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The Packrat...Most of us should be able to relate to this...

Posted: Mon May 07, 2007 7:10 am
by spitznagel

Posted: Mon May 07, 2007 9:34 am
by electrical_engineer_gEEk

Posted: Mon May 07, 2007 10:44 am
by analoghaze
I want a Moog rug.


Posted: Tue May 08, 2007 9:59 am
by mee3d
Dave Lovelace must be trying to communicate with me directly!

I went through a divorce but unlike this strip, it went the otherway, I ended up selling my moog collection ... I would go into the studio and it would take 20-30 minutes to turn everything on and get everything warmed up and by that time I was "off the boil" ... so I'm down from about 18 moogs to just 4 now and feeling much better!


Posted: Tue May 08, 2007 10:48 am
by nathan
mee3d wrote: so I'm down from about 18 moogs to just 4 now and feeling much better!


:shock: about the selling 14!
:shock: :shock: :shock: :shock: about having 18!

Posted: Tue May 08, 2007 10:52 am
by mee3d
Yes... sad really but also refreshing.

Just left with a Memorymoog, Voyager SE, Source and Opus 3.

(as well as a Rhodes Chroma, Korg Polysix and mini700 and an Arp Pro-Soloist).


Posted: Tue May 08, 2007 10:07 pm
by MC
You're not "Moog Complete" until you have a modular and the rackmount units.

Boy did this strike a nerve and my funny bone both at once... :lol:

Posted: Wed May 09, 2007 4:13 am
by mee3d
Yeah, never been into modular systems, mainly because of the hugely inflated prices moog systems go for in the UK ... you know it's a choice between a 55 and a family car! I have owned pretty much every moog synth throughout the years with the exception of The Liberation... and I only owned a Polymoog for a few months back in 1991 so I wouldn't include that...although I'm on the lookout again for a working polymoog.


Posted: Wed May 09, 2007 5:55 am
by PHC
Is it just me or does everyone have this urge to have synths (although I only have an LP and a Novation A-Station) and other gear which facilitates the need to read forums and ebay and gear reviews 5 times a day (the more expensive gear the better) and once you get new gear make some cool sounds or maybe even record some lines, but then you notice that something is still missing and you feel that the search for the ultimate sound requires finding new cool gear. Many people here and there admit that they are tweaking and tweaking and they complain about their chops and that they are not recording much or playing as such.

From what I read on the net it's a synth owner's disease and I think that it's because many of us are not skilled keyboard players (I apologize to those that are here in the forum) and we don't make the most of playing our instruments. A guitar player only has his instrument and maybe some stompboxes (which is a colectable item too I guess) and that's it, they learn to play, they find out playing techniques, licks, riffs, chord progressions and God knows what else... while we read and talk about gear which is only a tool for creation of music.

You may own all the cool gear in the world and make all the cool sounds and take THREE jobs to afford all of this, but you will never be a proficent player (I'm not talking about sequencing here, which is a part of the game, but I'd like to focus on playing by hand).

I'm not asking for advice or pointing out a correct way, cause music is an art and everybody has his own way, but I'm writing this as something to think about...

Posted: Wed May 09, 2007 6:13 am
by mee3d
I think you are right PHC. In my experience I ended up becoming a "collector" and not a musician... the more vintage synths I bought the less music I played and recorded. I would spend hours tweaking sounds from different synths, doing A/B comparisons, talking with fellow collectors and a lot of time was also spent cleaning, oiling, waxing, lubricating, swapping out parts and trips to my local techy with broken synths etc, etc.

In the end I decided to get rid of the collection and just keep the synths that genuinly had unique sounds, after all how many moog mono synths does one need? (and yes I know they do all sound different but still).

So now my main chop synth is a Rhodes Chroma which can sound quite like a Roland JP8 or Oberheim OB8 (that A/B comparison thing again), below that is a Roland PK5 pedal board midi'd to a Moog Source, above it is an ARP Pro-Soloist, to the left I have an 88 note master keyboard connected to an iMac G5 which runs my VSTi's, above that is a memorymoog ... to the right of the Chroma is a Korg Polysix and above that is a Korg mini700, somewhere in the middle is a Voyager while my Opus3 is out having it's sliders replaced ... it all switches on in a jiffy, stays in tune and makes you want to play, especially the Chroma and Pro-soloist with their velocity sensitive and aftertouch keyboards.

Sounds sweet.

Posted: Wed May 09, 2007 6:44 am
by Sweep
I think there are a number of factors here. You've hit on an important question.

Some of the desire to own a lot of synths may be general interest rather than musical need. Some people buy and sell regularly, which I suspect is due to wanting to own a synth for a while to find out what it really feels like.

In my own case, I could easily buy all sorts of stuff that I don't really need, if I had the money. It'd tell me more about the music I enjoy listening to, and satisfy my curiosity. I did buy an old DX7 for that reason - mainly to see if it was as difficult to program as people said it was at the time.

For me as a musician right now there isn't really any need to buy anything else. What I have opens up possibilities I'm exploring, and so much new music is possible that time is the only limiting factor. The only new instrument I could really use is a better cello than the one I have, and that's just a quality issue. In terms of synths I could always use something, but I could probably make new music for a couple of decades with what I have.

But it's also possible to keep buying stuff in the hope that the next synth will give you something musically that you haven't got yet, instead of working on your technique, and in this case I think you've hit the nail very squarely on the head.

In the very early days many of us thought a Moog modular could do anything. We listened to Wendy Carlos and thought of what we could do if we only had this wonder machine. The reality was, if we'd had the synth we still probably wouldn't have had her musical brilliance, skill, and sheer dogged determination to make music with a difficult and unreliable instrument.

Then a few years later you could repeat the same scenario with the Fairlight, and so on.

I think many people who know enough about synths to know better still fall for the myth that synths make music in some esoteric artifically intelligent way. To return to Wendy Carlos in those early days, the first copies of Switched on Bach didn't even have a performer's name on them. I still have one of those, with the silly cover where Bach looks bemused and horrified as he listens to his music somehow coming over headphones from a modular whose performer is conspicuously absent. (The phones are plugged into an input as well, as I recall. :D)

As we all really know, what it comes down to is musical skill. You do need reasonably good instruments, and I'd be the first to confirm that as I had very little to make music on for a couple of decades, and felt the loss keenly until recently. But you need to know how to make music with any synth, because it's an instrument, pure and simple, and it does seem that many people lose sight of that fact. A new synth may give you lost of new ideas, but you have to be able to get past that point and make music with those ideas.

I hear a lot of contemporary electronic music where the creative process seems to have stopped with programming the sounds. The next step of making music - real, emotional, feeling, human sounds - never seems to be reached.

At the end of the day some of us are musicians and some of us are enthusiasts. For the enthusiast it's probably more important to buy new synths than it is for the musician. It's too easy, though, for the musician to look down on the enthusiast. In a practical sense enthusiasts keep prices down by swelling sales, and they keep the second-hand market and refurbishment of old synths reasonably bouyant. And most of all, enthusiasts obviously love music to be doing this in the first place. If people want to get a synth they don't really need because they love the music someone made with one and they want to emulate that or at least explore it more deeply, that speaks of a love of music whatever the levels of skill a person may have.

Posted: Wed May 09, 2007 7:11 am
by mee3d
Some of the desire to own a lot of synths may be general interest rather than musical need. Some people buy and sell regularly, which I suspect is due to wanting to own a synth for a while to find out what it really feels like.
Yes this was me for a while... new found money in my mid 30's and wanting to play the synths I had grown up with but could never afford. As I bought them I was able to discover their pros and cons and eventually I was able to put a rig together that I was happy with based on the true sound I was seeking (I'm a progger, somewhere between Tony Banks and Wakeman in style and sound).

Luckily this happened for me in a time where I was able to sell my kit at a slight profit although the actual cost of buying the synths in the first place was high (as I missed the cheap prices of analogue kit in the 90's).

I have in the past fallen into the "buy a new synth to give my music a boost" loop but I think that came at a time in my life when perhaps I needed to update my technique and not my kit ... and for me this actually made me aware that most digital synths were crap, and not what I wanted, so lessons were learnt along the way.

I think sometimes it takes a journey before you really know what you want, some people can switch on a Triton and know straight away that's their sound but for me I had to discover from what I was listening to, to find the sounds I was after.

Posted: Wed May 09, 2007 8:17 am
by PHC
Maybe the thing is that there are very few resources on playing synths. I've been looking for some advice on the net for a long time and there two aproches to that topic:

1. A synth has a keyboard so learn piano technique, study scales, arpeggios, chords. (I think that in some part this is the correct way, but (see below)

2. There are no rules, be creative, play what sounds right to you and stuff. The famous "A SYNTH IS NOT A PIANO" is a common excuse for people that don't want to spend hours practicing and learn music theory. I think this aproach is correct in some way too and apart from the excuse thing carries a important truth that a synth is a far more creative instrument then a piano is - sorry pianists. But apart from exploring new sound you should also focus on proficent playing the keys.


I think that being creative, exploring new sounds as well as studing scales and stuff (which helps to put the melody together, rather then striking random keys) is equally important, but the difference in comparison to other instrumentalists is in the aproach to music.

I would also like to come back to the guitarists and piano players as I said in the beginning. Apart from the various teaching methods and lots of home/school/CD/book studies that those players can base on there is also studing other peoples music. I can see my friends guitarists playing along with Guns&Roses and other of their favourite bands, mainly because there are tabs for that, same thing with paino, there is a lot of sheet music. People look at each other in the "what can you play" way, rather then "what gear do you own"

I personally dislike playing piano pieces on a synth, but I'd like to practice Wakeman's solos or other electronic music classics, but I haven't found none in MIDI or sheet music and my thread in which I tried to initiate an exchange of peoples favourite solos as sheet music/MIDI went unnoticed.

I know it's a gear forum, but hey, don't forget the music.

Posted: Wed May 09, 2007 9:52 am
by DeFrag
In other circles, its called G.A.S. or Gear Aquisition Syndrome. I have it. You have it. We all suffer from this form of obsessive compulsive disorder. At the root is the need to own what we have not. We feed our materialistic egos until we can only afford turkey-franks instead of the better all-beef dogs.

I find myself lately pouring over gear I can incorporate into my studio (ok, my bedroom) rather than practicing my chops like I know I need to do. I think its a fair balance because at least for me, both make me happy.

Posted: Wed May 09, 2007 12:01 pm
by Kevin Lightner
We all suffer from this form of obsessive compulsive disorder. At the root is the need to own what we have not.
Ownership doesn't mean that much to me.
I've been playing keyboards 32 years, love synths, but own only a broken Roland D-50.

But the same business that brings me other's synths is the same one that doesn't pay enough to afford them in the first place. ;-)