Are you creating something or are you just collecting plugins and samples?

Discussion in 'Education' started by Hazen, Jun 11, 2021 at 12:55 PM.

  1. Hazen

    Hazen Producer

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    Does anyone of you know this phenomenon: checking the various audio blogs and websites almost daily, sometimes even multiple times a day, looking for new releases of effect & instruments plugins and samples?

    I guess it's the rush of novelty = constant immediate gratification seeking. But doesn't it interfere with productivity? Imagine in the 1970s famous producers and artists would have focussed on constantly checking which new gear is available instead of actually creating something with the tools at their hand. Now, due to the internet we are subjected to a constant novelty stream, so much that it inteferes with creativity and focus, unless we manage to cut it down.

    How many plugins and samples do I have on my hdd and how many of them am I actually using frequently? I think it can cause "decision fatigue" when you have too many options, especially with redundant plugins that essentially do the same.

    I guess it's wise to cut down the amount of plugins and samples to a size that is manageable and useful, without having to compromise too much on variety and options.

    What do you think?
     
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  3. tobehonest

    tobehonest Newbie

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    This hit too close to home. GAS - Gear-Acquisition-Syndrome. It exists for plug-ins as well! But you are right in the assumption that this behavior is largely motivated by instant gratification. But that dwindles down fast by the end of the day, when I want to produce and spent the first hour and a half installing the plugins I downloaded before and instantly regretting it. It is fun but also not, if that makes sense. :guru:

    But not going to lie, this post got me thinking. Maybe I will actually be satisfied with my collection, maybe not. Who knows?
     
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  4. No Doz

    No Doz Member

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    i feel that choice overload gets in the way of my creative process, so i've made a regular habit of opening my plugin manager and paring down. i cull the list about once a month or so, and anything that hasn't found its way into my normal work flow gets unchecked and purged from my DAW. i can always bring them back at a later date if i think i might have application for a specific tool, but i've found that having a more condensed list of options at my disposal helps my productivity personally
     
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  5. Hazen

    Hazen Producer

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    Isn't it more fun to get into a real "flow" state of mind and actually create something? Imagine you have a small plugin collection and know all your tools perfectly fine (how they sound, what they can add to the mix, how they operate) - you will get stuff done in a much more satisfying way, because you instantly know which of the three compressors in your collection would be the right one for the task instead of bothering about selecting the right one out of 20 compressors.

    When I remember my old setup with much fewer plugins (couldn't afford commercial plugins back then, did not dare to use K'd stuff and there were much fewer freeware options available): It was much easier for me to "get into the zone" back then than it is today with my 1 terrabyte collection of samples and plugins.

    I guess once our set of available tools is bigger than what our minds can handle (as in: keeping the mental overview and conscious awareness about what is available in the toolbox and how to use it) it causes mental strain rather than aiding the creative process.
     
  6. BEAT16

    BEAT16 Audiosexual

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    Imagine you go to the library. How many books are there? Will you be able to borrow and read them all. No, because you are making a rational decision. How much time do I have or how much money do I have. Is it useful and do I need it.

    First the language was there - you could communicate - then the book you could read and learn. Then electrification with light and electricity. Then everything went very fast and the computer managed the millions of sheets and files that had been written on. In short EDV, the electronic data processing. People multiplied until the world was full - before the world was empty. Hence, man invented the computer and, more recently, the SmartPhone. Many satellites with a global position system (GPS) and boxes like refrigerators that could predict the weather circled the planet from then on. The electricity was generated and provided with coal, crude oil, natural gas and, more recently, with solar energy, wind energy, thermal energy and hydrogen.

    The long-playing record (LP) became CD / DVD and BluRay. Clever people naturally invented the USB stick and the beloved memory cards that stored the data in digital cameras and camcorders. The magnetic hard drive became the solid state disc (SSD). Since all of this technology is relatively new, people need some time to adjust to it. Today this is called digital media literacy. Some are gamers - others Musicians, others write scientific articles, then thousands of blogs and endless news channels. Some call this overstimulation, other information overkill. A lot of analogue is being digitized and people are facing many new applications. Online banking, tax return online and and and ....!

    In short, dear people - every now and then just press the switch-off head.To look at the stars again and become aware that in the end you will die too. Less is more and too much stress makes you sick.
     
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  7. pratyahara

    pratyahara Producer

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    I download only the software that I might use in my work. I test it for quality. If it is of low quality I delete it immediately, the rest I keep in archives. From time to time I do a revision and delete some more. Actually, at any moment, I use ~10% of what I have in archives. Of the software installed, I use regularly ~50%, and the rest very rarely.
     
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  8. famouslut

    famouslut Audiosexual

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    Does it have to be either / or?
     
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  9. Yellow Raven

    Yellow Raven Platinum Record

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    I guess we've all been down that road to some extent. one has to know where to put the limit.
    the one and only goal should be to make music and not collect software. frankly wit a basic DAW these days one can do wonders. the choice and options are limitless, I mean look at the Beatles, the did wonders with 4 tracks of recording and maybe less. I myself rarely use most of what I have so it just stays there in my PC because some cracked software is hard to remove.
    it's been mentioned above, better have a few vst's that you know how to use than hundreds that you only fiddle with aimlessly.
    stay focused and create MUSIC
    cheers
     
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  10. droplet

    droplet Platinum Record

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    try until you buy is just that get everything find what you like. once you got the things that really work for you , at least for me, I slowed down on downloading new stuff.
     
  11. Zenarcist

    Zenarcist Audiosexual

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    Semper Paratus!
     
  12. Zenarcist

    Zenarcist Audiosexual

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    I have a basic workflow template, and I keep all the plugins in offline mode until I need them. If I want to change a plugin for something similar I use the Replace FX option in Reaper, and when inspiration is low I use the free time to create interesting sound palettes.
     
    Last edited: Jun 11, 2021 at 8:53 PM
  13. Triphammer

    Triphammer Ultrasonic

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    NO!! MUST HAVE THEM ALL......BWAHAHAHAHA!! I went down this road with hardware before plugins
    even existed! Do I have too many guitars, amps & stompboxes? HELL YES!! Do I have too many plugins?
    HELL YES!! Do I use all of it all the time.....HELL NO!! Now...that being said, I've learned not to get
    caught up in the "what do I use?" mindset. I keep my installed plugins to a minimum. If a plugin is shit
    I don't even archive it....I flush it. I do have some specialized plugins that I keep archived and occasionally
    use them when the need arises. Likewise my solo acoustic guitar rig and my band oriented electric guitar
    rig doesn't change a whole lot. But, as with plugins, I have many specialized stompboxes and occasionally
    pull them out in the studio when the need arises. And again as with plugins, I get rid of the ones I don't think
    I'll ever use. On the auction block they go!
     
  14. MichaelPatterson

    MichaelPatterson Kapellmeister

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    Why can't it be both? :rofl:
     
  15. PeterGundvall

    PeterGundvall Newbie

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    I started to do more music now after experimenting so many plugins what I have in my PC. I've noticed that some plugins need more time to get familiar with it than others. So it's not always easy to decide do I really need this plugin or not? Loops and samples are the same and it's good to have lots of those to get boost someday when you really need it. Never enough but not too much.
    :guru:
     
  16. BeatsNFreakz

    BeatsNFreakz Noisemaker

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    Great post. This one hit close to home. It really is an addiction. Pokemon type shit "GOTTA HAVE EM ALL!!". Especially when you work in multiple genres. I wake up each day and the first thing I check after work emails is AudioZ. I don't even stay in the loop with what companies put out these days from their own press releases, if it's on AudioZ then I'm now aware of it. It does feel like I'm an addict getting their fix when there is a good release day. I think my addiction comes from me wanting my studio to have the "latest and greatest" so that no matter when inspiration hits, I have the "latest" and "newest" stuff at my disposal no matter what style/genre. It's a desire for my PC to feel "complete" I guess. Especially with sample packs, I hoard those into my library so that I can do a simple search with keywords and get tons of results to choose from from my sample manager. I would rather have too much to work with rather than too little. And now I'm in the situation of my drive is about to be full and I have to transfer almost 6tb of samples onto a bigger hard drive. Not looking forward to that. However, outside of sample packs, I don't just grab whatever's popular and keep it. I install it, play around with it, try using it for a client/work. If I don't like the feel/sound of it within 20 minutes, I uninstall it and move on.

    We live in a society dependent on instant gratification now, thanks to social media. People post content whether it's music or some Instagram thot posting her ass and then they yearn for the "Likes" and "comments" like it's a drug. I'm guilty of it myself (with music, not my ass lol). This also happens with music production and countless vst instruments/effects that basically make an entire track for you. There's a demographic that wants complete results instantaneously without having to work for it. Remember how crazy the community got when Nexus 3 was finally cracked? Don't get me wrong, it sounds amazing, and I love to use it when I'm layering sounds but because of how much it allows you to skip the work of sound design and composition, it was like crack for the community. (wait til the full avenger/expansions is finally cracked, ooh boy)

    I just recently had to do a full reinstall of my entire setup and it was a blessing in disguise that forced me to evaluate what plugins I actually use and what was taking up space on my pc. As others have said, it really is better to learn a plugin fully before downloading more. Case in point: I love using MIDI effects, I started to hoard them and then I realized that Scaler 2 is all I need, it does everything that the others do once I took the time to learn it.

    Unfortunately cutting the dead weight from your plugins can bite you in the ass if you ever try to open up old projects that used those plugins, you since abandoned. I'm looking at you Izotope! How many versions of Ozone do I really need installed so that all my projects from years ago will always open correctly? They should follow waves and make each new version replace the older ones seamlessly.

    Can you imagine what producers went through before the age of the internet, R2R type groups, DAWs, Plugins, etc and having this addiction? We're fortunate we live in a timeline now where it's so easy to "try before you buy" with all this stuff.
     
    Last edited: Jun 11, 2021 at 10:27 PM
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  17. rah

    rah Ultrasonic

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    Do you have the amp that goes up to 11?
     
  18. realitybytez

    realitybytez Audiosexual

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    i am creating a collection of plugins and samples.
     
  19. synths4grins

    synths4grins Kapellmeister

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    Checking this often is frequently because people are looking to catch that special plugin or library that they fear will be taken down before they can get to it, or finish downloading all 100GB of some symphonic library!
     
  20. clone

    clone Producer

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    once it is here it is too late.
     
  21. MetaCastle

    MetaCastle Ultrasonic

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    Collecting for testing first and using them for projects im not big samples collector only if the samples are very good they will be collected i don't bother collecting software or samples that im not interested in. Since i switched to torrent only i don't give a fu to get some plug/sample faster before the clowns known as dmca get them down it is endlessly relaxing at torrent world don't need any brutal cryptolockers to waste my time
     
    Last edited: Jun 12, 2021 at 2:06 AM
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