Editor's Note: The Challenge

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“I got tired of having to update computers, OS’s, and software, and external hardware every few months,” explains Klaus Schulze, our feature artist this month. “That’s crazy.”

It’s usually someone who was musically active before desktop computers were involved that has the perspective to understand how much crazy we put up with today. Sometimes it feels as if we’ve barely scratched the surface of a virtual instrument or DAW when an upgrade somewhere in our system leads us into a rabbit hole and slows our creativity to a halt.

“We were far busier getting the entire system to work than making new music—not good,” Schulze continues. “I need a fast and easy, reliable system I can use blindfolded.” What’s his solution? Read the interview on page 24 to find out.

For me, the biggest take-away is that the focus should always be on the music. Although Schulze has owned an enviable number of awesome synths and effects over his long career, they were merely tools to make his musical dreams a reality. And like any craftsman, he thoroughly learned how to use them, often sticking with ones that offer fewer features because they already had what he needed.

So, before you download the cool new app or plug-in that shows up in your social-media feed, consider digging a little deeper into the gear you already have and challenge yourself to finish a project. You’re likely to find the results more satisfying.