i did downsize quite a bit in the last couple of years, and so far it’s holding well. one of the main drives was getting overwhelmed with choices. just looking at all the hardware and imagining turning it on to start working on something was… what’s the opposite of “inspiring”?
i did have to get over possible regrets. but what helps is the fear i’ve been having lately. i’m 44, i only get maybe an hour a day to work on music, or firmware, or read a book. i feel like i have such a finite amount of time left, so it helps making choices about how i want to spend it. so at this point i’d rather focus on few bits.
When I look through new videos by eurorack enthusiasts, I notice that most (generalizing here) who produce harsh and noisey patchs have larger systems than those who produce more note-based. I recently went from 15U to 12U. Now that I am using Monome gear, I will probably be going to 9U by end of year. I could probably go smaller were it not for a collection of Verbos modules.
It’s funny. The fact I am re-evaluating is for this very reason. My music stuff was basically all in boxes for the last 2 years. Only got it all setup up again during the summer and, for some reason, it’s that process that’s really making me think.
That resonates quite strongly with me although it wasn’t a thought I had articulated. I’m 45. The pondering is which few bits to keep if I do sell off a lot of stuff. Some are obvious but other items I am very much conflicted about. I’ve sold things before but rarely anything that I couldn’t purchase again pretty easily.
I went from 18u to 6u of euro maybe 4 years or so ago. Replaced a lot of functionality with Max/MSP going in/out of an Expert Sleeper’s ES3/6 setup. I found that process pretty ok despite having similar thoughts and concerns to those I have now so maybe I should stop worrying and just get on with it!
A good combination to keep hold of!
Thanks for your comments everyone. I think a sell off to some extent or another is inevitable. I usually find once I start consistently having thoughts like this that I end up following through on them. Although this does feel like way more of a purge than previous times as the whole idea, in contrast to the past, is not to really replace anything or buy new stuff with the proceeds. I have found this isn’t purely music gear related as I’ve been eyeing up other things I own and having similar thoughts over the last few weeks. Maybe I’m going through a wannabe minimalist mid-life crisis
at one point i decided to sell most of my bugbrand and concentrate on a small euro set up. you can imagine it was a difficult decision, and one i came to regret many times. but one thing that really made me realize the mistake - i caught myself several times listening to some old recordings and thinking “this sounds good” and realizing it was from noodling with my bug system. so slowly got a bugbrand system again. and lesson learned, so this is my main criteria now, did i use it in a track i was happy with. sorry, this sounds entirely obvious, but was quite a revelation for me…
I’ve sold most of my gear over the last year or two, and at this point, I’m not really regretting it.
I had an on-again off-again love-hate relationship with Eurorack, but now that it’s all gone, I don’t find myself missing my system. I realize this may put me in a minority here, but I never found myself doing much with the euro system that I couldn’t do with other gear I had.
That being said, I’m almost entirely without synths now, except for a DSI mopho x4 I’m trying to part with and, of course, all my software synths. But I’m really enjoying not having all the clutter and thus not being overwhelmed with choice.
I’ve found myself returning to my roots with guitar, particularly acoustic guitar, but combining it with what I’ve learned over the years in computer processing. It’s all somewhat simpler while leading to more pleasing or successful results, as far as I can tell at least.
I remember a time I had little or no lust for additional gear. And I’m reengaging with that time and feeling now. I find my laptop (and admittedly the vast amount of tools that comes with), a microphone, and acoustic sound-emitters (whatever those may be) to be sufficient for composing.
Of course I miss using some gear: my old ciat lonbarde cocoquantus, sidrax and plumbutter; some euro modules; a Sherman filter. But I don’t miss any of it more than I enjoy the simplicity of my “studio” (i.e. a small desk and several guitars in my closet).
Yeah, I’ve never had masses of hardware, but I sold the synths and fx units I did have when moving from Australia to Japan ~11 years ago, and shipped my hardware sampler home. Since then I’ve been mucking about on a laptop and only picked up a couple of small controllers. Pretty happy with the situation.
I’ve been ruminating on this thread a while and I did a similar down-size some years back. Though I’ve still got a bit of hardware (some of which would be very hard to let go and also for similar reasons; sorry @scanner_darkly), I recently retreated to the computer, for entirely pragmatic reasons, limited to Max/MSP coupled w/ monome devices and a manta and I’m surprised by how fun it is. Bonus points for easy setup when squatting in a company conference room!
Great stuff all. Cheers @sandy for kicking this off. Curious if you’ve settled on keeping the hen’s teeth or not?
 I stand forever in your debt for my first taste of bug blues!
Some teeth will be going, some staying for now I think.
I’ve made the first steps to selling some things - one module is in the works. May not sound like much! But, it’s something reasonably hard to get. I figure if I can sell it without too many regrets, and so far I feel fine about it going, then I should be fine with my further purge plans.
[quote=“sandy, post:14, topic:4782”]
A Frac format Wiard Noisering.[/quote]
Nice! And indeed coveted. I’m holding onto a bunch of dinosaur BugBrand format modules. Less irreplaceable but also freighted, a Serge Soup 1.
just had this experience with my (recently departed) Pittsburgh Modular Synthesizer Box. @shellfritsch was right, that thing is a beast and is well missed.
taking a step back from building a modular rig allowed me to learn more about my software, keeping me invested in the reasons why I started down this road in the first place. as i build anew, i have a more informed perspective and have been making more sustainable choices (workflow-wise, certainly not financially).
I’ve been selling some small bits and pieces over the last couple of months and I haven’t imploded or anything.
Today though, one third of my Serge system went. This is the first real test as I now have a reasonable chunk of cash sitting here. In the past I would have been straight into looking what I could buy with it. And those old thought patterns have still started popping into my head even though I really do want to simplify and have less music equipment.
i’m not a musician so i don’t depend on gear to live, which makes it very easy for me to offload equipment. i’ve owned many eurorack systems over the years and sold them all (going way back to when your options were limited to doepfer, livewire, and plan b), owned a couple pieces from ciat lonbarde (including a custom job) and sold them all, various small synths and sold them all. i feel no attachment to this stuff, it’s just a hobby.
right now i have a couple euro cases mostly filled with monome, mannequins, and mutable instruments modules. i really enjoy using them, but there’s no reason to think i won’t offload this in the next couple years.