Monday, August 21, 2006

Gear lust and more.

I wondered the other day what it is that makes me suffer from gear-lust, or is it even that? I remember clearly the times that I saw pictures of big walls full of knobs and buttons and cables, behind the likes of Tangerine Dream, Keith Emerson, Jean Michel Jarre and others. These things intrigued me, impressive looking synthesizers, and that sound, the sounds, the music. That was really what was catching my attention, not just the machine, it was what it did, not in a technical way, but a musical, emotional way.
How it does things is interesting in it's own right, and I guess that's why I like building them, but tech specs only mean so much. In my head; reading that a synth has 24 pole low pass filters with resonance, translates to "being capable of some mean sounding bass sounds" for example. I read the specs into something musical. This of course is not something that comes overnight. It takes years of reading, listening and hands on experience to know that a certain feature will mean a certain sound can be made.
This is where we translate technology into sound, and sound into music.Both these processes involve human interaction, especially with an analog modular synth. This is why synthesizer music is just as 'musical' , than any other acoustic instrument. It's because a human, a musician has to learn to play the thing and interact with it, and is able to add all the nuances to evoke a certain feeling or emotion, live, in the flesh, sweating and all.
So gear lust is one thing, but it means nothing without the end product, without understanding what the thing is capable of , and how much pleasure can be had of it, playing it, making music.
Long live the synth, long live the MOTM modular. :-)


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