Downsizing advice

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Aaron_LaMere
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Downsizing advice

Post by Aaron_LaMere » Wed Jun 17, 2020 11:30 am

Hey friends,

Longtime lurker, first time poster...

For the past two years, I've had a loft style studio in my home and have used it as a jam space and songwriter's loft. It's been great.
In a few weeks, I'm moving into a new space that is much smaller and am looking to downsize some of my gear.

Already sold off a Fender P Bass (that I never really used), a couple of guitars, a Digital Piano (keeping the real piano in the new place).
In the process of selling my huge PM1000 (Sad, I know.. but it's HUGE).

In regards to other 'stuff'.
Have you guys ever downsized slightly?
What are your thoughts on the gear that you get rid of, vs. the gear you keep?

Right now, I'm sort of getting rid of: "stuff that I haven't used in 6 mos"
also included is: "Stuff that just will not fit under any circumstances"

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joninc
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Re: Downsizing advice

Post by joninc » Wed Jun 17, 2020 11:48 am

it's kinda hard to answer without knowing what you primarily use your gear for...

that said - anything that hasn't been touched in a year is on the chopping block around here. better to have 5 things you use ALL THE TIME than 15 that barely get used ever , that you could borrow or rent if needed at some point...
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Re: Downsizing advice

Post by Aaron_LaMere » Wed Jun 17, 2020 1:20 pm

joninc wrote:
Wed Jun 17, 2020 11:48 am
it's kinda hard to answer without knowing what you primarily use your gear for...

that said - anything that hasn't been touched in a year is on the chopping block around here. better to have 5 things you use ALL THE TIME than 15 that barely get used ever , that you could borrow or rent if needed at some point...
Yeah, I guess that's a fair point.
My studio is mostly a guitar overdub joint that doubles (or used to double before Covid) as a band jam space.

"Anything not used in the past year" I guess is a pretty good rule of thumb.

I'm going into this process and looking at it as sort of a restart so pairing down to the bare min is kind of an idea that I really like right now.
For example, I have a Dano Baritone guitar that I love, but can't remember the last time it got used on anything.
Or I have an acoustic 12 string that is sparsely, if ever, used..

I guess it'll come down to my personal opinion and 'how low i want to go' ha!

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Re: Downsizing advice

Post by markjazzbassist » Wed Jun 17, 2020 1:36 pm

i am constantly evaluating and re-evaluating the gear i have and trying to find ways to do more with less and to minimize. my studio is on the 3rd floor of my home (finished attic) and it's about 1/3 of that (other side is a den of sorts to hang and watch a screen for netflix/etc). so i'm working with a small space to begin with. sadly i have a vintage keyboard fetish that i'm trying to keep at bay, only have the electric piano and analog synth at the moment but an organ is likely on the way and i need to stop at that.

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Re: Downsizing advice

Post by joninc » Wed Jun 17, 2020 1:56 pm

Aaron_LaMere wrote:
Wed Jun 17, 2020 1:20 pm
I'm going into this process and looking at it as sort of a restart so pairing down to the bare min is kind of an idea that I really like right now.
Going to a small interface and computer instead of a console is gonna allow your set up to be much smaller and more portable.

Having 1 or 2 high quality mic/preamps/compressor in a small rack is great and often enough - especially for something like you're decribing. I don't understand why some people amass large amounts of channels (preamps/converters) when they only ever record 2-4 inputs at the most.

having a handful of instruments that are unique and that you love to use goes a long way too. My snares get used 80% of the time and often my cymbals and kit too. they are sounds that I know translate well on recording and they save me time in the long run and get better end results. same is true of guitars that are set up and have good intonation and tone - and amps that aren't harsh or overly thin/bright. a real piano or wurly over a nord etc.

last year I sold a guitar I hardly ever used to buy a keyboard which i use all the time - why'd I wait so long to do that?
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Re: Downsizing advice

Post by digitaldrummer » Wed Jun 17, 2020 2:48 pm

I always do similar evaluation. when's the last time I used it? am I planning to use it in the near future? Or sometimes, it's just do I have justification for something expensive, and could I do the same (or 99% the same) with something less pricey?

but let me say there will probably be regrets. it's just part of the deal... there are amps, drums, etc. that I wish I hadn't sold, but then again I feel I can still accomplish the same things without them, even if I do miss them... :(
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Re: Downsizing advice

Post by kslight » Wed Jun 17, 2020 4:03 pm

If it’s replaceable and you don’t use it, sell it.

If it’s tough to replace - hesitate maybe.

If it has paid for itself - eh maybe keep it.

I have a problem, you could call it a first world problem...which is even if I’ve got stuff that I could sell (and I do), I hate the selling process.


The good part about having too much stuff and a small space is, I have to hesitate before buying something else.

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Re: Downsizing advice

Post by Aaron_LaMere » Wed Jun 17, 2020 4:09 pm

digitaldrummer wrote:
Wed Jun 17, 2020 2:48 pm

but let me say there will probably be regrets. it's just part of the deal...
So real.
Without a doubt, I'm sure I'll miss the big old PM1000.
that thing sounds like BUTTER.

Unfortunately, in this new home/space I just won't have the massive amount of space that I do now.
Smaller, more compact going forward I suppose...
It's going to force me to do less work at home, and more actually going to a studio (which is good!) but..
I definitely feel the pain of losing some of the toys.

As much as I'll miss some recording gear, mics, etc... I've found that personally, it's the guitars that I miss the most...
So, any guitars will be sold last.. after I've figured out how to downsize my footprint in every other way. LOL.

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Re: Downsizing advice

Post by Aaron_LaMere » Wed Jun 17, 2020 4:12 pm

kslight wrote:
Wed Jun 17, 2020 4:03 pm

I have a problem, you could call it a first world problem...which is even if I’ve got stuff that I could sell (and I do), I hate the selling process.

The good part about having too much stuff and a small space is, I have to hesitate before buying something else.
Same, I hate selling gear..

and good point on the small space!
I'm actually a little excited to feel a bit more 'concentrated' in the new space.
Like, perhaps that will help me create more because fewer options will exist...

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Re: Downsizing advice

Post by kslight » Wed Jun 17, 2020 4:23 pm

Aaron_LaMere wrote:
Wed Jun 17, 2020 4:12 pm
kslight wrote:
Wed Jun 17, 2020 4:03 pm

I have a problem, you could call it a first world problem...which is even if I’ve got stuff that I could sell (and I do), I hate the selling process.

The good part about having too much stuff and a small space is, I have to hesitate before buying something else.
Same, I hate selling gear..

and good point on the small space!
I'm actually a little excited to feel a bit more 'concentrated' in the new space.
Like, perhaps that will help me create more because fewer options will exist...
I deliberately moved from my basement to a (small) spare bedroom. The problem with that is, i have this 10 year old Mac Pro that is a space heater...

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Re: Downsizing advice

Post by Aaron_LaMere » Wed Jun 17, 2020 4:35 pm

joninc wrote:
Wed Jun 17, 2020 1:56 pm
Aaron_LaMere wrote:
Wed Jun 17, 2020 1:20 pm
I'm going into this process and looking at it as sort of a restart so pairing down to the bare min is kind of an idea that I really like right now.
Going to a small interface and computer instead of a console is gonna allow your set up to be much smaller and more portable.

Having 1 or 2 high quality mic/preamps/compressor in a small rack is great and often enough - especially for something like you're decribing. I don't understand why some people amass large amounts of channels (preamps/converters) when they only ever record 2-4 inputs at the most.

having a handful of instruments that are unique and that you love to use goes a long way too. My snares get used 80% of the time and often my cymbals and kit too. they are sounds that I know translate well on recording and they save me time in the long run and get better end results. same is true of guitars that are set up and have good intonation and tone - and amps that aren't harsh or overly thin/bright. a real piano or wurly over a nord etc.

last year I sold a guitar I hardly ever used to buy a keyboard which i use all the time - why'd I wait so long to do that?

YES, to all of that.

I originally got a 16 channel board so that my writers loft, which includes 3 keyboards, a piano, a drumset etc could have everything at 'plug and play' all the time. I was thinking it would be faster to just have everything routed.. (and it is!) but it turns out, I've actually gotten less writing work done during this time, and I do think it's partly because EVERYTHING has been an option.

So, getting rid of a few guitars, a keyboard, and some options.. and going back to a setup where I have 4-8 quality inputs and have to move some mics around every once in awhile is going to be OK I think.

Right now, the plan really is.. keep only what I love and what I TRULY use.

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Re: Downsizing advice

Post by Aaron_LaMere » Wed Jun 17, 2020 4:38 pm

kslight wrote:
Wed Jun 17, 2020 4:23 pm

I deliberately moved from my basement to a (small) spare bedroom. The problem with that is, i have this 10 year old Mac Pro that is a space heater...
Oh, trust me.. I've been there!

This loft I have is the largest 'committed' space I've had
and I'm actually moving into the basement of this new place.

Very 'indie' style basement studio.
The gear always heats it up.
This basement has AC but.. as always, we'll see how well it works when you turn a couple of tube amps on.

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Re: Downsizing advice

Post by floid » Wed Jun 17, 2020 7:01 pm

I've got gear overload. Either need a larger space or a serious gear reduction. Right now I have a spare bedroom that is practically un-navigable due to, well, hoarding.
But I too hate the selling process.

Seems like everything was easier when I had the br8 and a 57.
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Re: Downsizing advice

Post by winky dinglehoffer » Wed Jun 17, 2020 8:36 pm

My one bit of advice: don't try to shoehorn as much stuff as possible into the space. If you keep it relatively streamlined & have a good workflow set up, you'll be more productive than if you have lots of cool crap but it's a fight to access it. Cool stuff but less of it, set up in a way that makes it easy to work, is a much better way to go. (a lesson hard learned for me.)

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Re: Downsizing advice

Post by Zacharia Matilda » Thu Jun 18, 2020 4:53 am

Another thing I would add, especially when it comes to pieces like your mixer... I always tend to over emphasize the role gear plays in the way things sound, so that tends to make me want to hang on to things longer than I should.

It’s good to remember that your recordings will still kind good when this is all over. Or, at least in my case, a big change like this won’t necessarily make your work sound worse. Your comment about the desk sounding like butter really spoke to me. These are the things I tell myself when thinking about getting rid of mics, amps etc.

I hate change.
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