Author Topic: Considering giving up on the DIY pedal hobby...  (Read 2090 times)

vizcities

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Re: Considering giving up on the DIY pedal hobby...
« Reply #30 on: November 09, 2018, 08:58:40 PM »
Yeah, building pedals gets boring. I think for a while that dopomine that gets released every time your build fires up will keep you going for a while but eventually it's not enough.

You start off with a fuzz, maybe a phaser, eventually an analog delay, if you are really ambitious you do a synth.....

One day you stand around looking at all your pedals, finished and unfinished, all your inventory, and you say to yourself "WTF"

That said, all hobbies can get boring.

How much enjoyment you take out of an activity is up to you. The activity hasn't changed, you do. So you either make the conscious effort to continually find joy, or don't. Also, effects are just a small part of the big electronics world. If you're stuck with effects, look at other things. Guitar amps, studio equipment, digital stuff (microcontroller, Raspberry Pi, ...). Build an awesome steampunk nixie clock, Tesla coil, whatever. Learn about integrated circuits, start rolling your own tubes. I simply can't see how electronics would ever bore me. I love designing circuits, boards, soldering and building. The continuous learning keeps me engaged, the ideas and projects get more and more, not less.

This actually reminds me a bit of a concept I teach in one of my college classes: the autotelic mindset. According to psychologist Mihaly Csikszenmihalyi, the feeling of enjoyment - the entering of "flow" that attends something like playing a video game, getting deep with art, or building electronics - requires a balance between feeling just challenged enough to feel neither defeated (e.g. the failure bin, which has warned me off building for months in the past) nor bored (e.g yet another fuzz, yet another Muff variant, yet another PT2399, etc.). He calls the innate ability to find that place in any activity the "autotelic mindset."

So: let's imagine you're building OD #1000 because, hey, it's Tuesday and you want to feel accomplished. The trick, he would argue, would be to find the game in it: What exactly does that IC do? That resistor? Can I master the Baxandall tone stack today? How would this pedal sound at 12v? Or, even more basic: what constitutes a "perfect" build, and how can I get there as cheaply as possible? These are the little challenges that, if treated as goals that require thoughtful engagement, can make the hobby still worthwhile. I'm currently having a moment with PSUs on my end, and I've ended up buying and reading books to get a better handle on them. As long as you remember to be playful and not slavish, you can likely still get mileage out of pedal building. (Or something else! Electronics is a pretty vast landscape.)

peAk

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Re: Considering giving up on the DIY pedal hobby...
« Reply #31 on: November 09, 2018, 09:17:53 PM »
Yeah, building pedals gets boring. I think for a while that dopomine that gets released every time your build fires up will keep you going for a while but eventually it's not enough.

You start off with a fuzz, maybe a phaser, eventually an analog delay, if you are really ambitious you do a synth.....

One day you stand around looking at all your pedals, finished and unfinished, all your inventory, and you say to yourself "WTF"

That said, all hobbies can get boring.

How much enjoyment you take out of an activity is up to you. The activity hasn't changed, you do. So you either make the conscious effort to continually find joy, or don't. Also, effects are just a small part of the big electronics world. If you're stuck with effects, look at other things. Guitar amps, studio equipment, digital stuff (microcontroller, Raspberry Pi, ...). Build an awesome steampunk nixie clock, Tesla coil, whatever. Learn about integrated circuits, start rolling your own tubes. I simply can't see how electronics would ever bore me. I love designing circuits, boards, soldering and building. The continuous learning keeps me engaged, the ideas and projects get more and more, not less.

This actually reminds me a bit of a concept I teach in one of my college classes: the autotelic mindset. According to psychologist Mihaly Csikszenmihalyi, the feeling of enjoyment - the entering of "flow" that attends something like playing a video game, getting deep with art, or building electronics - requires a balance between feeling just challenged enough to feel neither defeated (e.g. the failure bin, which has warned me off building for months in the past) nor bored (e.g yet another fuzz, yet another Muff variant, yet another PT2399, etc.). He calls the innate ability to find that place in any activity the "autotelic mindset."

So: let's imagine you're building OD #1000 because, hey, it's Tuesday and you want to feel accomplished. The trick, he would argue, would be to find the game in it: What exactly does that IC do? That resistor? Can I master the Baxandall tone stack today? How would this pedal sound at 12v? Or, even more basic: what constitutes a "perfect" build, and how can I get there as cheaply as possible? These are the little challenges that, if treated as goals that require thoughtful engagement, can make the hobby still worthwhile. I'm currently having a moment with PSUs on my end, and I've ended up buying and reading books to get a better handle on them. As long as you remember to be playful and not slavish, you can likely still get mileage out of pedal building. (Or something else! Electronics is a pretty vast landscape.)

Well said

Willybomb

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Re: Considering giving up on the DIY pedal hobby...
« Reply #32 on: November 10, 2018, 03:19:32 AM »
Otherwise known as the Zone of Personal Development.

cajone5

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Re: Considering giving up on the DIY pedal hobby...
« Reply #33 on: November 17, 2018, 04:28:23 PM »
Yea... I don't have a ton of excess energy and time to devote to learning about building and electronics at the moment which is OK.  And I can definitely say the experience of "flow" is far away from this hobby at the moment.  For example, I'm particularly turned off by offboard wiring which is most of the work ahead of me to finish up what I've been working on.  It really takes a lot of work to make it super clean and it's the same rote tasks over and over.  Yuck.  That's OK though.  I'll set those aside for days when I'm just looking to relax and mindlessly kill some time (who knows when that'll be...).

Anyway, on the bright side, I finished another Echo Bender delay today that's been on my half-finished pile for the last year (like the 10th+ one I've built, but this one I'm keeping).  It's a super versatile delay/distortion/noisemaker and I highly recommend anyone who is interested in something totally usable but a bit different to check it out.  I also built up the Quaverato kit from Zeppelin Design Labs.  I have to say that thing is flipping awesome.  Highly recommend it.  I'm currently kicking myself for not getting the midi add-on.  I didn't see it when I originally ordered or I would have built it in.  Now that it's done I'm very unlikely to go back and add it.  It's a great pedal though.

So progress has been made.  And I think I've come to the conclusion that...

-- I should clear out some things I'll be unlikely to use and rid myself of some of my clutter
-- On future projects, I'll purchase what I want, build to completion and avoid stocking up on extra "stuff"
-- Also in the meantime, I'll keep making incremental progress on projects when I have time, but not pressure myself to get through the pile
-- I'll also avoid buying anything else until I finish my pile... I hope
-- Finally, I'm likely going to start keeping what I build... It's just not worth selling this stuff and some day it may inspire something in me that is worth more than the tiny return (if any) that could be produced by selling

p_wats

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Re: Considering giving up on the DIY pedal hobby...
« Reply #34 on: November 19, 2018, 10:07:59 AM »

-- I should clear out some things I'll be unlikely to use and rid myself of some of my clutter

-- Also in the meantime, I'll keep making incremental progress on projects when I have time, but not pressure myself to get through the pile


These 2 points are key for me. No pressure to finish builds and alleviating the clutter (mental included) definitely helps to keep the sense of impending doom at bay a little.

Best of luck.

EBRAddict

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Re: Considering giving up on the DIY pedal hobby...
« Reply #35 on: November 19, 2018, 08:03:06 PM »
I started selling off stuff on eBay. The money is OK, getting the stuff out of my sight is even better.