Cure for GAS?

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crawling wind
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Re: Cure for GAS?

Post by crawling wind » Tue Feb 09, 2021 11:03 pm

That was the name of the Sonic State forum back in the old days. The reviews there were amazing!

ATW wrote:
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Gringo Starr wrote:
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gas-station
Definitely a new-name-for-MW candidate: "Gas Station"

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Re: Cure for GAS?

Post by Muff McMuff » Tue Feb 09, 2021 11:28 pm

I have GAS for almost everything but its controlled by having no cash to buy the stuff. Just about all my gear is secondhand which means you can only buy something if it comes up for sale. That can put a cap on things or at least slow you down.

Explore what you already have in more depth and the latest must have bling bit of gear can help you do that by trying to create what it does with what you already have. The Wing Pinger came out last year and like almost everything it was an instant want. I spent a few days trying to create or aim for a Wing Pinger with what i had which was a super cheap Ladik F-510 Synare filter(£30 secondhand). It has four outputs and can be strongly self resonant. I got sounds out of it i had never heard before just by using it in a fresh way inspired by GAS for the Wing Pinger. I see it as totally different module now. Thank you Wing Pinger GAS.

Strega GAS? I would like one but create one in your rack or at least go in that direction. Feedback costs nothing! Get into SDIY. Build a Befaco Crush Delay. Order a Synthrotek Echo Delay kit and cheap soldering iron of ebay instead! If your Strega attempts create some great patches the GAS for a Strega might just fade right out. Turn the GAS into exploration and ideas

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Re: Cure for GAS?

Post by Mr. Wiggles » Tue Feb 09, 2021 11:43 pm

It's always going to be a very personal thing, but I think the core of what seems to work for me is essentially to think about the negatives of something I don't want to do vs. positives of something I do.

For instance, I love the feeling of buying a great new module as much as anyone, and worse, when I look at a wall full of gear, I feel inspiration, not intimidation or indecision. But, I'm very picky about just how I arrange my gear and I don't especially enjoy all the time it will take to work something new into a system so that it really feels like part of that system rather than just something extra thrown in on the side. I also don't mind having a certain amount of gear sitting unused for a period, but I hate the thought of just buying something, never really using it, and then selling it. It's the effort required to set something up and the thought of not using it to its fullest that I focus on when I'm feeling like I really want to buy something that I really don't need to be buying.

Conversely, I love actually using a well organized studio full of gear (by which I mean anything from a nicely equipped desk in a corner to Junkie XL's former setup). Going and doing that is a great way for me to stop worrying about that new and shiny thing, and in the end, just sitting down and using what I have is almost always way more fun than worrying about what else I could buy.

Goals are also important, but they need to be realistic. For me, one of the things that keeps gear in check is that I want each modular case to be focused on something specific, to the point that it's essentially its own modular instrument, and I want each instrument I buy or create to work well together and add something meaningful to the whole. That could be something as simple as a skiff with a combo of modules that makes that perfect effects chain you were looking for, or it could be something as massive as Der Mann mit der Maschine's performance setup. I'm not really interested in live performance with modular, so smaller cases keep things focused. But, I use the example of a large performance setup because that can also be just as valid and focused of an end point. That's where realism comes in.

If your finances don't match your goals, you don't necessarily have to abandon them completely, but don't use that as an excuse to just make open-ended purchases with the aim of reaching that currently unattainable goal. Find a goal you can reach and that excites you, and aim for that. When you reach it, try to enjoy it first and then think about where else you might go.

That's a bit more than I intended to write, but hopefully something there is helpful to someone who winds up in this thread. Some, all, or even none of that may apply in your case. I think the most important thing is just to be honest with yourself about why you're buying something, but also don't be too hard on yourself when you make a mistake. Move on, think about why you did, and try to figure out where you could have caught and stopped yourself. Then, try to remember that next time around.

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Re: Cure for GAS?

Post by vromr » Wed Feb 10, 2021 1:50 am

Go LIVE!
Angling to perform could be the master constraint that forces all other pieces into place.

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Re: Cure for GAS?

Post by wrngtrls » Wed Feb 10, 2021 2:00 am

Read Marx's papers on primitive accumulation.


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Re: Cure for GAS?

Post by Rex Coil 7 » Wed Feb 10, 2021 2:52 am

cptnal wrote:
Tue Feb 09, 2021 2:39 pm
Buy all the modules ever.
... buy all the things ... then buy MOAR things ... until you have all the things ... then you win.
5U MODULAR NORMALIZING PROJECT (for your entertainment) viewtopic.php?t=78836&highlight=
.. as of Dec 8th 2020 on a break for a bit .. contact me via bamco60@hotmail.com if needed.
WELCOME TO 2021 .. THE BEATINGS WILL CONTINUE UNTIL MORALE IMPROVES.

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Re: Cure for GAS?

Post by naturligfunktion » Wed Feb 10, 2021 3:21 am

I have noticed that my GAS disguise itself in order for me to buy more things. If I am "done buying modules" I will start to look at guitars. Or coffee things. Or books. Or records.

There is always something to get.

But honestly, if you have a budget and stick to it, I don't see any problems getting stuff. Every now and then I do a purge. It gives an illusion of control. Then I get more. MORE
Sparse drum beat tinkering over a massive drone, haunted by gloomy vocals, echoing a sense of doom...


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Re: Cure for GAS?

Post by deft_bonz » Wed Feb 10, 2021 5:11 am

It's hard to control. Even if you have the dough, the amount of unused gear starts to put you under pressure. At least that's the case for me. And that's what I say to myself: "Before you buy more, start using the stuff you have!" Doesn't help always though ;)

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Re: Cure for GAS?

Post by magicdust » Wed Feb 10, 2021 5:24 am

It depends on how you feel. If searching for new modules brings you joy and doesn’t feel like a compulsion then it isn’t an issue. If you’re desperately seeking pleasure from external sources it might be good to look at how content you feel with the rest of your life and deeply analyse yourself.

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Re: Cure for GAS?

Post by Kawouddd » Wed Feb 10, 2021 5:35 am

I bought a Moog One.

I'm still recovering from the aftershocks, tbf.

'Finding something to buy to alleviate the tedium' has definitely been one of my lockdown pathologies! (10 XL yak milk sticks and a pair of walking boots arrive tomorrow. No new modules tho!)

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Re: Cure for GAS?

Post by windchill » Wed Feb 10, 2021 6:11 am

I didn't cure my GAS but I did reduce it considerably.
For the last few years I have adhered strictly to the one-in-one-out rule.
If GAS gets the better of me and I buy something shiny and new I will force myself to sell existing stuff I own until I have matched the new expense.
Apart from the obvious control of finances, following this rule puts any purchasing decisions in the proper context. There will be consequences, some of which will be painful*
I still have GAS but it's much more manageable and I can feel it lessening as time goes on.
I still sometimes allow myself the brief buzz of retail therapy - but I have not broken my rule yet and something has always had to go as a result.

* Given the financial loss related to any sale, the one-in-one-out rule will over a long period of time reduce the amount of equipment in the pool. This means that each new purchase is slightly more destructive then the last. The pain ramps up over time. The GAS is progressively broken down.

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Re: Cure for GAS?

Post by unexpectedbowtie » Wed Feb 10, 2021 6:24 am

vromr wrote:
Wed Feb 10, 2021 1:50 am
Go LIVE!
Angling to perform could be the master constraint that forces all other pieces into place.
This is actually a pretty good idea. I resist playing anything (electronic) live nowadays because it means you really need to focus on a few specific bits of gear, and have sequences/songs etc set up. That doesn't really jive with my experimental tendencies at the moment, but when I did play electronic live, I had far less GAS.

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Re: Cure for GAS?

Post by 1n » Wed Feb 10, 2021 6:28 am

I sell modules to (not really) even out costs of buying new ones. I've always spent more than I can afford on music stuff - lots of records when I was first finding out about it, and then instruments to learn how to play, and then recording sessions to make sounds, and then...

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Re: Cure for GAS?

Post by autopoiesis » Wed Feb 10, 2021 6:40 am

Cures for gear acquisition syndrome? Here are some ideas I've found personally useful. Many of them have been mentioned already in this thread, and many might sound patronizing (not intended) or obvious.

What's the maximum value you're comfortable with your studio amounting to? Remember to consider other things you could be doing with your money. Commit to that ceiling, and sell modules and synths you've outgrown to fund new purchases. Think about your future self (or your family's future) and how they would be served by that money earning interest in some investment vehicle, or think about what charitable donations could do for others.

If certain websites are fueling your avarice, put them on timeout with something like the Cold Turkey blocker. The GAS mentality also brings big time costs.

Introspect on what motivations are driving you to acquire more shit. Often new purchases are "substituting" (ineffectively) for some perceived, abstract lack; marketing exists to exploit this. Try to address those desires or anxieties more directly (concerted development of specific synthesis or compositional or playing skills, taking up meditation and/or therapy, working on relationships, etc.), because the hedonic treadmill entails that consumerism is a trap.

Last ditch: maybe spend a few months obsessing over a new hobby or problem to solve, and come back to making music with a different perspective.

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Re: Cure for GAS?

Post by Tofupancho » Wed Feb 10, 2021 6:58 am

Books are cool. All sorts of benefits for mental health and fitness, can broaden your understanding of the human experience, slow your heart rate, good for inspiring music, many on shelves makes for a great diffuser. Nuclear Adventures by James Mahaffrey made me want to spend a lot of time over the course of several years thinking about quantum mechanics and what a forced perspective model of limitless causality could look like. I’m 0% physicist and 99% outsider so not remotely useful to anyone but it’s dozens of hours not indulging retail therapy. And it’s definitely some kind of prism. All that for $10-20.

Great for dealing with symptoms. The rest is the practice of taking a step back and an objective look at these mechanisms. Which are feelings. You get your heart broken, it hurts for a while until it doesn’t. In retrospect, it’s unfortunate but ultimately fine and in some ways beneficial that you didn’t feel great for a while. Buying gear is an awesome series of waves of dopamine; when you place the order, anticipating arrival, unboxing, etc. It’s natural to want to hit that button, it’s natural that the state of not hitting that button isn’t a good feeling. And saying to yourself yeah, I understand all of that and feeling a little bit crappy is fine. Not a big deal. The alternatives, when examined this way, are worse. Worth restating that it’s a practice. You might suck at it at first, but you’ll get better.

Awesome bonus for us musicians in this amazing era of a billion ways to capture and re-live past works, put on your old tunes and noises you’ve made. With even less toys than you have now.

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Re: Cure for GAS?

Post by Kawouddd » Wed Feb 10, 2021 7:15 am

vromr wrote:
Wed Feb 10, 2021 1:50 am
Go LIVE!
Angling to perform could be the master constraint that forces all other pieces into place.
Presumably still possible on the Isle of Man (!)

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Re: Cure for GAS?

Post by redlester » Wed Feb 10, 2021 7:44 am

newrun wrote:
Tue Feb 09, 2021 2:30 pm
Gringo Starr wrote:
Tue Feb 09, 2021 2:17 pm
Stay off of sites like Muffs and Gearslutz. These are gas-stations.
I would add modulargrid too.
I would add YouTube too. That's where most of my GAS originates from, although I've learned to keep it in check now, but that doesn't quell my excitement when Loopop or someone similar demo's something that sounds fantastic.

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Re: Cure for GAS?

Post by prphnc » Wed Feb 10, 2021 8:21 am

I've been reading a lot about minimalism lately. That helps me a lot. There you can find rules like "one in one out" or wait 30 days before buying etc.. It is also helpful to distinguish what you really use and appreciate and what you just want or wanted to have.
My personal observation is that with things that you just want to have, often the prelude (youtube/muff) is the exciting part. If I set myself rules like wait 30 days or buy only when used available, the GAS is often already gone. If the GAS comes up again at a later time, the rules apply again! Impulse purchases I no longer allow myself.

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Re: Cure for GAS?

Post by windchill » Wed Feb 10, 2021 8:45 am

prphnc wrote:
Wed Feb 10, 2021 8:21 am
I've been reading a lot about minimalism lately. That helps me a lot. There you can find rules like "one in one out" or wait 30 days before buying etc.. It is also helpful to distinguish what you really use and appreciate and what you just want or wanted to have.
My personal observation is that with things that you just want to have, often the prelude (youtube/muff) is the exciting part. If I set myself rules like wait 30 days or buy only when used available, the GAS is often already gone. If the GAS comes up again at a later time, the rules apply again! Impulse purchases I no longer allow myself.
The 30 day rule is as important as the one-in-one-out rule. It really does make a difference if you ban yourself from impulse purchases.
Retailers know this though and will use tricks to keep us in the loop. What caught me out recently was a limited time offer which meant I could grab a new Moog Matriarch at a full £200 off. I had to decide within 4 days. I caved and bought it. Luckily I'm very happy with it and, after a cooling off period, I followed my rules and said bye bye to my Morphagene, El capistan, MN O CTRL, and a few other items.
Though things ended well I have to accept that this was a GAS relapse.

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Re: Cure for GAS?

Post by bgribble » Wed Feb 10, 2021 8:57 am

Everyone always thinks that you can get relief from GAS by Finally Acquiring the Right Things, but you have to be careful or else you will end up with a Totally Underperforming Row of Disappointment :)

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Re: Cure for GAS?

Post by stepvhen » Wed Feb 10, 2021 9:08 am

Aiming for a live setup, only filling holes in my studio, and buying things that overperformed whatever need I had for them at first has curbed my desires pretty hard. I only really have two purchases I regret; one requires a lot of focus and sound design which isn't fitting my workflow currently, and the other is just woefully underutilized with the music I do (but I still use it for pads).

Also racking up enough credit that I could have a Prophet 5 at this point, puts things into a bit of perspective.

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Re: Cure for GAS?

Post by Yes Powder » Wed Feb 10, 2021 9:12 am

bgribble wrote:
Wed Feb 10, 2021 8:57 am
Everyone always thinks that you can get relief from GAS by Finally Acquiring the Right Things, but you have to be careful or else you will end up with a Totally Underperforming Row of Disappointment :)
Well played :yay: :guinness:

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Re: Cure for GAS?

Post by funeralcake » Wed Feb 10, 2021 9:34 am

naturligfunktion wrote:
Wed Feb 10, 2021 3:21 am
I have noticed that my GAS disguise itself in order for me to buy more things. If I am "done buying modules" I will start to look at guitars. Or coffee things. Or books. Or records.

There is always something to get.

But honestly, if you have a budget and stick to it, I don't see any problems getting stuff. Every now and then I do a purge. It gives an illusion of control. Then I get more. MORE
I am the same way, only it takes an act of God to convince me to get rid of anything, and I often find I regret doing so after the fact (I still feel guilty about selling that DigiTech Turbo Flange my mom bought me for Christmas ages ago, and that is just one example)... I cannot afford to buy into modular anymore at this point, since quitting my last job. So now it's cheap paperbacks. Scads of them. And I hadn't even been reading much at all since middle school (having become disillusioned with fantasy and using my imagination as a way to make the existential ends meet and avoid looking into the ugly, bestial face of mankind, along with getting more interested in exploring music). I only got back into reading--anything--somewhat last year. But now I've suddenly got shelves of books I haven't even started reading most of. It's just another rabbit hole of hole-filling consumption... Before modular, it was films. Records, tapes and CD's and gear in general have always been something of a constant, though I go through phases of obsessing over one thing in terms of gear or media.

Obviously, it's all stuff I'm interested in and/or really like, but there is certainly an undeniable aspect to it of just buying things because it gives me a rush to find deals and construct a perfect personal universe of STUFF, because who needs physical contact? I feel like I am curating the ultimate altar to Mammon. If I could just live forever with all of my cool THINGS, I'd be okay. A lot of my purchasing is certainly misguided. I think about what it'll be like "in the future when all's well". It's like I'm buying and planning for some day ahead where everything will fall into place and I can finally start enjoying my life in my own home with my QT 4.0 BF and our cat colony and not-dead vegetable garden with hens and a couple of goats and a bitchin' home studio. I don't think I'll even live past 35 right now, or ever move out of my mom's house, though. All the hopes and dreams and prep-buying are just a form of self-deception and avoidance. I am all of a sudden very sad.

Anyway, my solution when I can't afford spending money is to simply try to stop looking at anything as much as I can reasonably avoid it. All the Reverb daily feed emails go straight to trash, for example. Of course, inevitably, months down the line, I find something I've lusted after got sold for peanuts in the interim. :bang:
useless

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Re: Cure for GAS?

Post by thevegasnerve » Wed Feb 10, 2021 9:43 am

Mr. Wiggles wrote:
Tue Feb 09, 2021 11:43 pm
It's always going to be a very personal thing, but I think the core of what seems to work for me is essentially to think about the negatives of something I don't want to do vs. positives of something I do.

For instance, I love the feeling of buying a great new module as much as anyone, and worse, when I look at a wall full of gear, I feel inspiration, not intimidation or indecision. But, I'm very picky about just how I arrange my gear and I don't especially enjoy all the time it will take to work something new into a system so that it really feels like part of that system rather than just something extra thrown in on the side. I also don't mind having a certain amount of gear sitting unused for a period, but I hate the thought of just buying something, never really using it, and then selling it. It's the effort required to set something up and the thought of not using it to its fullest that I focus on when I'm feeling like I really want to buy something that I really don't need to be buying.

Conversely, I love actually using a well organized studio full of gear (by which I mean anything from a nicely equipped desk in a corner to Junkie XL's former setup). Going and doing that is a great way for me to stop worrying about that new and shiny thing, and in the end, just sitting down and using what I have is almost always way more fun than worrying about what else I could buy.

Goals are also important, but they need to be realistic. For me, one of the things that keeps gear in check is that I want each modular case to be focused on something specific, to the point that it's essentially its own modular instrument, and I want each instrument I buy or create to work well together and add something meaningful to the whole. That could be something as simple as a skiff with a combo of modules that makes that perfect effects chain you were looking for, or it could be something as massive as Der Mann mit der Maschine's performance setup. I'm not really interested in live performance with modular, so smaller cases keep things focused. But, I use the example of a large performance setup because that can also be just as valid and focused of an end point. That's where realism comes in.

If your finances don't match your goals, you don't necessarily have to abandon them completely, but don't use that as an excuse to just make open-ended purchases with the aim of reaching that currently unattainable goal. Find a goal you can reach and that excites you, and aim for that. When you reach it, try to enjoy it first and then think about where else you might go.

That's a bit more than I intended to write, but hopefully something there is helpful to someone who winds up in this thread. Some, all, or even none of that may apply in your case. I think the most important thing is just to be honest with yourself about why you're buying something, but also don't be too hard on yourself when you make a mistake. Move on, think about why you did, and try to figure out where you could have caught and stopped yourself. Then, try to remember that next time around.
great points

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Re: Cure for GAS?

Post by starthief » Wed Feb 10, 2021 11:19 am

bgribble wrote:
Wed Feb 10, 2021 8:57 am
Everyone always thinks that you can get relief from GAS by Finally Acquiring the Right Things...
I was going to point out that there are two kinds of GAS:

1. I want more stuff
2. I want different stuff

In #2 you tell yourself you have to sell something before you can buy something else. It's easier on your budget and you're not merely accumulating ever more stuff -- but you still should make sure of your own motives. Is it curiosity? Dissatisfaction with something that's in you or your process rather than the gear? The temporary thrill of buying stuff? The insidious "this will make my music better" idea?

For me, these thoughts all help:

A. Is changing stuff moving me forward, or just sideways?

B. The longer I live with a piece of gear and the more I use it, the better it is because the better I am with it, and the stronger a connection I have with it.

C. Musicians have not just instruments, but the instrumentality... the power/agency to make music is in the musician, not the instrument.

I found I was in the habit of trading gear even after I was already happy with my gear. I was actively looking for opportunities to change stuff out.

On point A, when I was in a very DAW/MIDI/plugin frame of mind, I found myself often just tweaking stuff to make it different, without making it better. Switching DAWs, adding hardware and committing to recording just the final mix in a single take helped me with that. Only recently I realized I was stuck moving sideways with gear too.

On point B, well, yeah. One does learn stuff from trying new gear, but sometimes the important thing to learn is "how to use this better" instead of "how to use a different thing."

On point C, I encountered that thought in really clear form, in an otherwise mostly boring book arguing about Pierre Schaeffer's concept of "sound objects." I'm not going to say that your choice of gear isn't important, nor belittle the instrument maker's art in any way, or deny that especially with modular synths there's a sort of collaboration with the instrument. But musicians have a lot more autonomy and responsibility than instruments do in the music-making process.

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