Importance of factory presets

DSP, Plug-in and Host development discussion.
User avatar
random_id
KVRist
322 posts since 1 May, 2006 from lancaster, pa

Post Fri Oct 19, 2018 3:17 am

I am just wondering what developers think about the importance of factory presets. Are they critical? Should there be a lot or a little? Is the purpose to highlight all of the features of the plugin, or is it to actually sound good?

User avatar
Delta Sign
KVRist
496 posts since 22 Jun, 2018

Re: Importance of factory presets

Post Fri Oct 19, 2018 4:51 am

Many people judge plugins by the presets alone, especially when trying out a demo, so I'd say they are very, very, very important.

Whether quality or quantity is more important is hard to say. The number of presets is a selling point for some people, but I still think quality is more important.
I think "musical" (whatever that means) presets are generally preferred, but it doesn't hurt to have a few presets that just show of what the plugin is capable of either, at least in not in factory banks. Maybe put those presets in a separate folder.

It's more difficult with effects, especially with dynamic processors and such, as the result can be so highly dependent on the input. In my opinion, presets for EQs, compressors etc don't even make sense, but many people seem to think differently, as I've seen requests for presets and better/more factory presets for those kinds of effects quite a bit around here and other places.

Good audio demos on the website are equally as important, in my opinion.

Just my observations.
I've been interested in the whole topic of presets as well recently. How people perceive them, what they want from them etc. It's quite interesting to me, because I personally never use and very rarely even listen to presets.

User avatar
random_id
KVRist
322 posts since 1 May, 2006 from lancaster, pa

Re: Importance of factory presets

Post Fri Oct 19, 2018 7:53 am

Yeah, I guess I should clarify. I am talking about effects plugins, not instruments.
Thanks for the feedback.

I am working on updating my EQ plugin and it feels weird to make presets, but it feels weird not to.

AnX
KVRAF
3141 posts since 17 Nov, 2015

Re: Importance of factory presets

Post Fri Oct 19, 2018 8:23 am

factory presets should ld show off a synths/effects capabilities, kinda tutorial/demonstration sounds.... unfortunately a lot of synths are full of 'on trend' crap when they are released.

himalaya
KVRAF
4841 posts since 23 Mar, 2006 from pendeLondonmonium

Re: Importance of factory presets

Post Fri Oct 19, 2018 8:46 am

random_id wrote:
Fri Oct 19, 2018 7:53 am

I am working on updating my EQ plugin and it feels weird to make presets, but it feels weird not to.
In general, yes, equalisers do not really need presets...but depending on how your EQ plugin is designed, you can always create some starting points. For example:
1. A band-pass response - then, the user can quickly move the master dial which 'gangs' all frequency nodes' and quickly sweep it by holding only one node/dial

2. Formant-filter like response with multiple peaks - another starting point for creative EQ use.

3. Steep High pass/Low pass shapes

etc.

You get the picture. So the presets here are not designed to help cut a problematic frequency range in the user's song, but rather, they are specific staring points. Some creative (formants) some more practical (shelving EQ/filters).
http://www.electric-himalaya.com
VSTi and hardware synth sound design

User avatar
harryupbabble
KVRian
1238 posts since 20 Mar, 2012 from Babbleon

Re: Importance of factory presets

Post Fri Oct 19, 2018 8:50 am

I need presets. I don't trust my preset-making capabilities. Inabilities might be a better word.
Who am I to be creating my own presets and basing my "how good is this plugin" judgements on my probably sucky preset-making inabilities?

If I'm a developer I would presume that 95 percent of VST plugin users are sucky at making presets.
If I'm a developer, I would probably work with or hire preset-making specialists. Maybe most developers do that anyways. I don't know.
ah böwakawa poussé poussé

JCJR
KVRAF
2352 posts since 17 Apr, 2005 from S.E. TN

Re: Importance of factory presets

Post Fri Oct 19, 2018 11:01 am

random_id wrote:
Fri Oct 19, 2018 7:53 am
I am working on updating my EQ plugin and it feels weird to make presets, but it feels weird not to.
Maybe Telephone Midrange Bandpass and the ubiquitous Smiley Face EQ curve? Tis hard to say because "experts" would maybe mock such common things but OTOH maybe even that could be new to some younger users.

Might have presets intended to "de-muddify" electric bass or punch up electric guitar, but perhaps ineffective more often than not.

Another thing which could invite mockery, seemed nutty to me, but big companies do it so maybe it wouldn't offend the average plugin customer-- IPod and some other MP3 players and "built-in soundcard drivers" have these long lists of (to me completely useless) EQ presets, named such as "Rock", "Metal", "Classical", "Rap", "Dance", "Jazz" etc. The times I've flipped thru those silly choices, they all sounded worse than just a flat no-EQ signal. But maybe Apple and other big companies know the customers better than I do. Maybe some kid will buy your plugin just because he likes the sound of your "Rap" preset and puts it on all his productions?

User avatar
Ichad.c
KVRian
1049 posts since 8 Feb, 2012 from South - Africa

Re: Importance of factory presets

Post Mon Oct 22, 2018 8:45 am

Just make a couple broad ones just for the sake of convention, but nothing more. Anybody who loads an EQ into their DAW without knowing what they want to do frequency wise beforehand, shouldn't be using it in the 1st place, they can do as much harm as good.

User avatar
jacqueslacouth
KVRian
857 posts since 18 Nov, 2004

Re: Importance of factory presets

Post Mon Oct 22, 2018 9:13 am

Ichad.c wrote:
Mon Oct 22, 2018 8:45 am
Anybody who loads an EQ into their DAW without knowing what they want to do frequency wise beforehand, shouldn't be using it in the 1st place, they can do as much harm as good.
Seriously....why even bother????
Last edited by jacqueslacouth on Mon Oct 22, 2018 1:32 pm, edited 1 time in total.

User avatar
Ichad.c
KVRian
1049 posts since 8 Feb, 2012 from South - Africa

Re: Importance of factory presets

Post Mon Oct 22, 2018 9:52 am

jacqueslacouth wrote:
Mon Oct 22, 2018 9:13 am
Ichad.c wrote:
Mon Oct 22, 2018 8:45 am
Anybody who loads an EQ into their DAW without knowing what they want to do frequency wise beforehand, shouldn't be using it in the 1st place, they can do as much harm as good.
And how exactly will beginners learn :?:
By using their ears :?:

quikquak
KVRist
413 posts since 6 Aug, 2005 from England

Re: Importance of factory presets

Post Mon Oct 22, 2018 12:48 pm

Ichad.c wrote:
Mon Oct 22, 2018 9:52 am
jacqueslacouth wrote:
Mon Oct 22, 2018 9:13 am
Ichad.c wrote:
Mon Oct 22, 2018 8:45 am
Anybody who loads an EQ into their DAW without knowing what they want to do frequency wise beforehand, shouldn't be using it in the 1st place, they can do as much harm as good.
And how exactly will beginners learn :?:
By using their ears :?:
Beginners have ears that work :?: :!:

User avatar
jacqueslacouth
KVRian
857 posts since 18 Nov, 2004

Re: Importance of factory presets

Post Mon Oct 22, 2018 1:32 pm

Boo

sleepcircle
KVRist
354 posts since 28 Nov, 2016

Re: Importance of factory presets

Post Mon Oct 22, 2018 2:49 pm

Ichad.c wrote:
Mon Oct 22, 2018 9:52 am
By using their ears :?:

i never would've learned how to associate what my ears were telling me with the frequency numbers and bands and adjustments in question, without experimenting with an EQ and seeing what different settings did to the sound.

Return to “DSP and Plug-in Development”