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How did that happen? (50K Followers…)

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WRITTEN BY: Tony Miln

UPLOADED: 12th Aug 2020

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Wow. So all of a sudden we have 50,000 followers on Instagram. A chance to look back at a few highlights, and to share a few thank yous.

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I wrote my last blog post back in March about Nils Frahm’s Saal 3 Studio Sale. It’s scarcely credible how much the world has changed in five months. It’s been quite a journey and much recalibration has occurred along the way: the important things in life brought into sharper focus – we’re happy simply to be well and safe together with our loved ones.

Considering the times we live in, I can only describe today as a minor milestone, but it is one of some significance to us toiling in the vintage gear mines: this week Soundgas passed the 50k followers mark on Instagram (though they still mysteriously refuse honour to us with a blue tick even though we have provided proof of our identity and incorporation).

I’d like to thank all our team, customers, contributors, friends, followers and well-wishers for joining us in what has developed into a good-humoured community of shared experiences, love of all things noisy and old, and gratuitous shots of piles of vintage gear: our Instagram family sharing in the joy of sonic adventure.

Special mention to Gid (@lordgid), our lofty social media wizard. When Gid joined us, promising to ‘make Tony social’ seven years ago, we had a website that few visited, and zero social media (my dislike of using Facebook has only grown subsequently – Instagram has proved something else entirely). He brought to Soundgas his unique bearded wisdom and wit, and helped us find our voice: one of dry irreverence and with tongue firmly in cheek. We’ve had a lot of fun creating the Soundgas feed together, and Gid’s posts still make me laugh out loud almost daily.

WE CREATED A MONSTER

We’re constantly learning, and one thing we’ve learned is that synth tech extraordinaire and all-round renaissance man, Chris Challoner (@littlebluerecords), was quietly creating content with our gear that regularly eclipsed our ham-fisted attempts at ‘music’. We’ve unleashed him on the Soundgas feed: you have been warned!

Here’s just a couple of recent posts from the man himself, including one of his many inventions: the CV controlled turntable…

 

VINYL WORRYING

For my part, I’ve been having some fun bothering my vinyl collection in my @wayoutgentleman guise – Gas Dubs takes the viewpoint that you can never add too much tape echo to otherwise perfectly good records. Saturday night impromptu DJ sets on our Instagram Live feed are becoming a regular thing (see my Mixcloud page).

JUST “A FEW” HIGHLIGHTS…

I love that our feed is home to a wide cast of contributors who regularly surprise, delight, enlighten (and confuse) us with likes, comments, messages of support and waves of humour and hilarity. Thank you all.

A few highlights are below. The irony is not lost on us that two of the top-performing posts in the past couple of years on a feed crammed to the gills with mouthwatering vintage gear feature a cheap toy sampler and an ingenious low tech solution of employing rubber bands in synth programming to compensate for only having two hands…

Of course, high end and exotic gear does still attract a good deal of attention, none more so than when our good friend, Nils Frahm, announced he was to part with a selection of gear from his Funkhaus studio:

We love seeing our friends and customers in action with Soundgas gear, and Matt Morton’s Moog iiic paired winningly with a Soundgas Binson Echorec for his score of Apollo 11:

You are never more than a couple of posts away from extreme filth on our feed, as in this demo of a Soundgas prototype germanium preamp Space Echo mod (coming soon!):

Helping friends out is important to us, and can lead to some amazing posts: when Al Breadwinner got in touch to tell us his trusty 201 was desperately in need of some TLC, we couldn’t refuse and our Space Echo Servicing plan was born.

The sight and sound of tape is still social media catnip…

And we can’t forget that time SIX Soundgas Space Echoes were used in the BBC Proms to realise Daphne Oram’s 1948 Still Point composition for turntables, two orchestras, and echo chambers:

The places Soundgas takes us is mindblowing: like being on stage with Nils Frahm during the soundcheck before his Albert Hall gig in Manchester last year (after delivering his “new” vintage Minimoog):

So, sincerely, thank you! People’s support and contributions are what give us vital feedback and interaction in a job that is largely office or home-based in a rural area (aka “we don’t get out much”).

WHAT’S NEXT?

Well, if it ain’t broke and all that. So, we’ll carry on posting about what we’re up to, odd gear we find, and the weird/wonderful noises emanating from our office/homes/studio. Having fun is an essential parts of what we do here; certainly there are easier ways to make a living than wrangling vintage gear (and safely delivering it worldwide). What’s the point of having all these incredible pieces flowing through our hands if we don’t share the sheer unadulterated pleasure we enjoy when playing/using/abusing them? So that’s the plan: continue to inform and entertain in equal measure, and share the joy of sonic adventure. Along the way, we all get to see, smell, and hear some amazing old gear.

Either that or we’ll just keep posting filthy noises and massive stacks of Roland Echoes 🙂

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