aw, don't be modest-o there Jason. See, I think he's a dang good guitar player. There are many levels of guitar ability. Some of the most proficient ones I know, don't have one original idea in their heads. They can do an the mechanical moves, but that isn't always music. There is a whole culture of bass players that suffer from this problem. They never hit a bad note, but they don't necessarily play any good ones either. One of the guys who plays on my records is very good, but you don't give him chord sheets. He just listens and something magic comes out of his fingers.
Synths are a funny thing. Every time I get a new one, I write a song... then I have to get to know it better so I can use it in other situations. I have a few softs synths I use, but they are never as fun as a piece of hardware. There is a free software synth called Crystal, which I find interesting. It is pretty deep, but what it does, is combines the parameters from two different patches, and creates a new sound. I think you can control various aspects, but who know. My software mellotron probably gets the most use.
if you are interested in hearing what I do when I'm not recording Tom Petty Covers http://www.careerrecords.com/artists/armchairexplorers/armchair_explorers-1.html
There are hours of this stuff in the vault, some will be on a film soundtrack I've done
other suggested listening: Eno: Discreet Music, Music For Airports, Another Green World
Alzado wrote:modern day DIY music production involves a lot of time immersed in technology. do you ever get tired of all the chords, buttons and display screens and feel the urge to leave it behind for weeks at a time
........I use whatever is most fitting for the occasion ....
actually I almost never use synths within the computer....although I do have some great sounding digital
Sound modules that are considered "analog modelling ".
The more options on a unit for "sound-shaping " the more I prefer to use it.
It is true though that my older analog models have a comforting sound (when used alone) that most
of the other sound generators cant get.
i dont like to practice. I dont spend endless hours tweaking knobs. I dont read books on song writing. I really try to go into a project looking at a peice of gear with "excitement " or "wonder" ....so I wont be bored with it. I rarely even play guitar unless Im working on something specific, or playing shows. Thats why Im not very technically proficient. But my limited ability often is justified by how enthused and focused I am when Im working on something.