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Retail therapy - any suggestions?

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Retail therapy - any suggestions?

Postby Exalted Wombat » Fri Apr 02, 2010 11:01 am

It's coming to the end of the tax year, if I'm going to buy anything, now's the time. But I'm completely out of gear-lust! I'm equipped to do what I can realistically do at home, and have been for several years. My biggest outlay on gear this year so far has beem a £30 headphone distribution amp (because I had to record 3 girls who sing harmony, prefer to record together, but need a LOT of individual pitch-tweaking.)

Where's the new piece of gear that really makes a difference? Over the years I've saved up for a Grundig TK18L tape recorder, an Akai 4000DS, an Atari ST, a 200Mhz Pentium 2 with Pinnacle sound card (rapidly followed by cheap, thoroughly over-powered computers and soundcards), the first affordable, quiet, recording mixer (a Mackie, I think), the first affordable quality microphones..... All these offered new possibilities, new techniques, noticable increases in quality. Then came stagnation. I stopped seeing new products that opened new doors - just the same stuff, but every year it was cheaper!

What's a girl to do? :-) Maybe a theremin. I quite fancy a theremin. "Anne Francis stars in, 'Forbidden Planet'..." (Ok, I KNOW it wasn't actually a theremin in FP.)
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You don't have to write songs. The world doesn't want you to write songs. It would probably prefer it if you didn't. So write songs if you want to. Otherwise, dont. Go fishing instead.


Re: Retail therapy - any suggestions?

Postby RegressiveRock » Fri Apr 02, 2010 11:06 am

Go to ASDA - go to the toys section - then the music bit. The kids percussion there records very nicely and costs £2-3 per item. The little green shaker eggs are fantastic: I use them regularly. The half size toy tambourine has a nice pitch.

There you go: retail therapy on a credit crunch budget. ;)

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Re: Retail therapy - any suggestions?

Postby Exalted Wombat » Fri Apr 02, 2010 11:23 am

Yeah, those eggs are great! I must admit to buying a FEW new things recently - I replaced my Acme Nightingale (the bottom of the can had rusted off - the new one's all plastic so should last for ever) and my Acme Duck Call ('cos it was nicked). But I'll certainly investigate your suggestion!

You raise an interesting point. Though we all sometimes have to construct music completely "in the box" with electronic and sampled sounds, adding just one element "live" can make an enormous difference. Even if it's only an overdubbed shaker egg or tambourine.

I just ordered a theremin, by the way :-) Stand by for completely inappropriate additions to my next few recordings.
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You don't have to write songs. The world doesn't want you to write songs. It would probably prefer it if you didn't. So write songs if you want to. Otherwise, dont. Go fishing instead.


Re: Retail therapy - any suggestions?

Postby . . . Delete This User . . . » Fri Apr 02, 2010 11:38 am

a piece of inspirational original artwork???
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Re: Retail therapy - any suggestions?

Postby vinyl_junkie » Fri Apr 02, 2010 12:51 pm

A cheapo old synth, old sampler, crappy piece of gear that you hated donkeys years ago but just buy it for the nostalgia ahaha
Chose wisely lol
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Re: Retail therapy - any suggestions?

Postby Zukan » Fri Apr 02, 2010 2:41 pm

Just get some Guinness and be done with it.

I believe Max and I spent our combined tax benefits for this fiscal year on 2 bottles of Guinnae and I'm almost certain we shared a packet of Hula Hoops.
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Re: Retail therapy - any suggestions?

Postby Steve Hill » Fri Apr 02, 2010 2:59 pm

Traditionally in this position I've gone for an instrument rather than a bit of gear. It could be a bit of percussion, or another guitar or keyboard, or a new drum... anything that makes me want to try it out and make some music.

Boxes of electronics with flashing lights are overrated. But not as much as computers.

Try taking a DAW or an outboard compressor to a party and saying "anyone fancy a song?"
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Re: Retail therapy - any suggestions?

Postby steve355 » Fri Apr 02, 2010 5:48 pm

I agree that an instrument gives the most pleasure. I recently bought a Victorian piano (built c. 1860) for 80 quid in eBay, had it tuned for £55. It is still a semitone low, but has a gorgeous, dark, ghostly tone. In it's day it was a very good instrument, and I'm sure I'll enjoy playing it for years to come.

Image

Other than that, well a theremin is great but a bit limited. I like the idea of an old analog synth. Or a kit? Are you handy with a soldering iron? You can build some clones of amazing classic gear, for not much money, if you have the patience. See

the prodigy pro forum.
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Re: Retail therapy - any suggestions?

Postby turbodave » Fri Apr 02, 2010 7:40 pm

I question whether a theremin is limited....stick it thru some wacky effects and watch that baby burn!!!! (not literally i hope you understand) Dave
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Re: Retail therapy - any suggestions?

Postby The Elf » Fri Apr 02, 2010 7:58 pm

A Korg Kaoss Pad is on my list of 'risky purchases when I'm flush'.

Past low-cost highlights from my list were:
Yamaha DJX (Mk1) - I've had lots of inspiration from this one.
Marshall belt-clip amp - mangles eveything from Hammonds to backing vocals for me. Love it.
Patchbay - done correctly, this is a very creative tool.
Alesis Midiverb 4 - for the price a good curry I've got a world of 'just try-it' effects.
Kid's audio toys - my favourite came from the 'Orange Shop' in Kissimmee - they had no idea what it was, how much to charge, or why they had it in the store, but they sold it to me and I've been eternally grateful! It samples (badly) and it messes with your head!
E-Bow - the only way I've been able to make a nice noise from a guitar.

HTH! :D
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Re: Retail therapy - any suggestions?

Postby Rave On » Fri Apr 02, 2010 9:42 pm

If you gotta get something, +1 for new instrument. But even that may not be necessary. Sounds like you have plenty of stuff. Here are some thoughts:

Strike up a collaboration with someone new, whether or not you come from the same musical background or influences.

Listen to types of music that are new to you.

Revisit music long forgotten but exciting at the time. Use what you've learned over the years to give it a different slant.

Dig out something you wrote and liked, but didn't finish. See what you can bring to it now. What better therapy than to complete a favorite gem in a way that excites you?

Combine your existing instruments and tools in ways different from your usual practice. Use what you have to create or locate rhythms or sounds that inspire you to write.

Best of luck!
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Re: Retail therapy - any suggestions?

Postby djangodeadman » Sun Apr 04, 2010 10:42 am

turbodave wrote:I question whether a theremin is limited....stick it thru some wacky effects and watch that baby burn!!!! (not literally i hope you understand) Dave
You can see a theremin lterally burn here.
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Re: Retail therapy - any suggestions?

Postby Exalted Wombat » Thu Apr 08, 2010 2:22 pm

My theremin arrived this morning! First attempt: http://www.auym23.dsl.pipex.com/show/nellie_the_theremin.mp3

WAY to go :-)
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You don't have to write songs. The world doesn't want you to write songs. It would probably prefer it if you didn't. So write songs if you want to. Otherwise, dont. Go fishing instead.


Re: Retail therapy - any suggestions?

Postby tomafd » Thu Apr 08, 2010 3:43 pm

Rave On wrote:
Revisit music long forgotten but exciting at the time.

Did that yesterday, pulled out a bunch of old dats and whacked them in, at random.

The upshot was - well, at least I've improved, since !
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Re: Retail therapy - any suggestions?

Postby djangodeadman » Fri Apr 09, 2010 7:21 am

I wish I could play my theremin half way as close to in tune as that is. I've not really pregressed much beyond the sound effects stage, although I can do that quite well.

Don't go setting fire to it now.
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Re: Retail therapy - any suggestions?

Postby Richie Royale » Fri Apr 09, 2010 7:48 am

tomafd wrote:
Rave On wrote:
Revisit music long forgotten but exciting at the time.

Did that yesterday, pulled out a bunch of old dats and whacked them in, at random.

The upshot was - well, at least I've improved, since !

Yes, I've been pulling out some 5 year old tracks recently and it's nice to have a template ready for some tweaking that I had completely forgotten about. Better ears and processing helps as well.
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Re: Retail therapy - any suggestions?

Postby The Rattler » Wed Apr 14, 2010 3:06 am

Exalted Wombat wrote:My theremin arrived this morning! First attempt: http://www.auym23.dsl.pipex.com/show/nellie_the_theremin.mp3

WAY to go :-)
:bouncy:
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Re: Retail therapy - any suggestions?

Postby forumuser695516 » Wed Apr 14, 2010 3:15 am

Exalted Wombat wrote:My theremin arrived this morning! First attempt: http://www.auym23.dsl.pipex.com/show/nellie_the_theremin.mp3

WAY to go :-)

Nice! :bouncy:
(I think I found a new use for auto-tune!)

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