I bought too many soft synths

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Software is my instrument of choice. Don't and won't own hardware.

I've made the classic mistake of buying too much. Mostly arturia license transfers. No criticism of the vst's themselves, but I have found that spoiling myself for choice is actually more of an impediment than a liberation. If I could have my time over, I'd stick with far fewer.

I'm not the first to say or think this. But I'm not sure what to do. I feel at a bit of a pinch point creatively because of this. I could just not use the stuff I don't want, but I feel that even just owning them is a limit because it will affect my creative judgement. I have come to believe freedom, creatively, comes from having a smaller pallete to work with. YMMV of course.

I could sell some of them. I think. I'm not sure Arturia are happy to keep letting people sell on licenses, especially if they're recently acquired. Fair play to them for letting them happen at all I guess.

Thoughts?

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Delete the ones you use least, reinstall if you want to use them later.

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Too easy. Gotta create a topic about it, with pages of discussion on the personal matter.

Call the plugin psychologists. This man is in clear need of a therapy.

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seafire wrote: Tue Apr 16, 2024 3:10 am Delete the ones you use least, reinstall if you want to use them later.
I feel that I'd rather not own them. I'd be tempted to reinstall!

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ghostwhistler wrote: Tue Apr 16, 2024 2:58 am Thoughts?
Nope. You've already enumerated your choices, all youve got to do is decide.
my other modular synth is a bugbrand

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Less decisions to be paralyzed by. That's why the kvr osc is so popular.

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empphryio wrote: Tue Apr 16, 2024 6:58 am Less decisions to be paralyzed by. That's why the kvr osc is so popular.
What is that?

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I can relate, I also have too many soft synths. But I love owning the Arturia V Collection. Analog Lab has become my go-to synth because it contains all the presets from all their synths and the preset browser is the very best. Therefore, if I had to give up some of my synths, it would be anything but the Arturia synths.

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ghostwhistler wrote: Tue Apr 16, 2024 7:11 am
empphryio wrote: Tue Apr 16, 2024 6:58 am Less decisions to be paralyzed by. That's why the kvr osc is so popular.
What is that?
viewtopic.php?t=608771

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CHORUS:
Throw them away!
Give them away!
Just not to me.
Got enough stuff.
F E E D
Y O U R
F L O W

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I get the concept of too many plugins but I don't get the reality of it. I've got about 400 plugins, maybe 150 of them are soft synths. I don't feel the need to use all of them all the time, and I do reach for the same 5-10 mostly with sprinklings of the rest.

Steve Albini is an obvious luddite it shouldn't have to be said, but he echoes this idea in an interview expressing love of pre dance oriented Industrial music. Basically attributing his love of only music from his youth to computers, the endless choices they bring, and the surgical editing in DAWs. The point he brought up that's relevant here is that when it was only hardware most people had no budget to do more than buy enough synths to make music, so maybe two to 6 if they were rich and up to 12 if they had a major label contract. My first serious band had three, with that amount you're forced to have a sound, and know the equipment in and out.

The only truth to this is that for more complex synths like Zebra, Falcon etc. or ones with weird techniques it's possible to own them and never truly break the surface of what they can do. Thing is in no way is that stopping anyone from creating music, that's all on the individual, there are plenty of successful musicians that hire someone or have a member who does all of the programming, it's not a requirement to make every preset from scratch.

I'll be honest here, I always read these posts as indications of writers block, which isn't the fault of the equipment, I would say that's probably what made Albini into a luddite, the only really great music he did was in Big Black. Though I don't see his anti technology stance as helping his music since he seems to have lost any drive at all in his own writing.

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ghostwhistler wrote: Tue Apr 16, 2024 2:58 am Software is my instrument of choice. Don't and won't own hardware.

I've made the classic mistake of buying too much. Mostly arturia license transfers. No criticism of the vst's themselves, but I have found that spoiling myself for choice is actually more of an impediment than a liberation. If I could have my time over, I'd stick with far fewer.

I'm not the first to say or think this. But I'm not sure what to do. I feel at a bit of a pinch point creatively because of this.

Thoughts?
Thoughts...Welcome to the club. The first step is admitting it. The next step is getting rid of everything you don't need and stop using forums. None of us achieved that. :hihi:

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empphryio wrote: Tue Apr 16, 2024 7:32 am
ghostwhistler wrote: Tue Apr 16, 2024 7:11 am
empphryio wrote: Tue Apr 16, 2024 6:58 am Less decisions to be paralyzed by. That's why the kvr osc is so popular.
What is that?
viewtopic.php?t=608771
Ah yes. I thought you were referring to an osccilator or something!

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The way I see it, there are a few kinds of "too much gear" that I deal with:

1. Stuff I bought that never (or almost never) gets used, and I didn't even learn anything from playing with it, nor have much fun with it.

(This is a fairly small category. If I removed that second clause it might be a little bigger, but I have no regrets about learning from stuff. For instance, I've never used a mandolin in my recordings and probably never will, but I've never said "shouldn't have bought that mandolin.")

2. Stuff that i use mostly because I have it. But if I didn't, I wouldn't miss it and my music wouldn't be much different.

Honestly I rarely regret these. Sometimes stuff in this zone gets sold to make way for something else (which I probably don't "need" either), more likely it just waits on the sidelines 90% of the time, takes it turn and then gets out of the way.

3. Stuff that does get used, I like it a lot, but something else I already had could have stepped into those roles even if there's not a 1:1 correspondence in terms of sound/features.

Minimalistic thinking here... I could sell all my hardware except controllers, most of my softsynths and half my software FX, and still make music much like I'm making now. But I don't want to :)


Another kind of "too much gear" is simply overspending. I had a friend and coworker who got badly into debt in the 80s setting up a home studio, and unfortunately got stuck in the kind of jobs where that debt stayed with him for 20 years. He had too much gear (though translated into modern standards that feature set would seem awfully barebones). I earn enough money and have low enough expenses and cheap enough other hobbies to afford what I spend though, and I started keeping track of my spending to make sure I wasn't going overboard.

But I don't really see a direct connection between "too much stuff" and lack of creative flow. Just choose certain tools and leave the others on the shelf -- in a practical sense you're always doing that anyway. Managing choice is a crucial creative skill no matter how minimalistic your setup is.

There's nothing wrong with having 15 synths, with 3 favorites you use all the time, another 8 or so that get occasional use in particular roles, and some left to save for a rainy day or to shake things up... (or, okay, more like 150 synths, 8 favorites, etc. :hihi:)

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"I bought too many soft synths"

I don't understand these strange words

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