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Michael Vogel ( MUDGEL)

Getting rid of music gear

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For the first time in my life, I’m giving serious thought to selling all my music related hardware and software. 
 

Like many of us, I’ve bought and sold gear before and had breaks from music for one reason or another. BUT, I’ve never really felt like this. For a long time I’ve been looking at the gear and just seeing the waste in it not being used and I no lone’er have the slightest interest in making music. The interminable updating of software in response to software and web related reminders, has become a pointless chore. 

I just don’t use any of it. Over the years, I’ve invested 10s of thousands of dollars (ie Australian banana republic micro dollars) in my gear. 
I know I can’t recoup anywhere near that amount but who of us can’t use a little extra cash.

I’m 66 now so don’t really expect a sudden need for music gear and I’ve never really been one to get buyer’s or seller’s remorse regarding a purchase or sale. 

Anyone else think like that or been in this sort of situation?

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I have had similar thoughts more about instruments than hardware or software. When I took up violin 4 years ago my plan was to play all my guitars, keys and the violin. Little did I know that the violin takes enormous amounts of time to learn to play.  It isn't like something you pick up and just play well within a month. No matter how musically gifted a person may think they are, if you want to play violin well enough to play out it takes TIME. As a result, all of my guitars are of late gathering dust. I occasionally pick one up. Very occasionally.  I  am still on a keyboard almost every day playing just not as much as I was before. No matter what I take up one is never enough because when you attempt to play acoustic guitar you want a small body, a larger body and a nylon stringed guitar. When you play electric guitar you want several configurations of pickups and types of guitars...don't even get me started on effects pedals, amps etc. Same with keyboards. I have like 3 in the closet and two on my desk. I only mostly use one and I was thinking about getting another with better DAW control. The 2nd keyboard makes a nice place to stack sheet music.When I took up violin within 4 years I now have 4 violins and maybe a dozen or more bows of different types. I have odd stuff too like a bouzouki and a set of harmonicas. 

To be clear I have never seen myself as a "collector". I simply bought things I wanted to play. Never cared about how valuable any of it was because I didn't plan to sell it when I bought it. I was looking more at function. I did sell a bass guitar, an electric guitar and a keyboard sound module a few years ago, but then I bought another bass lol. I still have several electric guitars too. My older quad core DAW sits mostly gathering dust though I did recently update it to WIN 10 and loaded a fresh copy of Cakewalk in it. Not sure why since I don't use it. If I didn't have a day job I might have more time to play with more of that stuff. As it stands I'm lucky to do a little recording, play keys, occasional guitar aside from at least an hour a day on violin and weekly lessons. 

Michael, I can't speak for you, but for me I think I've decided to try to keep some of the stuff and use it when I need it and sell some. If I sold some of the wrong stuff off and then later wanted something similar I couldn't probably buy it back for less than I already payed for what I have. I can see maybe trimming a few of the electrics and  acoustic guitars back, offloading a few keyboards I never play and selling a few violins so I can buy one better violin. The problem is I hate to sell stuff. Trying to decide what to sell will be difficult. If a person has the room why sell it unless you need the $$?

I never went really big on outboard gear with the only exception being mics. I could get pretty good recordings using  prosumer interfaces and decent mics and of course........plug ins. I didn't need a super powerful DAW build so I went mid level there with the ability to upgrade the MOBO. A DAW usually lasts me at least 5 years before I see it might need to be updated.

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FWIW, I'd sit on the decision for a while... to make sure it's not "burn-out", "odd-times" we're currently living thru, etc.

 

Speaking for myself, I've loved music since my earliest memories.  I almost feel like it chose me (rather than me choosing to love music).

My grandfather was an opera-singer (died before I got to know him), so it may be genetic.

I can't imagine totally letting music go.

The technical side has kept me occupied to the point where I haven't much time/energy to write/record my own music.

The older I get, there's a growing sense of urgency to "find" more (some) time for writing/recording.

 

I've watched my step-father go thru retirement.  He's planned well and is fine financially, but he wakes up each day bored out of his mind.  He's bought new "toys" (takes a custom truck to shows), but it seems like a poor substitute for things he was passionate about.

 

If retirement means leaving behind things I've loved my entire life, I want no part of it.   

I want to be around music until the day I pass.

 

In any event, take the ramblings of a 53 year-old for what they're worth.   😉

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2 hours ago, Starise said:

I have had similar thoughts more about instruments than hardware or software. When I took up violin 4 years ago my plan was to play all my guitars, keys and the violin. Little did I know that the violin takes enormous amounts of time to learn to play. 

 I learned how to play all of the traditional orchestra instruments.  Bowed instruments are far more difficult when you are older.   I'd love to have a bassoon.  I'm older to and all of the stuff I've gotten, learning is overwhelming.  Much of it is software. 

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Posted (edited)
48 minutes ago, kitekrazy said:

 I learned how to play all of the traditional orchestra instruments.  Bowed instruments are far more difficult when you are older.   I'd love to have a bassoon.  I'm older to and all of the stuff I've gotten, learning is overwhelming.  Much of it is software. 

Seems you have gotten around in music some kitecrazy.  I have noticed some older students struggling to play violin. What is difficult is moving to the next level. I mean, I can play a bunch of folk tunes no worries. In fact I played at a banquet this past weekend no other musicians were there. This was before all of the locks downs came about. Irish banquet, Irish music...they went together pretty well :). Ask me to play Vivaldi though and you might as well be talking to a rock. The only thing that concerns me about getting older is  loosing the basic abilities necessary. If your hands don't work correctly (athritis)  you loose some dexterity and will have more difficulty playing. If your eyes fail you'll have a hard time seeing a DAW or sheet music.Lose hearing capacity and you might loose the ability to hear tones.  I also feel that sense of urgency  Jim mentioned. I mean, if I'm about dead by the time I get some time free might as well take up fishing. So far I've been pretty lucky. Bassoon hasn't tempted me yet :)

In consideration of just the natural process of aging some can add additional health issues to that. I have seen this take the edge off of determination to play.

Understandable why some might consider music making  a phase and move on to something else.  There have been famous musicians who toured that just quit. Having said that I feel a lot like Jim, that music chose me. Never considered myself any great talent, but I don't think I could stop. 

MUDGEL, yeah like Jim said, I would give it some time. I wouldn't want to be sitting in the same place several years from now wishing I still had that stuff. I have regretted selling stuff. Yes it's true, I need to be shoehorned into my studio  but it's home. We are all different though, so I say go where your heart leads you and don't look back if you do.

 

 

 

 

 

Edited by Starise

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3 hours ago, Starise said:

TIME

This would be your answer. Life is about time and how you choose to use it. This applies differently to each person, but it is worth introspection at some periodicity to consider 1) how you enjoy spending your time, 2)  are you focused there now? (or what would get you there?), and 3) what short and long-term goals do you have for yourself. This isn't a static exercise, so revisiting things off and on is good practice. Things that become more maintenance than useful are definitely worth consideration to lighten the time burden. My personal litmus test is regarding things that have lingered for a decade and not been used - at that point is time to consider why it is really there.

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*Crowd*

"Play Vivaldi!!!  Play Vivalidi!!!"  🤘

 

😁

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5 minutes ago, mettelus said:

This would be your answer. Life is about time and how you choose to use it. This applies differently to each person, but it is worth introspection at some periodicity to consider 1) how you enjoy spending your time, 2)  are you focused there now? (or what would get you there?), and 3) what short and long-term goals do you have for yourself. This isn't a static exercise, so revisiting things off and on is good practice. Things that become more maintenance than useful are definitely worth consideration to lighten the time burden. My personal litmus test is regarding things that have lingered for a decade and not been used - at that point is time to consider why it is really there.

Very true and good points all round'.  He who dies with the most toys...............................................................dies. My short term goals are to make a living and make music. My long term goals are to retire and make music. If things got really bad, plan B might be tapping keys one at a time on a DAW.  I would go out for air periodically and listen to the birds. I might fall asleep. Hopefully I would wake up again and make more music. I guess from a maintenance perspective my guitars are just hanging there. Probably need new strings. Periodically I would likely go fishing no matter what. It also makes a good plan C.

The most important thing about planning is to realize they call it a plan because at best it is a novel attempt at something that can't be determined. I don't claim to know even half of anything. Beware the man who knows everything.

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Thanks guys. I really appreciate the comments thus far. In particular the advice to sit on my decision for a while. Thanks @Jim Roseberry.

@Starise, your comment regarding instruments, hardware and software has helped me see that I’m really talking about hardware and software. Not the instruments but the “gear”. 

This discussion has awakened memories of how my interest in gear even started. 

Long before there ever was gear in my life, I was studying music and learning how to play a number of musical instruments. Lap steel at 8, and brass/woodwind instruments from age 12 (in high school) onwards. In those earliest of days, “gear” comprised very little of what it took to make music. Music was acoustic, live and played solo, or in orchestral and brass band settings. Gear was music stands and maybe a metronome or conductor’s baton or drum major’s staff and of course uniforms. There were no gadgets. Maybe a stop watch?

The lure of “gear” and a bite from the tech bug got me at age 14 when the brass band in which I played at school, was invited to record an EP over 2 days at the ABC’s Sydney studios. Not much later, I was invited to play in a combined youth orchestra, performing at the Sydney Town Hall and recorded live, again, over 2 days. 

I have such vivid memories of those few days. It was 1968, music was everywhere, and suddenly all these other prospects for making it my life were dropped in my lap. While my fellow musicians were excited by the occasion and playing music, I was also intent on exploring all I could, behind the scenes. How were music recordings made? Like having the secrets behind a magic trick revealed, I started to see how the trick was performed and I wanted to know more. I hadn’t really looked behind that curtain before but its interesting to have made the connection between those events and how my music life played out. A lifelong connection between music and gear was forged in those 2 events.

So that’s the history. Now the present.

When I think about it, it’s really the trappings, the gear that is the focus of my want to be rid of it all.

I don’t think I could get rid of my acoustic guitar. I’ve had it since the late 1970s In fact it’s been with me everywhere I’ve been since, and seen everything I’ve seen. I’m not much for attachment to material things, however, there’s a special connection to that instrument. I think because of the music its helped me express and play. Other instruments are simply music playing tools and they don’t elicit such an emotional response from me. I probably wouldn’t sell them though, as I can still see me making music for myself with them. Namely my electric guitar, full size keyboard and of course amps, fx boards and speakers to run them all through. 

BUT, I also have a very extensive collection of studio gear and a ton of software that I don’t use. After all these words I guess that was it all along. Gear goes, instruments stay. The complexity in the whole recording process no longer appeals, however the simplicity of picking up my acoustic guitar or sitting at the Piano/keyboard and playing a tune does.

Thanks for helping me get some clarity. I wonder of I’ll actually make a decision and follow through?

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MUDGEL,

 

Since you're  not interested in making music any longer,   I only have one question for you, What's your address ?  😄


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Posted (edited)

I hear you with the annoyance of software updates etc I run my DAW offline and all of that is disabled. I start it and it goes, no pop ups, no reminders, no internet. I don't constantly update, no point if it's all working well. Over time, I have chosen instruments and plugins that I like and tend to just use those. Stuff I don't use has been eliminated from the system. Do you really need 40 different reverb's from 7 different manufacturers with 20,000 presets or maybe just 3 great sounding ones that you actually know how to use and like the GUI. I do the same with instruments, recently tried about 7 different acoustic guitar VST's, gave them all a good go and then settled on 1 and that's it.

Perhaps you just need to thin the herd and setup a bare bones offline DAW with stuff you like, give a different simpler DAW like Mixcraft a go, get rid of the complexity. Chuck it in the corner with a sheet over it and sell or get rid of everything else. Then if you get the urge to record it's there. If not, it doesn't matter if you start it up in a years time, it will all work with no annoying popups and no need to update anything.

I had an old computer with Photoshop 7 on it running windows XP sp2, had it for years always offline, never updated anything worked great.

Also, I found that getting rid of a load of real instruments and software that I wasn't using seemed to inspire me to work more because all the choices were simpler and there was less clutter around the place.

Edited by Tezza
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I have not lost the desire to write and record music. I'm 67 but in my musical head I'm only 24. The desire is there but the time is not. I still work a full time job and probably will until I keel over or become physical incapacitated.

I won't sell any of it as my son (an accomplished musician in his own right) will simply inherit it all (and the account credentials for all the software I own).

 

 

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On 3/17/2020 at 9:32 PM, Michael Vogel ( MUDGEL) said:

For the first time in my life, I’m giving serious thought to selling all my music related hardware and software. 
 

Like many of us, I’ve bought and sold gear before and had breaks from music for one reason or another. BUT, I’ve never really felt like this. For a long time I’ve been looking at the gear and just seeing the waste in it not being used and I no lone’er have the slightest interest in making music. The interminable updating of software in response to software and web related reminders, has become a pointless chore. 

I just don’t use any of it. Over the years, I’ve invested 10s of thousands of dollars (ie Australian banana republic micro dollars) in my gear. 
I know I can’t recoup anywhere near that amount but who of us can’t use a little extra cash.

I’m 66 now so don’t really expect a sudden need for music gear and I’ve never really been one to get buyer’s or seller’s remorse regarding a purchase or sale. 

Anyone else think like that or been in this sort of situation?

Write a song about it.

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Posted (edited)

The way things are going on a social restructuring level due to COVID 19 plus when you factor in  all the personal dynamic financial issues it brings up .

It is my opinion  Now would be a very bad time to try and unload and sell off musical gear unless you can totally walk away from the musical items  and take a real  beating   on the price ...

I am starting to see a new larger influx of people trying to sell their gear ...this may be due to possibly all the new restrictions  and work closures  that have taken place in every  nook and cranny of the job markets and business here in The United Snakes .

People that were once working  are now scrambling to  insulate  themselves and their loved ones from what seems to be an almost insurmountable ever changing    landscape of real time issues that are cropping up in every area of their life .

I have already seen in the past couple of days  numerous  musical sales adds  where people are flooding sites with the hopes and desire of selling off their gear so they can have a  financial  insulation and buffer from what appears to be a pandemic that has placed the citizens of Today's World  in a state of uncertainty  that may or may not have  a timeline  to ride out ( as it stands now  nobody knows how long this will last ) 

A good majority of musicians that typically buy musical gear   buy the gear because they have a dream and sound they are looking to actualize.Often times the gear they purchase not only gives them the satisfaction of having accomplished a goal or desire , the new gear  can even turn out to be a coping mechanism and a pathway to creating  positive self esteem  . At one point it took me 30 years to get another Gibson Les Paul ..I had sold my 57 reissue in 1982 ....I got my current Les Paul R 8 in 2012 .

Many times it helps the aspiring musician  to  insulate themselves  from the stings of having to juggle   living in the real world where they may have a family , a car note , a house note and various other non related to music activities ...When Times are good people feel comfortable making these types of musical purchases .  They get to live a little piece of the dream as they work on their music  and provide the needed security and Love to their family's VIA the day gig  or non musical work that puts bread on the table  . 

Now that times are getting rough, we  have peoples closet queen guitars  and various  other  musical gear  (that sat away in the darkness of a closet for safe keeping  never seeing the light of day)  being  called forth as a form of a musical  Lazarus to pick up the slack and hopefully provide some financial relief .

These one time  often loved but  not forgotten  hidden gems are now starting to flood  the for sale sections of many  sites ...( at decent prices may I add )

Is this a good thing or a bad thing ? I can't say for sure ...but I think that some people are doing what they feel they have to do right now just to provide for themselves and their loved ones ....

Remember there's people out there that only last week had a job to go to . Now they don't have a job to go to ,  plus their children are now home w them 24 / 7

I bring this all up because I have noticed a few used guitars I couldn't touch price wise are now going for more sane and reasonable prices .

( FWIW I'm not in the market for anything ...I do like to look ..but my wallet has been on life support ever since it heard of CCLarry AKA Larry Shelby 😎 )

Whats my Point ?  

Now may be the best time to buy musical gear  ...Not sell musical gear....there is simply way to much stuff out there   competing for the bucks ...

 

Peace Out ,

Kenny

 

 

 

Edited by kennywtelejazz
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1 hour ago, kennywtelejazz said:

( FWIW I'm not in the market for anything ...I do like to look ..but my wallet has been on life support ever since it heard of CCLarry AKA Larry Shelby 😎 )

🤣

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21 hours ago, Michael Vogel ( MUDGEL) said:

This discussion has really helped me understand my motivation for sharing these thoughts in the first place.

Thanks. 

Mike,

 

I think there's a career in psychology ahead of you!

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Mike - I've been in this place too... and had similar thoughts only a few weeks ago, as I seem to be spending all my time writing code (which I do enjoy), and really not getting much music done.

The thing that snapped me out of it was spending the day with my daughter recording a song - just a cover, but it got me actually using my gear again.

So that would be my advice - just record a cover of something. During the process you'll no doubt find a use for a lot of the stuff you've acquired over the years.

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Posted (edited)

I think about getting rid of my gear all the time, but the reason is due to present circumstance (for about 30 years running).  I don't think society is at all sophisticated and intelligent enough to appreciate "good" music.  Yeah, there are some, but reaching "them" in particular is probably never going to happen since the movers and the shakers of the music industry have all decided to throw their praises and trophies to the Rap/Hip Hop industry, and the buying masses go along for it, which says it all as far as I'm concerned.

But... and this would be a miracle... if I go ahead and release my music, perhaps it could be the fire that will change the direction of the industry.

And then on another sour note, I struggle to proficiently play some of my own compositions.  My  head-turners require a hired gun to play them without mistakes, and that bums me out.  My arms want to fall off halfway thru a few of my own compositions and there are some runs that I just don't have the wherewithal to play them without mistakes.  No matter how many years of practice, I just cannot break a ceiling I have in my piano proficiency.  'Makes me want to cry. 

Edited by Toddskins

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On 3/18/2020 at 9:39 AM, Jim Roseberry said:

I want to be around music until the day I pass.

Yep. 

Well said.

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