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the watmm GAS thread


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1 hour ago, yekker said:

I told him to just learn ableton. He wanted a box that does everything. He'll figure it out.

Feels like every time you tell someone "hey here's the tools all the pros use, most of them are cheap as hell and free, don't waste your time with this bling thing" they will nod, thank you, and the next time you see them, they have the blingy thing.

Fast forward a few months, the blingy thing is gathering dust somewhere.

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3 hours ago, thawkins said:

Feels like every time you tell someone "hey here's the tools all the pros use, most of them are cheap as hell and free, don't waste your time with this bling thing" they will nod, thank you, and the next time you see them, they have the blingy thing.

Fast forward a few months, the blingy thing is gathering dust somewhere.

While this is very much true, and very well put to boot, most people are not pros and only make music for fun. If your day job involves staring at a computer screen, making music on a computer like all the pros do simply isn’t fun.

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11 minutes ago, rhmilo said:

While this is very much true, and very well put to boot, most people are not pros and only make music for fun. If your day job involves staring at a computer screen, making music on a computer like all the pros do simply isn’t fun.

Yeah, you are definitely right.

I guess what I left out or could not verbalise is that I feel most people do not want to go through the "learning your tools and your preferred way of working" phase. Although I will say that it will make a difference if you get a nicely designed knobby box that makes some decent beats vs being told you need to properly assemble all these cables and pieces of audio junk, write some SuperCollider and maybe it will eventually sound good.

Still probably the fastest way into EDM is getting Live and following tutorials on YouTube.

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14 hours ago, yekker said:

Edm Lol.

It's a lot easier to get going with a DAW than hardware. He'll likely sell that 101 soon as he won't know what to do with it. 

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3 hours ago, thawkins said:

I guess what I left out or could not verbalise is that I feel most people do not want to go through the "learning your tools and your preferred way of working" phase.

This can take years, though, and it can change along with your tastes and experience.

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46 minutes ago, sweepstakes said:

This can take years, though, and it can change along with your tastes and experience.

Yeah, but then if you just want to touch some faders while awesome music comes out of the speakers, then you actually want to be a DJ. And I don't mean this in a bad way - I have huge respect for DJs who know their stuff and can play a really engaging set by what is just hitting play a couple of dozen times.

It takes work and personal growth to be good at something no matter how you start though.

Edited by thawkins
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12 minutes ago, thawkins said:

It takes work and personal growth to be good at something no matter how you start though.

True, but if it's just your hobby, why should you work, grow and be good at something?

(easy for me to say - I suck, but it took a while to come to terms with that)

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10 minutes ago, rhmilo said:

True, but if it's just your hobby, why should you work, grow and be good at something?

(easy for me to say - I suck, but it took a while to come to terms with that)

If you intend to keep doing that hobby you will go through some sort of process or change, no? I can't imagine anyone enjoying a hobby where every time they do it, it is just like the first time. I mean there has to be some good part about the process too that you always enjoy, but there is also a 'getting slightly better at it' aspect.

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34 minutes ago, thawkins said:

If you intend to keep doing that hobby you will go through some sort of process or change, no? I can't imagine anyone enjoying a hobby where every time they do it, it is just like the first time. I mean there has to be some good part about the process too that you always enjoy, but there is also a 'getting slightly better at it' aspect.

You can "get slightly better at it" without deliberate practice, though, and still enjoy the process.

Does one "get slightly better" at fishing? At flower arranging? Probably, but it's not like you actively pursue improvement, I would hope.

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50 minutes ago, rhmilo said:

True, but if it's just your hobby, why should you work, grow and be good at something?

(easy for me to say - I suck, but it took a while to come to terms with that)

Why wouldn't you?

 

Why "just" a hobby?  The things we call "hobbies" are kind of what life is all about, you know?

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49 minutes ago, thawkins said:

If you intend to keep doing that hobby you will go through some sort of process or change, no? I can't imagine anyone enjoying a hobby where every time they do it, it is just like the first time. I mean there has to be some good part about the process too that you always enjoy, but there is also a 'getting slightly better at it' aspect.

This goes on the assumption of a direct ratio of merit and talent to exposure and attention/opportunity. 

It's rare someone actually has that ratio in their development and they are very lucky if so. So in turn, if someone wants to get to a "process of change", that could mean they just get better at what they like to do and their audience never increases. However, that wouldn't take it out of the realm of "hobby", it just makes them better at it.

The idea of a "pro" to me is more based in the amount of time spent on presenting/emphasizing the artist's output so there's more attention and exposure. Talent is typically part-and-parcel with the presentation, but not *always*.

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I really wish the "Pro gear/pro 'tude" meme from an old, defunct message board I spent a lot of time on hadn't been so localized because there are so many times and places I've needed to use it.

 

EDIT: for context, it originated from a Craigslist ad posted by somebody who was holding auditions for a cover band.  It was a requirement.

Edited by TubularCorporation
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3 hours ago, rhmilo said:

You can "get slightly better at it" without deliberate practice, though, and still enjoy the process.

Does one "get slightly better" at fishing? At flower arranging? Probably, but it's not like you actively pursue improvement, I would hope.

I absolutely agree that you can and will get better by just doing the thing you enjoy!

My badly expressed point was that I don't believe a lot of people will put up too long with a hobby they do not enjoy if they aren't getting anything out of it (and the desire for instant gratification is quite strong!). I.e. if you already hate fishing and can't catch anything the first time you try it, you aren't going to go out and buy a boat and start a fishing youtube channel (Fishing With John does not count in this example).

So with music production stuff the rule seems to be that if you want instant gratification, then buying almost any piece of gear is going to disappoint you with a steep learning curve, and almost any initial result is going to sound like lukewarm vomit. I don't really know any way into it that does not involve at least some of that deliberate searching and learning process (even if it is just following youtube tutorials click for click, which is a really cool way to do it).

 

3 hours ago, Taupe Beats said:

This goes on the assumption of a direct ratio of merit and talent to exposure and attention/opportunity. 

It's rare someone actually has that ratio in their development and they are very lucky if so. So in turn, if someone wants to get to a "process of change", that could mean they just get better at what they like to do and their audience never increases. However, that wouldn't take it out of the realm of "hobby", it just makes them better at it.

The idea of a "pro" to me is more based in the amount of time spent on presenting/emphasizing the artist's output so there's more attention and exposure. Talent is typically part-and-parcel with the presentation, but not *always*.

I always feel like "pro" means "earns a living doing this". This is really combined with self-marketing and promotion definitely.

In this case I think you read too much into my post - I am just talking about a really generic process of getting better at doing the hobby thing you love. Whether you are fiscally or publicly successful does not really matter.

 

I guess in the end I have just had too many friends who are like "yeah we should jam out and make a band" then have it fizzle out when they don't have time or patience with some thing or other. This sort of thing gets me cynical a little. 🙂

Edited by thawkins
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I like to think this is a highly personal, idiosyncratic hobby/occupation/whatever. Maybe this is less the case than it used to be, but based on the sheer number of tools out there I think it's still true. That's a fucking beautiful thing imo and I don't wanna step on those flowers too much.

Therefore I am pretty hesitant about prescribing what people should do or use - I am much more interested in chatting about the possibilities and what gets them excited. There's certainly a practical aspect to that, but maybe what us jaded vets see as "blingy" some newcomers see as comfy or as an extension of some aesthetic thing they are enthusiastic about. Making wrong purchases is part of the deal - for some folks that leads to learning what they don't like, and for others, it might mean learning the joy (really!) of squeezing the most out of tools ill-suited for the purpose.

Edited by sweepstakes
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On 1/31/2021 at 5:44 PM, TubularCorporation said:

It's not flashy but my annual big gear purchase for the end of 2020 was a JHS Colourbox 2 and hooo boy was it worth it.  I'm mainly using it as a guitar/bass DI for the Octatrack right now, but it sounds amazing on monosynths and I'm looking forward to using it as a preamp next time I have a chance to sit down and do some serious sampling. I might even use it as a mic pre eventually.

 

jhs-color-box-v2@1400x1050.jpg

 

the tl;dr version is that it's two stages of Neve-like preamp in series with a stepped gain control between them so you can go from clean mic pre to overdriving the transistors so far that they go into a sort of spitty, square wave thing that sounds like what you'd expect from Death By Audio or something. Plus a three bands of semiparametric EQ and undersized input and output transformers that are easier to saturate than what you would find in a more accurate Neve clone.  It sounds great but it's also possible to make it sound really, really bad (an not in a particularly nice way) which is a positive in my book since it means they've basically given you access to the full range of "this isn't really doing anything" to "I think it's broken" instead of limiting you to the stuff that's actually useful.

 

If money weren't an object I'd buy at least two more so I could dedicate one to DI and use the other two as a stereo pair of all-purpose preamps/dirtboxes.  Although if money was no object I'd probably actually not do that and get one of those little SSL SiX mixers. Although if money was no object I'd probably actually not do that either and would buy a large house and make an offer for the Dark Side of the Moon console, because if I'm just making up shit anyway why limit myself?

 

Anyway, the Colourbox sounds great and even though I felt pretty apprehensive about spending that much on something that doesn't really do a whole lot, I'm glad I did.

 

EDIT: Shit, while I'm at it I'd get a fully loaded Arp 2500, too. And a hovercraft.

i feel like spending the money on something like this seems so ridiculous at first but once you have it you never want to go back. i saved up for an overstayer MAS and it took me a while to get used to it, lots of dialing in subtle settings where i'm A-Bing it and being like ok am i crazy or is some kind of barely perceptible magic thing happening rn? but after months with it i can look back and see it's completely enhanced my sound on so many fronts. harmonic saturation rules.

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On 2/1/2021 at 12:44 AM, TubularCorporation said:

It's not flashy but my annual big gear purchase for the end of 2020 was a JHS Colourbox 2 and hooo boy was it worth it.  I'm mainly using it as a guitar/bass DI for the Octatrack right now, but it sounds amazing on monosynths and I'm looking forward to using it as a preamp next time I have a chance to sit down and do some serious sampling. I might even use it as a mic pre eventually.

 

jhs-color-box-v2@1400x1050.jpg

 

the tl;dr version is that it's two stages of Neve-like preamp in series with a stepped gain control between them so you can go from clean mic pre to overdriving the transistors so far that they go into a sort of spitty, square wave thing that sounds like what you'd expect from Death By Audio or something. Plus a three bands of semiparametric EQ and undersized input and output transformers that are easier to saturate than what you would find in a more accurate Neve clone.  It sounds great but it's also possible to make it sound really, really bad (an not in a particularly nice way) which is a positive in my book since it means they've basically given you access to the full range of "this isn't really doing anything" to "I think it's broken" instead of limiting you to the stuff that's actually useful.

 

If money weren't an object I'd buy at least two more so I could dedicate one to DI and use the other two as a stereo pair of all-purpose preamps/dirtboxes.  Although if money was no object I'd probably actually not do that and get one of those little SSL SiX mixers. Although if money was no object I'd probably actually not do that either and would buy a large house and make an offer for the Dark Side of the Moon console, because if I'm just making up shit anyway why limit myself?

 

Anyway, the Colourbox sounds great and even though I felt pretty apprehensive about spending that much on something that doesn't really do a whole lot, I'm glad I did.

 

EDIT: Shit, while I'm at it I'd get a fully loaded Arp 2500, too. And a hovercraft.

I've been eyeing this forever, it's a shame pedal demos aimed at Synth geeks are so scarce. It looks like a really solid purchase and you're not helping my GAS! 

While we're on the subject of mojo pedals, this thing is drawing me in:

image.png.2b869d6aa078cd2e3a565ceddc35e7fe.png

JPTR FX Double Jive. It's like a reel tape stereo version of the color box, germanium diode based circuit that sounds amazing... 

Edited by chim
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  • 2 weeks later...

I’ve been offered that gorgeous, glorious piece of recording history : a Nagra 4.2. It belonged to my father in law (very cool dude, former filmaker who’s always been fascinated by sound), he gave it to me yesterday.

It’s a thing of beauty really. I can’t afford servicing it yet but it’s supposed to be working as is.

It’s a mono device, so I’ve yet to figure out if I can reliably print full stereo mixes on it (like recording left/mid first then right/side to eventually rebuild the stereo mix ?), but I bet running synths through its signal path without hitting the tape can sound lush already. The recorder features optional auto leveler, limiter, low shelf / hpf.

What an amazing present !

7DCFE0F9-AD13-4A30-9664-A01494EDCBDB.jpeg

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Yeah, Nagras are amazing.  Forget sending full mixes through it, use it for delay!

 

Also trak mono instruments through it.  Split your signal so you are recording direct in your DAW on one track while also recording the same signal to the Nagra, set the Nagra to monitor from the playback head, and record that on a second track in your DAW but don't monitor it.  Then use the direct recording to line up the Nagra recording manually afterward and use either/both in the final mix.

 

EDIT: that's assuming you are recording hardware.  If you work ITB you can obviously just bounce individual tracks out through it at any point.  Stereo would be nice to have, but most mixes benefit from more mono sources than they usually have these days anyway. And maybe it willbe stable enough that you can get away with doing stereo in two passes, Especially if you do M/S rather than L/R like you suggested, since imaging variations that affected width would probably be a lot more musically acceptable than variations that affected balance.

Edited by TubularCorporation
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Been a while since I saw a new piece of gear that caught my attention but this has me eyeing a couple underused things I could unload on ebay.

 

Edited by TubularCorporation
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