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Re: Playing an instrument vs. building an instrument...

On Monday, August 25, 2003, at 12:54  PM, Kim Flint wrote:

> On the other hand are the ones Cara speaks of, those who constantly 
> toss out one thing to try the next shiny object, with no clear vision 
> of what they are looking for. You never become intimate enough with 
> any one thing to really make it a part of your ability to express 
> yourself.

I think I totally understand that process, but it is not always a bad 
thing.  For a long time, I was mostly broke, so my tools were fairly 
limited.  The Digitech 8000 was the most looper I could imagine 
affording and even that I got used for $100.  Eventually, by saving I 
could afford to buy a JamMan.  That totally set me back though, I 
remember.  It was only a bit over $300, but it hurt.  I put myself 
through school and things only got worse.  I knew of people who had 
EDPs, but that was way beyond me, although I longed for one.

Luckily, the end of college for me plunked me at the golden days of the 
Tech boom.  I have to admit, I went crazy and tried a LOT of stuff.  
(relative to most)  I don't think of it as a waste of time or money at 
all though.  I learned a lot.  I had worked in music retail a lot so I 
knew what existed.  Over the last year or so, I've started to totally 
change my setup in interesting ways.  My metro-rack is getting more and 
more empty.  Things that I thought were "must haves" ended up being 
novelties.  Weird stuff like the KAOSS pad that seemed like they might 
be novel have become staples in my setup.  Features that caused me to 
buy some items ended up not being used very often, while other features 
get daily use.  Overall, my gear is finally becoming more and more 
honed and focused.  Sometimes you can't know if something is for you 
unless you try it.  I remember thinking the Spacestation was the best.  
Ended up not using it much because what I wanted to hear were actual 
synths.  I'm not cutting down the Spacestation, I'm just saying it's 
not for me.  I couldn't know that from checking it out at a music store 
though.  I had to own it for quite some time before I realized it 
wasn't quite what I was going for.  Same thing for the AdrenaLinn.

So now I have a very clear idea of what I like to do, what I'm good at 
and what sounds I like to hear.  More often I hear myself asking, "Does 
this piece of gear serve me?  Should I get rid of it?"  It's been 
really good and cathartic.   I play more than I ever have and I've been 
having a great time.

Will I never buy something new again?  I'm sure I will.  I'll probably 
be more diserning than I used to be.  Ebay is great for this.  I know 
that something I buy now won't become worthless in trade value 3 months 
later.  All this stuff about a looper came up because someone asked 
what we wanted in the "looper of the future."  In actuality I wasn't 
thinking of getting a new looper at all, and I'd probably not buy a 
software EDP even it it was available to me right now.  The prospect of 
learning another interface isn't what I want to be doing with my time 
right now.

but there's always the FUTURE.

Mark Sottilaro