Okay. A couple of things. There is an ethos about doing things yourself, finding deals, making great art with humble tools. I get it. But the flipside is, there has to be an original designer, an initial run of the design that needs to be marketed and scaled in quantity to bring production costs down. So in adopting a design or finding a deal, quite often this approach is on the back of the proper, actual full process of initially releasing the product.
Brands. So it is cool to not be caught up in brands. Right. However, the other day I found a hooded sweatshirt on the dock, soaking wet in a heap by a trash can. Before I threw it away, I glanced at the label. Turns out it was a really nice sweater. So I washed it and offered it to a friend who loves it. Great find. Two things. 1. Someone had to pay for that sweater in the first place. 2. It was the brand name that kept me from just throwing it away.
If you are in a store and you are feeling open minded, you might see a cardigan that you wouldn’t normally give a second look, but suppose you notice it is a brand you wear and like. You might think, “well it is not quite my style, but maybe I just don’t know that I will like yet, because it is unfamiliar.” You go try it on and then think, “I normally don’t wear cardigans but this one is different. I like it.”
What does this have to do with music production? I just realized that because the elektron Analog Four mk1 I just acquired has overbridge, I can record all of my gear through the A4.
Now, I didn’t know this when I was researching the unit. But I figured that the elektron gear would have some really nice surprises – things I need but don’t yet know I need, which is a big reason I bought it.
Bottom line. It turns out I can record my gear without having to buy a new audio interface and worry about the quality of the converters. So maybe I could have found cheaper gear than elektron. But I bet it wouldn’t have so many happy surprises waiting to be discovered. I think that if one is attracted to ‘design’, there is an extra value when you own something that has be thought out well.
One of the reasons I checked that sweater twice was be cause I bought one just like it 6 months ago. It was maybe 15% off, but still expensive. Mind you, it is a local company who sponsors local surfers and organizes environmental projects. You could go on to say that the person who pays more for this type of product is less of a materialist than someone who buys a cheap verson and 3 other cheap items with the money they saved – made, most likely in China (or Indonesia), under nasty working conditions, bought from a retail store no one actually ever wants to have to work at. They will probably also throw this sweater away instead of passing it on, and no individuals will receive the benefit of sponsorship (a big deal in the Skateboard/Snowboard/Surf culture).
Thankyou elektron, for your pioneering work in performace synthesis/sampling! I love my new/used A4!
Check out the synthtopia overbridge 2.0 thread for some interesting criticism.
*feel free to move this post