Has anyone sold (nearly) everything?


#41

How often do you use the gear you think you’d regret letting go of? I always think about keeping unused gear as a misallocation of my musical resources and/or hoarding tools that someone else can use. If you fear that you’ll miss a piece of gear for a reason other than helping you make music, I’d encourage you to challenge that fear and see what it’s all about.

TL;DR story: I went through a sell everything phase when I was deeper in the guitar/bass/pedal world, a couple years before my euro journey, and I’ll say the experience has been one I think about often while building up my modular system. After trying out so many pedals I felt like I was collecting stuff based on maximum sonic possibilities and novelty. Eventually I got to a point where I had all the cool pedals and options I wanted, but using them only took away from my creative energy. I found myself just fiddling around with settings and sounds and not actually making the music I wanted to make… so I sold most everything, only keeping a delay and overdrive. I played with that small set-up for a while and made a few additions eventually, but always kept it simple from then on. I was more productive without all those switches at my feet.

That whole experience definitely made me really weary when I got interested in euro. I kept asking myself, “is this just another ‘ooo shiny’ situation? will I actually use this stuff?” Eventually I decided to dive in, but I looked back on my blunder with new perspective. Even though I ended up selling most of that stuff, the fact that I tried out so many pieces of gear expanded my knowledge of sound aesthetic, UI, and my workflow preferences. So now I use that knowledge and my musical goals to give myself defined parameters when choosing what to put in my system. This has helped immensely because I can recognize when modules aren’t right for me even if they are really inspiring and cool.


#42

Sounds like a great little set up also.

Coincidentally I’ve been following the cassette releases thread closely I loved your Monosphere release. The art work on the sleeve transparent insert etc along with the rest of that thread really inspired me to get back into that format.

I just bought myself a cassette deck when I make some recordings maybe i can send you a tape? :smile:


#43

I’ve built up a great collection of gear over the year, I’ve worked as a sound designer and in post production for traditional instrumentation, so besides synths and software, I also have mic stands, guitar setups, microphones, rackgear and kilometers of cable.

Now I’m emigrating from one continent to another and there is no (affordable) way to take all my gear with me.

I am reading this topic and the timing could not be better, I have the upcoming 8 weeks to organize, ship or sell. After that I am flying to my new home with a backpack and rebuild a new ‘studio’.

I only kept gear that I use or is part of a project/band setup. Currently all the projects are done and all the bands disbanded, so everything could go… I feel good about the idea of a clean slate, tabula rasa. But selling gear I’ve used and enjoyed for over 20 years will probably hurt.


#44

I’m actually in the process of doing just that, for some reason I found myself pushed in such action knowing that I will soon miss my gear and / or attracted by some new ones to come…so usually I have huge fun in discovering the use and how to integrate the new sound or technique in my productions to only then not being able to have all or part of my gear with me while performing WHICH looks to me like a waste of money at the end, as for my Monome 128 ( had the 64 too ) which shines now on my desk but can’t just play it on my own and decided to leave anyone interested to actualy make the best out of it than I can do it now…


#45

I’m in the process of selling off my eurorack and focusing on my deluge, norns, and ambika. I’ll likely maintain a small eurorack setup as a sample source, but I’ve found these instruments to jive with my creative process more and more…

Did anyone sell (almost) everything and regret it?


#46

Ive (nearly) never sold anything…

Having decided that i probably wont ever sell anything makes me super selective cos any gear i get must stick it out for the long haul. I have 2 analog monos of my own for the past 10 years and I love that I can still find new ways to use them based of fortunate experiences with gear that belongs to mates n maybe watching videos of new stuff n just listening to new and old kinds of music tbh. Luckily I had the fore-site to choose things that could grow with me, revealing their true depth provided I continue to remain receptive to them.

I do fantasize about a clean slate and what I would do, as there is always the new new thats supposedly better designed and more efficient than the old new…

But now we all know the reality of that line of thought…

Be responsible in ur gear choices hehe…dont just get (or sell) something cos of fear of missing out or just cos of an impulse friendly price…making these electronic instruments uses alot of resources, time and energy. And many are made for a lifetime of usage and discovery.

Its actually quite a commitment haha!


#47

Yes. I’ve moved from/to many different types of setups. Software to modular (with monome gear) to Elektron-based to Maschine-based. I’ve also had various performance controllers, i.e.: Eigenharp, Linnstrument, Continuum.

I now use a Deluge and 2 iPads with various apps. Also a trusty Akai EWI.

For me it is about exploration, so I enjoy the changes.


#48

I sold my euro set-up. At time I miss the open-ended fun of patching, but I feel like I’ve reclaimed huge amounts of time and head space - no more two hour modular grid sessions or countless hours of trawling B/S/T threads.

At this point my set up is a Nord Wave, OP1, El Capistan, and Ditto Looper. The siren song of new gear still calls, but I barely have time to use these effectively so I manage to ignore it. No regrets here!


#49

This is exactly where I’m at. Thanks for pushing for over the edge. :wink:


#50

I was (nominally) a guitar player for 20 years before the realities of apartment living forced me out of amplifiers and into headphones, which led me into synths, which led me to eurorack, which led me to Mannequins.

I am still sad and haunted about the guitars I sold along the way, a beautiful Gibson SG I worked for a year at McDonalds in high school to afford, and a unique sunburst Telecaster I later traded in the SG for. The Telecaster literally carried my DNA, the pickguard was spattered with dried blood after one drunken show or another. I sold it years later after an expensive holiday, I didn’t care, I needed money.

I would sacrifice a lot of the gear I currently own to have either of those guitars back, and with them a physical connection to my old bands, my friends, the town I grew up in.

Don’t sell stuff, but don’t hoard stuff either.


#51

So give it away instead? I fully support this approach, and my mailing address is available on request :wink:


#52

I went from five shop panels of STS Serge Modular to no analog hardware whatsoever. Though I still kept the banana patch cables around to remind me of my folly.

I learned a lot during that period, but now I use a Nord Modular classic system, which I picked up for only 30 times less money.


#53

I have, & have no regrets. two years ago I got rid of like 90% of my stuff: clothes, shoes, books, art supplies, film projectors, 8mm cameras, you name it. I gave it all away / recycled: to goodwill, the local recycling center (apparently art teachers are always looking for ‘stuff’) and some local libraries. shredded all notebooks, old sketches, painting drafts, CD, tapes, paperwork & files. gave away guitars and ukelele. after all that, was also able to donate a bunch of storage containers to the recycling place.

it took about 6 months. felt great once I started, still feels great. you have to keep an eye on it though, or you can start accumulating again.

kept: seasonal clothes, skates, xc skis, a silver flute, some wood flutes, and a theremin, and only my favorite books (about 50, down from several hundred). plus one box of souvenirs/knickknacks, and my 3 craziest burning man costumes (for future wall decorations).

my advice is, don’t start until you feel ready, or you’ll second-guess yourself all the way through and give up. you have to get into a ‘ruthless’ mindset about objects; but once you do, it works.


#54

@otolythe it’s inspiring to see that it can be done

it’s a path i’ve been headed towards for a couple years now. one thing that really made me realize things had to go was making a spreadsheet for insurance purposes.

I made multiple sheets for guitars, pedals, amps and synths and added the current selling price. After I ran the SUM on all fields of all sheets, it became clear to me that some stuff had to go. Keeping in mind, this is hobby for me, if it was my career I think it’d actually be okay, but as a hobby, the sum was too large.

I’ve also committed to a depth year to try to figure out what else can go and where my strengths and interest really lie. This was mentioned by @standard_grey over in the GAS haiku thread

The only exclusion to the depth year is hopefully picking up a Norns in August, that’s mostly because I didn’t have the funds in order for the first batches.


#55

@bookmil I went into my depth year with the caveat that if a Koma Field Kit came my way for a good price, then, well, you know.

And then one did. :man_shrugging::wink: Not a sliver of regret. It’s a fun toy to have.

Re: the general thread-
I did a couple of purges moving cross-Canada a couple of times, and I sold off almost everything when I made the move to Japan 6 years ago, and I don’t regret it–mostly. I really enjoyed the clean slate for a few years- but I ended up slowly filling up the shelves again with books(Verso Books - darn you and your flash sales). Books that, due to my crazy work schedule and a slowly-eroding attention span, I keep trying to gently prod myself into maybe getting around to reading. Hence my current depth year.

To be completely honest, I really really reallllly miss my records. Been a vinyl lover/collector for most of my life, 30+ years and I still love to go digging- but after shipping crates of vinyl to and from Winnipeg/Vancouver and back again during the student years, I realised that shipping them across the ocean wasn’t really feasible at the time. I got rid of the lot, save for a box of ones I couldn’t bear to part with that I shipped to my mom’s house, and am relieved that some of them went to many good friends’ homes. I made a good buck for my moving fund, and while I like a fresh start and the thrill of rebuilding my collection —less quantity, more quality, use some self-discipline around the dollar bin---- I still get wistful for my old records; I even miss some of my CD’s! A hard drive full of files is lighter to move around, and I can pat myself on the back for being a good minimalist but it’s not as sexy as the physical recorded object sometimes, especially when certain labels & artists (Raster Noton, 12k, :Zoviet*France: to name a few) approach the materiality of physical media as art/design objects, or as simple containers of data…


#56

Thank you both for sharing that article. I’ve been thinking about doing something like a depth year in the near future and having a concise article on the concept is helpful for me to reflect on what exactly I’d want my terms to be.


#57

cool. raptitude has some great advice, thanks for the link! :slight_smile:


#58

Gonna be 59 in September, I feel this more all the time


#59

I had a depth year a few years ago, which was more a cutting out non essential consumption year entirely… it worked but I have scaled back to a sustainable level now. Been meaning to post on here about it for a while… maybe the Life-improvement advice for the privileged is the best place for it…


#60

Not quite sure about everything (that would be very hard), but I have sold a lot of my personal belongings over the last few years. The main area of my life where I still have “stuff” is music, but even there I went down from a whole lot of different instruments to a modular synth, a stage piano, a guitar, a bunch of monome-things as well as a desktop computer (I’d still like to convert that to a laptop at some point). The modular sometimes still feels like a lot and could be broken down, but I’m enjoying it too much for that right now.

As for other things, I got rid of all non-cloud data storage I owned (books, records, cds, dvds, cassettes, photo albums and so on) and replaced it with a select few electronic devices and online services - spotify, kindle, dropbox, et cetera. I minimized furniture, tools and appliances to the point where there is nothing non-essential in my rooms anymore. I broke my clothing down to simple things that I can buy in bulk. Overall it lead to a whole lot more space (which I left open or filled with plants) as well as a previously unimaginable ease of cleaning (that was most noticeable thing I didn’t think about before doing this - it’s so easy to keep things clean and tidy when you don’t have a lot of things :smiley:)

I found it very interesting how much mental energy is freed up by removing choices in so many things. Things like shopping or packing for a trip become so much easier and once one gets acclimatized to the idea that for example clothes aren’t a thing to think about anymore, a whole lot of thought patterns that I had previously just went away for good. Similarly, I’m finally pretty much free of GAS (with some particularly wonderful things like norns being the exception).

Although I’ll have to admit that to some extent, the obsession I had with buying things got replaced by the obsession to remove things, if that makes any sense. It was pretty bad for a while, where I iterated over all the things I still had again and again and tried to find ways to get rid of more things. It’s slowly dying down now that there isn’t all that much left, but I certainly noticed that there was a similarity in the connected thought patterns - when I thought about it, how it felt to think about it and so on. It seemed very much like a way to scratch the same itch as consumption.

Oh, and I forgot: No regrets, none at all.