What could be the perfect equation to combat GAS?

functionality + playability + estimated usage

vs. desirability / ergonomics / cool


Yesterday I sold my tascam dp32sd, a wonderful workhorse and to be honest…it’s left a massive blackhole in the room. Bought for £400, sold for £250. I defiantly got my five years of joyful value out of it. It never broke down, always did want I wanted it to do, and it never got bored of me sinking countless hours of absolute shite music into it. The reason I decided to sell it is, I guess, the reason most folk sell gear…to simplify! (ok, that as we all know is a joke, the correct answer is to buy more crap).

t’s so damn easy to lose perspective of just how much gear costs. You can start with a £100 Volca and quickly end up wanting a £600 op-1. Once you’ve justified that expense, everything else doesn’t seem so insane. But that was 6 years ago. Now a £500 device that feels cheaper than a TV remote is alright because you use it more and it fuels your ideas.

music instruments are incredibly expensive. A Boutique tr-08 is the same price as a Roberts cd/radio. It’s two month’s of food/drink (for one person). Or enough petrol to get one to the closest petrol station.

and I don’t think I will ever get out of that rabbit hole. I’m a sucker for beauty over practicality. superficiality isn’t built to last.
TE are obviously different.
Field of Dreams different.
Ideas sometimes come for free. Some need a little narcotic buzz boogie free them along. sometimes.

we may have once been a child but why still desire childish things? a little velcro £1.50 wallet for your mini-mixer £60? Why? How can anyone justify that expenditure when they must surely know the actual production cost must be under £10?

but we sometimes do. we just buy shit because of branding. old diatribe.

TE make insanely desirable instruments. Childlike-looking devices that are ingenious in so many ways. As a company, their morals are bloody dodgy at best (in my opinion anyway). it’s so damn easy to lose perspective of just how much gear costs. You can start with a £100 Volca, end up with 4, sell them to get something else and then before you know it you have a £600 op-1. Once you have justified that everything else seems value and realistic. A £500 device that feels cheaper than you TV remote is alright because you use it more and it fuels your ideas.

Since it came out I’ve always wanted the Roland tr-08. I’ve never need it. My op-z with 808/909/606/ drum packs will always be more functional, portable, flexible…but common sense has long left the building. I know it could end up being another cute dust catcher. (Does anybody still use their Ikea TE gear/semi-mod series?) Ditto the OB-4. Another unnecessary desire/buy. I mean, I could buy two white t-shirts instead!

I’m selling my mpc live. In terms of value & functionality I really don’t think there is much competition. It’s an incredible machine. By the time the TE ‘field series’ is done my guess is the footprint will be the same…just with shitload more cables and a whopping £4,000. budget hole (pure speculation). Yet I hate using it. It’s one constant battle that I’ve never been able to grasp. Less options work in my favour because I’m not bright enough. My perfect machine, the one bit of gear I adore is the Sp-16. It’s pure joy. And it was built for a simpleton like me to use.

the formula to overcome desire is ultimately a pointless exercise.

what I would like to know, and understand more, is other hobby users/buyers relationship to justifying expenditure, and the realistic economics/practicality.

actually, I’m still drunk from last night, so apologies (as usual). still curious though. x

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what’s an sp 16? not really familiar

i agree about mpc live but havent sold mine yet
no regrets about frekvens or POM because i never needed them

ob4 would be fun but no urgent need either and its only a lingering desire in my mind

i dont really see the point of feeling guilty about all of this tho

if it made me feel that bad then i’d sell everything and stop making music

also i see the equation more like this:

ergonomics = functionality
great design can tell me how useful/playable a tool is

cool layout, controls and i/o ports aren’t simply eye candy…they provide value (if they fit my preferred methods) and allow me to enjoy the experience of making music by enhancing on my strengths & the features of other instruments in my collection

sometimes well designed tools simply arent much fun to use but nothing i’ve tried from TE fits that description

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Probably, Pioneer TORAIZ SP-16.

i dont know if this really helps or anything

but i would say everyone is different
use what works for you
use what brings u joy
no harm in trying things if u don’t know what that is yet
or exploring the unfamiliar.
theres always things to learn along the way

if thats a casio keyboard u scored for $10
or something that costs 1000x more
or something that isn’t en vogue

nothing else really matters
life is fragile and fleeting and short
tune out the noise
have fun



Schopenhauer and Hegel had plenty to say about desire – basically, the Will is blind and so desire will never be satisfied. So just accept you will have endless desire and accept that you don’t need to act on that desire. See also Buddhism.

In the particular case of music gear – I think the best approach is this, drop serious money on one piece of quality gear that is a workstation with sampler and sequencer (like the op1, mpc, Roland MV, octatrack etc. or in your case the SP16).
Now borrow gear from friends and sample the shit out them.

Then only buy other gear like synths and drum machines if fate smiles on you and you come across some ubelievably good deal, like finding a DX7 in a thrift store for $50.

OP sure hit hard close to home here.
I realized that I don’t use any of my TE gear now and that the best thing for me is software, not hardware.
Yet here I am, ordering the parts to build a Captain Credible Blooper Eel pocket synth, haha. Hardware’s so attractive and gets me to open my wallet but software fits my workflow much better (and costs much less!)
I really need to dump all my hardware and just upgrade my copy of Ableton Live.

Software is for when music is work, it is the reasonable choice. Gets the job done quickly and efficiently, with as little hassle (wires, wall warts, hubs, patch cables, etc) as possible.
Hardware is from the heart. It is inspiring, more so than software. Also hardware has no notifications, forced updates or other distractions.

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