You know how it goes. You carry on for years without thinking about what is happening, you begin to notice that your computer is struggling with the world, so you check you records and the damned thing is eight years old!
When I bought my last machine, it was top of the range. Powerful processor, lots of ram, and big discs. But times have changed and the dear old thing has been fighting with many of the more recent upgrades especially on the graphics front.
So, time for lots of expenditure! But it hasn't been easy.
I went back to the people I used both the last time and the time before - they have really good follow up support. They built me an i9 14-core beast with 64gb ram and an indecent amount of disc space. Loverly stuff!
Typically, it was not all plain sailing. We think the delivery people must have bounced it once to often because the hefty graphics card wasn't working when it arrived and they had to send me a new one.
We also had problems with the new audio interface. The Presonus Quantum is a serious beast, sounds lovely and is very fast, but it is limited when it comes to monitoring options. On my system with my software, I was unable to get the lowest latency promised, but without comprehensive monitoring options, there was no workaround. For my kind of work, it would have been impossible.
So, back it went and I have a Focusrite Clarett 8Pre Thunderbolt interface instead. Very nice! Low latency, plenty of clever monitoring and I really like the preamps. It was cheaper too!
On the screen front, I have gone for the Samsung CF791 34" monitor and a Huion Kamvas tablet-monitor. That gives me extra screen space when working on music, but gives me a nice tablet for drawing my dragons too. This is a huge leap up from my 15 year old Wacom tablet, and so much cheaper! I think I paid around £300 all those years ago. Well, this Huion was only £400 now!
The Samsung is just stunning! It is bright, sharp, the colours are really good (and serious accurate). The speakers are naff, but then I have a big pair of Dynaudio monitors I have had for years, so who cares. It is not cheap, but wow, what a monitor!
The music has had a bit of a boost too. I have upgraded the orchestra to the Hollywood Orchestra from EastWest, and bought the new Superior Drummer 3 - amazing sounds from both.
By my feet, I have bought a couple of extra pedals and stuck them to a cheap pedal board from Donner.
I haven't given these a workout yet, but I will, trust me.
One of my favourite purchases, however, has been the G7th Performance 2 Capo. Now, this is a really clever device. It is SO EASY to use, just works beautifully without having to retune the guitar. I cannot recommend it enough. I am loving it!
I have also bought the Snark ST8HZ Super Tight Hertz All Instrument Tuner. This is my first vibration tuner, and I am really impressed. Easy to use and just works. No messing. I like that I have no leads, no apps on my phone, or any such rubbish. I just clip it onto my Taylor acoustic or my Strat, and tune up.
So, anything else? Well yes. I made a nice oak top for my desk, nicely polished (I like polishing), and added cork panels, more acoustic tiles and loads of cheap silk scarfs. That last bit was wonderfully fun. There really are cheap, so I bought twelve of them.
I have used them for hiding wires, dressing up the place, and generally giving the entire work area a nice, comfy, warm vibe, perfect for creating anything. That is so important to me!
And when I have finished for the evening, I cover up my monitors, tuck up everything, and say goodnight.