Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Relativity & the Electronic Musician:

A thought occurred to me as I salivated over the latest & greatest software and hardware that seems to hit the market on a near weekly basis:

In 1989 I spent a considerable amount of money to get a Keyboard Workstation.

First I had a synth by Korg called the T3.

It was a fabulous sounding keyboard with a comprehensive sequencer and it ran me over $3,500! Unfortunately the one thing it did not have was a sampler which was what I was really wanting.

I went on to purchase a Ensoniq EPS 16+ which had everything I desired (and cost almost half as much!) and I was able to create wonderful noise for several years following.

As time pressed on and technology leaped and bounded I found myself wanting something more...So, in 1994 I grabbed myself an Ensoniq ASR 10 (yes I know, the DAW was well into existence at the time but I was still intimidated by computer music...What can I say?)

The ASR 10 served me quite well,allowing me to make music and perform it live at various events and I do not regret my stubbornness against DAW's one bit!

Well after a hiatus from music making (1998 - 2006 raising my children and being "responsible") I was lucky enough to be given the opportunity to set up a proper computer based music production environment.

I currently own a 1.83GHz Intel Core Duo iMac, Logic Pro 7, Blue Sky 2.1 Studio Monitors, PreSonus Firebox Audio Interface, and a 61 key MIDI controller.
(All for the price of the T3!!!)

Some of you musician types may be laughing at this point...when you finish laughing, please read further.

I have noticed the phenomenal Mac Pro Quad & 8 Core, and the stunning iMac 3.06GHz. Not to mention the astounding Logic 8 Studio (at 1/2 the cost of Logic 7!) as well as other fantastic DAW's like CuBase, DP5, etc. etc.

At first I was green with envy and desperately trying to figure out just how I could go about upgrading my current set up...Then it struck me:

WHY? Why did I need to obtain more?

It has been my experience that there are essentially two types of electronic music producers:

Obtainers and Producers. Those who constantly seek out to obtain the latest and greatest...And those who actually Produce.

I want to be a Producer. I want to Produce.

I have yet to find anything that I can not do musically with what I already have. I do not need (although I can't say I don't want!) the latest and greatest. Sure it would be nice if I had a lot of extra money lying around to continually upgrade my set up, but it is not needed.

I honestly do not see any reason why I can't continue to create music I thoroughly enjoy making with what I already have. Hell, I did just fine for years with the single keyboard workstation set ups I had in the 90's.

My point in all this is to hopefully convert some of the Obtainers to Producers.

The gear is relative to the talent...Just ask any folk singer with a 40 year old acoustic guitar.(don't be mislead into assuming that I think I have talent!)

You can have a $100,000 studio and make shyte music...you know the kind, you've heard it.

I just wanted to throw this out there for those of you who feel you are being left behind by the technological leaps and bounds of the software and hardware being put out there these days.

And again let me stress that if I had the funds to spare I would surely be rocking a fat Mac Pro Quad Core with 32 Gigs of RAM!

But I do not have such funds and I don't see it plopping into my lap any time soon...so I am just thankful that I have what I do and I produce.

In 1990 I would have never imagined having virtually unlimited tracks with audio recording capability and a slew of really good effects. Anyone lucky enough to have a similarly sufficient computer music environment would do well to quit drooling over what they don't have and power up your current gear and make great music...or at least make music you enjoy making.

You know you can!

Save your money. I will...and for those haters / Obtainers out there: Good luck with that.

Cheers,
m e e k

1 comment:

Rob said...

Your setup isn't bad at all. Up until last year, I was working on a 233 Mhz (yeah, MEGA) P2. I was afraid the internal CPU would melt on me one day, but fortunately that never happened :)

A lot of times when artists and producers make excuses about the need to acquire more equipment/software, it has nothing to do with making better music. It's about creating barriers where there are none in order to postpone the act of finally diving in and JUST MAKING MUSIC. As long as they have the excuse that they need more gear, they can put off their careers indefinitely. This is like some artists I know who will screen their music to select people, but end up never releasing it because it didn't get the response they wanted.

I actually have a friend who owns like 10 guitars but still hasn't finished learnign how to play, let along breaking in the first one. His excuse is that he needs the same gear his idols use. Would it surprise you to learn that he has never recorded a single song, let alone written one?

Some people just dive in, others make excuses.

Good post, gear means nothing if you haven't mastered it. It only looks good on paper and to people that don't make music.