune in studio time where the engineer is fiddling to get a sound.

That being said, I'm a mic freak. I need more microphones. I've got 30 of them or so, but I need more...

I have a strange relationship with some of my gear. The homebuilt gear I am particularly fond of, especially my microphones. Those are pieces of gear that took three years of learning and experimenting to get right, and I put so much work and effort into it, I don't know... I don't have kids but I imagine doing the first session using a DIY microphone, preamp, and compressor - and having it sound good - it might be like watching your child play their first game of hockey (or baseball).
Old 2nd May 2005 | Show parent
  #14
There is only one
 
alphajerk's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by thethrillfactor
No one tells a carpenter"hey i am going to set limits on the way you will build my house by just letting you use a hammer and a nail"?
well duh! you need a saw too. but it can most certainly be done.

and some houses you dont need a hammer and nails or a saw but just a bunch of mud.



there seems however that current consumerism is driving "creation" but the past 10 years hasnt put out a damn thing that has validated any of these tools you state one might NEED....
Old 2nd May 2005 | Show parent
  #15
Gear Guru
 
thethrillfactor's Avatar
 
4 Reviews written
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by alphajerk
well duh! you need a saw too. but it can most certainly be done.

and some houses you dont need a hammer and nails or a saw but just a bunch of mud.



there seems however that current consumerism is driving "creation" but the past 10 years hasnt put out a damn thing that has validated any of these tools you state one might NEED....
How about a screw driver,screws and a drill?

And what about the last 10 years?

Well what about the years before the that?

We are basically still using the same tools.

The only thing that's changed is the easy accessibility of the tools to the market.

Obviously what's been lacking is the responsible knowledge and creativity that goes with it.
Old 2nd May 2005 | Show parent
  #16
There is only one
 
alphajerk's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by thethrillfactor
We are basically still using the same tools..
still the same function but not the same tools. the past 10 years has made massive headways into infinite possibilities that didnt exist previously or one had to make massive ideas happen to gain it.... wanted 100 tracks. well had to bounce **** down or lock up several machines. both took a little more than adding X number of tracks in a DAW. sure the digital systems have been around longer than just the past 10 but the last decade has really been the awakening of it all and the processing available to EASILY move outwards.


one would think with an exponential medium that MORE creative ideas would flow from it rather than the homogenized fodder than has become pretty standard these days. its rare that someone is pushing creativity in a production like people once did back when things were far more limited.

maybe it isnt the tools available but the labels are just releasing mindless ****.

but this isnt the only industry that technology has run rampant in yet the output of artists has not reflected the same gains from, iow not many have really taken advantage creatively with the limitless nature of the tools now.
Old 2nd May 2005 | Show parent
  #17
Lives for gear
 
🎧 15 years
The more I grow up, the more I manage to buy the gear I really need.

Therefore I don't need so much of the gear I was dreaming to have.

I learned that gear is nothing compare to performance and acoustics.

That would make this forum pointless, right ?

huh ?

maybe I'm not old and wise enough after all
Old 2nd May 2005 | Show parent
  #18
Gear Guru
 
thethrillfactor's Avatar
 
4 Reviews written
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by alphajerk

one would think with an exponential medium that MORE creative ideas would flow from it rather than the homogenized fodder than has become pretty standard these days. its rare that someone is pushing creativity in a production like people once did back when things were far more limited.

maybe it isnt the tools available but the labels are just releasing mindless ****.
People said the same in the late 70's and in the 80's.

Its all a matter of opinion.

I do feel the people to blame is my or our generation.

Why?

Because of the choice of indifference.

Maybe its a result of the constant bombardment of "Reaganism of the 80's".

If you remember in the 80's the people held up as idols were the Wall Street guys, the guys making tons of money that people had no idea how.

Basically the mantra in the 80's was that you needed a college education in order to have a good job or if you wanted to aspire to be like these guys.

Basically it created generation of indifference.

People living and looking out for themselves.

And now that we all look back,reflect and have regrets, we still are thinking just about ourselves.

We are trying to figure out ways to regain that innocence lost.

That's why 80's anything is still popular.

The facts are where we can see incredible changes and revolutions in our society(like the 60's) because of the times we live in, musicians just don't have the balls to take advantage of it or create from it.

In times of turmoil art always reflects and blossoms radically.

But our generation is creatively still stuck.

Our only hope is to live it out and pass on what we've learned from our mistakes to the next generation(our kids).

Hey that's how we learned about Jazz,Classical,Rock,the Blues and other cool music.

From our parents or our older brothers and sisiters.

Hey the "big 80's" had consequences.

We are just feeling them now.
Old 2nd May 2005 | Show parent
  #19
There is only one
 
alphajerk's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by thethrillfactor
In times of turmoil art always reflects and blossoms radically.

But our generation is creatively still stuck.
one would think people would be banging out tunes by the thousands right now..... except for the fact that kids are being taught [and they are acually buying into it] to not question.... one of the few times, in american history at least, when this has occured. as bill maher put it, kidiots.


the 80's are just a bizarre antithesis of the 60's, which were created from the 60's.... hippies became yuppies.


even though i use a DAW i still limit what i use it for. still doesnt matter with the material thats being brought in by the bands. i dont know if music is going to overcome this malaise that has infected the industry, better yet society.

i know ya gotta get off your ass and "change it" but damn if im not out of ideas short of beating the bands silly with lead pipes.


i am growing more and more at a loss at the state of the industry.... and it aint the gear or the technology, its the damn musicians these days.
Old 3rd May 2005 | Show parent
  #20
Motown legend
 
Bob Olhsson's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by thethrillfactor
...The only thing that's changed is the easy accessibility of the tools to the market.
Some other things that have changed are the amount of paying work available to musicians, an unimaginable increase in promotional expense because people can no longer build their own celebrity by playing paying gigs and a huge reduction in access by beginners to experienced studios, producers and engineers who can no longer afford the kind of spec deals that were common in the '60s and '70s.

Yes, access to the tools is easier but access to having an actual career is infinitely harder.
Old 3rd May 2005 | Show parent
  #21
Riffer
 
lflier's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Truer words were never spoken, Bob.
Old 3rd May 2005 | Show parent
  #22
Gear Addict
 
Waylon's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
I think there is a qualifer to be made here, and that is that the only time having alot of gear causes you to slow down due to too many options is when you dont really KNOW your gear... guys who run out and buy a ton of gear quickly really risk not being able to get intimate with it all and IMHO, that is the problem 9 times out of 10.

Not bashing people with streamlined setups ( I woudl most likely go that way as well) but definately giving props to the folks who have taken the time and put in the hours to have a really intimate understanding of what each of thier tools will do in a particular situation.
Old 3rd May 2005 | Show parent
  #23
Lives for gear
 
Ziggy!!'s Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by thethrillfactor
No one tells a carpenter"hey i am going to set limits on the way you will build my house by just letting you use a hammer and a nail"?

If this is the case, why do it to an engineer?

How about instead of setting the limitations with the builder, set it with the architect? Composers are using just those limitations you said to create new and different instruments and have done for the past 5 decades...

I'm speaking purely as a composer, where the production side of things are as equally important creatively speaking as the musical idea itself... Process music is great fun!

Why do it to an Engineer?? You don't have to, I just think the importance of gear is often exaggerated to a point where is becomes the main focus. (wait a minute, isn't this gearslutz *insert smile face hanging from a rafter by a noose here*). Some of the most used production methods today are a result of compostional experimentation... eg. Pierre Schaeffer with his tape loops...


Old 3rd May 2005 | Show parent
  #24
There is only one
 
alphajerk's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ziggy!!
How about instead of setting the limitations with the builder, set it with the architect?
kinda makes more sense as an analogy... i want a 3,500sqft home in a nice neighborhood with great schools on the beach with a fully automated system, 3 car garage.... oh, my budget is only $150k.
Old 3rd May 2005 | Show parent
  #25
Gear Guru
 
thethrillfactor's Avatar
 
4 Reviews written
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ziggy!!
How about instead of setting the limitations with the builder, set it with the architect? Composers are using just those limitations you said to create new and different instruments and have done for the past 5 decades...

I'm speaking purely as a composer, where the production side of things are as equally important creatively speaking as the musical idea itself... Process music is great fun!

Why do it to an Engineer?? You don't have to, I just think the importance of gear is often exaggerated to a point where is becomes the main focus. (wait a minute, isn't this gearslutz *insert smile face hanging from a rafter by a noose here*). Some of the most used production methods today are a result of compostional experimentation... eg. Pierre Schaeffer with his tape loops...


I am speaking totally from the engineering perspective(mixing really).

I am one for not limiting the tools on all fronts.

I do agree though some times too many options can be distracting, but i don't feel this is the case.

Well it doesn't sound like it too me in the music that's out there.

On the contrary, music in general sounds more simplified then ever.

I rarely hear any bridges or solo's anymore.

In fact i was talking with a friend recently and we were ranking the all time instrumentals in modern popular music history.

To think that an instrumental can break the popular charts these days is almost unheard of.
Old 3rd May 2005 | Show parent
  #26
There is only one
 
alphajerk's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
true true thrill. tho have instrumentals ever really broke the charts [aside from the obvious classical charts and jazz charts]

really music is over simplified yet run amuck in track counts... which baffles me to no end.
Old 3rd May 2005 | Show parent
  #27
Gear Guru
 
thethrillfactor's Avatar
 
4 Reviews written
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by alphajerk
true true thrill. tho have instrumentals ever really broke the charts [aside from the obvious classical charts and jazz charts]
Well lets look at recent history like from 1980 on-

1) The theme from Chariots of Fire

2) Jan Hammer's theme from Miami Vice

3) The theme from Beverly Hills Cop-Axel F

4)Stuff from Kenny G?

5)the song from Yello(Ferris Beuler's Day Off)

6)Enigma

I am sure there are more that i am missing.

If you go back to the 70's,60's and 50's there are tons.


In this decade?
Old 3rd May 2005 | Show parent
  #28
There is only one
 
alphajerk's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
man, those are some classics!

too bad the meters instrumentals didnt break instead.
Old 3rd May 2005 | Show parent
  #29
Gear Guru
 
thethrillfactor's Avatar
 
4 Reviews written
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by alphajerk
man, those are some classics!

too bad the meters instrumentals didnt break instead.

I know its not the greatest of lists.

But the point is an instrumental in the past had a chance to break the charts.

Now its almost impossible.

Instrumentals are regulated to movies and TV shows or commercials.
Old 3rd May 2005 | Show parent
  #30
There is only one
 
alphajerk's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
man, i hear ya. i LOVE a great instrumental. its sad. but it is really the corporatization of music these days. music as an art is very rare.... and soul contained within is ever rarer.
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