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Are you a gear hoarder or a minimalist?

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The plug-in hoarding topic got me thinking—do we (do I) do this with gear? Do I, can I, can you have too much gear? 

How and when is it time to hold ‘em and when is it time to fold ‘em and purge the gear…synths? Processor? Mics? Pedals?

Editor - RECORDING Magazine

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For me, it's been a process. Searching for what works best for my needs requires buying, testing and selling. 

Fortunately, I don't have to buy only new items, used items can often be sold for the same price or higher than what I paid for them - depending. 

Opportunity presents itself often enough. I had one black Shure KSM8 and a friend offered me a like new nickel one for $200, I had to grab it. 


Sometimes a new item appears on the market and ticks too many boxes to ignore. I have both a Presonus Quantum TB and an SSL 2+. I've used the Quantum quite a bit but currently I'm using the SSL while staying at a friend's vacant home. Both get the job done but seeing the new SSL 12 has me thinking it could be all I need for the work that I do and both the 2+ and the Quantum could become somebody else's fun. 


Regarding other microphones, I still don't have a small diaphragm condenser mic but I don't feel an urgent need for one either. I had an inexpensive ribbon mic, the figure of 8 pattern is not ideal for recording in a 33 unit 3 story condominium complex, it picks up too much from the backside. It was a cool mic - CAD D-82 but I don't miss it. 

I won a contest on Microphone-Parts.com for an upgrade kit for an MXL 990, bought a used mic and upgraded it. Sounds fantastic, so I bought another upgrade kit and modified my MXL 1006bp to line up the mount screws and that's a great sounding mic too - different capsule. Last but not least, I bought their complete kit for the T-67 mic and that is a great mic too. I have 3 flavors of condenser mic, that's plenty. 


2 pairs of studio monitors and while I haven't hooked it up yet (when I return to my condo after repairs are done) I will try hooking up my home stereo to the SSL 2+, which has RCA outs connected to the second headphone amp. I found a pair of JBL 10" 3 way speakers in great working condition at Starvation Army and that would make a great reference system (I also listen to my laptop speakers, which suck but are a valid reference).


If you have a good interface, good speakers and good microphones you are in the game. 

Currently I have a bit of gear racked up in 2 rack cases but working off site with a simpler system has me thinking I'll keep the Focusrite ISA Two and the ART Pro-VLAII and send the rest of it to happy new homes. 


Along the way, I picked up a Tech 21 Bass Driver DI, the current version. I got enough good use out of it to justify getting the Para Driver DI and the Q\Strip DI and I use all of those for various things. They are compact, fully featured, versatile, studio quiet and sound great. I've been tweaking the Q\Strip for bass guitar for a while now, it's fantastic for that, currently messing about with running the Para Drive off the parallel input and adding some high frequency harmonic distortion, just enough to get the bass to cut through on crappy little speakers while still sounding huge and full on larger speaker systems. 


I'm also thinking that one could use the send and return loop to run the Para Driver in parallel with a microphone and add harmonic distortion to a separate track so I can control it in the mix. 


No real answer for you, a work in progress. Stuff comes and goes. The things that work well for me get to stay. 

I recently checked out a video by Venus Theory on YouTube where he discusses the importance of allowing yourself to blunder about and make mistakes. 

Kinda how I go about it, sometimes I'll play something wrong that sounds great and I never would have done that if I'd been trying make a "perfect" recording. 


I think since we are going to be imperfect we should embrace that and use it as an asset rather than put ourselves in conflict with our own short-comings. 

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It took a chunk of my life to get here and I am still not sure where "here" is.
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Welcome, Paul. Good questions!


The temptation of shiny gear is sometimes the enemy of keeping your goals in sight. Taking up an M1 Mac sort of auto-provided me with a good house cleaning. I've winnowed it down to a solid basic tool box. I added the GX-80 and took up Valhalla's Super Massive and Delay, which perform quite well with little distraction. Otherwise, I've stayed fairly disciplined where I once grabbed new things too often. I live within Logic's world of compressors and etc., which hasn't left me hanging yet. I'm nowhere near an Anderton-level boffin; I have too many distracting melodies buzzing around in the back of my head.


I was nearing hand independence in my keyboard playing- a big hurdle- when my hands went south enough to finally crater that angle of approach. I haven't lost that THING where you lean in and start working the keys with gusto; I just have to run it through the right mental filters as a composer/controller monkey now. Having a giant orchestra and a pipe organ on my table is a welcome consolation prize. `


Frankly, I'll always mentally begin the way I did when I had a Baldwin baby grand. I don't dig into exotic processing plug-ins or modular synths because my work flow takes a different direction. I'm always thinking "PIANO!" the same way my dog thinks "SQUIRREL!" That's part of why one of my most effective compositional tools is going back and REMOVING distracting blather that was overplayed. Its all part of the fun. :rolleyes:

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"Your Honor, according to witnesses,
    Miss Congeniality led the attack
     with a kick to the groin."
           ~ Dan Fielding

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I like to think of myself as more of a gear collector.  I enjoy owning lots of cool instruments and pro audio tools - especially ones that have emotional significance for me, and/or products that I've played a role in bringing to market.


I feel like an argument could be made that I have more gear than I need (what does that mean, anyway? 🤔), but I'd not sure I'd call myself a hoarder, per se.  I do sell stuff off here and there... :idk:


I'd even go so far as to say that there's one category for me that risee well abive the others - keyboards and synths.  I did have a bunch of audio processing hardware, but I've sold the majority of that over the past few years.





:keys:==> David Bryce Music • Funky Young Monks <==:rawk:



Affiliations: Cloud Microphones • Music Player Network 

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I have gone through cycles with respect to this, for over 40 years now. I usually go with my gut, and these days my gut says that the less I have to learn in order to go deep with what I have and need, the less other stuff I want cluttering my brain.

I am currently selling off a crapton of gear, including things that haven't been plugged in in decades and have been kept around for sentimental reasons, because they are just sitting there rather than being used by someone who could get good use out of them. (That reminds me, I should post my latest for sale list on MPN.)


My current rule is that where possible, I buy one piece of gear and sell two. I just sold a huge pile of gear to a friend who's opening a building with multiple small rehearsal studios for beginning musicians, and I'm even giving stuff away to local music education programs. 

My shelves are emptying out and I breathe easier with every sale. But that's just me.

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Dr. Mike Metlay (PhD in nuclear physics, golly gosh) :D

Musician, Author, Editor, Educator, Impresario, Online Radio Guy, Cut-Rate Polymath, and Kindly Pedant

Editor-in-Chief, Bjooks ~ Author of SYNTH GEMS 1


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