I have everything I need. No more GAS

It took me several years of buying and selling to find out what I like, but I finally have pretty much exactly what I want.

Synths:

Elektron Analog Keys: Gives me analog poly, great sequencer and arranger functions, inputs, and most importantly access via OB for DAW use. Honestly one of the most underrated synths IMO, it just does so many things and the voice splitting and sequencer tracks make it very versatile.

Virus TI Keys: Massive multitimbral synth with eventide/strymon quality FX. It’s digital, and essentially a VST but for a Dawless setup it’s almost everything you could conceivably ask for. The TI integration is pretty much almost like Overbridge… but they developed this platform almost 15 years ago which is pretty crazy. There are so many FX and Mod options and you can easily create entire songs self contained in one synth.

JP-8000: I’m a diehard trance guy and have done many supersaw attempts on many different synths and VSTS, but nothing sounds like JP supersaw. Pretty much I use JP as a $1000 supersaw machine and I honestly just can’t live without that timbre. There is also a surprising amount of great performance features, extremely easy to use. Like various trance arp patterns, extremely easy to use 2 part upper and lower split/layer function, very well layed out controls on the front panel. The only thing that sucks is eventually it’s going to need capacitor repair as JPs notoriously tend to die if you don’t fix them.

Subsequent 37: Last for my synths is S37 which is my “Mono Synth” category. There are a few other things I could see myself swapping out for this slot, but I just can’t say no to a Moog. S37 is probably the best Moog I’ve owned in terms of functionality with the sequencer and modulation options. Out of every synth I have the raw oscs and filter just sounds the best even without any FX.

Other Boxes:

Digitakt: Been through a bunch of drum machines, Tempest, TR-8, TR-8S, Drumbrute, Electribe. Digitakt is just the best one. The design is elegant, it’s easy to see what I’m doing. It can operate as a brain for live with MIDI out. Easy recording via OB. Small and nice size for throwing in my backpack. Lots of weird glitchy janky little performance tweaks you can do.

Octatrack: Super useful. I usually use it as a live mixer, or for live resampling. The other main way I use it is by pre-preparing loop kits to build standalone sets on. I used to use it for drum samples, but with the Digitakt, I can set it to doing more octatrack things and let the Digitakt handle the mundane drums and one shots.

Analog Heat: Great box with a lot of functionality. I actually most often use this via OB for it’s different distortion algos. Extremely handy as you can even use multiple OB VST in a chain. For example Analog Keys, into Heat… all the while I can keep it slotted into my Dawless chain. People don’t seem to get this box, they just buy it because they think slapping clean boost on a master output will automagically make their shitty mix sound good, but that’s a total waste of this box. It has envelope follower, LFO, an ENTIRE MULTIMODE ANALOG FILTER BANK, MIDI inputs so you can send creative CCs to it in a Dawless setup. To buy it just to “make instruments sound better” is dumb. Either way great box and fulfills a lot of roles.

TB-3: My 303 of choice. I’ve tried most common 303 type boxes out there. I love the TB3 because it’s very easy to see and use in the dark. Scatter feature adds a lot to performance. There are many different types of sounds other than just 303 sounds. And the most important feature to me is the one button press randomization for both notes and accents/slides. This makes it incredibly easy to live improv into different patterns.

Eventide H9: Pretty much every VST effect you’d ever want in the smallest package possible. Super good to use with MIDI CCs. My only gripe is that it’s not as great to live tweak as a strymon, as the big knob makes it hard to do big 0%-100% type of knob tweaks. I’ve also had Bigsky and Timeline more than once… and I do prefer those but they are expensive and you can consolidate more effects into the eventide.

Alesis Strike Multipad: Big chonky live drumpad with lots of support for electronic sounds. It can be fun for an audience to actually see you banging stuff with a drumstick instead of just hunching over your invisible synths behind the desk. Good for big whooshes or splashes or vocal samples. Which is why I have this. Also, it makes for an incredibly convenient entire drum set to go to other people’s place and jam with. You can even plug in foot pedals for kick and hats.

Zoom Livetrak 12: Useful mixer with recording features built into every channel. There is one massive downside and that is that the preamps sound like total garbage and get subject to so much electrical interference. It’s not massively noticeable but it’s the best thing like it I can think to use and it’s doing it’s job.

Really Nice Compressor: Basically no reason not to have one of these. Self-Explanatory.

ELX Distressor: Most recent thing I have. Honestly can’t live without it… It gives you a whole bunch of options, different comp circuits. I used to want an LA2A or 1137 but the Distressor is just so versatile. No way I’m bringing this to a gig for a live setup but it’s fantastic for vocals and post-processing samples.

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I stripped down.

On my desk there is a mc-707, a norand mono and an opsix, in my techno suitcase an octatrack and a lxr.

My desk multitracks into a daw, where i have a akai apc40 connected.

Done.

That way I can make stupid techno on the run, and produce without computer, but finish in the box.

I came to the conclusion that I do not need that shit all together to make something. :smiley:
But its more fun.

perhaps I’ll make a slightly bigger suitcase with norand, lxr and ot. lets see.

I miss the 0-coast. But anyway!

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The “perfect setup” will always be a moving target, and the only real way to break the habit is to spend more time actually making music - less time obsessing over which boxes do what. Your painstakingly detailed dissertation tells me you’ll probably be back to GAS land at some point :cloud:

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Making more music and less forum will = No Gas

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Nice post - do u have any tunes to check out?

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It is a dopamine problem, i think

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For sure - that little bump of excitement and inspiration…but what goes up, comes down…

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Several months later, you’re sitting in a room with a bunch of metal and plastic music boxes with nothing to show for it. Except for maybe 10 total “Likes” on Soundcloud…

Been there

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I don’t even think there’s anything inherently wrong with GAS, if that’s what you’re in to. Somebody once told me it took them years to realize they don’t enjoy making music, but rather the act of learning about an industry/hobby and collecting whatever shiny toys are at the forefront of it. His wall of synths may as well have been Funko Pops or Pokemon. Once he realized that I believe he had a bit more fun with it. Dude collects old cars now.

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I only bought 2 synths, an a4 (humped to mk2) and a moog matriarch
With samplers i keep in struggling, bought maschine, mpc, octatrack, maschine, ableton. Octatrack…… bought an sp404 today :roll_eyes:

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I see GAS as a healthy outlet for me.

  • in my professional life as a software guy, I rarely work with physical equipment anymore beyond the ubiquitous Apple laptops. I enjoyed the physicality of working with servers and building desktops, but that is far far back in my early days.
  • My other main recreation is sailing. Unless you enjoy setting fire to your synths, there is no comparison. I paid less for my sailboat than the peak value I’ve seen for my MnM, but just insurance and storage fees exceed my typical annual synth spend. And then there was the end-to-end refit I did last year, which cost about 2-3x what I paid for the boat. But my boat is for racing, and very narrowly setup for that, and I have no plans to own multiple boats simultaneously. (No need, it’s much easier to go sailing on other people’s boats because they need extra hands.)

On the other hand, I’m happy to confirm that owning more synths doesn’t make you happier or a better person or anything other than someone with a bunch of synths. If your question is whether to buy a synth or have a delicious lunch, lunch seems like the obvious choice to me.

i can relate. not buying new gear for half a year (the only exception is RK-006 – and i’ll buy spare one later), not planning to buy anything as well.

it depends. mine is pretty much fixed target, and i seem to reach it.

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The syntakt will change all the non-gassees here.

SSssoooonnnn

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Wait… what? Are we supposed to make music with all our gear?! :stuck_out_tongue:

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I wouldn’t say I don’t ever get the GAS now and again…but I’ve found I prefer a pretty minimal setup most of the time. I basically have 8 pieces of gear that make noises by themselves (if you count 2 CDJs and an iPad) and right now I’ve only got 4 of them plugged in.

Especially if you have like an Octatrack, Digitakt, SP-16, Maschine+, modern MPC…you don’t need a ton more to make or even perform tracks.

This is my most recent album and it uses all the gear I listed in my post as well as some VST. Yes I DO use my gear, it’s not just paperweights!

Here’s a Dawless jam if that’s more up your alley

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Uh huh. See ya in the “latest purchase” thread.

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I have everything too,… it’s total shit I can’t buy work ethic and a grain of talent.

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I can sell you inspirational quotes to help with the gear you have? Here’s a free one, “Believe you can and you’re halfway there” :slight_smile:

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Awesome post and description.
Great to see you working too :point_up::+1: