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Money money money... and modular synths
MUFF WIGGLER Forum Index -> Modular Synth General Discussion Goto page 1, 2, 3  Next [all]
Author Money money money... and modular synths
AW198
You guys with the huge cases full of modules - how long did it take you to acquire all that? Similarly for you guys with single 12U Eurorack suitcases etc...

My heart yearns for modules, with all the experimentation, patch possibilities and enjoyable evenings they'd bring. But my wallet tells me to fuck off.
It took me about 6 months to build a tiny Eurorack setup, and although I love modular way more than any hardwired synth (except perhaps the pre-2000s legends) it takes so bloody long to save up to afford them. It's part of the student life that I'm always desperate for spare cash I know, and I've come to the conclusion that a proper full case of modules is years away once I get a steady job. Yet I'm still determined to build my setup rather than go hardwired again because I love it, and it's soul crushing sometimes to see pictures of people's huge modular rigs of various formats.

Can some of you make me feel better by telling me you had to sell half of your internal organs over 20 years to afford this life please? waah
Dave Peck
Well, of course it is difficult to save up for a modular when you are still a student. It's rather impressive that you're doing it at all right now. For what it's worth, you'll be amazed at how fast you can afford to put together a large system once you are out of school and have a full time job. You'll also probably find that fact somewhat frightening. Or at least you should. This is fun!

For now, you could be content in the fact that only being able to afford a new module very rarely helps assure that you are putting a lot of thought into the process and you are making very well-planned purchases.
Shledge
Took a year to get from my initial old 6U system to 15U. I started another 6U just before christmas and I should be finished that by summer.

Nothing crazy - just 1-2 modules every month. I don't drink, smoke or go out much (not particularly into socialising), I get the bare basics in clothes, food etc. so that saves a bit of money too. Pay is okay enough to get better stuff but I'm really frugal outside hobbies. razz
folpon
I'm a software engineer and make a decent amount of money, but most of my modular has come in gradually, from the profits of little arbitrage deals I find here and there.

I got my first few modules after buying a broken Juno 60, fixing it, and reselling on CL.

The funds for my diy Easel came in after I picked up a rare clavichord on a trip to a small desert town, which I resold to a harpsichordist back in the big city where I live.

Stuff like that. I like restoring broken things, so it's fun for me, in addition to being a way of growing my rig.

Maybe you can find some outside the box ways to do this, too. Cheers!
Trilo
About 5 years ago my wife and I went through a rough patch. In my immature way at retaliation for being hurt, I bought about $8000 worth of gear over 6 months and put it all on my credit card.

I don't recommend going about it this way.

I do have a good job and have paid off the card. Also, my wife and I are in a way better place. I do not regret the purchases but they were not very well thought out and were rash decisions.

Oh well! w00t

Go slow. Buy as you can afford it. Trade what you end up not using for new inspiring gear. Before you know it you will be an old man with a room full of blinking lights and patch cords!

Dont sell and organs though... maybe blood plasma?!
VinceL
Here is a picture of my modular setup from a couple of years ago:


There have been just a few additions and a few things sold since then.

I started this modular in 2001 with 2 Dotcom cabinets. It is quite large today, but it is the result of 15+ years of buying.

And, today, I am an old retired guy with a room full of blinking lights. Mr. Green
Parnelli
Trilo wrote:
About 5 years ago my wife and I went through a rough patch. In my immature way at retaliation for being hurt, I bought about $8000 worth of gear over 6 months and put it all on my credit card.

I don't recommend going about it this way.

I do have a good job and have paid off the card. Also, my wife and I are in a way better place. I do not regret the purchases but they were not very well thought out and were rash decisions.

Oh well! w00t

Go slow. Buy as you can afford it. Trade what you end up not using for new inspiring gear. Before you know it you will be an old man with a room full of blinking lights and patch cords!

Dont sell and organs though... maybe blood plasma?!


This. I did a similar thing albeit without the wife part.

Bad plan.

But I do have a lot of cool stuff to pay off now!
starthief
My rough estimate -- considering previously owned gear that I sold off, discounts, trades, beta units etc. -- is I've spent about $400 a month on gear over 14 months. That's not sustainable in the long term, but I am also at my personal size limit for a modular system. Any future spending will just be the occasional trade-to-upgrade.

Whenever I think "I sure have spent a lot on Eurorack" I think about:

- the cost of a good quality acoustic instrument.
- the cost of many other hobbies, especially compared to the amount of time spent enjoying them. I get hours a day of enjoyment out of my synths smile
- having to pay almost half of what I've spent on Eurorack, just to have a tree cut down in my backyard.
- having to pay almost three times what I've spent on Eurorack, yearly, on prescription drugs, because 'Muricah very frustrating
lisa
I earn tons so it’s easy now. When I was a student i bought synths that where cheap. Simple. razz
search64
lisa wrote:
I earn tons so it’s easy now. When I was a student i bought synths that where cheap. Simple. razz


It me.

I have limited myself to 9u, which is enough for my bleeps and bloops that distract me from the sometimes drab job that makes me all that sweet dough.
dubonaire
I have over 1,000HP about 80% filled which is not a mega rack but not small. I waited about 30 years until I could afford it, which happened to coincide with the recent great Eurorack explosion. I started about 5 years a go and I'll probably fill the rack over the next two years. Not because I can't afford it but because I wait for really interesting, reliable, well-made modules. But then every time you expand the need for utility, CV and VCA modules to interface with those modules expands as well. With an E370 about to arrive I'm at that point now which means my next expansion needs to be about 60HP or more of those types. Something to be aware of. There are times I look at it and ask myself if it's really worth all that cash. With the money I've spent I could get a couple of top line synths with lower SNR, $5k monitors and some decent outboard gear and probably be much more productive. Sometimes a big modular feels like a burden. You can spend half your time retracing the patch cables to remind yourself what you've done. This is especially annoying when you innocently tweak a knob and suddenly the best part of your patch irrecoverably turns to shit. On the other hand I can get some pretty unique sounds and rhythms going on the modular and dialing in that sweet spot is really an awesome experience.
captjrab
Dont limit yourself to modular. You can make beautiful noise with your small rig and sounds from the wilds. 5-6 years being frugal and you’ll eventually have a well thought out rig.
abelovesfun
I built mine by building three and selling two. I have four racks of various formats and it's paid for itself.
hsosdrum
I fell in love with Moog-format synthesizers when I was 19 years old.

It took another 46 years before I was finally in a spot in life where I could make my modular dreams come true. (Thanks, Dotcom!)

Never give up. thumbs up
cornutt
Over 10 years. And I built a lot of kits.
Abston
Almost 2 years to fill two 84hp Doepfer cases. The thing is I was fast at the beginning but i noticed it is not a good way to do because buying modules is something that I need to think, I need tests, I need to compare and I need to well understand a module before purchasing it. It was a mistake I did before to not taking my time to buy a module and sometimes it has not been a good choice regarding my needs and expectations.
So now, it takes more time to develop my system but I feel better taking this time smile
AW198
Thanks for all the answers guys - it seems like I will have to wait a while for a huge setup, but it'll be easier when I have a job.

Some of you have said how it's better to not have loads of money at once to spend on modules so that you can understand them better - I agree, if nothing else I know my modules inside out. My wishlist of next purchases is completely different to what it was when I started out.

I guess I'll grit my teeth and get a job as soon as possible! One day I'll have 1 wall of East Coast and the wall opposite it of West Coast... I just hope the Eurorack boom doesn't disappear soon.
djthopa
Hi!

I recomend to go slow and steady, specially if you are a student.

I have been working on the same company for the last 20 years on and off. So i have a steady, secure more or less income every month.

I have been single, had a girlfriend, got married, and now ten years later ended up having two kids. Priorities.......when i was single or just I had a girlfriend i spent as much as i could afford on gear. Things change.

It got pretty bad at some point, as i have and addictive personality, for good and bad things, endorphines they say, and for some time i sold most of my possessions on Evilbay to afford new gear.

I started with a dopefer 9u, filled it eventually with the cheapest and most of the time wrong modules, and started selling and trading stuff.

Its been around six years where i had the eurocrack exponential purchase curve and as i was going forward in my life and on with my growing family, priorities changed and now i spend on modular some part of what is left after paying for rent / school etc...

I used to have this saying at home "First the kids and then the modules....."

I just moved house and i started to build an new studio; sometimes i just sit there and realise what hoarder i am. Do i need all this gear? Mostly not. Would i sell it? No! my precious! (Gollum)

Well i have downsized and up sized a few times already, back and forth, but now i want to believe im pretty much done.

Im 40 now. I want to play with the modular for as long as i can.

Amazing modules will be released and the butterflies and craving will come back, but also with the years you will learn to hold back, sometimes you wont!

Good thing about euro is you can resell most of your modules and gear with obviously a percentage loss of what you spend, but i mean technology is so over / under rated today.

I bought a lemur when it came out. Then Ipads came out. My lemur was worth a tenth of its value...damn.

And sometimes you will luckily have that module that for some reason is either not produced any more, hard to get, etc...

Resuming, and sorry for talking so much jaja...,.take it easy, specially if you are a student, focus on what you want to achieve with the modular, and think that there will always be people with less/ more modular than you and that does not mean they are more / less productive with it. Try buying second hand! I know the great feeling of new stuff, but second hand modules are as functional as new ones, they are just used modules.

I have mine to mess around and have a good fun ride.
cptnal
I had a look at some of your YouTube clips and you've got a shitload more gear than I had when I was a student, so quit moaning. you kids get off my lawn

Seriously though, you're making some decent tunes, so don't fret about the quantity of gear you have. I've seen walls full of gear produce shit, and the tiniest of systems produce beauty (more below).

You don't want to hear it but I discovered Eurorack the same week I paid my mortgage off. I also had a wad of spare cash, so I bought what I saw. Most of the time I was shrewd/lucky enough to make good decisions, but having returned to a fairly normal cash flow situation, and getting to the point of running out of space, my buying decisions are more considered and focused. I discovered the joy of Doepfer, that Elements and Akemie's Castle are just too big for me, and that I really didn't have 40hp to throw away on delays and reverb.

To answer your question, it's taken seven months to (almost) fill two Mantis cases, and I think that's optimal for me. Once they're full it'll be one in one out, so decisions will have to be even more considered.

And I don't think Eurorack is going anywhere anytime soon.

If it makes you feel any better, take a look at what this guy does with a tiny setup:

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCQlx3fDTdkkuyyj-pzpUuYg

This is fun!
dubonaire
starthief wrote:

Whenever I think "I sure have spent a lot on Eurorack" I think about:

- the cost of a good quality acoustic instrument.
- the cost of many other hobbies, especially compared to the amount of time spent enjoying them. I get hours a day of enjoyment out of my synths smile
- having to pay almost half of what I've spent on Eurorack, just to have a tree cut down in my backyard.
- having to pay almost three times what I've spent on Eurorack, yearly, on prescription drugs, because 'Muricah very frustrating


Actually I do the same thing. A lot of hobbies are expensive. And I think for most hobbies, it is healthy to have a hobby.

That tree thing puts it in perspective, it's when you can't afford to get the tree cut down because of synth that you have a problem.

I think a lot of the advice here to go slow is very good advice though.
MarcelP
AW198 wrote:
You guys with the huge cases full of modules - how long did it take you to acquire all that? waah


Started playing piano at age 6. I "got into" synths at age 12-ish. Bought a Wasp at 18, MS-10 and MS-20 at age 20. Real life then kicked in. I had a Rhodes 88, M1, and a few other keyboards that came and went, but had little time to do anything creative with them... The piano has been a constant.

Divorced at 53, wall of Eurorack at 55. I could have done it all differently, but the way I did it got me here...and I am happy being here.

Maybe you should try DIY?!

Don't fret about what you don't have, make the most of what you do have - as a youngster time is the most important and valuable thing you have. Don't waste it dreaming - go and do stuff!
Eric the Red
AW198 - I don’t know how it works in the UK, but here in the States you could donate Plasma and earn about 2-400 per month just by sitting in a chair...
ranix
that line of work directly supports the continued dominance of the alien vampire lizards running the government
Richie Witch
Took me two and half years to build up to 12U. But I built up slowly to learn the modules and kept a very strict monthly budget on music purchases.

Because I took my time, what I ended up is incredibly satisfying. Last year, I only bought three modules, and those were upgrades to existing modules that I then sold.
AW198
cptnal wrote:
I had a look at some of your YouTube clips and you've got a shitload more gear than I had when I was a student, so quit moaning. you kids get off my lawn

Seriously though, you're making some decent tunes, so don't fret about the quantity of gear you have. I've seen walls full of gear produce shit, and the tiniest of systems produce beauty (more below).

Thank you! I appreciate you having given my channel a look.

On the gear side - I know you're kidding but to justify myself (to myself!) I do honestly think that I have a lot more gear than I'm entitled to at my age, but thats a perk of working part time through 6th form, being on a gap year with 2 jobs, and not wanting to spend thousands on travelling like all my gap year friends razz It took many shifts to earn that small setup and it is my absolute pride and joy. Also thank god for eBay, I saved hundreds of £££ buying second hand gear!
Had to get that rant out the way, my parents always are asking what the point of my expensive gear is...

It seems that most people in this thread fell in love with modular early on and then waited until they were financially stable with some extra cash suddenly (mortgage paid off or whatever) before they were able to pursue that love. I think that would be the most sensible thing for me to do too, but I just don't know if I can wait that long. Sometimes I wish I had a less expensive hobby, but c'est la vie w00t . I downsized from a Doepfer LC9 case to a Moog 3 tier in order to limit myself to the space that I had, to stop myself spending every spare penny I had on modular and I think it was a very good decision - I just can't help wanting to increase my rig's size to make more complicated music and play with more patch possibilities!

Ah well. I think I'll probably buy a couple more modules then leave it until I'm old and grey hihi
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