Depth Year

We have had quite a bit of discussion in several topics about the depth year concept presented here:

I intend to make 2020 a depth year for myself, having somewhat (unknowingly) tried and failed last year. I intend to write up several objectives for my depth year in the days leading up to 2020 which I will post here.

Feel free to share your own thoughts, progress, story, etc here. 2020 is the year!


I’ve been kicking around doing something similar since I read about the idea on @Starthief’s blog:

I don’t think giving up starting new projects is for me, but I like the idea of putting a cap on resources and going deeper with the tools and affordances I already have for a year.

I suppose I’m going to have to buy that lapsteel I’ve been eyeing this month… :wink:


As mentioned elsewhere, I’m going to be hopefully studying for an MA in Music Research next year and have always planned to take advantage of the student discount offered on Ableton Live Suite. That’s the exception, though. I’m in.


I’m ready. Let’s do this.


I’m working on the user interface for a new synth project called Otto, that will be my extra curricular design project for 2020.

With regards to music, I want to master Digitakt and learn more piano.


I like the idea! Count me in. My attention is usually all over the place. Lets focus now. No new projects. Perfection instead of instant gratification.


My legal first name is Otto. I approve of this. :wink:

But I’m into this idea of depth over breadth. I’ve had a long history of biting off more than I should.

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Ok it’s the last day of 2019 so I’m here to state some of my 2020 goals.

  1. Practice guitar once a week outside of band practice
  2. Make an album utilizing modular synths that I own, utilizing multi-track recording methods in a DAW
  3. Build ukulele kit I bought ages ago
  4. Finish 3 books that I own
  5. Run 500 miles

I hope to complete all of these and maybe add more. We will see how 2020 progresses. Very exciting stuff!


Thanks for making this thread. I’ve started a draft three or four times but just couldn’t find the words.

I was part of the discussion to get depth year started, and so far I’m really excited. I did cave and buy a few “yeah this will come in handy” pedals and bike parts. I feel like a tool as a result, but I genuinely feel like I’m setting myself up for success by giving in to these last few urges.

No new gear, no new hobbies.

Revisit old hobbies. 100% all the games sitting at 90% (here’s looking at you Cuphead). Get back into film photography. Ride my bikes instead of just working on them. Finish building the half-dozen guitar pedal pcbs I’ve been neglecting. Record record record. Those are my goals!


I have a beautiful bike that I haven’t ridden in a couple of years. I’m getting increasingly anxious about ridding around in the city. As the traffic gets worse it sucks some of the joy out of riding that I used to feel. I’m going to follow your lead though. I already walk everywhere, why not ride.


Has anybody else engaged in a manic fortnight or so of preparing themselves/their gear for the coming depth year? Having decided that I will allow myself to purchase Live Suite (should my Masters application be approved and I receive a student discount for Ableton products) I’ve totally flattened my current installation of Live Lite and installed all the things I never bothered with before (namely all the free plugins I got with various hardware items - Novation/Focusrite bundles especially). I’ve discovered some truly incredible things!

Also I took advantage of a little end of year sale action to cover a few areas, grabbing Soundtoys’ mini Primal Tap yesterday for 9 USD and taking advantage of the huge discount on Pigments 2 to grab that for 69 EUR (thanks to registering my Microfreak). I figure that Pigments will cover my urges for a Peak and if I truly feel that I need something (and have bought Live Suite) it will only serve to double-down my commitment to learning Max For Live so that I can create it myself!

Roll on Depth Year, I’m ready!


I have been tempted with all the sales but I have resisted. I did prepare my space a bit yesterday for max utilization of my current gear.

I was very tempted by the new pico system and by the dread box chromatic line during year end sales.


I filled two boxes with music gear that I want to exclude. Bought a licence for Renoise. Got a final piece of gear for recording. Going to continue boxing stuff up as time rolls on.


Is this stuff that you’re putting “in storage” (for the year?) or parting company with entirely?

Just storage for now. I can evaluate later (2021?) and see what I’m really missing. I feel pretty good about the gear I’ve picked. Still struggling a bit with how my workflow is going to work. A lot of things I’m choosing are leaning towards fine tuned note fiddling when I’m kind of a ‘build a sound monolith then carve things away to the minimum’ kind of guy. We’ll see how it goes.


I’m very aware that I have given myself a lot of get-out-of-jail options with Ableton and the myriad ways it can by used when incorporating M4L devices but it’s something I’ve never explored and am really excited about how that might affect the music I make


Likewise, in a similar way with Renoise I know I’ll be pushing against some serious limitations. For some reason, getting more adept at trackers is something I’ve wanted to do since Fast Tracker II days. I anticipate some hair pulling and surprises.


My first experience of making music was backseat driving Octamed on an Amiga A500 but all the alphanumeric sequences never did much other than confuse me, I have to confess!

I was preparing my space also. Shoving the large dining room table I’ve been using around the room snapped one of it’s legs. Might be back to working on the floor.

I’d like to play a live gig this year. With visuals. In summer.

Anyone near London want to join in?

Oh, and a Happy New Year to you all. May your sequences be joyful.