You know there are times when I look back on my life and there seems to be a common theme to most of the hobbies or activities that I took up over the years: they all had some kind of strange technological bent. Take for instance my foray into the world of music, something I was involved in as a hobby for around 2 years. It started off with just trying to solve a problem for a friend but then lead me into the world of Trance music, something which I still revel in today.
It was an odd experience for me, getting into this foreign world of creativity and production. I’d been involved in theatre for several years although I never thought I was any good at it nor was it ever on my mind that I would make a career out of it. Still my involvement had me involved with a lot of creative people and as it became apparent that I was some kind of geek in the making they turned to me with their questions on the bits of tech they’d use to aid in the creative process. Once I had my hands on some of these pieces of hardware something stirred inside me, which at the time I took to mean that I should try my hand at music production.
Queue several long nights spent in front of the computer screen with various programs open in the hopes of creating some form of music. Initially I started out just randomly plodding away in FL Studio (then called Fruity Loops) trying to learn the ins and outs of the program like I had done with any other windows application. After a year or so of doing this I thought I had progressed enough to purchase some actual hardware and this lead me to blow quite a wad of cash on a Roland MC-909 which was in essence a hardware version of FL Studio. I spent many long nights fiddling with this and even brought it to a couple parties, although I’m sure I never unlocked more than 10% of what it was capable of.
I haven’t indulged in this hobby for quite some time now since I’ve been distracted with many other things but my love of trance music has remained and more recently it seems the desire to create as well. I found myself yesterday afternoon losing an hour or so just casually browsing through the Korg website oggling the various synths, samplers and squencers. It then dawned on me, was I just in this for the hardware?
A cursory glance around my house shows a pretty obvious trend. In the main room there are 4 computers, a modded Xbox 360, a Playstation 3, my new Gigabyte T1028, a Canon EOS-400D and several computer components. The story doesn’t change much in the other rooms either with computer hardware littering the closet shelves. Realistically my interest in music probably stemmed from the fact that the bits of tech they use are genuinely complicated parts of machinery and the engineer in me is dying to figure out how they tick. In fact every piece of hardware I’ve described above was bought with its original purpose in mind, only to be modified for some other nefarious purpose.
Casting my mind back through all my previous hobbies its always stemmed from an interest in the tech that they use. Maybe it was my father sitting me in front of a computer at the tender age of 4 and just letting me have at it or maybe it’s just the gen Y in me but the fact remains that a cool piece of tech is a sure fire way to get me interested in something.
It sure does explain why I lost 2 hours one day in wikipedia looking at very light jets 😉