Monday, October 30, 2006

How to Take Care of Your Gear by Nermidi

The article below is a messageboard post from over at written by Nermidi. It is a small editorial that I liked ad might have some truth to it.

I know some of you are going through the menus, pushing those buttons at 300 miles an hour, and hitting those keys like a freaking punching bag and then you wonder why your gear crashes, malfunctions, and in the worst case scenario dies.

Just take into consideration that all the internal components and circuitry are working with help of electricity and all those pathways and chips convey electricity in the form of messages that are sent externally by the user. When all the works take place, I think that there is a certain amount of physical stress to the components and pathways that takes place at all times and I'd like to think that all the parts are made to sustain all the pressure that is asserted upon them, but all the modern technology doesn't make those parts perfect. How do we know for sure if the pattern and speed at which those messages travel do not effect circuitry, chips, ram, and all the places they go? For example, my CS [Command Station] would crash if there was too many track erase messages being sent through shift/erase shortcut. After very slowly realizing the cause of the crash I started working my way around it and then I realized that if I focus a bit more and do it the right way the first or second time I wouldn't worry about the erase button as much. Now that I am using erase button less often, and it hasn't crashed on me in a long time in comparison to crashing every time I used it before the change of a habit. Going through all that led me to change a lot of other aspects in the way I use gear and how effective I am.

A lot of gear that is made a few years back is slowly losing manufacturer's support or is being discontinued. Just take a E-mu stuff for example. Their products are very good and durable IMO, but what do you do if something that you have used for years and it has basically become an extension of yourself, all of a sudden won't boot? You can either try to fix it, get another one or adjust to something else. Either way the options would be hard to pull of especially with discontinued gear. Although going through all that could be a good challenge why not relax and focus to become more effective and direct your creative energy towards what really matters. That way you can take a lot of pressure off your tools and make them last until you (Emphasis added) are ready to replace it.

One advice I could give is don't make one unit do all work. Too much polyphony can kill. Dedicate one unit to a specific task or disperse the parts as equally as possible.

Interesting thought don't you think? I had to edit the article for some spelling mistakes because I think he was wasted when he wrote it, but it begs one to think for a moment about the way we use our gear and our long term processes. Does taking a little extra time now to plan think about your music save yourself not only time, but your gear? We all know how attached we can become and what are you going to do five or ten years from now if that favorite synth of yours crashes with years worth of work in it?


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