Observations about the Scaler User Base

Still having the analytical type beneath my creative surface, I couldn’t help by notice the diverse backgrounds of Scaler users. In particular it stood out to me how there are quite a few non-professionals/hobbyists, some of which active in other creative arts, such as painting, crafting, or photography, and some coming from a technical/engineering background - and how these different backgrounds shape the dialog with Scaler and its possibilities.

My wife and I discovered our non-professional/non-analytical capacity around the same time a few years back, except she went into painting and I went into electronic music - both of which were long held aspirations just somehow never manifested due to other distractions. Perhaps the kids becoming autonomous helped with coming out.

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Interesting paintings!
Painting or rather drawing cartoons, is another of my 3 hobbies :woozy_face:
unfortunately, Scaler drives me away of painting
A day or another I’ll go deeper in painting

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It is certainly a fascinating topic.

I’ve often wondered what it is about this particular music innovation tool & community that holds my interest. While some might think that tech/engineering is a very linear path constrained by rows and columns, those of us in it, know that parts are inherently non-linear where the starts, stops, reverses and surprises are all integral to the process. The serendipitous and creative nature of innovation is scattered throughout technical disciplines and I’ve always believed that w/in every engineer is a sculptor, woodworker or DJ just waiting to emerge. The false dichotomy of the “creatives” vs. the “engineers” was always problematic and serves to constrain the kinds of innovation that is possible. In a micro way, I think our community demonstrates an interesting example of rising above some of those limitations and constraints.

My initial draw to electronic music was certainly a function of exploring and figuring things out. The whole thing was a big black box and the lure of cracking it open was strong. For a musical novice like me, I think Scaler builds on that desire to explore and does it in a way that matches my instant feedback expectations. Now, instead of focusing on the sounds and production process, I can experiment with and learn about musical elements that were not as easily (or quickly) experienced. I can take a decent sense of timing and turn it into something interesting enough to keep my attention…which keeps me exploring.

Thanks for posting.

“The serendipitous and creative nature of innovation is scattered throughout technical disciplines”

I’ve always been a believer in the notion that innovation often occurs at the intersection of dissimilar knowledge or experience domains. Member of one domain don’t really go to other domains to learn and take from them. Software engineers, when working on a new project often start with a mindset which is based on what they did last time, and they simply repeat it with a few odd tweaks.

I tried to break this cycle; (1) I allocated everybody ‘serendipity’ time to follow some aspect related however vaguely to computing they found interesting, being their choice. Each month they would report if they had found anything relevant to what we were doing - ‘no’; fine ‘yes’; good! (2) On my last new, from scratch, project, they had no (0) computers - only a flipchart shared between them and a pack of 12 new pens. This was one of my 10 “mantras”, which was ‘think 70 and do 30’ instead of the normal ratio of doing 95 and thinking 5.

All the years after that I’m still amazed to think back at the sheer innovation these ideas produced in that team - crazy, but together with my other mantras, it worked.

Postscript : Employers have a fixed view about the experiences of the people they employ, but it’s a self fulfilling prophesy. We had an application from a concert pianist (doctorate in Music from Oxford University here) who said that he wanted to get into computing (pianos didn’t pay). I took him on and he became our best low level, ‘bare metal’ man - it also reinforced my view of the connections between music and maths skills, which I’ve continually observed over time. This goes to TMacD’s comment on engineers vs creatives; I agree it can stifle new thinking.