Hi everyone! Long time reader, first time poster.
I identify strongly as a tool maker. Less so as a music maker. For me being musically creative means designing an opportunity space where some music might exist and thinking through how deliberate design choices could alter that space. I’ve published some of these tools over the years but finding an audience for them is not necessarily something I derive a lot of satisfaction from. It’s more about enjoying the process.
I’m often disappointed to find that I sit down to make music and instead work on mundane aspects of these tools or daydream about new ones. Like I’m missing an opportunity to have simple fun and record some tunes. My skills as a designer and engineer far outweigh my skills as a musician, so that is definitely a contributing factor.
For the self-identified tool makers out there, I’d love to know: does this dichotomy exist for you? Or does it all work in harmony? How do you approach thinking about the tools you make and the music you make (with or without those tools)?
I love that the ethos behind monome products is to blur this distinction and so I know that many folks in this forum will have experience grappling with this creative mode. Keen to hear from professionals in the audio software world as well!
As a concrete example, my latest obsession has been dusting off an old browser live coding environment I built called lissajous and extending it to send audio and CV into my modular via an ES-8. It’s proving to be an incredibly powerful tool and yet I haven’t managed to make any music with it!