"What am I gonna do with all this crap?" -- Tales of a Recovering Gear-A-Holic

sweetbeats

Reel deep thoughts...
"What am I gonna do with all this crap?" -- Tales of a Recovering Gear-A-Holic

Any addiction makes messes...relationally, personally, physically...

I've made positive headway on all fronts I think from the last year or two, but I was out in the shop the other night looking for a couple parts for a buddy and for the first time in awhile I really looked around. I'm out there every day but its pretty easy to just pretend I don't see it all but it was time I really looked again, and I said to myself "What am I gonna do with all this crap?"

I recall a thread sometime back by...technoplayer? An estate sale of somebody who was obviously a hoarder and it was scary-sad. My "mess" isn't to that level but its not good, so I thought I'd rhetorically ask the question above and put up some pics of the mess. Maybe it will deter some of you from that next unnecessary purchase, or give you a nudge to keep you on-track for the sake of those that are counting on you.

Of course, if y'all want to comment let 'er rip...after all its a public forum.

Disclaimer: since moving here about 6 years ago its been a challenge to come up for air and really organize the shop, and right now is at an all-time worst because the shop has become storage for everything that was in our old garage and enclosed porch due to our remodel, as well as housing my friend's woodworking equipment while he's away on a long-term mission...and we stocked up on hay (3 tons worth) a couple months ago. Excuses, excuses. Anyway, that does explain some of the state of things but I certainly haven't made things better.

On to the "crap".

Ampex 34U rack...can't bring myself to get rid of it...don't need it but it is a matching unit with my Ampex MM-1000...does a nifty job of housing my drum rug.

IMG_8445_1_1.JPG



How about an Ampex 440 rolling console? This one is slated for the 440C I have that's in need of a headblock and some fixin'...the console is in good shape...will clean up nice and I have 4 sets of the electronics risers for it. The clincher: don't need another halftrack...really like my BR-20T.

IMG_8446_2_1.JPG



What's this? Another Ampex 440 rolling console? This one even has a transport in it...440B 1/4" fulltrack. It works. Needs some fixin'. Console isn't as nice...was actually the console for my parted-out 440B-8. The clincher: not really interested in having a fulltrack machine. Could easily convert this to halftrack, but I don't need another halftr...wait...already said that...

IMG_8448_3_1.JPG



Oh look! Is that a 440 transport??? Okay...that one is mostly stripped...that's the Russ Lang console that I have tried to GIVE away for the last 3 or so months. Keeps that side of the hay bales from toppling though...

IMG_8449_4_1.JPG



From left to right: Sony TC-630 consumer quarter-track...box of tapes on top...that's the machine I grew up with...needs some help; a whole stack-o 440B and 440C electronics modules for parts; miscellaneous 440-8 parts; boxes of snakes and cabling and Tascam M-300B parts; next stack of boxes? Caps, caps and more caps...some IC's and other semiconductors, a spare TimeLine Micro Lynx system, miscellaneous Ampex parts for sale, and a crazy array of jacks and plugs for making up cables; a spare 388; records and tapes on the right; some of the drawers below are full of audio stuff...one drawer is just stuffed full of miscellaneous cables and cable-making stuff...bulk snake cable, etc...another two drawers are Ampex stuff, 440 and MM-1000 stuff...headblocks for the MM-1000, NOS reel motors and such for the 440 series...don't even really remember what all is in there but its stuff I determined at some point was for sure "keeper" stuff...

IMG_8450_5_1.JPG



There's the 440C on the left...I think there are MM-1000 related bits behind that like power supplies...can't remember, but stuff for the 2" conversion IIRC, and, yep, that's the Tascam M-__ mixer there on the right. Now here's the kicker: that's a sizeable rolling work-table those things are sitting on and its an enclosed cabinet below which is *chock* full of stuff. Mostly Ampex and mostly MM-1000. A good portion of it is for the 2" conversion, like the amplifier electronics modules for channels 9~16 are down there...more spare power supplies...spare reel motor, spare sync boxes...all the spare stuff that came with the MM-1000. There are also some Tascam bits down there...wire harnessing I kept from the 48 I parted out...good for repairs...oh and the main transformer and power supply from the 48...a bunch of those nice tall ALPS long-throw faders...jacks...knob and switch caps...*sigh*

IMG_8451_6_1.JPG



Last but not least, before I was an audio gear freak I was a drum freak. Again, part of a strange process of seemingly trying and going through all kinds of things, eventually settling. I did settle on a drum set...one I made, but lots of leftovers...marching percussion, vintage Pearl kit I'd like to finish refurbing for a different sound...hardware...Rototoms...oy...

IMG_8452_7_1.JPG



Right below those drums is the odd little hovel that used to be my "studio"...made out of office partition panels...about 6' x 8' inside and a towering 44" tall...watch your head. The Soundtracs MX mixer is tipped on its back leaning up against the side...right now all the more critical known keeper stuff is inside. My drums, the rack with the BR-20T and all the mastering stuff...computer...388...bass combo amp...mics...monitors. Yes its tight in there.

What a mess.

Bit by bit I see this straigtening out with the new studio room. Only the known keeper stuff is going in there and what gets left out is kind of where the question in the thread title comes from. Feng shui my a**.
 

purerad

New member
I can seriously empathize!
I grew up with a bunch of hoarders! I am a hoarder!
wish there was a 12 step program!
least i didn't have the gross kind of hoarder family that had a million cats etc....ugh!
it's taken us years to get rid of stuff after my dad died......long story but he had several buildings full of stuff...........
i bought my friends demo studio last year and planned on living in one bedroom of a small house i bought and use the rest of the house as a studio.
Well, between realizing my arms are really too screwed up to play guitar anymore i finally decided I'm done...........and the fact i may not be single in another six months!:D she says she can put up with all the stuff but there's no way two people can live in a 650 sq ft house and have a studio in it specially if i'm done........................
plus i have a huge record collection,reel to reel tapes, cassettes, books, have probably a double cars garage worth of various tools from various weird hobbies i've had in the past!
and this is after 4 years of at least a garage sale a year and tons of trips to the thrift stores to donate!
it's way too easy to get this way...........
and my soon to be great gal? she's got like maybe a half dozen large plastic storage containers that fit in a closet and that's it.............
fortunately she knows what she's getting into!
so, from one hoarder to another...........i'll say a prayer for ya and leave the light on at the dog house!
U can change but it does take time!

"i'm a man, and i can change, if i have to, i guess" Red Green
 

zorf

New member
sweetbeats,

that is scary because it's familiar.
It's a constant struggle for me to keep on top the junk that finds it way to my place.
I've stopped "rescuing" stuff that's heading for the landfill.
It's sad, but i realized that it's not my problem.

We are not museums.

stuff takes away your energy and productivity.

I've been the executor for several estates.
you realize that at the end, it's just stuff.
It's a burden for the people left behind to deal with.
If no one else want's it, it just has to go.


besides selling on ebay, craigslist, or using the 'free" section, there is something called freecycle.

there is also the organizations that will accept donations, but they are getting picky about what they take, which i understand.
there are also brokers that specialize in analog recording gear.

Why don't you just settle in on a basic setup, keep a FEW parts for backup, and get rid of the rest.

or, trade it all for a laptop and an interface.:)
 

technoplayer

Recovering Gear-aholic
While I am no where as "ambitious" as Cory, I am also more enamoured with gear than I am either talented or motivated. I fortunately (unfortunately) have a very large home with a very large garage and shop which means I have never had space be a limit to my obsession with gear. Within the last year or two I have tried to get more realistic about what I need ( very little) vs what I have or want (way too much). This has led me to realize:

1) I am not going to be doing any serious recording. Ever. I am a LISTENER and a tinkerer.
2) No one in my family is going to want ANY of this stuff.
3) It is NOT going to be worth a fortune some day.
4) If I ever really need it, someone else will be selling it. If I dont want to pay the asking price, then I dont really need it.


So, I have been selling off stuff... probably 20 reel to reel machines, mixers, various bits and parts, etc...over the last two years of so. Yeah, I am still buying stuff (last months 440C 4 track) but absolutely NOTHING is going in storage. I have been for the most part focusing my efforts on making sure everything I have is fully functional and is set up and ready to use, and I USE it. If i do not or am just being stupid like "well I am going to use it someday" then I am trying to let it go. So I am taking care and of or restoring the few keepers and setting the rest free.

How many quarter track reel machines do I need? How many half tracks? How many mixers? How many xxxxx?

NEED....not have or want.
Its just hard to get rid of nice gear.....sigh
 

Blue Jinn

Rider of the ARPocalypse
Well,

The other day I had to ask, "do you mind if I just take this to Free Geek (electronics recycler) instead of trying to sell it on eBay?" I already knew the answer, but the asking was therapeutic. Somewhere along the way I went from a small four track and little mixer to half the basement.

It took me 20 years just to get rid of the radio restoration (a Grimsby-Grunow) a project my own dad never got around to. The radio had literally been sitting in my or my parents basement for at least 60 years total....
 

Muckelroy

New member
Deep Thoughs

So Cory, I'm going to give you 2 points of view.

The philosophy class, and the jar:
-- A philosophy class saw a large glass jar filled with rocks. Everyone in the class agreed that it was full.
-- The professor then added a ton of small marbles to the jar. The marbles trickled down and filled all the crevices which were not occupied between the rocks. The class agreed that the jar was still full.
-- The professor then poured sand into the jar. The sand completely inundated all the open space in the jar. The class agreed the jar was still full.
-- Then, the jar was dumped into the trash can. It was filled to the brim with only sand. But when that happened, no rocks or marbles would fit.
-- I'll let you dwell on that metaphor. (The jar = your life. rocks = health, family, sand = recording gear etc. etc... That's a lot to chew on.)


The practicality approach:
Think of a use-case scenario for when your housing addition and recording studio are finished.
-- Within a typical year of operation, think about (realistically) what you will use, and what you won't use. Part ways with all the stuff that you will most likely not use in a year's time. Keep in mind that it's not the medium or recording method that counts, so much as the music itself. A skilled-enough musician will always sound good, even if recording to a mono wax cylinder.
-- That in mind, I'd hold on to Matilda, and either your M-____ or your Soundtracs MX large-format console.
-- Hold on to your Tascam BR-20 (if it's functioning good? yes?)
-- Between Matilda and your BR-20, you should have enough rack ears to get the job done w/ your outboard stuff (right?)
-- Hold on to a DAW of some kind for cross-compatibility. That way people that wanna get their digital mixes out into some analog outboard gear, or mixed down to the BR-20 can do so.

I see no reason to hold on to all the old half-gutted Ampex boxes. As for the 388 - man I'd bet it's nice an juicy, but c'mon now - if you've got an MM-1000 sitting there humming away, is it really necessary? :D
--- If your primary use of the studio is personal and occasional friend/non-friend outsider recording, the above is awesome.
-- If you plan on using the studio as a conversion studio where all kinds of formats can come to be converted to digital formats, then that's the only reason to hold on to any other format of tape machines.
 
P

pianodano

Guest
Believe me, I understand completely

Cory,

:D:D In about 20 years you will just about catch up with my cache EXCEPT for the fact that my Father also was a collector of the highest order and I inherited some of his stuff too. So I got it honestly. In fact, it took a couple years just to get most of everything out from the attic, under the house and even dig things up out of the yard when my father passed away in 1999. Even then, I just couldn't bear to get rid of some of the antiques that he had dissasembled and never got had time to get back together. I still have tons of motors, pipe, machinery, 3 pump organs, you name it, to go with my own personal collection. And that's not counting 20 years of running my own business as a remodeling contractor and the untold amount of left over stuff I can't throw out.

Danny

PS: Wish I was there. I would be glad to help you get your house finished.
 
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lo.fi.love

Functionally obsessed.
Free Geek

Cory,

I used to live down the street from Free Geek in Portland (Gosh, I miss my old neighborhood) and I absolutely recommend you at least donate the rack cabinet to them. The equipment they receive is refurbished and then used for free community education programs, or given to local non-profits.

FreeGeek's Website
 

grimtraveller

If only for a moment.....
My wife is a hoarder from a family of hoarders {they have still unopened stuff from the mid 60s !}. We have two young kids and live in a rabbit hutch. Before the kids came along, I had an upright piano, Fender Rhodes, Hammond organ, cello, double bass, sitar, tampura, drums, congas, bongos, bass, 3 guitars, mandolin.........as soon as my wife told me she was expecting, I determined in my mind that the piano, organ and electric piano had to go. I loved them and had we had a big place, they would've been with me forever. But they had to go. Then when we were expecting our second, the double bass, cello, sitar, drums and tampura had to go. It doesn't sound like much but our flat is small and besides, I loved the sound of those instruments. But that's all they were. Instruments. With what I have left, they fit in this tiny cupboard that used to house this heating flue that I cut out and made into a space just big enough for the guitars, congas and 2 recording portastudios. I did have electric drums but have since gone back to an acoustic kit, a flatlites set which fits in two bags. The other things I've had to replace with software VSTis.
We're all different, I know, but my point really was to never become so attached to lots of stuff that you can't let go and more importantly, use what you need and be sure to use what you have. It's often when you don't that hoarding becomes normal.
 

technoplayer

Recovering Gear-aholic
NOOOOOOO!!!!!!
Do NOT let Cory go to FREEGEEK!!! They have a STORE there and they SELL STUFF!!!

Like giving an addict the key to the pharmacy!! :laughings:
 

Herm

Well-known member
At one point I was up to about 16 reel to reels 8 mixers and a bunch of other stuff. And then my wife decided we where moving.
I found out its no fun to move all of that stuff out of one basement to another across town. It ruined my day. I didnt trust anyone to move it for me or help so I did all myself. And it hurt.
That got me thinking then I was mid 50,s and if something happen to me what would my wife do. So I started slowly hauling stuff out. Some sold some to the curb. Not going to say what happen to a couple of 388,s It would make some of you cry. Anyway I still have 4 machines that where my favorites and 2 mixers one m 312b and 1 m-30. And im just as happy now as I was then.

But did I mention I picked up a 1967 mint fender princeton reverb the other day for almost nothing? :D
 

cjacek

Analogue Enthusiast
No joke but if watching the show HOARDERS doesn't tweak your brain, nothing will. It's sad. People lose their lives and loved ones and while it may be an extreme example, it's all the same mechanics of the sickness, just different shades of it. I think the first order of business is admitting that there's a problem. That's the most important part. It's not dissimilar to any other addiction and should be treated as such. There's usually a background story or emotional issue to be resolved.
 
I remember when I moved from a 4 bedroom, 3 floor townhouse to a 2 bedroom apartment and how it took me nearly 6 months to go through all my crap and make the thousands of decisions of what to keep and and what to try and sell, give away or just toss in the trash. It was a brutal exercise mentally, trying to make quick emotional/rational decisions and even still, ended up keeping far too much stuff that I have no been selling off for the past 9 months. And even once all my studio gear is sold and gone, there's still the tapes and the magazines and the parts and the tools and all the shelving that holds all this crap! :o

For me, all I really need is a bed, a computer, my camera, a TV, a radio, some cloths and some basic kitchen utensils. I of course have all of that 4 to 5 times over and really need to go though another purge!

Capitalism really is evil after all. :laughings::drunk:

Cheers! :)
 

Herm

Well-known member
If I could just shut off that voice in my head that always says "I may need that someday"
And Jeff its always nice to see you are still around. And where in the heck did Dave go?
 

Lance Lawson

New member
I recently caught myself edging towards the compulsive purchase of too many electronic goodies that I don't need but the price is right. Right now I have a nice working collection of new, semi vintage and vintage equipment. However its right at the tipping point where another cassette recorder or Hi Fi VCR is going to be wretched excess. Having 3 to 4 of each of the electronic mainstays of recording and listening is truly adequate. So I've decided that I'll only buy more if the item is truly can't do without like a mint condition quad Akai or TEAC RTR. I currently need the 4 track RTR's more than I want one although they are nice things to want for the sake of them too.

I've also shelved my desire for a Pioneer 707 as it offers no clear advantage over my TEAC in spite of the 707 being my favorite RTR deck.
 

Chilljam

transitional phase
One thing I haven't seen from any of you guys, which is a bit worrying.... is talking about your satisfaction with the sound your getting from your recordings. Is having 20 reel to reel machines really making your recordings sound any better? are you really more satisfied with your recording sound?

A reel to reel machine isn't a piece of art it's the recording quality that you get from it that makes it desirable, you guys talk like oh i want this machine and that and this and that. I base all my purchases on the desired recording quality that i want on my next project. In this situation you absolutely do not need need more than 1 mixer, 1 mixdown deck and one multitrack deck.

I understand that some of you guys don't just use your studios just for personal projects every few weeks or months like me but still...
 

sweetbeats

Reel deep thoughts...
Oh, wow...totally didn't expect all the responses, and with this kind of vibe...THANKS, guys! I appreciate all of you sharing the anecdotes.

I will say this...any drunk knows something is changing when they can't stand to swallow the booze anymore...and I'm not being flippant with the parallel there...but that's what this is like looking at all that stuff...I'm just tired of it but feel some obligation to at least break even in getting rid of it...but being rid of it is "worth" something too.

I'm going to start with the latest post and move backwards in quoting and commenting on some things some had to say...

One thing I haven't seen from any of you guys, which is a bit worrying.... is talking about your satisfaction with the sound your getting from your recordings. Is having 20 reel to reel machines really making your recordings sound any better? are you really more satisfied with your recording sound?

A reel to reel machine isn't a piece of art it's the recording quality that you get from it that makes it desirable, you guys talk like oh i want this machine and that and this and that. I base all my purchases on the desired recording quality that i want on my next project. In this situation you absolutely do not need need more than 1 mixer, 1 mixdown deck and one multitrack deck.

Chilljam I get what you are saying here...I will tell you that a big part of my process is getting the idea from somewhere about what I want or need and then tracking that item down and then really learning via hands-on experience if it really IS what I want or need. Burdensome, yes...means a lot of mistakes and wandering but I'm the kind of guy that has to figure things out for himself. Like I mentioned, this is what happened with drums...after the "process" I found out what I wanted in a kit and at the time nobody made it...so I learned how to make it. I love my drums; I like how they sound and look and how they work. Same thing with my digital rig...went through all SORTS of stuff...several years of trial and error and for like 5 years now I've had the same rig...its on the cusp of being obsolete now of course but it totally works for me and I know it well and have no desire to change any of it and haven't for years. I think I'm really close if not "there" with analog gear...just so happens the analog stuff takes up more space than digital so there's just heaps more volume.

So my point is that I've had to learn what the sonic differences are and what I want/can afford and what fits and I can tell you without a doubt that I love the sound of the MM-1000...not sure on the Soundtracs mixer yet...love the sound of the BR-20T. So my decisions that have led me here haven't been really based on the sound, but the decisions that drive what I know stays are very much based on the sound. In fact, I've found that my decisions for the digital rig were mostly based on flexibility and digital features for the buck...a philosophy I carried into the analog realm but as I've grown I'm finding that all I really care about is a good sound...I've let go of so many facets I thought were "must-have's" now for the sake of the sonic performance and/or signature.

I suspect he's pinned under a pile of 388's!

Mmmmm, Jeff, Herm...a logical assumption for sure...he's lurking, and he'll be back around but I can tell you he's taking care of "life" at the moment.

If I could just shut off that voice in my head that always says "I may need that someday"

Yeah that SOB won't leave me alone either, but this thread is all about a certain threshhold I've hit and my boundaries are shifting and what that voice has to say is losing to the yearning for simplicity.

For me, all I really need is a bed, a computer, my camera, a TV, a radio, some cloths and some basic kitchen utensils. I of course have all of that 4 to 5 times over and really need to go though another purge!

Capitalism really is evil after all.

Capitalism...the catalyst for many good things, but often at the core, in some way, of discontent.

You know, there was a picture book my folks had growing up on the coffee table...something like "Fifty One-Room Houses" or something like that. OOOOOO! I just felt how I felt whenever I looked at it...here were all these artistic studio houses...creative in their method of using the space and yet limiting in a healthy way...they were wonderful. And I love it when my wife and I go to IKEA and they have these sections of the showroom that are mock apartments or homes with labels like "living in 600 sq. ft." and such and all these great ways to organize and utilize space for dual purpose...just wonderful. And I practically wept when I toured the apartments in Frank Lloyd Wright's Price Tower a number of years ago...granted there is an emotional connection there as my Dad studied at Taliesin and has always had a tremendous artistic sense whether in music or creating spaces, and my Grandmother kept up correspondence with Olgivanna Lloyd Wright, but the way the limited space was used...Ah! But I digress. Point is, you are SO right...we really NEED so little and we miss out on so much by having so much.

NOOOOOOO!!!!!!
Do NOT let Cory go to FREEGEEK!!! They have a STORE there and they SELL STUFF!!!

Like giving an addict the key to the pharmacy!!

Heheheh....Now THAT'S funny...I have to say though, and slap me if this is screwed up, but I think in MOST cases my purchases have been smart from a cost standpoint...no...forget that...I HAVE gotten some good deals, but there are the hidden costs of the pursuit on those around me...That (as I now see it) insane 2200 mile trip to get the M-__...two trips up to northern Washington for gear that is now...gone...and it was THE ticket at that point. Well, I've gotten more local with my purchases and more selective...and maybe more lucrative too...A friend here on the forum, and you know who you are, has really been instrumental in helping me to develop some boundaries and self-tests when something comes-a-callin' and those tests are becoming more automatic...betcha I could go into free geek and come out empty-handed, unless there was something that was really needed and that I could afford, which is nothing right now...heheh, "don't let [me] go to free geek..." Heehee!

"Recovering" riiiiiiiiiiight...

Hey, you know, at first my reaction was "Hey, no, I AM!" Then I thought "aw he's just jokin' anyway." But on a serious note I've totally come to terms with the reality that it will take a long time before the most critical people in my life really trust that I HAVE changed...It will have to be demonstrated and that's fair enough AFAIC...my wife is at the very top of the list. Not only will she need to see long-term that the extra stuff goes away and that acquisitions have stopped or at least slowed to items that logically make sense to her (and in my mind if they DO then, and only then, can they be considered as such by me...I trust her more than myself which is wise IMO). She is, without a doubt, worth the effort. A logical purchase would be the recent acquisition of 20 NOS pancakes of 1/4" x 2500' GP9 for $30 shipped. Can't argue with that deal since I have the BR-20T and I know that will be an indespensable tool in the studio for any number of things. It will get used. And considering that the cases of GP9 came with a black Technics takeup reel that is currently on eBay (bidding is currently at $31 + S&H with almost a day left on the auction...6 bidders and 16 watchers so far) I would call that a smart buy...I'm getting paid to take the tape, basically. And then the other recent purchase was the 3rd 234, but I knew it would be a fast-track to having the 234 project wrapped up (the other 2 decks have problems...was gonna try and make a good one out of the two but being able to dress up one that is basically already "done" is a whole lot faster) and not only that it came with a VGC RC-71 all for $30, local sale...so, again, I could easily make money on that with little effort by selling the RC-71...already have one so this makes two. That makes sense because I have a borrowed 424 which I'd like to return, like the sound and simplicity of the 234 better and have lots of tapes in that format and would enjoy still using that format for certain times and things.

Wish I was there. I would be glad to help you get your house finished.

Sheesh, Danny...you and me both. Thanks for that...it is an encouragement. I would have complete trust in your work, THAT'S for sure. Thanks for the anecdote, too. I know you have a lot of gear...spares that have been stashed. I also know you have been going through some of that and thinning. The other bit here too though is that you have done quite a bit of work for quite a number of years out of your facility and I see a distinction to that and my usage which has been very, VERY moonlight. Basically three full-length projects, an EP project and a couple demo projects in the past seven years or so...a smattering of personal stuff, which actually has been, by far, the most fun and that's the thing...I've come to realize that that is what I really want this stuff for, not to generate income, not to promote anything I'M doing musically, but just to "paint"...to have fun, and more recently having increased hopes of it being a hub of connection and fun memories with my kids.

Regarding Deep Thoughts with Muck L. Roy...

The philosophy class, and the jar:
-- A philosophy class saw a large glass jar filled with rocks. Everyone in the class agreed that it was full.
-- The professor then added a ton of small marbles to the jar. The marbles trickled down and filled all the crevices which were not occupied between the rocks. The class agreed that the jar was still full.
-- The professor then poured sand into the jar. The sand completely inundated all the open space in the jar. The class agreed the jar was still full.
-- Then, the jar was dumped into the trash can. It was filled to the brim with only sand. But when that happened, no rocks or marbles would fit.

I've actually seen that demonstrated in a workshop discussing priorities...pretty thought-provoking for sure. I can't say I've thought about that session during these past several years but that is indeed what is happing somewhat and its true...when you put the big rocks in first (tend to the most important priorities in your life first), the little stuff fits and the big reason is that tending to the priorities first defines what is left for the little stuff. It feels really good to do the right thing when I'm doing it and I find I'm less interested in the selfish pursuits. Trick is I'm consistently want to wander off the path and that's where having self-tests and automatic boundary triggers comes in. Remembering that I was, without realizing it, straining our marriage to a critical point makes it easier and easier to say "no". Its just not worth it.

The practicality approach:
Think of a use-case scenario for when your housing addition and recording studio are finished.
-- Within a typical year of operation, think about (realistically) what you will use, and what you won't use. Part ways with all the stuff that you will most likely not use in a year's time. Keep in mind that it's not the medium or recording method that counts, so much as the music itself. A skilled-enough musician will always sound good, even if recording to a mono wax cylinder.
-- That in mind, I'd hold on to Matilda, and either your M-____ or your Soundtracs MX large-format console.
-- Hold on to your Tascam BR-20 (if it's functioning good? yes?)
-- Between Matilda and your BR-20, you should have enough rack ears to get the job done w/ your outboard stuff (right?)
-- Hold on to a DAW of some kind for cross-compatibility. That way people that wanna get their digital mixes out into some analog outboard gear, or mixed down to the BR-20 can do so.

That's a clear way to think of it and prioritize...good litmus test for where I'm at right now.

There is no doubt that the MM-1000 stays...I love the sound, the aesthetic, and the practical aspect of being able, really, to troubleshoot and fix just about anything on it...that decision drives the front end needs as I want (not saying "need") a mixer that can handle a 16-track deck and the M-__ just can't. The Soundtracs can and there is, in spite of the sheer size of the thing, a straight-forward simplicity to the Soundtracs desk and its features compared to the M-__. The M-__ is just frickin' cool and so uniquely flexible...its really awesome, but in some respects its more than I want or need and in others, like sheer channel count, it falls short and I mean for 16-track monitoring. I may sound like I'm being picky but I don't want to have to compromise operational simplicity by patching it together and trying to make it work when monitoring and mixdowns would be a consistent mind-scramble to try and make them work. And the BR-20T, yes, its a keeper and works well. Going through it at the moment (actually will resume going through it when the space is more condusive and the remodel project is buttoned up), but that's been driven by the fact that it runs like a charm and sounds great too. As mentioned above I have a DAW setup I really like...Yamaha 01X and i88X, Presonus Digimax FS, Windows-based PC running Cubase...it just works for me and I do enjoy working in digital for its unique benefits for sure.

I see no reason to hold on to all the old half-gutted Ampex boxes. As for the 388 - man I'd bet it's nice an juicy, but c'mon now - if you've got an MM-1000 sitting there humming away, is it really necessary?
--- If your primary use of the studio is personal and occasional friend/non-friend outsider recording, the above is awesome.
-- If you plan on using the studio as a conversion studio where all kinds of formats can come to be converted to digital formats, then that's the only reason to hold on to any other format of tape machines.

The sticky bit with the 440 stuff is that I really love how the MM-1000 sounds...440 will be the same kind of thing, and the 440C is really in nice shape and considering it came with the MM-1000 in that $300 lot, it was practically free...came with remote too...needs the complete block though which would be at least $300 in and of itself...the other ones (the stripped one and the 440B-1, no attachment there...just can't figure out how best to get rid of them). If its about sound, then what if the 440C sounds like the MM-1000? The BR-20T sounds great, but what I've heard from the MM-1000 is magical...and my drifting toward simplicity...the 440C is more simple for sure. So the jury is still out on that one. And the 388...I just really dig the 388. I'll admit it is emotional but it is a great machine too, and the practical aspect of it is media cost and operational ease...yes, the Soundtracs MX and MM-1000 will make a great pair, but using a 1"~2" machine as a scratch-pad? Ugh...granted, the 388 is more than a scratch-pad, but there is the integrated simplicity...like, that's why I want to keep the 234 (aside from having a machine that will playback past 4-track cassette projects)...pop in a tape and go...but I like an 8-track format for most things based on sounds and textures I like to mix vs. 4-track, and I like reels. 388 has the reels and the ease. Plus mine's minty by this point, and how can you argue with a 5-year-old that loves to play with it? He loves working the transport, adjusting the faders and turning the knobs and he isn't just playing...he listens to what is happening and if that draws him and I together? Well, that's a tough one...not that we NEED a chunk of gear to draw us together...we like each other anyway but I think common interests can be the source of good fun which makes for good bonding...my time is limited with these kids...they will be grownup and gone and I selfishly want to be a necessary part of their lives for the rest of mine, so I gotta invest somehow now...that means I need to be good at being interested in the things in which they are interested, but I believe it also means sharing part of me in a way that is accessible to them...having a place with the guitars, VI controller, drums, effects processors and mixing and tracking gear freely available to them as an activity together...to be able to jam and maybe the boys and/or girls will want me to teach them something about any of it...I see that as a way to share some of me in a way that may be fun or interesting to them.

While I am no where as "ambitious" as Cory, I am also more enamoured with gear than I am either talented or motivated. I fortunately (unfortunately) have a very large home with a very large garage and shop which means I have never had space be a limit to my obsession with gear. Within the last year or two I have tried to get more realistic about what I need ( very little) vs what I have or want (way too much). This has led me to realize:

1) I am not going to be doing any serious recording. Ever. I am a LISTENER and a tinkerer.
2) No one in my family is going to want ANY of this stuff.
3) It is NOT going to be worth a fortune some day.
4) If I ever really need it, someone else will be selling it. If I dont want to pay the asking price, then I dont really need it.


So, I have been selling off stuff... probably 20 reel to reel machines, mixers, various bits and parts, etc...over the last two years of so. Yeah, I am still buying stuff (last months 440C 4 track) but absolutely NOTHING is going in storage. I have been for the most part focusing my efforts on making sure everything I have is fully functional and is set up and ready to use, and I USE it. If i do not or am just being stupid like "well I am going to use it someday" then I am trying to let it go. So I am taking care and of or restoring the few keepers and setting the rest free.

How many quarter track reel machines do I need? How many half tracks? How many mixers? How many xxxxx?

NEED....not have or want.
Its just hard to get rid of nice gear.....sigh

Well, techno...this is just a homerun here...I really have hit some hard truths in the past year...I'm NOT a professional...I won't BE a professional and I don't WANT to be a professional. "Let's face it" I says to myself..."its a HOBBY." Its a hobby that soared to obsession and addiction. Now I'm tired. Still like the stuff but I've gotta do something good with it. Music is such a personal part of me...of what's inside and if I can share that with family and friends and have fun with it and learn what's in them...then that's good...all around. Can't take it with me..."People won't remember what you said or did but they WILL remember how you made them feel."

sweetbeats,

that is scary because it's familiar.
It's a constant struggle for me to keep on top the junk that finds it way to my place.
I've stopped "rescuing" stuff that's heading for the landfill.
It's sad, but i realized that it's not my problem.

We are not museums.

stuff takes away your energy and productivity.

I've been the executor for several estates.
you realize that at the end, it's just stuff.
It's a burden for the people left behind to deal with.
If no one else want's it, it just has to go.


besides selling on ebay, craigslist, or using the 'free" section, there is something called freecycle.

there is also the organizations that will accept donations, but they are getting picky about what they take, which i understand.
there are also brokers that specialize in analog recording gear.

Why don't you just settle in on a basic setup, keep a FEW parts for backup, and get rid of the rest.

or, trade it all for a laptop and an interface.

ZING!

Yeah...I've definitely succumbed to a "rescuing" impulse...recently passed on a local M-600 for $200..."going to the dump if nobody picks it up"...that was close.

We're on freecycle...that might be a way to go...no broker is going to want the broken stuff and I don't want to waste my time fixing it up, except the M-__...dang that's a tough one...and yes I fear the burden this stuff could be to somebody else...yuuuuuuck! And you are SO RIGHT that all the stuff DOES take away our energy and productivity and ulitmately it takes US away from being present with others.

I can seriously empathize!
I grew up with a bunch of hoarders! I am a hoarder!
wish there was a 12 step program!
least i didn't have the gross kind of hoarder family that had a million cats etc....ugh!
it's taken us years to get rid of stuff after my dad died......long story but he had several buildings full of stuff...........
i bought my friends demo studio last year and planned on living in one bedroom of a small house i bought and use the rest of the house as a studio.
Well, between realizing my arms are really too screwed up to play guitar anymore i finally decided I'm done...........and the fact i may not be single in another six months! she says she can put up with all the stuff but there's no way two people can live in a 650 sq ft house and have a studio in it specially if i'm done........................
plus i have a huge record collection,reel to reel tapes, cassettes, books, have probably a double cars garage worth of various tools from various weird hobbies i've had in the past!
and this is after 4 years of at least a garage sale a year and tons of trips to the thrift stores to donate!
it's way too easy to get this way...........
and my soon to be great gal? she's got like maybe a half dozen large plastic storage containers that fit in a closet and that's it.............
fortunately she knows what she's getting into!
so, from one hoarder to another...........i'll say a prayer for ya and leave the light on at the dog house!
U can change but it does take time!

"i'm a man, and i can change, if i have to, i guess" Red Green

That quote is hilarious...and...um...a little scary...:o

I think its neat that your other half accepts you for who you are, and that it is driving change in you that comes from within. Man, there is just about nothing better than that in the big picture you know? That's rich...really.

Hey...is the doghouse heated? Is there power? Because, we could...hook up a...uh...nevermind.

"several buildings full of stuff..." Seriously...wowwww...

Okay, good and kind people...'nuf for now...I really think it boils down to the gutted 440 in the Russ Lang console and the 440B-1 in the Ampex roll around from an immediate perspective...and then just generally going through all the spares and thinning and consolidating...like, I don't need the entire spare 388 you know? That could be consolidated into a box of spare parts...plenty of Ampex spares that could be sold off...maybe I could help out needy 440 owners here...and the M-__...hmmm...I have NO practical use for it...I won't either...but it has to go somewhere special you know? I really wish somebody at Tascam gave a care about the thing...I read somewhere that there is a Tascam museum in Japan but I have no way of getting in touch with folks over there...
 

stevieb

Just another guy, really.
Now, THAT is a long, rambling post! Tried to read the whole thing, really, I did, but could not make it. Truly sorry, because it was obvious there was some good stuff there.

Perhaps there needs to be a "Recovering Gear Addict" forum? Seriously...
 
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