technique vs gas

Hi all!

So for the past few weeks I've been researching the modular system, and looking into building a eurorack. Don't know about you, but when I feel bored with my music creation, I look to purchasing something new to spice things up. While looking up modules for my dream eurorack, I also had an EP that I was working on with a deadline that was fast approaching (april 30). This made it a bit hard to focus on finishing the tape, because I was just dreaming of all the different sounds I could make if I just had more gear... In the midst of that boredom and wanting new gear, I decided to use my OP-1 in a way I've never used it before. I turned on the endless sequencer and hooked up a cheap SM-48, and just sequenced melodies from the Op-1 while swaying the internal speaker near and around the mic. This led to a very dreamy and soft modulating soundscape after I layered it up with multiple recordings. The finished track, ended up sounding exactly like what I was looking to get out of my dream eurorack, and now I've lost my fascination with building one (for now at least ). Instead, I'm just thinking of different ways I can use the equipment I've owned for years.


Wondering if any of you have similar stories, or interesting ways that you use your own gear?

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Great story, gear lust can be a bit of a creative block and sometimes thinking laterally is a great antidote as you can attest to.


I really like to try new gear, I don’t think I am anywhere near as bad as some people, and modular configuring can for some people becoming the main focus rather than actually making music :slight_smile:

I like to enforce limitations especially in the creation stage, I might just use gameboys, or a limited subset of gear, or weird noise makers to give a creative push, then if something catches me enough to finish then I either record it into OP-1 or Octatrack or just jam it live on the gear. I like also to take long breaks away from making any music at all, focusing on other related things like designing hardware or sounds, or whatever, this can often lead me back to music if something inspires me.

I really like lusting after a piece of gear, but then trying to replicate some functionality with what I have. So, I’ll go down the rabbit hole of demo videos and tutorials, then see how I can apply it to existing stuff. If, after some time, the GAS is hanging on, I might try to make a purchase. It’s a good method for telling me how much I’ll use a new thing.


Additionally, I live in Austin, TX, and we have Switched On (excellent synth shop with super knowledgeable and friendly staff) where I can get hands-on experience. That can be good or bad, either igniting GAS, or dropping a Beano on it, straight away.

All this to say… GAS can be effective inspiration for rethinking existing gear!

All this to say... GAS can be effective inspiration for rethinking existing gear!

Agreed. I’d say my GAS has gone thru a paradigm shift lately and I find myself needing new gear, rather than wanting them. I try to focus on what best fits my workflow in order to create the sound, atmosphere, etc. I’m after, what works or doesn’t work on stage, etc…I keep on looking at things ( and I’m in no way related to Mr Kim Jong Un :slight_smile: ), buying and selling. The instruments that work for me on the long run are keepers, while ‘nice to have’ items have to go. For one, the OP-1 is a keeper, have had it for more than 3 years, at the moment it is the oldest piece of gear in my arsenal. :slight_smile:


I really like lusting after a piece of gear, but then trying to replicate some functionality with what I have. So, I'll go down the rabbit hole of demo videos and tutorials, then see how I can apply it to existing stuff. If, after some time, the GAS is hanging on, I might try to make a purchase. It's a good method for telling me how much I'll use a new thing.

Additionally, I live in Austin, TX, and we have Switched On (excellent synth shop with super knowledgeable and friendly staff) where I can get hands-on experience. That can be good or bad, either igniting GAS, or dropping a Beano on it, straight away.

All this to say... GAS can be effective inspiration for rethinking existing gear!
Nice, I live in Dallas, and have heard about Switched On, but for some reason I've never checked it out. Think I'll have a look inside next time I visit.

Great story, gear lust can be a bit of a creative block and sometimes thinking laterally is a great antidote as you can attest to. I really like to try new gear, I don't think I am anywhere near as bad as some people, and modular configuring can for some people becoming the main focus rather than actually making music :)

I like to enforce limitations especially in the creation stage, I might just use gameboys, or a limited subset of gear, or weird noise makers to give a creative push, then if something catches me enough to finish then I either record it into OP-1 or Octatrack or just jam it live on the gear. I like also to take long breaks away from making any music at all, focusing on other related things like designing hardware or sounds, or whatever, this can often lead me back to music if something inspires me.
That's another reason why I'm hesitant to get into euroracks, I probably would fall into just wanting to find the newest or craziest module. Also, I love sampling into the OP-1 too (haven't tried out an OT just yet). The FX fronm OP-1 and the sequencers are my absolute favorite. I use them quite a lot.
For one, the OP-1 is a keeper, have had it for more than 3 years, at the moment it is the oldest piece of gear in my arsenal. :)

Agreed! It's one of the only devices/ instruments I've purchased and have never had the thought of selling. It's the one device I still have fun with, and it's super fast and great for quick ideas. I know people talk down on the sound it provides, but I love the sound I get from it as well. OP-1 forever.

Buying the OP1 seriously took at several elements on my GAS-list: sampler, poly synth, weird box, portable recorder


The only things I really really want now tend to be utility devices - like, for instance I’m looking at the right combo of MIDI controllers to use at gigs running Live. I thought I was gassing for an OT for a while but I reckon I’ve got Ableton working at about 99% of what OT can do… plus then all the benefits of a full DAW


I definitely used to compensate for lack of technique/skill/determination by buying gear when I was just playing guitar. it was horrendous. Ended up with about 14 guitars, 9 amps, 50 pedals. I finished zero music during that time. Gotta get gear that inspires you, then you’ll need less gear. I’ve got the least amount of gear since I was a teenager now
Hi all!

In the midst of that boredom and wanting new gear, I decided to use my OP-1 in a way I've never used it before.

I love this thread and I absolutely adore this point! There is something extremely magical about it. It’s so human and honest! Creativeness breeds ingenuity. We are all searching for something and after a while I guess we automatically look past GAS for the creative answer. It is said that a practice of 10,000 hours is required to become a master but I guess it is different for everybody. (Lol … I just thought it is said “A 1000 days is the equivalent to 1 day for God” maybe that is why our world has so many f*cked up things! Lol I’m digressing)

Anyway back to the point… EXPERIMENTATION. :slight_smile:

After moving to Japan I saw all these synths and hardware. Music stores were in abundance and second hand shops were bursting at the seems with vintage, new, and anything in between. This lead me on a journey of knowledge acquisition. What are these devices? What do they do? I only used a DAW before and I was scared to use plugins - weird I know. Getting into hardware and holding stuff in my hands made me learn exactly what it was. Maybe it was because I hold music in such high esteem that I found it difficult to believe that the same magical results were achievable on the same machine I send emails on. I still tried in the DAW and as the years out here have rolled on by so have the time I spend sitting in front of a computer with an aching elbow clicking a mouse. I’m so tired with little movements. I vouched that I will NEVER do an office job again and for music to be coupled with that statement is Super Sad. I like big things. I could tweak knobs and hours will pass like ships in the night. I feel really lucky and blessed that I have the opportunity to own hardware :slight_smile: and I know that hardware is definitely for me.

I kinda stop gassing for stuff once the gap is filled. Yeah it would be great to own a MiniMoog… ahhhhhh… and run it through Eventide pedals… I’ve watched the same Sonic State video on it soooooo many times…drool… but I have a Studio Electronics SE-1 and it is great for bass. It fills it brilliantly. I really am happy with it. The other items I have really fill up the sonic spectrum and make me feel like I’ve completed a sticker book - done that once as a child - Premier League 98 by Panini - nothing like it apart from this. I do long for the fabulous OB6 but I really am ok without it. I have a DX7 for 80’s magic. I think I’ll buy it anyway if it becomes within reach. Working Saturdays to help the company so this is my reward sometime this year. I do think gear and its offerings inspire. I think I could sit with the OB6 and think of soooo many things. Well that or Deckards Dream. The other thing that makes me not want to GAS is finding a signature sound. If you use the same equipment for the same things and it sounds good then you shouldn’t need to find a replacement. I don’t think Jimmy Hendrix played a different guitar by a different maker every week if you know what I mean.

Having said that, I still dive into the second hand stores like there’s no tomorrow. I like to take a break from music too and these shops are full of everything! Found an A4 a while ago. Traded a bunch of stuff in for it. I’ll never buy the old stuff again but I learnt a lot by using it.

“I could probably experiment more” is a statement I ponder upon. Although I’m not sure if I use the same piece of equipment as other people to measure that very same statement by…

definitely used to compensate for lack of technique/skill/determination by buying gear when I was just playing guitar. it was horrendous. Ended up with about 14 guitars, 9 amps, 50 pedals. I finished zero music during that time.

Yep

Had my cheap acoustic guitar and a few harmonics for years, most creative time of my life. Kids happened and time/creativity were sparse. Within the last three years, kids teenagers now, I went on a run to get my music side going again. Purchase after another, electric guitar, new acoustic, pedals/amps, ukuleles, MPC and synths. Now surrounded by all that, all I play is my acoustic and MPC. Simplicity is key, wanna make a groove and write. EBay here I come, except of course my PO-28, that guy can stay too.


I definitely used to compensate for lack of technique/skill/determination by buying gear when I was just playing guitar. it was horrendous. Ended up with about 14 guitars, 9 amps, 50 pedals. I finished zero music during that time. Gotta get gear that inspires you, then you'll need less gear. I've got the least amount of gear since I was a teenager now

Oh man, this sounds so familiar. I originally started my ‘carreer’ as a drummer and bash them drums to this day on a regular basis, but I’m not particularly talented…I guess I’ve always been a ‘decent’ drummer, is all. Anyways, there was a period in my life when I just wanted to own the rarest, most custom-built and most expensive drums out there. I had (or I thought did…) surplus cash and I ended up with a large rehearsal room packed with sets and snares. If memory serves right, 5 full kits + like 14 snare drums were in that room at that point. Dunnett Titanium, Canopus Zelkova, Craviotto, Brady, Ayotte, Firchie are but a few on the list. I bought and sold 50+ snares, 20+ kits, cymbals, whatnot. Then came the vintage-bug and I kept buying old Ludwigs, Slingerlands, etc. for ridiculous moneys. Did I become a better drummer? No. Did I create songs I liked better and inspired me to create more and more? No. Then I put myself and my life together, the crisis emerging in 2008 helped me quickly get rid of everything I didn’t actually need. Now I’m down to one kit, one snare, 3 cymbals and I like it a lot. Plus I realized electronic music is my way to go. A happy ending I guess.:slight_smile:

...Additionally, I live in Austin, TX, and we have Switched On (excellent synth shop with super knowledgeable and friendly staff) where I can get hands-on experience. That can be good or bad, either igniting GAS, or dropping a Beano on it, straight away.

All this to say... GAS can be effective inspiration for rethinking existing gear!

I bought my OP-1 at Switched On in Dec, 2016 on a trip through to San Antonio. What a great store! I’m glad I’m 9 hours away or I’d be in big trouble buying too much gear! :slight_smile: