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GAS is a hindrance on musicianship...


Paughrock

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If you are at the Pro level (making good $$, touring, playing large venues or festivals), it actually DOES pay off to keep your gear "current"...and you really DO want to be seen with current gear on stage.

99% of the audience has no idea whether or not your gear is current. And the funny thing is, I often see pros still using their trusty old Triton or original Motif, or an old VK7/VK8 organ. These boards do what they need them to do. Or sometimes, maybe that's the provided backline, I don't know. Either way, ironically, it's the rest of us who generally seem more concerned with wanting the latest and greatest!

Maybe this is the best place for a shameless plug! Our now not-so-new new video at https://youtu.be/3ZRC3b4p4EI is a 40 minute adaptation of T. S. Eliot's "Prufrock" - check it out! And hopefully I'll have something new here this year. ;-)

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My Dad always told me that a great musician could make great music on any instrument. BTW, this was his way of saying he wasn't going to upgrade our home's spinet.

 

But name me any quality musician who isn't obsessed their instrument and sound.

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If you are at the Pro level (making good $$, touring, playing large venues or festivals), it actually DOES pay off to keep your gear "current", as it is usually connected to product endorsements, and you really DO want to be seen with current gear on stage. The investment usually pays off.

 

 

not for me, I am a Korg artist, and used to be a yamaha artist. The level of endorsement I had/have was artist pricing which only fueled my GAS and burned my pocket book...if you have a 100% endorsement, you are probably in the top 1% of professional musicians, and money is probably not an issue for you anyway.

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Many endorsees get stuff at cost, not free.

 

I managed to get one freebie in my life, a Technics WSA-1, but I was not an official endorser I just worked for them, writing some of the factory patches and sequences.

 

And BTW... it's the artist, not the brush.

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But name me any quality musician who isn't obsessed their instrument and sound.

 

I can name you many...but they are not famous in the corporate sense of the word. There is no right or wrong here...If gear is your thing, cool. Actual music, ie. actual playing/notes means more to me... and I need hardcore boundaries to protect my musicianship against GAS..I still maintain that I probably can outdo anyone here on gear bought/sold...my obsession was scary...it took twenty years of buying and selling to realize that gear means nothing, at least for the kind of music I make and wish to continue making...

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I have to admit I get hooked on the GAS mostly from reading stuff here. My next purchase will be the KeyB legend, other than that , I mostly play organ regardless. So for me, no menu diving, programming etc, turn it on, pull some drawbars and play. I have a moxf8 that I use on occasion and still havn't even come close to learning the ins and outs of that one , for the exact same reason as stated here, I don't want to obsess with menu diving when I should be shredding. My goal is to get the best possible organ sound in the simplest and most convenient way.

"Ive been playing Hammond since long before anybody paid me to play one, I didn't do it to be cool, I didnt do it to make a statement......I just liked it "

 

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The 'best' possible organ sound is a highly subjective goal...you could spend years pursuing that goal only to end up exactly where you started... What is a far less subjective goal is trying to become the 'best' musuician possible. Ask yourself: how much time spent researching new gear, watching videos on new gear, buying and transporting new gear, listing, selling or trading your old gear etc., could havve been spent on actually practicing/performing/producing, heck, even listening? Is the keyb legend going to change your entire musical trajectory that much from whatever path your mojo, or xk, or cx, or vk, or sk had you on? Maybe? For me, it was nothng but a waste of time and money. :(

 

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99% of the audience has no idea whether or not your gear is current. And the funny thing is, I often see pros still using their trusty old Triton or original Motif, or an old VK7/VK8 organ. These boards do what they need them to do. Or sometimes, maybe that's the provided backline, I don't know. Either way, ironically, it's the rest of us who generally seem more concerned with wanting the latest and greatest!

 

this is so true...

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The 'best' possible organ sound is a highly subjective goal...you could spend years pursuing that goal only to end up exactly where you started... What is a far less subjective goal is trying to become the 'best' musuician possible.

 

Ask yourself: how much time spent researching new gear, watching videos on new gear, buying and transporting new gear, listing, selling or trading your old gear etc., could be spent on actually practicing/performing/producing, heck, even listening?

 

 

... and surfing/scouring the net (i.e. shopping), watching TV, gaming, texting etc. etc. Everyone needs a diversion and for many of us it's the related equipment/technology aspect. Of course I'd be a better musician if I devoted all the time spent researching and playing with equipment to real playing/practicing. But for me sound exploration and playing with the toys is its own hobby - one I love. Maybe because it's so close to the music side it's easy to fool oneself into thinking you're doing something music related to improve your skills when often it's just...other stuff.

 

I think the more pertinent question is are you doing real practicing/playing for a sufficient amount of time per day/week? For me the answer is no, and this thread is a good wake-up call. As to the whole upgrade cycle thing, so much investment in time learning and developing programs only to start all over with something new? Like cars I'll typically run my keyboards (or myself) into the ground before getting rid of them. I'm much more into the supplement/enhancement approach.

 

 

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The 'best' possible organ sound is a highly subjective goal...you could spend years pursuing that goal only to end up exactly where you started... What is a far less subjective goal is trying to become the 'best' musuician possible. Ask yourself: how much time spent researching new gear, watching videos on new gear, buying and transporting new gear, listing, selling or trading your old gear etc., could havve been spent on actually practicing/performing/producing, heck, even listening? Is the keyb legend going to change your entire musical trajectory that much from whatever path your mojo, or xk, or cx, or vk, or sk had you on? Maybe? For me, it was nothng but a waste of time and money. :(

 

I see where your coming from and in some ways your right. But, unless I'm happy with the sound I'm playing, I'm not entirely happy at gigs. Now with the practicing part, I practice with a B3 almost exclusively doing several hours a day where possible. The down time while "resting " is where I spend other time here or researching gear . As long as I get the work done, I don't see any harm in it.

"Ive been playing Hammond since long before anybody paid me to play one, I didn't do it to be cool, I didnt do it to make a statement......I just liked it "

 

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My GAS seems to have mostly deflated since I finally stumbled on my ideal rig.

 

A lot of my previous gear pinings were to fix things I didn't like in the gear I had. I would get tired of lugging my motion sound 145 up stairs and wish for a lighter amp. I also got to the point with my XK-3 where I stopped practicing with it because I hated the feel of the keybed. I'd practice for organ gigs with my rhodes.

 

Mojo + Minitaur + DXR10 is lightweight and sounds perfect for what I do. I just don't feel the "need" to buy anything else. Although, if money were no issue I'm sure I'd pick up a few things...

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My GAS seems to have mostly deflated since I finally stumbled on my ideal rig.

Mine might be coming to a head. My last serious bout came to a head with the Yamaha C7D grand.

 

Now another bout of GAS is festering like that of an infected abscess:

 

1. Montage 88: $4000

2. DSI OB-6: $3000

3. 2 x TT08a: $3500

 

$10.5k

 

It might incrementally help my musicianship by some additional inspiration, but the big benefit is the heap-load of fun to play with.

 

I hate to part with that much cash, although it's only ~ 1/3 the cost of your average new sedan (or 1.3 kid's braces).

 

J  a  z  z  P i a n o 8 8

--

Yamaha C7D

Montage M8x | CP300 | CP4 | SK1-73 | OB6 | Seven

K8.2 | 3300 | CPSv.3

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I'm not the guy you want to talk to about GAS.

 

I'm avoiding the boards for the most part (thankfully), but I seem to spend my $$$ on stupid amplification, and outrageous high-end acoustic pianos.

 

Thankfully, I think I'm done with both for a while. Until the synth thing starts calling my name again, and then I'm toast.

 

And I really like my gig boards right now. For what I do, the previous gen Nord boards rock.

 

I know, keep saying that, maybe you'll start to believe it.

Want to make your band better?  Check out "A Guide To Starting (Or Improving!) Your Own Local Band"

 

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GAS is a hindrance on a musician.....?

 

This is absolutely true. I have spend many hours just flipping through all of the new patches on Omninsphere, or hours researching VST hardware. From this perspective, I would be a much better player if those hours had been spend practicing.

 

But there is the other side of this coin...

 

GAS is my reward and inspiration for practicing.

 

Recently I sat down and started practicing with my Korg 01/W pro with the stock piano patches, I was very uninspired, and figured I would just wait until I got my S90XS back from repair before practicing. Every little improvement in my gear has motivated me and inspired me to continue practicing.

 

My Yamaha S90XS keybed is a joy to feel under my fingers, the Ravenscroft 275 elevates my soul with a sparkling resonance. Playing GSi's VB3 on my StudioLogic waterfall keyboard makes me feel like I am playing a real organ. And playing live with my RCF TT08a's makes me feel connected to my instrument. All of these purchases have taken LOT's of time and money to implement and have taken me away from my practice time.

 

BUT......GAS has improved my playing experience and offers me the reward for hard hours practiced and the inspiration to continue. In about 30 more years of practicing, I may be as good as my gear. Until that time, I am enjoying the path.

Yamaha S90XS, Studiologic VMk-161 Organ

Small/powerful (i7, 32GB, M.2 SSD) PC controlled by 10" Touch Screen

Cantabile, Ravenscroft 275, Keyscape, OPX-II, Omnisphere 2, VB3, Chris Hein Horns, etc.

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I have spend many hours just flipping through all of the new patches on Omninsphere,...From this perspective, I would be a much better player if those hours had been spend practicing.

 

Personally, the time I spend playing WITH my gear (rather than PLAYING my gear) does not take away from my practice time. I wouldn't be practicing anyway. ;-)

 

I'll also point out another counter-advantage. When you're exploring new gear and sounds, you sometimes stumble across something that inspires you to come up with a new song.

 

Practicing the familiar may help improve dexterity and technique. Playing around with new sounds/combinations/controls may inspire creativity. As they say, it's all good...

Maybe this is the best place for a shameless plug! Our now not-so-new new video at https://youtu.be/3ZRC3b4p4EI is a 40 minute adaptation of T. S. Eliot's "Prufrock" - check it out! And hopefully I'll have something new here this year. ;-)

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I gradually got over my GAS because the whole matter was giving me heartburn. Even adding one carefully-considered module was an invitation to an afternoon of cussing with MIDI cables draped over my shoulders. The more I reduced my stack, the more focused and *fun* it became. Its not as if any one instrument you can name isn't already bursting with powers, so having 4 or 5 is "normal;" having 15 and up is "hoarding." :cheers:

 

Sure, I'd be jazzed to lay hands to a Waldorf Quantum, but I've learned so much that I don't feel as if I NEED one. It's as close to Synth Satori as you can get NOT to drool over every cycle of new toy releases.

OTOH, I'm about to buy two new softynths. I sure hope I don't fall down by skating the thin edge of hypocrisy too closely.

  "We're the crash test dummies of the digital age."
            ~ Kara Swisher, "Burn Book"

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I went though a bad session of keyboard GAS a few years ago, ended up with all these Nords, and it's all cool. Just saying for what i do (vs. what I aspire to do), all good.

 

I aspire to be a Synth God, but -- in the meantime -- make it work, The Nords brig game every time I go out.

 

Here's what I've learned with age and wisdom: for most of us, our gear is feakin' amazing.

 

So learn to rock what you;ve got, Hey, weird coming from a dude who's got an unlimited budget, but there you have itl

Want to make your band better?  Check out "A Guide To Starting (Or Improving!) Your Own Local Band"

 

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I think it's not an either/or if you're fiscally responsible and wring the absolute most out of every piece of kit you have.

 

As a working musician, I write new gear off every year and have been blessed to do well with the taxman.

 

Software may seem to be a different story, but since I am more hardware based, I'm happier now that I use software almost exclusively for composition and recording (with the occasional foray into Onmisphere live for a very few projects) and am on a 5 year computer upgrade schedule.

"I have constantly tried to deliver only products which withstand the closest scrutiny � products which prove themselves superior in every respect.�

Robert Bosch, 1919

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Not GASsing for new boards these days. It's a day by day thing. My gen-1 Nords are still pretty awesome, and everyone loves the sounds I make.

 

The stuff works well. No complaints. I show up to rehearsals and gigs with this huge sound. Hey, good enough for the bar bands I play with ...

 

Much stronger GAS for amplification, hopefully tamed with the recent RCF TT08-a units. The new Bose F1s look pretty awesome for FOH. Resisting the urge to pull the trigger on anything until something mind-blowing comes along.

 

It's like sobriety. Every day I don't give in is a win.

 

Of course, this stance might change in a weak moment ...

Want to make your band better?  Check out "A Guide To Starting (Or Improving!) Your Own Local Band"

 

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I don't know. I went through the motions in the 2000s, got the Rhodes, the Wurlis, some amplifiers, lots of speakers, dipped (very!) lightly into synths, always had a Hammond of some sort around.

 

I think I can confidently say that "if you can't play it on [insert keyboard]" then either it's not worth playing or you don't know how to play.

 

That's my Manichaean line in the sand.

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As with most things in life, if not all, there are at least two sides ( yin yang dark light ) to everything. If this is not your view... no need to read further. For thosw who do, carry on.

 

My knee jerk reaction to subject line was - "Right on the money".

First of all. in the acoustic old school mind set - trying to master multiple instruments is a good way to not mastering any single one instrument.

Best to dedicate yourself to your "major" instrument until you are well along the way.

Of course, for some instrumentalists like sax, you often had to double and triple ( sax, clarinet, flute at the minimum - and in really old old school- sax guys had to play VIOLIN and sight transpose notes, play in different clefs - According to Schoenberg or was it Hindemith- a musician who cannot read ALL the clefs, is not a complete musician.. wow! ) Back to our world!

 

But another side of this interesting topic, is tone, just tone. If you have a tone in your imagination and your instrument is far from that tone, then what? Well it is good training to make due with your "not ideal" instrument. Trying to get that tone, is often ( maybe not always , but usually ) good training.

 

But I still want to point out the other side- if I want to get a certain tone, esp in my case, a tone I associate ( image ) with Blues, and my instrument is anything but that.. I can keep trying with my present instrument, but at some point when I relieve ( momentarily !) the GAS, with new instrument of my dreams, it will be a nice thrill.. and all of a sudden achieving that tone, it must be admitted, will be easier, and hopefully even closer to your timbral ideal. Note, among orchestral players. the instruments they play are quite expensive ... this has to be related to the superior acoustic nature of the instrument, they are going in hock for.

 

Now another point made earlier about a newer instrument helping one get work.

I do believe ( rightly or wrongly , not sure ) that there is competition among players of the same instrument . And I feel it helps if my amps and instruments sound reasonably....

 

( "reasonably", is relative to all the other musicians and their perhaps more up to date instruments that also are aiming for that tone.. if your instrument is much further away from the desired tone, this does not help being hired.. all other things being equal )

 

....reasonably close to the instrument I am aiming for.. eg if I am in a Blues or R and B band and B3 is key sound, and my B3, sounds like a motif through an average amp with no Vent etc etc... I may make it a bit harder on myself, in terms of competing musicians who, in example given, have a more authentic B3 sound. Of course playing ability is the great equalizer, BUT if players are roughly similar in ability... the instrument makes a significant difference. So that is the competition angle.

 

1. My Gut level reaction; OP is on the money... "Love the one ( keys ) you are with" and practise on that ax.

 

2. Competition IS a reality , all other factors being equal.

 

3. But which is MORE important, a perfect sound, or ability to play... I would say, ability.'

 

4. But for me, speaking about electronic keyboards, which are an imitation of an acoustic instrument or an imitation of an imitation ( real Rhodes imitating ac piano, then Scarbee Rhodes imitates the real Rhodes)

If I really want to play my ultimate best... I believe the instrument that gets closest to my sound ideal, is ideal instrument choice.

You don't have ideas, ideas have you

We see the world, not as it is, but as we are. "One mans food is another mans poison". I defend your right to speak hate. Tolerance to a point, not agreement

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I'm ambivalent. I've always tried to take whatever I had as far as I could go, but sometimes it really is a case of better instrument == better inspiration. I remember when I started college ('way back) and got to sit down at a 9' Baldwin. It was only then I realized how absolutely horrible my old Story and Clark upright was. The Baldwin inspired me. I could use sparser chord voicings, for example.

 

Fast forward about 35 years to 2013, when I got the first of three Kurzweils in search of good strings + piano + clonewheel. The instruments themselves have wooed me back into both playing and programming, just because there was a certain joy with each sound and program I selected.

 

-Tom Williams

{First Name} {at} AirNetworking {dot} com

PC4-7, PX-5S, AX-Edge, PC361

 

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