One-Synth-Challenge: General discussion thread

VST, AU, AAX, etc. plug-in Virtual Instruments discussion
basa333
KVRist
86 posts since 26 Apr, 2019 from CZ

Post Fri Oct 04, 2019 11:34 pm

in my opinion, it would be maybe a good idea to make a separate category for a work with one instance of one synthesizer and one preset in one music style. I can't get rid of the feeling that 80% of all OSC-tracks are a kind of trance-synth-pop (honor all exceptions) and it doesn't have much to do with music (imho). but I don't want to feel like I don't like it and that I disagree with it - it's just my problem and my entry here is only a idea.

User avatar
BlitBit
KVRist
277 posts since 28 Nov, 2013 from Germany

Re: One-Synth-Challenge: General discussion thread

Post Sat Oct 05, 2019 12:09 am

basa333 wrote:
Thu Oct 03, 2019 11:57 pm
for me would be challenge the OSC with 1 instance of a concrete synth in a concrete music style - classic, jazz, rock etc. without other plugins (limiter, compressors etc)
Yes, that would indeed be very challenging but at the same time very limiting. Let's see for example what Wikipedia says with regards to rock: "Classic rock and roll is usually played with one or two electric guitars (one lead, one rhythm), a double bass or string bass or (after the mid-1950s) an electric bass guitar, and a drum kit." All these instruments have certain roles in the context of the music.

So if you take that away you will now need an instrument that is able to do rhythm, bass, chords and melodies and melt them together in a natural sounding way. I assume that in such a challenge you would mainly have instruments that sounds very similar to a piano/organ that tries to fill all these roles. So it would likely become rather boring in it's own way.
basa333 wrote:
Thu Oct 03, 2019 11:57 pm
I am laughing, if I see in one track 65 instances of one synth and 30 other plugins. where is the sense of this?
What's so laughable about this? It's very easy to spend around ten instances of a plugin for a very simple and reduced set of drums and percussions. Want to create a kick consisting of body, attack and sub? Three instances gone. Snare with body, attack, and two peaks of white noise? Four instances gone.

Do you also find the idea of an orchestra laughable? "Haha, why did this Bach idiot need more than one instrument to bring his music across?!?"

Having lots of other plugins also comes very natural once you have several tracks. On most of them you will find an EQ to carve out the frequency space they should sit in. You will likely also find compressors, e.g. to "glue" several layered instances together.
basa333 wrote:
Fri Oct 04, 2019 11:34 pm
[...] I can't get rid of the feeling that 80% of all OSC-tracks are a kind of trance-synth-pop (honor all exceptions) and it doesn't have much to do with music (imho).
Do you think that trance and synth-pop in general is not music or that many of the tracks that are entered into the competition are not music? If it's the first then I find it quite ignorant and pseudo-elitist and if it's the second then I find it to be quite insulting to the contestants which often try to learn something through this challenge.

User avatar
Saffran
KVRist
308 posts since 20 Oct, 2018

Re: One-Synth-Challenge: General discussion thread

Post Sat Oct 05, 2019 1:05 am

basa333 wrote:
Fri Oct 04, 2019 11:34 pm
in my opinion, it would be maybe a good idea to make a separate category for a work with one instance of one synthesizer and one preset in one music style. I can't get rid of the feeling that 80% of all OSC-tracks are a kind of trance-synth-pop (honor all exceptions) and it doesn't have much to do with music (imho). but I don't want to feel like I don't like it and that I disagree with it - it's just my problem and my entry here is only a idea.
That would be a too hard challenge.
If you look at the participation on osc 125 and 126 and compare to osc 127 there's a big difference.
Osc 125 and 126 was a hard challenge.
Osc 127 was not that hard and nobody insisted on the use of your own made patches. That made it popular. As it should be.

User avatar
Dirtgrain
KVRist
354 posts since 12 Jan, 2019

Re: One-Synth-Challenge: General discussion thread

Post Sat Oct 05, 2019 2:15 am

With the one-instance concept, I'm envisioning just automating the hell out of all sorts of parameters to make de facto multiple instances. Isn't that what one would do? If so, how is it that much different from just using multiple instances over multiple tracks?

basa333
KVRist
86 posts since 26 Apr, 2019 from CZ

Re: One-Synth-Challenge: General discussion thread

Post Sat Oct 05, 2019 2:42 am

ok, what I mean is a fact, that a lot of tracks have a very similar sound, a kind of synth-pop. that is in my opinion no point of critic, only a reason to think about it. a point of my though was create music-track in defined music-style with one preset und without all tricks with "automating the hell out of all sorts of parameters to make de facto multiple instances". but I understand now, it is no point of interest. no problem.

User avatar
exponent1
KVRist
240 posts since 10 Nov, 2018

Re: One-Synth-Challenge: General discussion thread

Post Sat Oct 05, 2019 3:07 am

basa333 wrote:
Sat Oct 05, 2019 2:42 am
ok, what I mean is a fact, that a lot of tracks have a very similar sound, a kind of synth-pop. that is in my opinion no point of critic, only a reason to think about it. a point of my though was create music-track in defined music-style with one preset und without all tricks with "automating the hell out of all sorts of parameters to make de facto multiple instances". but I understand now, it is no point of interest. no problem.
A lot of tracks having a similar sound is more of a coincidence than a matter of conformance. Every one has different motivations for making music and also choosing their own style or genre of music. I don't see how that's a problem or even something to think about?

Make what you want others to hear through your music, no point wondering why someone makes a certain style of music instead of one that is more to your taste.

I, for example, always try a new style every month to explore new techniques and styles and in the process, expand my skills and knowledge.
Last edited by exponent1 on Sat Oct 05, 2019 3:15 am, edited 1 time in total.

User avatar
exponent1
KVRist
240 posts since 10 Nov, 2018

Re: One-Synth-Challenge: General discussion thread

Post Sat Oct 05, 2019 3:12 am

basa333 wrote:
Sat Oct 05, 2019 2:42 am
ok, what I mean is a fact, that a lot of tracks have a very similar sound, a kind of synth-pop. that is in my opinion no point of critic, only a reason to think about it. a point of my though was create music-track in defined music-style with one preset und without all tricks with "automating the hell out of all sorts of parameters to make de facto multiple instances". but I understand now, it is no point of interest. no problem.
Can you show us how you'll make a 'music-track in defined music-style with one preset'? Please give us an example, share a snippet demonstrating what you expect to hear.

User avatar
Tj Shredder
KVRAF
3375 posts since 6 Jan, 2017 from Outer Space

Re: One-Synth-Challenge: General discussion thread

Post Sat Oct 05, 2019 4:30 am

BlitBit wrote:
Sat Oct 05, 2019 12:09 am
basa333 wrote:
Thu Oct 03, 2019 11:57 pm
I am laughing, if I see in one track 65 instances of one synth and 30 other plugins. where is the sense of this?
What's so laughable about this? It's very easy to spend around ten instances of a plugin for a very simple and reduced set of drums and percussions. Want to create a kick consisting of body, attack and sub? Three instances gone. Snare with body, attack, and two peaks of white noise? Four instances gone.

Do you also find the idea of an orchestra laughable? "Haha, why did this Bach idiot need more than one instrument to bring his music across?!?"

Having lots of other plugins also comes very natural once you have several tracks. On most of them you will find an EQ to carve out the frequency space they should sit in. You will likely also find compressors, e.g. to "glue" several layered instances together.
The core point of critique basa333 is putting up is exactly that. You have first a piece or style in mind, and then try to achieve it with all tricks your DAW can deliver. If you need 4 instances to create the kick you have in mind, you use your DAW as a synth. If the one synth has only 1 oscillator, just duplicate and its as if your synth has 2, which in turn makes that piece not telling much about the capabilities of that one synth...
Another approach would be, to work with a single sound and see how it will inspire you to make a piece in a never before seen style. I do not think it would make sense to limit yourself to a single instance, that would leave your choice of styles to be limited to classical solo pieces. But if you limit yourself to one instance per instrumental role, or simply don‘t layer sounds, the resulting piece would tell much more about the capabilities of the synth.
I do not vote for any change of rules, but I would like that participants really look at it more like a challenge for undiscovered landscapes and not of just showing off skills which are already well developed...
Very often I hear a promising intro, a clear candidate for a 4 or a 5 and then the kick comes in (often about 9 dB more than would be acceptable) and destroys it down to a 2 with the rest pumping like hell... I love to dance to music btw...

User avatar
BlitBit
KVRist
277 posts since 28 Nov, 2013 from Germany

Re: One-Synth-Challenge: General discussion thread

Post Sat Oct 05, 2019 4:57 am

Tj Shredder wrote:
Sat Oct 05, 2019 4:30 am
BlitBit wrote:
Sat Oct 05, 2019 12:09 am
basa333 wrote:
Thu Oct 03, 2019 11:57 pm
I am laughing, if I see in one track 65 instances of one synth and 30 other plugins. where is the sense of this?
What's so laughable about this? It's very easy to spend around ten instances of a plugin for a very simple and reduced set of drums and percussions. Want to create a kick consisting of body, attack and sub? Three instances gone. Snare with body, attack, and two peaks of white noise? Four instances gone.

Do you also find the idea of an orchestra laughable? "Haha, why did this Bach idiot need more than one instrument to bring his music across?!?"

Having lots of other plugins also comes very natural once you have several tracks. On most of them you will find an EQ to carve out the frequency space they should sit in. You will likely also find compressors, e.g. to "glue" several layered instances together.
The core point of critique basa333 is putting up is exactly that. You have first a piece or style in mind, and then try to achieve it with all tricks your DAW can deliver. If you need 4 instances to create the kick you have in mind, you use your DAW as a synth. If the one synth has only 1 oscillator, just duplicate and its as if your synth has 2, which in turn makes that piece not telling much about the capabilities of that one synth...
Another approach would be, to work with a single sound and see how it will inspire you to make a piece in a never before seen style. I do not think it would make sense to limit yourself to a single instance, that would leave your choice of styles to be limited to classical solo pieces. But if you limit yourself to one instance per instrumental role, or simply don‘t layer sounds, the resulting piece would tell much more about the capabilities of the synth.
I do not vote for any change of rules, but I would like that participants really look at it more like a challenge for undiscovered landscapes and not of just showing off skills which are already well developed...
Very often I hear a promising intro, a clear candidate for a 4 or a 5 and then the kick comes in (often about 9 dB more than would be acceptable) and destroys it down to a 2 with the rest pumping like hell... I love to dance to music btw...
I understand the points that you and basa333 make but I wonder if this wouldn't "degrade" the OSC into a tech demo for the synths where you have to make sure that each instance sits well in its own place in the mix so that you can hear what the synth alone is "really" capable of. And the easiest way to put it in the mix of course would be to have only one instance.

I guess the discussion just shows that there are different interests when it comes to the OSC. There are people who are rather interested in musical ideas and people who are rather interested in the technical details and being able to master their DAW, the synth and production. And there is nothing wrong with both. In my opinion the people who regularly win this competition are the ones who are interested in and master both.

Regarding usage of the DAW as a synth my view can be summed up as follows: "If the tracks that you hear in the challenge are all created only using one synth (and some allowed plugs) then this is what the synth is capable of doing." It might take more effort with many synths but in the end it's the synth that's creating the musical experience.

basa333
KVRist
86 posts since 26 Apr, 2019 from CZ

Re: One-Synth-Challenge: General discussion thread

Post Sat Oct 05, 2019 5:14 am

exponent1 wrote:
Sat Oct 05, 2019 3:12 am
Can you show us how you'll make a 'music-track in defined music-style with one preset'? Please give us an example, share a snippet demonstrating what you expect to hear.
here a example:
https://www.kvraudio.com/downloads/kvr_ ... 281013.mp3

please see this track only as a simple sound-example within one preset without any other plugins, it was made in 5 minutes. made with fullbucket's ragnarök.

basa333
KVRist
86 posts since 26 Apr, 2019 from CZ

Re: One-Synth-Challenge: General discussion thread

Post Sat Oct 05, 2019 5:25 am

Tj Shredder wrote:
Sat Oct 05, 2019 4:30 am

....
Another approach would be, to work with a single sound and see how it will inspire you to make a piece in a never before seen style. I do not think it would make sense to limit yourself to a single instance, that would leave your choice of styles to be limited to classical solo pieces. But if you limit yourself to one instance per instrumental role, or simply don‘t layer sounds, the resulting piece would tell much more about the capabilities of the synth.
I do not vote for any change of rules, but I would like that participants really look at it more like a challenge for undiscovered landscapes and not of just showing off skills which are already well developed...
Very often I hear a promising intro, a clear candidate for a 4 or a 5 and then the kick comes in (often about 9 dB more than would be acceptable) and destroys it down to a 2 with the rest pumping like hell... I love to dance to music btw...
you have understanding me exactly. but I would say, this is only idea for limited amount of tracks-instruments-presets (maybe 2 - 3) for one track and only as separate category, not as a change OSC rules. maybe as challenge-in-challenge :lol: ?

User avatar
Tj Shredder
KVRAF
3375 posts since 6 Jan, 2017 from Outer Space

Re: One-Synth-Challenge: General discussion thread

Post Sat Oct 05, 2019 5:44 am

I like challenges, it opens creativity and leads into unknown territory. I the past often technical or other limitations led to new art forms. Beatboxing exists, because the drum machines had been too expensive for example...
OSC is a chance which one can grab or miss it...

User avatar
] Peter:H [
KVRian
892 posts since 22 Sep, 2016

Re: One-Synth-Challenge: General discussion thread

Post Sat Oct 05, 2019 5:59 am

Tj Shredder wrote:
Sat Oct 05, 2019 4:30 am
[...]
Another approach would be, to work with a single sound and see how it will inspire you to make a piece in a never before seen style. I do not think it would make sense to limit yourself to a single instance, that would leave your choice of styles to be limited to classical solo pieces. But if you limit yourself to one instance per instrumental role, or simply don‘t layer sounds, the resulting piece would tell much more about the capabilities of the synth.
I do not vote for any change of rules, but I would like that participants really look at it more like a challenge for undiscovered landscapes and not of just showing off skills which are already well developed...
Very often I hear a promising intro, a clear candidate for a 4 or a 5 and then the kick comes in (often about 9 dB more than would be acceptable) and destroys it down to a 2 with the rest pumping like hell... I love to dance to music btw...
Experimental is not in the DNA of OSC. Think I have for instance made the suggestion two or three times to use "Granular Synth + 1 preselected Sample" for an experimental round or a Sonic Pi round ... it did not resonate. Equally the technical synth experiments for resampling speech with zebralette / thorn ... it mostly gets frowned upon. The DNA of OSC is not a technical "Synth Challenge" to explore sound but a "Reproduce Pop Song Composition" Challenge. Completely resonable and understandable and I can live with it, but I do not expect really experimental rounds...
BTW: Exaggerated Pumping is "experimental" as well ... so it depends on the recipient what she accepts as experimental and in the spirit of "exploration" ;-)

RichardSemper
KVRian
553 posts since 30 Oct, 2013 from Stoke On Trent

Re: One-Synth-Challenge: General discussion thread

Post Sat Oct 05, 2019 6:16 am

It can be really interesting to do this as a challenge-within-a-challenge. I know there have been a couple of cases of tracks made with a single instance of the given synth in the past. Gonna look it up see if can find them and re-post here.
I myself did a single instance track with Crisalys - but was not my submission that month. Also only used just two instances for Surge - one for percussion and the other for all the chromatic stuff.
To do this in a particular style though would be especially difficult imo, as particular genres often rely on a mix of particular and different sounds, not so easy to do with a single instance.

User avatar
Tj Shredder
KVRAF
3375 posts since 6 Jan, 2017 from Outer Space

Re: One-Synth-Challenge: General discussion thread

Post Sat Oct 05, 2019 6:20 am

] Peter:H [ wrote:
Sat Oct 05, 2019 5:59 am
Tj Shredder wrote:
Sat Oct 05, 2019 4:30 am
[...]
Another approach would be, to work with a single sound and see how it will inspire you to make a piece in a never before seen style. I do not think it would make sense to limit yourself to a single instance, that would leave your choice of styles to be limited to classical solo pieces. But if you limit yourself to one instance per instrumental role, or simply don‘t layer sounds, the resulting piece would tell much more about the capabilities of the synth.
I do not vote for any change of rules, but I would like that participants really look at it more like a challenge for undiscovered landscapes and not of just showing off skills which are already well developed...
Very often I hear a promising intro, a clear candidate for a 4 or a 5 and then the kick comes in (often about 9 dB more than would be acceptable) and destroys it down to a 2 with the rest pumping like hell... I love to dance to music btw...
Experimental is not in the DNA of OSC. Think I have for instance made the suggestion two or three times to use "Granular Synth + 1 preselected Sample" for an experimental round or a Sonic Pi round ... it did not resonate. Equally the technical synth experiments for resampling speech with zebralette / thorn ... it mostly gets frowned upon. The DNA of OSC is not a technical "Synth Challenge" to explore sound but a "Reproduce Pop Song Composition" Challenge. Completely resonable and understandable and I can live with it, but I do not expect really experimental rounds...
BTW: Exaggerated Pumping is "experimental" as well ... so it depends on the recipient what she accepts as experimental and in the spirit of "exploration" ;-)
I always had the idea to propose a SSC a Single Sample Challenge. In the past I made some pieces with single samples and it was successful for its artistic outcome.
https://soundcloud.com/ondes-memorielle ... -the-voice
Maybe we should start one in the sampler thread... That would be fun, I would not impose any technical restrictions on it, but evaluation should consider how much of the original sample still shines through. (If you just grab a single waveform and use it as oscillator wave, you‘d not hear a connection, it would sound like any synth sound)

Return to “Instruments”