Throwing the baby out with the bathwater. Selling off software for hardware.
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Old 29-06-2014, 12:34 AM   #1
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Throwing the baby out with the bathwater. Selling off software for hardware.

I'm a very burnt out I.T. guy who spends a majority of his life tied to a computer in one fashion or another. Since I started music a year or two back, I picked up some quality software and plug-ins. Between Ableton Live Suite, a Fabfilter bundle, Zebra2, Diva, and a few iZotope plug-ins, I really feel I have everything I could ever need for crafting sounds. That said, all the time I dedicate to working on music stresses me more because it's just more time sitting on my ass in front of a screen clicking things. To the point where it detracts from the creativity and leaves me feeling like I need to rush so I don't waste more time on the computer.

Lately I find myself pondering rebooting my music hobby, selling off my software and investing in hardware. The idea of dedicated boxes that just do one thing really appeal to me. As does the idea of being able to physically interact and knob twiddle. The rational part of my brain tells me that I'm just romanticizing the idea of hardware, and it'll be very difficult to climb all new learning curves for each piece of gear and tying them together as I go. Not to mention that it's still sedentary time which is a large part of hating time in front of the computer.

I'm sure others here have gone from ITB to OoTB or vice versa. Just figured I'd post up and see if I could get additional points of reference. Part of me is "Just keep be happy with what you've got. The grass is always greener..." The other part of me is "You won't know unless you try. Go buy something (which means selling some thing to offset the cost) and learn it."

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Old 29-06-2014, 12:40 AM   #2
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Re: Throwing the baby out with the bathwater. Selling off software for hardware.

Do it.

Or even better, find nice mix compromise!

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Old 29-06-2014, 12:54 AM   #3
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Re: Throwing the baby out with the bathwater. Selling off software for hardware.

For final products that are going to be released as EPs or LPs I prefer a hybrid setup. But for jamming, performing (not that I've performed live, just now building something to record on video) and beginning my compositions I prefer to have things as tactile and hardware oriented as possible.

I probably wouldn't sell Ableton, unless you are going to pick up something free/cheap like Reaper. Depending on what your budget is and what you buy, you may find you still need your computer for some of the work. Even given an unlimited budget for my dream studio, I would still end up summing to a DAW ultimately and I would probably also finalize my arrangement there as well. But that is just me.

Do you have any idea what boxes you might be interested in?

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Old 29-06-2014, 12:57 AM   #4
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Re: Throwing the baby out with the bathwater. Selling off software for hardware.

Think I'm buying into the hype, but the Elektron boxes really have my interest. Steep learning curve, but start with one and the rest will be easier.
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Old 29-06-2014, 01:03 AM   #5
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Re: Throwing the baby out with the bathwater. Selling off software for hardware.

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Originally Posted by Techmonkey View Post
Think I'm buying into the hype, but the Elektron boxes really have my interest. Steep learning curve, but start with one and the rest will be easier.
The only hype is that hardware "sounds better" IMO. Its all about workflow. Sitting in front of a DAW to compose music is like coding or something...I can do it and I think I can make fairly decent tunes that way, but there is WAY less joy and it takes me way more false starts to get something decent. I don't like MIDI controllers. Maybe I am ridiculous, but for me they have always been fiddly, unreliable and really just not as much like an instrument as knobby hardware is.

The Elektron boxes are amazing. Hands down. I had a Monomachine for about six months, but was too green to appreciate it and ended up selling it. I think knobby grooveboxes are a fantastic way to start. All the hardware heads on here like them for one reason or another as far as I know. The workflow is quick, intuitive and inspiring.

My suggestion would be to not just sell all your software. Maybe ditch just enough to try one of them. Personally I would go for an Analog 4 at this point.

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Old 29-06-2014, 01:05 AM   #6
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Re: Throwing the baby out with the bathwater. Selling off software for hardware.

For sure. Putting some stuff up in the classifieds. If that sells, it'll be a lot easier to justify. Thanks for the input!
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Old 29-06-2014, 01:21 AM   #7
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Re: Throwing the baby out with the bathwater. Selling off software for hardware.

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Originally Posted by relic View Post
I don't like MIDI controllers. Maybe I am ridiculous, but for me they have always been fiddly, unreliable and really just not as much like an instrument as knobby hardware is.

Funny, that. I use my Nord as a controller quite a bit and if i map the controls to the same knobs as the Nord I am able to use Software like hardware. Cannot say the same of my Axiom 61.



:edit: ergonomics i guess

to the OP, If you aren't feeling the software vibe, go hardware. I find that I am best with a hybrid approach, but its a personal thing. I'm more likely to be the type to have a ton of outboard comps and preamps than instruments, but thats just me. I like the focussed approach of having 1 or 2 instruments to go to (guitars notwithstanding)

Last edited by chasedobson; 29-06-2014 at 01:27 AM..

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Old 02-07-2014, 06:09 AM   #8
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Re: Throwing the baby out with the bathwater. Selling off software for hardware.

In general, some software can do things hardware can barely dream of. But some hardware is so bad ass it has zero fucks to give about what software can do.

Elektron ftw, Electribe for bang for the buck.

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Old 02-07-2014, 07:10 AM   #9
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Re: Throwing the baby out with the bathwater. Selling off software for hardware.

I have a lot of hardware, but I much prefer a hybrid approach to exclusive one or the other. For one thing, I like recording acoustic sounds and processing those in my production... it's kinda silly to insist on doing that with hardware these days. Not to mention software like Reaktor which I can't do without.

But there's nothing like messing around with an analogue monosynth.

[edit] there are sounds you can get on analogue synths which software can't do (in the same way there are sounds software can do which hardware cannot). This is especially true when you drive a filter really hard and pump the resonance. The way filters misbehave when at their extremes is apparently hard to model. This isn't to say you can't get unique sounds in software... just that pure hardware will also give you some unique sounds.

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Old 02-07-2014, 02:55 PM   #10
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Re: Throwing the baby out with the bathwater. Selling off software for hardware.

Thanks for the responses. Will be picking up a Machinedrum UW in the next few weeks. Supposed to be the easiest of them to learn and have some of Octatrack's capabilities.
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Old 02-07-2014, 04:04 PM   #11
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Re: Throwing the baby out with the bathwater. Selling off software for hardware.

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Originally Posted by Techmonkey View Post
Thanks for the responses. Will be picking up a Machinedrum UW in the next few weeks. Supposed to be the easiest of them to learn and have some of Octatrack's capabilities.
Totes jelly.

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Old 02-07-2014, 05:46 PM   #12
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Re: Throwing the baby out with the bathwater. Selling off software for hardware.

When you think about the plug-ins you've got at your deposal the soft synths are the easiest to live without probably. Ableton and Fab Filter's EQs and such are just what you need when it comes time to finalize an idea. If you're mixing something that you want the control over the DAW is your best friend. But I feel you on less hours staring at a computer screen and more time playing an instrument.

The Elektron boxes are nice. Super nice. So out of price range. But when I hear what these boxes do innately I'm stunned. In a recent thread I started about MPCs things have just kind devolved into Elektron discussion. Super hip, modern sound with unique flexibilities and characteristics. Totally a "when I start a real job" purchase.

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Old 02-07-2014, 08:54 PM   #13
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Re: Throwing the baby out with the bathwater. Selling off software for hardware.

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Originally Posted by JMagee View Post
When you think about the plug-ins you've got at your deposal the soft synths are the easiest to live without probably. Abletons EQ and such are just what you need when it comes time to finalize an idea.

fixed.

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Old 03-07-2014, 03:14 AM   #14
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Re: Throwing the baby out with the bathwater. Selling off software for hardware.

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Originally Posted by Techmonkey View Post
Thanks for the responses. Will be picking up a Machinedrum UW in the next few weeks. Supposed to be the easiest of them to learn and have some of Octatrack's capabilities.
My advice is to spend a few months with it before making a decision about its overall value. It's fun on the exterior but it is very deep too, especially with the UW feature...

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Old 06-07-2014, 12:40 AM   #15
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Re: Throwing the baby out with the bathwater. Selling off software for hardware.

I recently sold my Machinedrum UW because it worked bad with Ableton, never got proper sync with Live. I would go for the Rytm not the Machinedrum because the upcoming features of the analog range from Elektron with Overbridge will have a positive effect on their gear when using within a DAW. I also sold my Monomachine because of the same issue with sync.
Going hybrid would be the choice for me as both sides have their ups and downs. You will not be able to mix hardware and software for beats, you will here smallest latencies without fixing time issues later. I chose to make my beats with Maschine and do most of the rest sounds with hardware.
I wouldn`t sell the software as other wrote before me because you can use that stuff too.

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Old 06-07-2014, 01:34 AM   #16
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Re: Throwing the baby out with the bathwater. Selling off software for hardware.

Live is well-known known to have sync issues with MIDI hardware. I hope that you didn't sell them for that alone, and more for the "Plugin-like" experience Overbridge is supposed to offer

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Old 06-07-2014, 02:01 AM   #17
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Re: Throwing the baby out with the bathwater. Selling off software for hardware.

Main reason was the bad sync, second was the menu diving. I am considering more and more to try out Logic because of the Midi issues Live has. Some synths work better with Live then others, dont know why this is so.

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Old 06-07-2014, 04:10 PM   #18
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Re: Throwing the baby out with the bathwater. Selling off software for hardware.

Go Modular, try DIY ….. very liberating …….

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Old 06-07-2014, 05:22 PM   #19
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Re: Throwing the baby out with the bathwater. Selling off software for hardware.

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Go Modular, try DIY .. very liberating .
This.
Modular changes lives. In the best of ways.

It also forces you to get away from a lot of OCD shit by focusing you back on timbre-making instead of "why won't my shit sync" bs-ery.

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