Friday, April 17, 2009

Top 5 Obsolete Gear/ Do you own one?

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1. Modular Synthesizers - Now relagated to niche sound design or teaching children about electronics, these synths are probably only getting use in Trent Reznor's basement.


2. The original Yamaha DX7 - There are many alternatives to this board which have much more power and actual filters. Its battery changes are not fun. Its a poor midi controller as velocity only goes up to 100. Alternatives sound EXACTLY like it. You can learn FM synthesis on the DX7 but mostly you won't want to.

 Events Snamm98 Boss Dr-202-Large

3. Drum Machines - The non-analog type. Have a wide variety of samples? Your already good to go. You can even multisample your own real drums and get better sounds than most cheesy drum machines. Samples of every drum machine are likely to be on the internet already.

 Images Korg M50
Did you purchase a workstation without a sampler or sequencer? Shame.

4. Workstations released minus sequencer & sampler. If your a company manufacturing a keyboard over $1000 without these features, they are DOA. Here is a list of recently released, obsolete boards.

Korg M50 - Dead
Juno Stage - No sequencer? Dead
Yamaha MO8, MO6 - Both Dead
Roland Gw-8 - Dead
Roland TRs - Sampler option, but still dead.

If you truly don't need these features; Alternatives are Roland's Sonic Cell & a Midi controller/ various used gear. You can defend your decision, but really, everyone should have these features on outboard gear this day and age. There are cheaper Casios with more features than those listed.

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5. Anything with a floppy drive. Give it up!

This has been Reality Check!

1 comment:

  1. Cool blog/site. Great article- I agree on one level but disagree on others. Yes, I DO own one! Sadly, some gear is obsolete the day it hits the stores, or even before that.

    Creativity and ideas are a musician's most valuable possessions. Gear is over-rated to some extent. How you spend your money is so important, especially if you are actually trying to make a living (translation: profit) as a musician. If you are just starting out, buy Ableton, buy Reason. Get the choice hardware pieces later. Good call on the non-analogue drum machines and the DX7 (my first synth was a DX7... I think I was 15 years old when I got it. It was brown and weighed a ton and I don't miss it). On the other hand, if all you have is a K2600, then work it till it smokes (or try to sell it and buy Ableton). True, a modular isn't for everyone, but I use several non-midi, non automatically tempo-syncing sound sources and those pieces are part of what makes my sound unique. Most people only tap about 30% of what is possible with any given piece of gear (but again, some gear just plain sucks and should be used for spare parts or bending). I question the MO8- maybe because I have one. It might be obsolete. It doesn't have many extras but it does have a great sound engine, and it's perfect for the occasional live show because it weighs so little but still has the Yamaha weighted keys. Now, most people would laugh at my setup; I bet a lot of hobbyists have more than I do. On the other hand, I make my living as a professional musician, working day in and day out as a session piano player and programmer. I've used my MO8 on sessions for almost every major label in town, and the last thing it was on was tracks for a grammy-winning, multi-platinum, household name artist. What about the modular? I don't have one, but gosh I want one!

    Chip Collection is right- don't spend your money on some of these things. Use good gear when you can, but before that, use what you have, and make it sound more creative, more musical than anyone else. That will never be obsolete!