Letting go of projects I never finished

Discussion in 'Bad Dog Cafe' started by Digital Larry, Oct 13, 2019.

  1. Digital Larry

    Digital Larry Tele-Afflicted

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    A few years ago I thought my job was about to collapse, and being at an age where getting hired is getting more difficult, and not looking forward to hours per day commuting, I started considering expanding a hobby (developing DSP based effects pedals) to a cottage industry. I got reasonably far (built some prototypes, investigated a bunch of contract manufacturers, etc.). But then my job got some funding and common sense dictated that my little cottage industry idea was going to take a lot of effort to get to where it pays the bills like my straight uncool job.

    I finally realized that when you reach the point of trying to make money with your hobby, it is no longer fun. It's just work and stress. So I've decided I'm going to knock that on the head. Take down my blog and forum, sell off the components I accumulated, clear off the workbench, etc. I began my career as an electrical engineer having been an electronics hobbyist as a kid. And I think I've just done enough of that because I no longer find it fun. Fun to think about, yes. Fun to do for hours every evening after work? Not so much.

    Another one is restoring old tube amps. That is interesting but I don't have the "feel" for designing stuff with tubes, so it winds up being an extended learning curve exercise, which again is more than I want to put myself through at the end of the day. I noticed a lot of my posts here from a few years back were all about tube amps. Well, I got a variac and started looking at fixing up this old Hammond thing I have, but I just can't bring myself to follow through on it. My life would be simpler if I just got rid of it. And so that's what I'm doing.

    I've turned my attention to trying to write and record songs. That too is not without its frustrations but that is going to be my focus... until it isn't! Hopefully not having those other things around will mean I get back to that sooner rather than later.
     
    Last edited: Oct 13, 2019
  2. Toto'sDad

    Toto'sDad Telefied Ad Free Member

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    Sometime kicking stuff out of you life frees up your life. I have had things I got tired of and just gave away rather than drag it out any further. I'm a guy who once paid off a contract with Dish Network just to avoid having anything else to do with them. If something worries me around too much I get rid of it, and don't look back. (Except for guitars I wish I would have kept) :)
     
  3. muscmp

    muscmp Tele-Afflicted

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    i know what you mean. i'd retired and decided i'd work on tube amps for extra cash. well, the amps are heavy, the parts are more expensive, my eyes are getting worse, my hands aren't as trust worthy as they used to be and i spend a lot of time redoing what others may have messed with, so i'm going the same route of playing music and writing my own songs. i don't even want to do covers, just what comes from me. i still have enough projects to keep me busy including keeping my amps and guitars up to speed, repairing about 15 radios that i've collected and 4 dynaco amps and preamps that need looking at. whew!

    good luck to you.

    play music!
     
  4. Toto'sDad

    Toto'sDad Telefied Ad Free Member

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    In the days of film I used to shoot weddings for hire. Problem was even when I wasn't getting paid to do it, I kept shooting weddings when I attended, just for the heck of it. After a while I realized I never enjoyed a wedding since I was always working! When digital got going, I quit doing weddings not because of the shift in medium, but because of those damned cellphone cameras where EVERYONE was the photographer. When I quit shooting weddings, I realized that I now enjoy going to weddings, and actually watch what is going on. I learned a valuable lesson from that. Now if I have stuff sitting around putting pressure on me to use it, and I don't want to, it goes down the road, first by sale, then if that doesn't work pretty quickly, I give it away. I just don't want to be encumbered by it.
     
  5. Toto'sDad

    Toto'sDad Telefied Ad Free Member

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    When I retired a guy wanted me to help him design something that he could make money with. After I put in some time on it, I found that it was difficult to work with the guy since when I would show him what he needed to do, and he would immediately suggest that what I was wanting to do would cost too much money. What he was wanting to do would save money, but wouldn't work, the fact that he didn't know anything about what he was doing didn't phase him in the least. One day he called me up, and wanted to me to run over to his place (about twenty miles away to collaborate on the project) I said, you know what, I'm not coming out there, forget anything you owe me, and just don't call me anymore. HIS feelings were hurt, but I felt much better.

    I had forgotten for a moment my life's philosophy, developed while getting a divorce over fifty years ago:

    If someone is going to have to feel bad in a situation, I'd just as soon it would be anyone but me.
     
  6. telemnemonics

    telemnemonics Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    Great post @Digital Larry !
    Also great stuff from @Toto'sDad !

    I have the same basic problems with many old projects, some of which I no longer am interested in, and some of which I just can't physically finish.
    I just sold off a $9500 hot rod project because I can't work upside down any more, or lift a big block Chevy cast iron head while leaning over a fender.
    But I also sold it with excitement for the space it opened up in my garage!

    My drum set that's been stored for over ten years got set up within a week.
    I'm not planning to become a drummer and never really was, though I could play drums and act like a drummer pretty well.
    Drum machines and Digitech Trio drums are just not the parts I hear in my head, while I can lay down an adequately cool groove if I set my mind to it. I still have to look at that one though, and may just sell off the main part of the kit which is a pretty nice Sonor four piece.
    Not worth a tone of money but if I can't use it I'll move it on. I can use hi hats snare and ride effectively enough for a simple track.

    As far as TD having a life long practice of getting rid of stuff that brings pain, I could do well to keep learning that lesson.
    I have a life long practice of hanging on to stuff, even if it brings me pain.

    Getting rid of stuff is good stuff!

    Maybe it's my hoarders DNA, but I wonder if you might keep some of your FX building stuff for possible future pedal needs in your music making and recording Larry?
    Small box to store relative to the expense of buying it again.

    I always find when I head down a new road, it ends up with unexpected twists!
     
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  7. schmee

    schmee Poster Extraordinaire

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    I know what you mean. I spend way too much time trying to build, make or invent things. I should be playing and practising. It would be a lot cheaper in the long run to just buy what I really want also.
     
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  8. Digital Larry

    Digital Larry Tele-Afflicted

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    Here's the thing about DSP pedals. One hardware design can suit a lot of different sounds by just reprogramming. My focus is all about algorithms and the hardware to run them is just a bothersome annoyance. I can run the same algorithm on a PC using an audio interface. If I want to I can control that remotely using a tablet on wi-fi. I can write a plugin. I know that takes all the romance out of it, but that is where my head is at. I designed the pedals because I figured it was the only practical way to make money. If you are interested here's my blog page describing the software I wrote. It suffers from ABS (Abandoned Blog Syndrome).

    http://holycityaudio.com/spincad-designer-2/

    This software wound up being used for a number of commercial products around the world and I got a little bit of consulting work out of it. I went to NAMM a couple years back and pretended to be cool. It's more than I expected would come of it, because I wasn't expecting anything! And now that chapter closes.

    Here are some examples of sounds I was able to come up with. Some are familiar and some are sure the heck not.

    https://www.soundclick.com/artist/default.cfm?bandid=1373300

    I recommend "Tuvan Throat Singer", "Munchkin Choir", "Dual S/H Filters", and "Envelope-Aliaser-Tremolo". The rest are OK too.
     
    Last edited: Oct 13, 2019
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  9. simoncroft

    simoncroft Tele-Meister

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    I can relate to all of this, and I have multiple items on ebay to prove it. It must be four years ago that I got a yearning for a Strat loaded with Burns Try-Sonics, like Brian May's guitars. I have all the bits, the pickup cavities are routed, I worked out how to get the best Strat and Brian May tones from two S1 pot/switches, so the thing wouldn't look like it escaped from a science lab...

    But I've never put the guitar together! Now, I can decide whether to knuckle down and finish it, or just sell it as parts and forget it.

    As you get older, life really does get too short.
     
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  10. Digital Larry

    Digital Larry Tele-Afflicted

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    It depends, surely you get some mental thrill from working out ideas. I know I do. But this year my skipping from one project to the next was so intense and uncontrollable that I actually noticed it instead of just taking it in stride.
     
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  11. mkdaws32

    mkdaws32 Tele-Meister Ad Free Member

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    Hobbies have to be fun. We all need a creative outlet that engages our interest. There is too much work and obligation in life as it is and, even though I’ve been told I could make good money on the side with more than one of my hobbies, I know that they would cease to be fun and no longer be the escape I need from daily life. I rotate through my hobbies as I feel interested in the. It matters not a bit to me that I have a half built tube amp project in the garage that has been sitting for a year, because during that time I did some song writing and recording. I have moved from that to some guitar modding and building projects for my son, a good friend and myself - no pressure and no timelines. I’ll get back to that amp build when I have the desire to do so ;) Which I think may be soon ;)
     
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  12. schmee

    schmee Poster Extraordinaire

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    Everything seems easy until you try to fit a Princeton into a Mono 15 chassis! arghh! :lol:
     
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  13. telemnemonics

    telemnemonics Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    I've had that same project in the back of my mind for literally decades!
    I used to look for old beater Burns guitars or pickups before they started making the reissue pickups, and would have put something together if I'd found a deal.
    Now and then I still look at the reissue pickups but used they haven't sold much cheaper than new, at least a year or two ago when I last shopped for them.
    I guess the fact that it would really be a whole guitar investment and also not get sounds I associate with those pickups unless plugged in to suitable amp; was part of why I didn't move on it. I don't want to sound like Brian May, even as I love his sounds.

    I have a seven string guitar project I started in the mid '80s and buggered up the fretting due to a poor fret slotting jig and too narrow a saw for the hardness of the ebony board.
    After maybe 20 years I bought a Squier seven string and pretty much concluded that I don't want to play seven string.
    The body still sits, never assembled, and could become a bass, but it's awfully heavy for my now older frame.
    Can't sell it though since it fits no production neck.
     
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  14. telemnemonics

    telemnemonics Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    Interesting, I stay away from the programmable stomps because I'm too cave man in my thinking to take on any more digital conceptualization beyond the basics I need to function in today's computer dependent society.
    I actually used to have better computer skills 15 years ago, but tech advanced faster than my learning, partly in the spirit of this thread, where I chose to put my waking hours into other stuff.

    I was recently considering a Neunaber Slate, but again, backed away from buying hardware that needs user programming.
    This is likely a phobia more than an insurmountable obstacle, but choosing where to spend our hours is the topic.

    Anyhow, I now understand why it makes little sense for you to keep a box of parts for these pedals.
     
  15. dented

    dented Poster Extraordinaire

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    Cool, I got some new ideas on hobbies here.
     
  16. simoncroft

    simoncroft Tele-Meister

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    Funnily enough, I'm not a massive Queen fan, but it all started when I modded a Burns Marquee Club Pro, as shown in this over-long video:



    Great stock tones, I thought! Quite liked my mods too.

    Then there's this guitar. It got past this mockup and the guitar is playable, but I've literally never 'finished' it. :oops:

    Stratelli.jpg
     
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  17. Skydog1010

    Skydog1010 Tele-Afflicted Ad Free Member

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    I'm letting my project guitars gather dust, I have learned the hard way not to bail out, and flush my inventory just to be rid of it.

    Now, I shift gears from one hobby to another, basically art, writing and my guitar builds.

    Keeping it simple.
     
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  18. P Thought

    P Thought Poster Extraordinaire Silver Supporter

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    My dad had a Honda Trail 90 from the '70s. I've had it sitting in the garage for several years, waiting for me to locate a clutch for it. A couple weeks ago I spotted a kid in the neighborhood riding one. I gave Dad's to him, for parts I told him, but he and his dad are working to get it running. Power to 'em!

    I have all sorts of stuff in the garage--tools, hardware, parts--a lot of it from my dad before he died. I really ought to pitch most of it.
     
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  19. Stratwrangler

    Stratwrangler Tele-Meister

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    Its harsh to watch but my dad has already started the clearing out with the 'I don't want you to have to worry about it all when were gone' mentality .
    We all can be guilty of collecting various life detritus along the way my man shed is no different, ive got exhaust sections brakes and all sorts of crud for cars I know I will never own again or need the parts for and my bench is a mix of guitar parts , my sons remote control cars I fix and things from the house I want to fix but I take to long so the misses buys a new one any way.
    But you never know what you might be in the mood to tinker with, and the well it might come in useful one day bits and pieces.
    Project wise though its Good to have focus and get them finished even if don't always turn out how you want.
     
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