October 2, 2012

Gear Clear...

by Chris Randall

Yesterday was a sad day; my entire "pro" audio chain left the house to greener pastures. My general reasoning here is that since I work almost entirely ITB these days, everything in my office that had enough dust on it that fingerprints would show when I turned a knob needed to leave, and I've pretty much succeeded in doing just that, leaving only what I need for my normal research.

At least the big shit. There is still a metric fuckton of little shit that's gonna go, so keep your eyes peeled for the inevitable Yard Sale posts here and on Twitter, but the majority of the expensive shit is either on the way to new homes, or already arrived, where it will be used to good effect (hah!) rather than just sitting in my office.

(Side note: I now have no credit card bills to pay. This is an interesting turn of events I hadn't anticipated.)

In any case, it's a breath of fresh air, and has allowed me to concentrate on my current projects with much more clarity. I have all the software, and most of the samples, so it's not like I have any shortage of sound generating mechanisms or anything, but it's nice not to have all this gear staring me in the face every time I sit down to do something. I heartily recommend it, but I know most of you will get a pussy-ache if you don't have all your knobs and cables, so let's just say that it might not be for everyone.


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Oct.02.2012 @ 12:07 PM
So what outboard stuff are you still using? I seem to recall that at one point you had one of the Dangerous boxes and made a point of mixing down analog.

My own experience is that when I did outside the box mixes with the (extremely modest) gear I had available, I actually preferred the inside the box mixes. But that's probably unique to the sound choices I make, the (extremely modest) monitoring situation, and my ears; I can't imagine all the people talking up analog mixdowns are completely full of crap.

I also think that there are ways to maximise the quality of in-the-box mixes. If you understand the general principals of mixing and a bit about the mathematics of digital audio you can do a good job.

That might not be the case if you compare with reference quality converters and a high end professional analog mixer.

When I price out my optimum out-of-box mixing setup and mastering chain, it ends up being a significant fraction of the value of my house. Since I net out a few hundred dollars a year from audio work, it's hard to justify spending mid six figures to put together my dream mixing setup...

Oct.02.2012 @ 12:09 PM
HCGP is but a fading memory.

Oct.02.2012 @ 12:30 PM
Chris Randall
That was my main point: when I was realizing a large portion of my income from writing music, owning a $20,000 outboard rig was perfectly justifiable. When the majority of my income comes from making user interfaces and designing plug-ins, that equity would be better used elsewhere. The alternative is to let it sit in disuse until it corrodes or gets out-dated or falls out of fashion or whatever.

The sole ADA I have right now is the MOTU Ultralike Mk3, and my Adams are plugged right in to it. I will probably spring for a volume knob solution of some sort, because that's just convenient, but otherwise, I'm gonna hang out at this level for a while, see how things look.


Oct.02.2012 @ 1:33 PM
Do you still have a brace of Korg synths?

Oct.02.2012 @ 1:41 PM
analog monster
I totally understand the reasoning behind the clearout, but I just cant bring myself to do it. Mine certainly wont top out at 20,000 but to me its almost worth that much. Much of it is personal to me - I bought it broken and got it working, or I bought it to mod. Its like a documentation of my development of electronics skills, from early badly circuit bent toys that no one else would buy, through to drum machines with custom roms and midi controlled circuit bends until I reach my diy eurorack modules which I took from breadboard to finished unit. So I do get pussy ache, but thats because I created them - they are practically my children

Oct.02.2012 @ 2:31 PM
Chris Randall
@sean: The only synth I have is the Virus. Period. And the two MeeBlips. I'm wondering if Peter will cry himself to sleep if I sell those.


Oct.02.2012 @ 4:21 PM
I'll be firing up my analog synths any moment now...just as soon as I get my ass off the couch with my Macbook running Ableton and my little 2-octave portable USB keyboard and headphones...

Oct.02.2012 @ 5:08 PM
but i kinda always have a gear related pussy ache anyways.

i lightened the gear load a lot in the last 2 years but still have all the trappings and few things i just can't part with. mostly a couple synths.

Oct.02.2012 @ 6:05 PM
I lightened my load of analog synths about 7-8 years ago to help me move... Really like working in some software like Reason, but have since acquired a metric shit-ton (an official unit of measurement) of synths again, on top of amps and organs and recording gear... Granted I have a rule for myself which is to not buy anything unless it is for way less than what I'd be able to sell it for, but I'm surprised how many "broken" or "slightly abused" vintage synths have ended up in my basement for less than 10% of their eBay value, something I thought I'd never be able to do again when I sold off the first time. And will probably end up putting the vast majority of my pieces in the studio when it is built, no doubt to give me more room to build another collection at home.

Oct.02.2012 @ 6:13 PM
Farmers learn not to get too attached to their livestock. Musicians and engineers should do the same.

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