When you have GAS but nothing seems worth it


Of course I was kidding!

But personally, I have very little GAS for synths, drum machines, samplers and the like these days… My next “synth” will probably be the new SSL SiX. Ever since I got a neve 1073 preamp clone, I’ve been obsessed with the sound of quality outboard… makes just about anything sound sweeter :loopy:


I don’t understand GAS. It doesn’t seem to have much to do with making music and I really enjoy making music.

If you’ve got a musical idea that you want to explore and there’s a piece of gear that is going to help you realise it then go ahead but otherwise it just seems like retail therapy and while the shiny new thing might make you release a bit of extra dopamine for a week it’ll soon be another object in your home/studio taking up space and making you feel guilty for not using it enough.

(Just after writing this I was reminded of the term ‘catalog consciousness’/‘wanting to want’ which I’ve heard mentioned by a meditation teacher called Joseph Goldstein):

"[It’s] a very interesting experiment to watch the mind when it’s caught up in some wanting. This happens many times a day. This is just the ordinary course of our lives. We might want certain kinds of food or certain experiences.

There’s something I call “catalog consciousness.” It’s what happens when we get a catalog in the mail and we make the mistake of opening it. One of the things I’ve noticed is that even if I don’t particularly want anything, I keep turning the pages, wanting to want [something.] [ Both laugh. ] I keep turning the pages in case or hoping that there will be something that I want. So this wanting mind comes up very often. It’s a common part of our experience.

The exercise would be to pay attention to what—if we can be mindful, that is present at any particular time—to be mindful of what it’s like, what it feels like, when the mind is wanting. So really paying attention to the self-experience of it and being mindful. Then at a certain point, the wanting goes away, because it’s impermanent like everything else. Then, pay attention to the quality of the mind that is now free of wanting.

Right in that transition, going from wanting to not wanting, we can get a taste of the first two Noble Truths—the dukkha of wanting—and of the Third Noble Truth, and the Fourth—the peace, even if it’s momentary, of not wanting.

So this can be a very direct experience for us. This is what it means to put these teachings actually into practice, not simply remembering what the Buddha said about the Four Noble Truths, but doing them."


You’ve answered your own post here mate.

If you’re looking around for something and not finding it, spending isn’t going to fill the void.

Drugs and bad food will though!


this is bi-directional process.
i often get musical ideas when reading in manuals what the device can do.

but that’s just me. most people read manuals only when everything’s messed up.


I agree.

Unfamiliar gear/software can definitely inspire and cause you to work in new directions (whether reading the manual or just fiddling with the thing) but it’s a dangerous game to buy new things hoping for inspiration. Things can also get clichéd very quickly if everyone’s exploiting the same gear - there was a period about 10 years ago where I could hear Live’s grain delay on half the tracks being played out in clubs and it really did my head in.


This is beautiful. Thanks for sharing


exactly. and this is how i understand «G.A.S.»
on the other hand, there’s nothing wrong with having more gear than i need, because when i feel bored with one, i just take another from the closet.

hehe ) so, i do right when buying mostly gear from late 90s — early 2000s


Quote of the day.


I feel that sometimes, we’re entitling us to shame the idea of GAS a little too quickly.

First, someone shows up with some kind of lament on gear they want, or a similar equipment-related desire, and to them, the struggle is real.

Then, a group of wise people show up to say be happy with what you got, learn the gear, focus on your music and less on the equipment. And on it goes. The crusaders of inner well-being are never as many as when someone shows up to say they’re lusting for new gear.

But GAS is at least partly related to the fact that the way an instrument is built and designed, is very relevant to how you interact with it. Our strive to acquire new gear and try it out, is not only a lack of character but for many, a real part of a journey where you need to figure out which kit is best for you. And that can take some time. It’s not exactly irrelevant to want both an Analog Rytm and a Tempest, if you’re into percussion-related hardware with sequencers and want to get an idea of their differences. It’s not just a matter of getting one and learning it. It really comes down a lot to how you’re wired, and how you’re able to interact with gear that’s built for people wired your way.

So I think that’s a perspective worth taking, that curiosity and the ambition to learn is part of the GAS and sometimes, it’s the stronger part of it.


But to answer the OP, FieldScaper for IOS. Or if you need hardware, Toraiz AS-1.


You don’t need stuff. You are enough.


My pleasure :slight_smile:

Check out his podcast, lots of very useful advice:

p.s. I’m not a buddhist but regular meditation has been a great help to me, I’d recommend it to anyone and everyone.


we should be in all that modern ultra-politically-correct trend and declare GASshaming offensive! :laughing: :laughing: :laughing:


Why do I understand this so well :blush: ?


That is very true … my well-tried antidote to buying “wanted gear” is to think hard, whether it will really give me something “new” and “inspiring”, or only being a purchase to satisfy “wanting”.

This saved me a lot of money and disappointment. But … TBH … my studio doesn’t look to be very empty though :wink: Maybe I could/should improve … :thinking:



Often times the thing I want doesn’t exist, or if it does, it’s not quite exactly how I would like it so I end up buying nothing.

A year ago a few work friends and I were designing a standalone sampler/sequencer that covered all the things we loved in those type of instruments, but me having absolutely no engineering experience made that project much too difficult. Then we all moved on to different jobs so the idea was completely abandoned.


We all have our weaknesses :grin: that’s how I was last year fantasizing about getting a whole Elektron rig going. Then I realized I simply could not handle all those machines at once lol.


This is why I love Reaktor and Max4Live. Sooo many user ensembles and devices to weed through. 70% are basically the same thing in a different layout, but that 30% of just ridiculously interesting devices keeps me coming back!


I think as mentioned it’s good sometimes to revaluate your whole setup and try to think about cutting all the excess. I recently sold an sp-555, DT, and 1010 bitbox to fund an octatrack purchase because it will be nice to have everything right in front of me.

Even thinking about how some gear is farther from your chair or arms reach and you have to get up or move to use it. It’s an inconvenience. And its nice to have that extra cash as well. I’m using it to pay down credit card debt :slight_smile:

All in all if you have multiple pieces of gear that do the same thing or can be replaced by one thing that can do it all it would be wise to consider slimming down your setup.


Not sure what you mean, unless you literally mean the Crusades.

Either way, I’m picking up a mix of criticism and appreciation, which I myself appreciate and will respect by following your advise.