Why do people subscribe to using a format that likely makes it more difficult for them to be creative?

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Why do people subscribe to using a format that likely makes it more difficult for them to be creative?

Post by onthebandwagon » Wed Aug 05, 2020 6:52 pm

Is it a sort of self sabotage?

Eurorack and such.

Is the motivation more about buildings ones “dream instrument” than wishing to express something unique?
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Re: Why do people subscribe to using a format that likely makes it more difficult for them to be creative?

Post by 3hands » Wed Aug 05, 2020 6:55 pm

Perhaps it’s the challenge of pushing ones creativity through a new learning process and seeing how it affects your creativity. That was my reason for getting into Euro. The same reason I have old British motorcycles when new ones are much more reliable, easier to service etc. Some people like to be challenged. I am one of those people! :)
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Re: Why do people subscribe to using a format that likely makes it more difficult for them to be creative?

Post by onthebandwagon » Wed Aug 05, 2020 6:58 pm

3hands wrote:
Wed Aug 05, 2020 6:55 pm
Perhaps it’s the challenge of pushing ones creativity through a new learning process and seeing how it affects your creativity. That was my reason for getting into Euro. The same reason I have old British motorcycles when new ones are much more reliable, easier to service etc. Some people like to be challenged. I am one of those people! :)
I have thought about the idea behind the first sentence but one could easy get sidetracked it seems.

Is the motorcycle analogy really a good one? You likely could learn to fix your vintage British bike which I imagine is part of the enjoyment to some and mitigates some of the expense. I’ve never ridden a motorcycle but my love of vintage cars has more to do with the overall experience of driving.p even down the the smell. And when I see a vintage bike or car I often go “ahhh” which is never the case with a modern equivalent.
Last edited by onthebandwagon on Wed Aug 05, 2020 6:59 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Why do people subscribe to using a format that likely makes it more difficult for them to be creative?

Post by dubonaire » Wed Aug 05, 2020 6:59 pm

There are many threads on this forum which discuss this, but modular does not necessarily make it more difficult to be creative, for some it helps open up creative pathways, but there are many different aspects to this. I mean at the other extreme I could buy a loop pack and bust out a dance track in about 10 minutes, (which some people do and release on Beatport by the way) but that's not particularly creative and definitely not satisfying for me.

Part of creating is enjoying the process right? A lot of people, including me, find it fun to use a modular. Even if nothing comes out at the end, I still have fun and feel creatively satisfied, which is the main point for me.

And then, modular is the domain of the happy accidents, which are great when they happen.

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Re: Why do people subscribe to using a format that likely makes it more difficult for them to be creative?

Post by 3hands » Wed Aug 05, 2020 7:01 pm

onthebandwagon wrote:
Wed Aug 05, 2020 6:58 pm
3hands wrote:
Wed Aug 05, 2020 6:55 pm
Perhaps it’s the challenge of pushing ones creativity through a new learning process and seeing how it affects your creativity. That was my reason for getting into Euro. The same reason I have old British motorcycles when new ones are much more reliable, easier to service etc. Some people like to be challenged. I am one of those people! :)
I have thought about the idea behind the first sentence but one could easy get sidetracked it seems.

Is the motorcycle analogy really a good one? You likely could learn to fix your vintage British bike which I imagine is part of the enjoyment to some and mitigates some of the expense. I’ve never ridden a motorcycle but my love of vintage cars has more to do with the overall experience of driving.p even down the the smell. And when I see a vintage bike or car I often go “ahhh” which is never the case with a modern equivalent.
I think it’s a good analogy. I don’t look at owning it as a cost cutting measure. It’s about building up the experience to know what to do, when something goes wrong. Just like modular!!! W :hihi:
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Re: Why do people subscribe to using a format that likely makes it more difficult for them to be creative?

Post by onthebandwagon » Wed Aug 05, 2020 7:03 pm

dubonaire wrote:
Wed Aug 05, 2020 6:59 pm
There are many threads on this forum which discuss this, but modular does not necessarily make it more difficult to be creative, for some it helps open up creative pathways, but there are many different aspects to this. I mean at the other extreme I could buy a loop pack and bust out a dance track in about 10 minutes, (which some people do and release on Beatport by the way) but that's not particularly creative and definitely not satisfying for me.

Part of creating is enjoying the process right? A lot of people, including me, find it fun to use a modular, even if nothing comes out at the end, I still have fun and feel creatively satisfied, which is the main point for me.

And then, modular is the domain of the happy accidents, which are great when they happen.
Wonder how difficult it was to use a fairlight when it first came out.

Maybe I’m just stuck in the past with the music that matters to me, thinking about the equipment or lack of that they used, but also they did have studios and experience engineers to work with. Or, a group like Cluster, I doubt they spent 5 years building their ultimate synth to make an album but maybe I’m wrong.

Wonder if Woo subscribed to modularity.
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It'd be exactly where I'm at"

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Re: Why do people subscribe to using a format that likely makes it more difficult for them to be creative?

Post by dubonaire » Wed Aug 05, 2020 7:09 pm

onthebandwagon wrote:
Wed Aug 05, 2020 7:03 pm
dubonaire wrote:
Wed Aug 05, 2020 6:59 pm
There are many threads on this forum which discuss this, but modular does not necessarily make it more difficult to be creative, for some it helps open up creative pathways, but there are many different aspects to this. I mean at the other extreme I could buy a loop pack and bust out a dance track in about 10 minutes, (which some people do and release on Beatport by the way) but that's not particularly creative and definitely not satisfying for me.

Part of creating is enjoying the process right? A lot of people, including me, find it fun to use a modular, even if nothing comes out at the end, I still have fun and feel creatively satisfied, which is the main point for me.

And then, modular is the domain of the happy accidents, which are great when they happen.
Wonder how difficult it was to use a fairlight when it first came out.

Maybe I’m just stuck in the past with the music that matters to me, thinking about the equipment or lack of that they used, but also they did have studios and experience engineers to work with.

Wonder if Woo subscribed to modularity.
The original Fairlight was a main frame computer if that gives you any idea. I've heard the Synclavier was the really difficult one to use. Also, to have access to a Fairlight you needed to be a wealthy musician.

But don't forget modular is '60s technology, so I don't really get your point about the past. It is much simpler to make music now say ITB for example. One person can be an orchestra. Individuals make entire film scores.

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Re: Why do people subscribe to using a format that likely makes it more difficult for them to be creative?

Post by 3hands » Wed Aug 05, 2020 7:11 pm

onthebandwagon wrote:
Wed Aug 05, 2020 7:03 pm
dubonaire wrote:
Wed Aug 05, 2020 6:59 pm
There are many threads on this forum which discuss this, but modular does not necessarily make it more difficult to be creative, for some it helps open up creative pathways, but there are many different aspects to this. I mean at the other extreme I could buy a loop pack and bust out a dance track in about 10 minutes, (which some people do and release on Beatport by the way) but that's not particularly creative and definitely not satisfying for me.

Part of creating is enjoying the process right? A lot of people, including me, find it fun to use a modular, even if nothing comes out at the end, I still have fun and feel creatively satisfied, which is the main point for me.

And then, modular is the domain of the happy accidents, which are great when they happen.
Wonder how difficult it was to use a fairlight when it first came out.

Maybe I’m just stuck in the past with the music that matters to me, thinking about the equipment or lack of that they used, but also they did have studios and experience engineers to work with. Or, a group like Cluster, I doubt they spent 5 years building their ultimate synth to make an album but maybe I’m wrong.

Wonder if Woo subscribed to modularity.
There’s a reason when you hired a Fairlight, You also hired an engineer to operate it. Could you imagine the year is 1981, having no concept what a sampler is, and you walk into a studio and instead of your usual system, it’s a Fairlight and a guy named Keith? No wonder coke was used so much.
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Re: Why do people subscribe to using a format that likely makes it more difficult for them to be creative?

Post by Michael O. » Wed Aug 05, 2020 7:12 pm

onthebandwagon wrote:
Wed Aug 05, 2020 7:03 pm
dubonaire wrote:
Wed Aug 05, 2020 6:59 pm
There are many threads on this forum which discuss this, but modular does not necessarily make it more difficult to be creative, for some it helps open up creative pathways, but there are many different aspects to this. I mean at the other extreme I could buy a loop pack and bust out a dance track in about 10 minutes, (which some people do and release on Beatport by the way) but that's not particularly creative and definitely not satisfying for me.

Part of creating is enjoying the process right? A lot of people, including me, find it fun to use a modular, even if nothing comes out at the end, I still have fun and feel creatively satisfied, which is the main point for me.

And then, modular is the domain of the happy accidents, which are great when they happen.
Wonder how difficult it was to use a fairlight when it first came out.

Maybe I’m just stuck in the past with the music that matters to me, thinking about the equipment or lack of that they used, but also they did have studios and experience engineers to work with. Or, a group like Cluster, I doubt they spent 5 years building their ultimate synth to make an album but maybe I’m wrong.

Wonder if Woo subscribed to modularity.
I’m not sure if I’m missing the point and you’re being facetious, but Cluster had a famously complex and technologically cutting-edge setup, and worked with engineers and producers like Conny Plank and Brian Eno. And if we’re thinking of the same Woo, they Have songs literally created with modular synthesizers.

The process can be as relevant as, or perhaps even more so than, the results, when it comes to art. And sometimes part of that process is gathering or crafting materials according to ones own judgement and the project at hand.

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Re: Why do people subscribe to using a format that likely makes it more difficult for them to be creative?

Post by Monofunk » Wed Aug 05, 2020 7:21 pm

Being creative can be difficult and that's a people thing not a material thing.

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Re: Why do people subscribe to using a format that likely makes it more difficult for them to be creative?

Post by onthebandwagon » Wed Aug 05, 2020 7:28 pm

dubonaire wrote:
Wed Aug 05, 2020 7:09 pm
onthebandwagon wrote:
Wed Aug 05, 2020 7:03 pm
dubonaire wrote:
Wed Aug 05, 2020 6:59 pm
There are many threads on this forum which discuss this, but modular does not necessarily make it more difficult to be creative, for some it helps open up creative pathways, but there are many different aspects to this. I mean at the other extreme I could buy a loop pack and bust out a dance track in about 10 minutes, (which some people do and release on Beatport by the way) but that's not particularly creative and definitely not satisfying for me.

Part of creating is enjoying the process right? A lot of people, including me, find it fun to use a modular, even if nothing comes out at the end, I still have fun and feel creatively satisfied, which is the main point for me.

And then, modular is the domain of the happy accidents, which are great when they happen.
Wonder how difficult it was to use a fairlight when it first came out.

Maybe I’m just stuck in the past with the music that matters to me, thinking about the equipment or lack of that they used, but also they did have studios and experience engineers to work with.

Wonder if Woo subscribed to modularity.
The original Fairlight was a main frame computer if that gives you any idea. I've heard the Synclavier was the really difficult one to use. Also, to have access to a Fairlight you needed to be a wealthy musician.

But don't forget modular is '60s technology, so I don't really get your point about the past. It is much simpler to make music now ITB. One person can be an orchestra.
Well that was a bit of my point re: the past, people seemed to be doing more with less equipment, or the continual lust of, but I’m also aware they had that studio wizardry behind them. I find myself justifying prostration by telling myself I need xyz before I can make something of substance, not speaking of modular.
I criticize by creation and by finding fault

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It'd be exactly where I'm at"

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Re: Why do people subscribe to using a format that likely makes it more difficult for them to be creative?

Post by onthebandwagon » Wed Aug 05, 2020 7:32 pm

Michael O. wrote:
Wed Aug 05, 2020 7:12 pm
onthebandwagon wrote:
Wed Aug 05, 2020 7:03 pm
dubonaire wrote:
Wed Aug 05, 2020 6:59 pm
There are many threads on this forum which discuss this, but modular does not necessarily make it more difficult to be creative, for some it helps open up creative pathways, but there are many different aspects to this. I mean at the other extreme I could buy a loop pack and bust out a dance track in about 10 minutes, (which some people do and release on Beatport by the way) but that's not particularly creative and definitely not satisfying for me.

Part of creating is enjoying the process right? A lot of people, including me, find it fun to use a modular, even if nothing comes out at the end, I still have fun and feel creatively satisfied, which is the main point for me.

And then, modular is the domain of the happy accidents, which are great when they happen.
Wonder how difficult it was to use a fairlight when it first came out.

Maybe I’m just stuck in the past with the music that matters to me, thinking about the equipment or lack of that they used, but also they did have studios and experience engineers to work with. Or, a group like Cluster, I doubt they spent 5 years building their ultimate synth to make an album but maybe I’m wrong.

Wonder if Woo subscribed to modularity.
I’m not sure if I’m missing the point and you’re being facetious, but Cluster had a famously complex and technologically cutting-edge setup, and worked with engineers and producers like Conny Plank and Brian Eno. And if we’re thinking of the same Woo, they Have songs literally created with modular synthesizers.

The process can be as relevant as, or perhaps even more so than, the results, when it comes to art. And sometimes part of that process is gathering or crafting materials according to ones own judgement and the project at hand.
Actually I’m not being facetious but maybe fastidious in my ignorance. I thought Woo was mainly using semi modular or other bought as is type stuff. As for Cluster, my favorites album is Sowiesoso which I believe Conny Plank only mixed that one? I feel their work with Eno striped them of some warmth, while I like those albums they seem sterile.
I criticize by creation and by finding fault

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It'd be exactly where I'm at"

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Re: Why do people subscribe to using a format that likely makes it more difficult for them to be creative?

Post by onthebandwagon » Wed Aug 05, 2020 7:34 pm

Monofunk wrote:
Wed Aug 05, 2020 7:21 pm
Being creative can be difficult and that's a people thing not a material thing.
I guess my quandary has to do when the material interferes with the human.
I criticize by creation and by finding fault

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It'd be exactly where I'm at"

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Re: Why do people subscribe to using a format that likely makes it more difficult for them to be creative?

Post by Michael O. » Wed Aug 05, 2020 7:37 pm

Ohh, that point I totally grok and can get behind. The endless quest for the perfect setup can sometimes be a distraction from actually making music. But, there’ve always been the gear-chasers, and more power to them, because their insatiable appetite for the perfect equipment is likely why we’re all not still sitting around listening to clarinet-led, banjo-backed trad jazz on Edison cylinders (not to knock that, we actually do still kick it that way sometimes here in New Orleans). But yeah, ultimately it’s a different strokes for different folks situation, or maybe more accurately a horses for courses one, and that’s fine by me.

And my man, hell yes on the Sowiesoso! The only work of theirs I still really listen to in its entirety. And yeah the Plank and Eno associations didn’t necessarily add anything worthwhile to the gestalt, but I more mentioned them because they’re some of the more famously gear-obsessed household names of that era. And I believe yours may be more accurate than my own recollection of the Woo material, I can’t remember if they rocked a system 100 or a system 100m, and I often fail or am hesitant to make the distinction between modular and semi-modular (i.e., I guess I tend to think of them in terms of functional, rather than physical, modularity, which minimizes the distinction).

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Re: Why do people subscribe to using a format that likely makes it more difficult for them to be creative?

Post by onthebandwagon » Wed Aug 05, 2020 7:37 pm

3hands wrote:
Wed Aug 05, 2020 7:11 pm
onthebandwagon wrote:
Wed Aug 05, 2020 7:03 pm
dubonaire wrote:
Wed Aug 05, 2020 6:59 pm
There are many threads on this forum which discuss this, but modular does not necessarily make it more difficult to be creative, for some it helps open up creative pathways, but there are many different aspects to this. I mean at the other extreme I could buy a loop pack and bust out a dance track in about 10 minutes, (which some people do and release on Beatport by the way) but that's not particularly creative and definitely not satisfying for me.

Part of creating is enjoying the process right? A lot of people, including me, find it fun to use a modular, even if nothing comes out at the end, I still have fun and feel creatively satisfied, which is the main point for me.

And then, modular is the domain of the happy accidents, which are great when they happen.
Wonder how difficult it was to use a fairlight when it first came out.

Maybe I’m just stuck in the past with the music that matters to me, thinking about the equipment or lack of that they used, but also they did have studios and experience engineers to work with. Or, a group like Cluster, I doubt they spent 5 years building their ultimate synth to make an album but maybe I’m wrong.

Wonder if Woo subscribed to modularity.
There’s a reason when you hired a Fairlight, You also hired an engineer to operate it. Could you imagine the year is 1981, having no concept what a sampler is, and you walk into a studio and instead of your usual system, it’s a Fairlight and a guy named Keith? No wonder coke was used so much.
Did Kate Bush hire anyone? From what I read she learned it herself but that could just be myth... despite my general cantankerous confusion I’m not knocking anyone’s method although I am questioning the intention while acknowledging it might be the right decision for some.
I criticize by creation and by finding fault

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It'd be exactly where I'm at"

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Re: Why do people subscribe to using a format that likely makes it more difficult for them to be creative?

Post by onthebandwagon » Wed Aug 05, 2020 7:41 pm

Michael O. wrote:
Wed Aug 05, 2020 7:37 pm
Ohh, that point I totally grok and can get behind. The endless quest for the perfect setup can sometimes be a distraction from actually making music. But, there’ve always been the gear-chasers, and more power to them, because their insatiable appetite for the perfect equipment is likely why we’re all not still sitting around listening to clarinet-led, banjo-backed trad jazz on Edison cylinders (not to knock that, we actually do still kick it that way sometimes here in New Orleans). But yeah, ultimately it’s a different strokes for different folks situation, or maybe more accurately a horses for courses one, and that’s fine by me.

And my man, hell yes on the Sowiesoso! The only work of theirs I still really listen to in its entirety. And yeah the Plank and Eno associations didn’t necessarily add anything worthwhile to the gestalt, but I more mentioned them because they’re some of the more famously gear-obsessed household names of that era. And I believe yours may be more accurate than my own recollection of the Woo material, I can’t remember if they rocked a system 100 or a system 100m, and I often fail or am hesitant to make the distinction between modular and semi-modular (i.e., I guess I tend to think of them in terms of functional, rather than physical, modularity, which minimizes the distinction).
Well I’m glad you can see my point and share my appreciation of Sowiesoo which seems like is hissy at times and maybe could of used more attention to how it was recorded but very unimportant as it really captures some some pure emotion for me, enough to make me teary at times. And regarding Woo, I feel like they share some of that Sowiesoo magic.
I criticize by creation and by finding fault

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It'd be exactly where I'm at"

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Re: Why do people subscribe to using a format that likely makes it more difficult for them to be creative?

Post by 3hands » Wed Aug 05, 2020 8:24 pm

onthebandwagon wrote:
Wed Aug 05, 2020 7:37 pm
3hands wrote:
Wed Aug 05, 2020 7:11 pm
onthebandwagon wrote:
Wed Aug 05, 2020 7:03 pm
dubonaire wrote:
Wed Aug 05, 2020 6:59 pm
There are many threads on this forum which discuss this, but modular does not necessarily make it more difficult to be creative, for some it helps open up creative pathways, but there are many different aspects to this. I mean at the other extreme I could buy a loop pack and bust out a dance track in about 10 minutes, (which some people do and release on Beatport by the way) but that's not particularly creative and definitely not satisfying for me.

Part of creating is enjoying the process right? A lot of people, including me, find it fun to use a modular, even if nothing comes out at the end, I still have fun and feel creatively satisfied, which is the main point for me.

And then, modular is the domain of the happy accidents, which are great when they happen.
Wonder how difficult it was to use a fairlight when it first came out.

Maybe I’m just stuck in the past with the music that matters to me, thinking about the equipment or lack of that they used, but also they did have studios and experience engineers to work with. Or, a group like Cluster, I doubt they spent 5 years building their ultimate synth to make an album but maybe I’m wrong.

Wonder if Woo subscribed to modularity.
There’s a reason when you hired a Fairlight, You also hired an engineer to operate it. Could you imagine the year is 1981, having no concept what a sampler is, and you walk into a studio and instead of your usual system, it’s a Fairlight and a guy named Keith? No wonder coke was used so much.
Did Kate Bush hire anyone? From what I read she learned it herself but that could just be myth... despite my general cantankerous confusion I’m not knocking anyone’s method although I am questioning the intention while acknowledging it might be the right decision for some.

You’re right I believe she did learn it herself! Her and Peter Gabriel were the two major artists that took the time to learn the OS. I believe her home studio was an 8 track, a Linndrum and a Fairlight. (And I believe a Yamaha CS80, but I could be mistaken).
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Re: Why do people subscribe to using a format that likely makes it more difficult for them to be creative?

Post by dubonaire » Wed Aug 05, 2020 8:26 pm

I think it can be seen in terms of an artist's practice. An artist's practice is unique to them, but incorporates many facets. Even for low technology artists it involves documentation, archiving, management of space, materials and media, processes for experimentation, methods for creativity, interfacing with the audience, performing, galleries etc.

Which instruments you use and how you approach them is a part of that practice that may change over time unless you are a dedicated single instrumentalist dedicating a lifetime to perfecting that one instrument, as some do.

Part of the practice over time is exploring what works for you.

Then of course there is clearly a group of synth nerds who seem to value collecting and acquiring gear at least as much as being creative. If that gives them enjoyment then that's OK.

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Re: Why do people subscribe to using a format that likely makes it more difficult for them to be creative?

Post by Monofunk » Wed Aug 05, 2020 8:36 pm

onthebandwagon wrote:
Wed Aug 05, 2020 7:34 pm
Monofunk wrote:
Wed Aug 05, 2020 7:21 pm
Being creative can be difficult and that's a people thing not a material thing.
I guess my quandary has to do when the material interferes with the human.
Maybe this is because they aren't looking to be creative? The seed of creativity and intention is there but in practice they seek the material road?

The idea of using certain equipment may be enticing or appear necessary. Maybe people you have in mind prefer to make things more complicated in an intellectual pursuit or because of thought patterns that stray away from the initial seeds of creativity? Maybe combinations of these forces?

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Re: Why do people subscribe to using a format that likely makes it more difficult for them to be creative?

Post by thetwlo » Wed Aug 05, 2020 8:48 pm

onthebandwagon wrote:
Wed Aug 05, 2020 7:03 pm

Wonder how difficult it was to use a fairlight when it first came out.
It's probably more difficult to program now.

HEH! that's why the early RevCo stuff is what it is. Al Jourgensen got the Fairlight, but no one could figure out how to sequence it more than 16 steps.
So that became part of their "sound" ...to a degree.

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Re: Why do people subscribe to using a format that likely makes it more difficult for them to be creative?

Post by onthebandwagon » Wed Aug 05, 2020 9:00 pm

Monofunk wrote:
Wed Aug 05, 2020 8:36 pm
onthebandwagon wrote:
Wed Aug 05, 2020 7:34 pm
Monofunk wrote:
Wed Aug 05, 2020 7:21 pm
Being creative can be difficult and that's a people thing not a material thing.
I guess my quandary has to do when the material interferes with the human.
Maybe this is because they aren't looking to be creative? The seed of creativity and intention is there but in practice they seek the material road?

The idea of using certain equipment may be enticing or appear necessary. Maybe people you have in mind prefer to make things more complicated in an intellectual pursuit or because of thought patterns that stray away from the initial seeds of creativity? Maybe combinations of these forces?
Yes, well who is to say... I would probably be disappointed if those people talked too much about their process, although I do spend a bit of time thinking about it but who wants the artist to come over and put the puzzle together for you?

Maybe MBV’s Loveless is an album totally saturated in both ideas and materialism, esp. if studio time would be considered a material. I recall Kevin Shields being asked if he couldn’t of done something (I forget what and can’t find the interview) in a much more straight forward way with the same result, he said yes in theory...but something about the process being necessary. The fact that he made an album that it sounds relatively the same on a boombox or in hifi (by intention) is worthy of the material indulgences, cost etc., in my opinion.
Last edited by onthebandwagon on Wed Aug 05, 2020 9:12 pm, edited 1 time in total.
I criticize by creation and by finding fault

"I'm on stage its all an act, I'm really scared that I may fall back on the abstract
It'd be exactly where I'm at"

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thetwlo
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Re: Why do people subscribe to using a format that likely makes it more difficult for them to be creative?

Post by thetwlo » Wed Aug 05, 2020 9:09 pm

onthebandwagon wrote:
Wed Aug 05, 2020 6:52 pm
Is it a sort of self sabotage?

Eurorack and such.
Is the motivation more about buildings ones “dream instrument” than wishing to express something unique?
compared to other modular formats? :despair: Banana systems are nicer IMHO, eurorack is cramped compared to other formats. But it's fine for many.
And eurorack offers many more possibilities than other systems, fully allowing complete creativity to do whatever you wish. I guess some systems limit it, which can be good too.
Last edited by thetwlo on Wed Aug 05, 2020 9:21 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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neumedi
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Re: Why do people subscribe to using a format that likely makes it more difficult for them to be creative?

Post by neumedi » Wed Aug 05, 2020 9:15 pm

Very interesting topic. I can only speak to my own experience. I started on guitar at age 6 and became decently proficient. Moved on to bass guitar, and was good enough that I could talk my way into being in any band in my town. Never really totally gelled, creatively speaking, with any of the bands I was in. Since the creative passion wasn't there, I basically gave up on the music-as-a-lifestyle dream (not really sure I was ever committed to that to begin with) and "got a day job".

With my career well-established (not ready to retire, but career solid enough to not have to climb any more ladders) and my kids off to college, I can get back to exploring my own version of "musical creativity". Without going even into more personal baggage, the guitar alone just has too much weight to it for me. If I come up with a nice jazz fusion phrase, I scold myself for not being up to Pat Metheny/Allan Holdsworth phrases. If I try to go bluesy, I lose focus the moment I hear Jeff Beck/Bonamassa/Buddy Guy/countless others. If I just try to noodle in between genres, I hear Guthrie Govan/Aristocrats and know that I'd rather listen to his playing than anything I'll ever record on my own. It's not that I lack confidence in general (trust me, as my co-workers, lol), it's that I know I never committed to the level to reach a proficiency (both technically and music theory wise) to push the envelope in a way that satisfies my creativity in a way that excites me. Perhaps I just spent too many years "worshiping" guitarists, idolizing every unique approach to picking techniques, legato, phrasing, etc.

Most other instruments carry similar "baggage" for me. I have pianists I've studied and obsessed over, drummers, etc.

Modular allows me to break out of those expectations. I think there's a few reasons for this. Underlying all of what I'm about to say is a foundational appreciation for what the "instrument" of modular creates. I love the sounds, textures, melodies, dissonance, happy accidents, purposefulness, and overall "whoa, I didn't expect that" nature to a LOT of the modular-based music/demos/experiments I hear. With that said...

I haven't yet seen a large number of modular-based artists that have a proficiency that basically make me feel "okay, I'll never be that good - and they've already said everything I could ever say and much more - so I have nothing I can really contribute" kind of feeling I have with guitar. There ARE modular-based artists who I know have spent more time perfecting their craft, and have great "creative vision", and create stuff that I'm highly confident says more than I most likely ever will with the instrument, BUT not enough where I don't feel like there's room for something that's less "proficient", but can still say something new and unique. Which leads to...

And then of course, there's the obvious fact that, with modular, my instrument is quite fundamentally different than most others. My Eurorack setup is far more different than <insert your favorite modular artist> setup than a 6-string acoustic guitar tuned to standard is different than a 7-string electric tuned to Open C (Devin Townsend rules by the way). Point is, just the nature of having an instrument that is so open-ended relieves the expectations of what ends up flowing from it.

Okay, so bringing it back to earth - I'm certainly proned to geeky gear lust as well. I got into modular 60-80% to explore my creativity with less "baggage", but 20-40% to have fun playing around with music technology legos. But if you do the math - that's the lesser reason. The main reason, just for me, is to take the knowledge I've gained through other instruments, the creativity I have inside, and hopefully, some kind of "message", and feel that modular can help me express that in a way that might be somewhat unique in the world - even if just to my close friends/loved ones/random internet strangers.

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onthebandwagon
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Re: Why do people subscribe to using a format that likely makes it more difficult for them to be creative?

Post by onthebandwagon » Wed Aug 05, 2020 9:16 pm

thetwlo wrote:
Wed Aug 05, 2020 9:09 pm
onthebandwagon wrote:
Wed Aug 05, 2020 6:52 pm
Is it a sort of self sabotage?

Eurorack and such.
Is the motivation more about buildings ones “dream instrument” than wishing to express something unique?
compared to other modular formats? :despair: Banana systems are nicer IMHO, eurorack is cramped compared to other formats. But it's fine for many.
And eurorack offers many more possibilities than other systems, fully allowing complete creativity to do whatever you wish. I guess some system limit it, which can be goo too.
But isn’t it very well possible that people are expending their creativity and energy designing a perfect system while actually sacrificing the ideas that they are designing it for?
I criticize by creation and by finding fault

"I'm on stage its all an act, I'm really scared that I may fall back on the abstract
It'd be exactly where I'm at"

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thetwlo
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Re: Why do people subscribe to using a format that likely makes it more difficult for them to be creative?

Post by thetwlo » Wed Aug 05, 2020 9:24 pm

onthebandwagon wrote:
Wed Aug 05, 2020 9:16 pm
But isn’t it very well possible that people are expending their creativity and energy designing a perfect system while actually sacrificing the ideas that they are designing it for?
How's that? Who wants a "perfect system"? I change things around weekly to suit what I want to create. But that's any modular system, you change to fit your ideas, never locked in to one way of thinking.

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