One Synth Challenge #128: OB-Xd from discoDSP (mmGhost wins!)

VST, AU, AAX, etc. plug-in Virtual Instruments discussion
ontrackp
KVRian
710 posts since 13 Jan, 2013 from United States

Post Sun Nov 03, 2019 8:41 am

photonic wrote:
Sat Nov 02, 2019 8:25 am
Has SC a problem with comments?
I see only a few comments on the tracks. And when I started voting now, I wrote some comments, but they do not appear on the tracks.
There seems to be a problem -- number of comments are really down. Or maybe newer OSC participants don't see the value in it.

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z.prime
KVRAF
1776 posts since 29 Sep, 2011

Re: One Synth Challenge #128: OB-Xd from discoDSP (Voting Started!)

Post Sun Nov 03, 2019 9:17 am

basa333 wrote:
Sun Nov 03, 2019 7:53 am
... because OSC is a challenge for one synth (OK, one synth/preset/automation for each instrument) ...
So you're saying that the contest should NOT be one instance of the synth? Because if you're arguing that a sound should only be one instance but there could be multiple sounds with multiple instances, I hope you can see why the logic simply doesn't hold up. Why not just one instance for everything? It's not a matter of what "most" participants want, it's a matter of understanding where your argument is rooted.
basa333 wrote:
Sun Nov 03, 2019 7:53 am
... with 100 instances you can create nearly any sound with any synth, it's not even real.
This simply is not true. The synths are limited sometimes in restrictive ways or have quirks that prevent them from doing plenty of things like having snappy enough envelopes that you simply can't get correct pitch envelope for a kick drum, no matter how many instances you layer or hardcoded free running oscillators which cause other problems that stacking instances makes things worse, not better.

Further, even in the case where you have a single hardware synth, let's think about actual cases like this -- earlier electronic music, for example. Prodigy loved his Korg Prophecy if I recall correctly. To use it on his songs, he would multi-track record different lines using the synth. And the synth would be run through FX chains of hardware FX to further enhance it. Just like almost all artists, using effects to enhance the sounds of the synth, and things like EQ to further improve the mix and overall song. Additionally, adding backing pads to further enhance sounds has been going on for ages. So we can see that even in the most restrictive argument case that prior art simply doesn't follow and both FX and layering are staples of song creation, which ultimately is what the OSC is all about: creating a song with just one virtual instrument as the sound source.

You're certainly entitled to your opinions, but having them for relatively arbitrary reasons just confuses the issue of "what this contest is", which as history has shown since its inception that it is NOT a single instance of the synth challenge.

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mmGhost
KVRist
233 posts since 24 Aug, 2009 from CO, USA

Re: One Synth Challenge #128: OB-Xd from discoDSP (Voting Started!)

Post Sun Nov 03, 2019 9:28 am

heh, i'm more in-line with @rellik point of view - i'm always layering stuff to make sounds more realistic. its fun for me. so i do it.

it's funny how these threads always turn into rules/production/fx stuff. i wonder how in the world bach chopin and bethoven did it without izotope ozone?
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mmGhost
KVRist
233 posts since 24 Aug, 2009 from CO, USA

Re: One Synth Challenge #128: OB-Xd from discoDSP (Voting Started!)

Post Sun Nov 03, 2019 9:33 am

Rellik wrote:
Sat Nov 02, 2019 11:35 am
As someone who uses a ton of instances/layering (I think maybe the most?), I never considered whether it was against the OSC spirit, I'll have to think about it. My intent is never about "bypassing" the synth - I'll give examples of where all my instances are going, I'd be receptive/interested in feedback on if I'm being "cheap" or "try-hard"?
and this is exactly what i love about this thing is that you basically opened the bag of tricks for us all to learn from.

the other thing i'll say is its funny that rellik's post kicks off this debate, given that his track's composition, chord changes, intricate melody and arrangement stand on their own, even if he just used general MIDI sounds. its a marvel to me that this level of sound design and production can co-exist with the composition done by one person.
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"Just sidechain everything to everything"

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Taron
KVRAF
2504 posts since 17 Apr, 2010 from Croatia

Re: One Synth Challenge #128: OB-Xd from discoDSP (Voting Started!)

Post Sun Nov 03, 2019 9:37 am

Ah, dang, z.prime, I'm totally with you virtually always, but you brought something up regarding "snappy envelopes" that kinda tickles a pet-beef of mine with the transient controllers... but this is literally envy. Some folks use them so radically that it really defies any synth or its nature. I want to know how to elegantly do that myself, :lol: hahahahaha... :oops: ...but, yeah, envelopes have yet to stop anyone! ;)
One of the only artists ever to actually use just one instant:
https://youtu.be/0HlhQWRuy8g
...and he did a bunch of incredible videos for his tracks?! :hyper:
...but it really is the sort of "don't try this at home" kinda thing, hehehe :hihi: ...

basa333
KVRist
85 posts since 26 Apr, 2019 from CZ

Re: One Synth Challenge #128: OB-Xd from discoDSP (Voting Started!)

Post Sun Nov 03, 2019 9:42 am

z.prime wrote:
Sun Nov 03, 2019 9:17 am
basa333 wrote:
Sun Nov 03, 2019 7:53 am
... because OSC is a challenge for one synth (OK, one synth/preset/automation for each instrument) ...
So you're saying that the contest should NOT be one instance of the synth? Because if you're arguing that a sound should only be one instance but there could be multiple sounds with multiple instances, I hope you can see why the logic simply doesn't hold up. Why not just one instance for everything? It's not a matter of what "most" participants want, it's a matter of understanding where your argument is rooted.
maybe my english is not good enough, sorry, what I mean is in my opinion the fact (so I understand it) that OSC a challenge for one type of a concrete synth is (with more instances within DAW, sure, but one instance = one instrument/or preset, if you want) and not 20 instances for kickdrum, 30 instances for piano etc. in this range is the sound of a concrete synth not real. with another words: you want with more instances from one synth create sounds, which are with one instance in my opinion not possible. but you are right, I'm newbie and want no flames, I have only another conception in my head. sure, with a hardware-synth you have another problems, but then it is not a "one synth record" - then it is sound design and it should sounds with maximal record progressing.

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schiing
KVRist
370 posts since 27 Oct, 2015

Re: One Synth Challenge #128: OB-Xd from discoDSP (Voting Started!)

Post Sun Nov 03, 2019 10:25 am

mmGhost wrote:
Sun Nov 03, 2019 9:28 am
it's funny how these threads always turn into rules/production/fx stuff. i wonder how in the world bach chopin and bethoven did it without izotope ozone?
Oh, I'm sure they had their format wars, too! (although I doubt the authenticity of this quote) :lol:

Emperor Joseph II : My dear young man, don't take it too hard. Your work is ingenious. It's quality work. And there are simply too many notes, that's all. Just cut a few and it will be perfect.

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart : Which few did you have in mind, Majesty?

liqih
DASH Guy
7393 posts since 20 Sep, 2001

Re: One Synth Challenge #128: OB-Xd from discoDSP (Voting Started!)

Post Sun Nov 03, 2019 10:50 am

Yeah, too many or too little (notes, chords, instruments) have always been a contending issue in music.
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Taron
KVRAF
2504 posts since 17 Apr, 2010 from Croatia

Re: One Synth Challenge #128: OB-Xd from discoDSP (Voting Started!)

Post Sun Nov 03, 2019 11:02 am

Greatly inspiring thoughts, really. Reminds me of the fundamental dilemma of exposing one's own ideals to the world, especially while they are evolving, yet immediately are a recording of a moment. Any measurement outside the imagination of an artist ends up merely held up against statistics. As artist you simply have to know, who you wish to serve: An inner- or an outer circle?!
(...yes, I'm already mocking myself at this point!)

ontrackp
KVRian
710 posts since 13 Jan, 2013 from United States

Re: One Synth Challenge #128: OB-Xd from discoDSP (Voting Started!)

Post Sun Nov 03, 2019 12:07 pm

Proposed new OSC rule: 1 instance of synth, 1 note, only internal modulations, must run 2:30. No DAW effects or automation. Except for WagsAudio efx - always allowed.

Leonard Bowman
KVRist
84 posts since 4 Jul, 2018 from North Carolina, United States of America

Re: One Synth Challenge #128: OB-Xd from discoDSP (Voting Started!)

Post Sun Nov 03, 2019 12:46 pm

The big thing for me: no matter what your stance is, nobody can draw a good line as to what would be enough of an instrument to qualify for an instance.
One instance per instrument would completely invalidate my January entry- it's a pipe organ solo, and each rank of pipes is its own instance. The pipe organ is one "instrument" but physically it is much more complex.
Pianos have multiple strings per note, in addition to a sounding board and other components that define the sound.
A kick drum has multiple parts - two membranes, the beater, the rim, the shell, etc. that could all be used as separate instruments. That's a more extreme example but I stand behind it.

Of course, this in particular only covers physical instruments. For a purely synthetic sound palate, it's impossible to define what is a single instrument. What separates several instruments playing in unison from one instrument comprised of multiple layers? I think that's too subjective to implement as a rule.

I personally don't care what people do for OSC, as long as they keep fx use mild.
Just my 2^(2/1200)

Carl_saved
KVRist
172 posts since 17 May, 2013

Re: One Synth Challenge #128: OB-Xd from discoDSP (Voting Started!)

Post Sun Nov 03, 2019 12:54 pm

Very interesting thoughts, folks!
I see that we're pulling and pushing on the OSC ship in all kinds of different directions, which is totally okay. It means that the forces equal out and the OSC ship doesn't move anywhere 8)
Yet we've all got to this place by one way or another, and we're "okay enough" with the status quo to still be here (I hope).
z.prime wrote:
Sun Nov 03, 2019 9:17 am
"what this contest is"
I find this an interesting question. And the question about what OSC is or should be will be answered by everyone in a different way. Looking at the hard facts, it's a contest with prizes and a relatively fixed set of rules. They define "what this contest is".
However, the uncertain things like how to interpret the rules or how to vote leave freedom for us lot to have different opinions about, and I think it is good to discuss them from time to time. This helps us understand each other better and also helps new people understand the community better (because OSC actually consists of the "hard" framework and the community).

I for one enjoy both the freedom of using effects and layering, but also the "purist" approach to OSC. I won't take an oath, but I'd like to challenge myself in a manner very well described by basa333 in the next OSC (don't know when).
basa333 wrote:
Sun Nov 03, 2019 9:42 am
maybe my english is not good enough, sorry, what I mean is in my opinion the fact (so I understand it) that OSC a challenge for one type of a concrete synth is (with more instances within DAW, sure, but one instance = one instrument/or preset, if you want) and not 20 instances for kickdrum, 30 instances for piano etc.
That means I adopt a certain workflow:
  1. Dial sounds into the synth. Go for 1 sound=1 instance. The sound should work without EQ and compression. I will give myself the freedom of delay and reverb to put them into (potentially huge) space
  2. Figure out what kind of music/arrangement works with the sounds obtained this way.
  3. Write music, keep adding sounds as the need arises. If something I have in mind doesn't work without major effect usage, I can always fall back to what I already have and like, and start over exploring from that point. I therefore do not depend on heavy effect usage (except maybe reverb/delay in my case).
  4. Adjust mix using gentle EQ and compression during the process.
This way, the result should be a good showcase for what the synth can "naturally" achieve (you know what I mean), and not so much "what can be done" with the given synth as the only sound source plus processing. This is my personal view of what I feel OSC is or should be ... but because I wanted to win and enjoyed exploring layered sound design I've done that in the past, too ... which still fits within the framework that is set by the rules, so it's fine.
Leonard Bowman wrote:
Sun Nov 03, 2019 12:46 pm
What separates several instruments playing in unison from one instrument comprised of multiple layers? I think that's too subjective to implement as a rule.
Good point! That's why a potential "no layering" rule would be almost impossible to implement.
(Fun fact though ... in my very first OSC entry I thought layering wasn't allowed and replaced a few layered sounds in my entry by single instances ... and learned cool stuff by doing that)

yessongs
KVRian
958 posts since 9 Feb, 2013 from dallas tx

Re: One Synth Challenge #128: OB-Xd from discoDSP (New Discovery monthly prize!)

Post Sun Nov 03, 2019 1:59 pm

z.prime wrote:
Wed Oct 02, 2019 10:21 am
ontrackp wrote:
Wed Oct 02, 2019 5:02 am
REQUEST RE: COMMERCIAL PLUGS

Hello -- as usual I am requesting that we be allowed to use commercial plugs this month. Anyone else want to jump in and officially petition BJ and Richard?

Thanks!
As always, I beg and pray that commercial plugins are allowed, too! :tu: :pray: :hail: :love: :hug:
Why not have two contest winners one with the free ones and then allow a commercial plugin remix winner. I am sure that the commercial plugin sponsors would love to see their products being used in such a contest. There might be large cash prizes for those who win. Demos of plugins can be set up with special features enabled that are not otherwise. Then the winners could sell their project files and presets if people wanted to make extra money.

jasinski
KVRian
658 posts since 20 Oct, 2003 from Seattle

Re: One Synth Challenge #128: OB-Xd from discoDSP (Voting Started!)

Post Sun Nov 03, 2019 3:31 pm

I'll chime in!

I hear in this dialog an appeal to "fairness" (If I'm wrong please correct me). It think this is a poor justification for increasing limitations. OSC has had the basic rule set for years and has flourished pretty well with these rules.

The contest has limitations. In any game a certain percentage of participants find ways to maximize the space within the ruleset. In OSC this behavior often coincides with participants who spend the most time in creating a track or have significant experience in production, sound design, and/or composition. That often means that these entries do well in the voting. One might say the results of these techniques are pointing the way to "Best Practices".

Every month, everyone starts with an equal opportunity to create something. However, participants don't and never will have an equal playing field. Some are limited in available time, raw talent, or technical skill, or motivation. Some excel in theory, creativity, sound design, others specialize in more popular genres. Some have better computers, DAWs, midi controllers, workflows, monitoring speakers.

Adding new and more restrictive rules will not equal these disparities. Probably a similar set of participants will still find ways to maximize the rules, push them to create things that most other players can't or won't spend the energy to do. (That's why such efforts are often rewarded!). More restriction just makes the the friction to produce quality higher. That means over all quality will go down.

More restrictive rules by definition will mean few participants, a diminishing quality of the output (in comparison to modern, professional music productions), and possibly a less diverse range of styles. This suggests to me that it will hurt the future of the OSC as it won't seem as attractive to new participants.

----------

One more point- in a plea to open up the use of Commercial plug ins. It's ironic that the prizes from OSC can't be used IN OSC.
And for those participants who invest in software effects, they get fewer opportunities to become proficient at them. One of the things that I love about OSC is that it has helped me to become very proficient at my DAW's built in effects. I wish I could say the same about my commercial effects.
The gap between quality between and commercial (as stated already) is very small indeed.

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Taron
KVRAF
2504 posts since 17 Apr, 2010 from Croatia

Re: One Synth Challenge #128: OB-Xd from discoDSP (Voting Started!)

Post Sun Nov 03, 2019 3:52 pm

Oh yes, I have VOTED!
This had been a strange one, regarding the spread, because I have surprisingly few 4s, but plenty of 3s and 5s for some reason. As so very often, the 5 point range is really narrow. Maybe I will migrate some 3s up to 4, but it doesn't quite feel right.
Dang, there are some serious masterpieces in there for sure! :hail:

As for you, Jasinski, pffff, like you need anything to make your stuff sound MORE professional, hahaha...it's flipping genius engineering and sounds just like it wants to sound. Like there's nothing missing. I mean, with the ability to use convolution reverbs, one of the weakest aspects of free plugins should be fairly well dealt with and I should seek out a working free one at some point. I think, I only ever stumbled across a buggy one, but haven't looked in a long time.
But, yeah, you need no higher quality plugins!!! Don't you dare!!! :tantrum: :lol: :hail:

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