Saturday, March 19, 2011

The Mind versus VST; Dialectic 1


Regarding the post - I'd say that the collection of vst's is the product of a hoarded mentality (humans love to collect things) combined with an unfounded hope that said collection will increase their production skills. In many ways it does serve as a pathway to expand the way one's mindset works whilst making music, little by little, but often it's done in a way that's counterproductive or useless.

From a post I made about software hoarding, and the necessity to focus instead on the development of artistic skills.

I'd just like to say that I agree with this.  I acknowledge that the diversity of tools does have the profound ability to expand the artist's mindset.  But I believe this expansion should only happen at the appropriate times in the artist's development.  It should not happen in the beginning when the artist just approaches their tools for the first time.  It is honestly hard enough just to figure out the basics in computer music, even with how easy everything has become.

It also is a great sign of curiosity that shines favorably on the artist's disposition.  But that natural and beneficial curiosity needs to be restrained to strengthen the core, the foundation of the artist's coming personhood.  <-- no that is not a euphemism for masturbation.

I really feel that when an artist is in all honesty satisfied with their work, they should definitely go out and try new things.  It is a gateway issue, it is at the beginning of a plateau of struggle, not of artistic interest or capability.  When things become too easy, expand and challenge the workflow that has taken so long to develope.  Break it, and see what emerges, what new ways there are to do things and think about sound and rhythm and your vst directory.

But in the beginning, it is hard enough to climb one mountain, why climb fifteen all at once?  How incremental, discouraging, and maybe ultimately fatal (for the stated purpose :) ) would such an endeavor prove?

Again, this is just from my experience. Ymmv.


  1. You put quite a lot of thought into your posts, very good read.

  2. Agree with Mike, really enjoying reading this blog

  3. I use such a small percentage of what my VST is capable of, I'm sure. But if I try using a new thing (synth, effect, whatever), it will at first almost always produce results that I haven't had in mind for the track, so it feels like it's not your own work. It's a learning curve, working towards being able to utilize your tools in such a way that when you have an idea in your head, you can recreate that as best as possible on your computer.

    There is something to be said, of course, about the sounds that come from chance - whether that's from using something you don't know your way around yet, etc.

  4. Interesting stuff definitely. I know all about hoarding, I used to live with a guy who used to hoard light bulbs and cigarette lighters, he didnt even smoke.

  5. A lot of those producers that hoard software don't even make music. :(

  6. Love this blog, man! So deep.

    I'd say there's 2 aspects of it.

    You have the initial aspect, where this massive surplus of tools at your disposal completely stimulates your brain and encourages you to learn about the art as a whole. So, letting someone loose in a whole art shop full of crayons and spraycans and bare walls.

    But this is quickly followed by a trough in concentration and learning ability, based on an indecisiveness on which aspect to learn. You wear yourself out, when you really need to be sitting down with a notebook and a pencil and learning more techniques.

    If you have the discipline to sit down in the middle of that artshop technical drawing for hours and hours, once you've found that that's your thing, than it's probably not as counterproductive. The problem is, most of us aren't, we want to tear around all day, and through a lack of specialisation, don't accomplish anything special.

    A lot of us, as producers, and probably with all artists, have been patiently bottlenecked into the tools we use, through certain influences and slowly shift around with discipline trying to find the right tools to suit us. I can't tell you how long I was using and becoming well trained in Reason, before I tried Ableton Live and realised I'd been wasting quite a bit of time with Reason, just in the way I work. It doesn't mean I didn't learn anything using Reason, but if I used Live in the first place, maybe more would have been accomplished.

    If we originally were allowed to try to sample everything, we may have found this journey quicker and easier, but most of us don't have the discipline to do that, I don't think. These hoarders tear around in the art-shop until they realise we're not improving in anything and get bored. They have all the mountains infront of them, ready to find the one that's most fun for them to climb, but end up climbing all of 'em.

    So yeh, I think discipline has a lot to do with it.

    /severe lack of sleep :)