To the people who physically studied sound design in school

How to make that sound...
deastman
KVRAF
7001 posts since 7 Aug, 2003 from San Francisco Bay Area

Post Wed Feb 13, 2019 7:02 pm

Patch design mostly dates back to the 80s. Once synths had patch storage and the ability to store and recall them externally via tape, cartridge, or disk, you had enterprising businesses selling patches in the backs of magazines. This really hit its stride with the DX7, since it was so obtuse.
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Shabdahbriah
KVRAF
4920 posts since 19 Jun, 2008 from Seattle

Re: To the people who physically studied sound design in school

Post Wed Feb 13, 2019 11:21 pm

deastman wrote:
Wed Feb 13, 2019 7:02 pm
Patch design mostly dates back to the 80s. Once synths had patch storage and the ability to store and recall them externally via tape, cartridge, or disk, you had enterprising businesses selling patches in the backs of magazines. This really hit its stride with the DX7, since it was so obtuse.
Yep ^^^ Keyboard Magazine, and Electronic Musician 'classifieds' DX7 patches on a floppy disc. :tu:
Perception is the ultimate "reality" ~ but not, the ultimate Truth.

Kwurqx
KVRist
209 posts since 15 Jun, 2017

Re: To the people who physically studied sound design in school

Post Thu Feb 14, 2019 8:20 am

Since we're suggesting books here...

First of all...

Simon Cann - How to Make A Noise (as found here at KVR Sound Design)
viewtopic.php?t=76293

Or...

The User manual for the Access Virus. Written for that machine off course, but very informative and usefull in general.
https://www.virus.info/page/render/lang ... us_ti.html

On Yamaha DX/SY ("FM")
Herbert Janssen - SY Programming
www.herbert-janssen.de/doc/sy-prog.pdf

And as suggested earlier:
Gordon Reid - Synth Secret's (SoundOnSound Articles) for loads of background info.

Kwurqx
KVRist
209 posts since 15 Jun, 2017

Re: To the people who physically studied sound design in school

Post Thu Feb 14, 2019 8:24 am

Very hands on "How to" tutorials.....

Music Radar - 26 essential synth tutorials
https://www.musicradar.com/tuition/tech ... als-224845

emess
KVRer
17 posts since 11 Feb, 2019

Re: To the people who physically studied sound design in school

Post Fri Feb 15, 2019 4:18 am

BONES wrote:
Wed Feb 13, 2019 6:14 pm
Believe it or not, "sound design" is a relatively recent invention. For decades people just made patches for their synths because it was basically impossible to share patches, you got what came with your instrument and anything you changed you saved in your instrument and that's where it stayed. Nobody thought of it as a specialist skill or even anything worth separating from the rest of the process. It's really only since soft synths started to sport their own preset browsers, so you could actually work with hundreds of presets, that it's become a thing in its own right. That's why I find it impossible to take someone who thinks of himself as a sound designer seriously. It's a made-up job and that's how I will always see it. That people are stupid enough to pay for banks of patches continues to bemuse me.
I agree with you on the fact that spending cash on presets for softsynths (or whatever plugin) is counter-intuitive. Spend on learning instead, or new toys if needed.

Although presets might be good starting points for some to play around and understanding the plugin, simply taking the time to test each parameter and build your own sounds will ensure that your stuff is original, that you don't rely on others' technical capabilities and that you actually know what the hell you're doing.
Last edited by emess on Fri Feb 15, 2019 4:24 am, edited 1 time in total.

emess
KVRer
17 posts since 11 Feb, 2019

Re: To the people who physically studied sound design in school

Post Fri Feb 15, 2019 4:20 am

BONES wrote:
Wed Feb 13, 2019 6:14 pm
...It's not science, it's art. You have to go with the flow, do what feels right. Don't make it technical, beyond basic knowledge of how synthesisers work and how the instrument you are programming works.
Solid advice man, thanks for this. I tend to overthink and try to "do things the right way", but it's rarely inspiring when it comes to creative work such as sound design.

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telecode
KVRist
361 posts since 24 Mar, 2015 from Toronto, Canada

Re: To the people who physically studied sound design in school

Post Fri Feb 15, 2019 5:15 am

BONES wrote:
Wed Feb 13, 2019 6:14 pm
cthonophonic wrote:
Mon Feb 11, 2019 2:04 pm
There are certainly sound design programs out there, though these are usually part of film programs, where you would get, for instance, an MFA in film production with an emphasis on sound design.

I'm not sure whether that's the kind of sound design the OP is interested in specifically, but those programs definitely exist.
Yeah, that's a very different kind of sound design to what people here think of when they hear the term. There's even an Oscar for it, I think.
emess wrote:
Tue Feb 12, 2019 4:08 am
Hey gents. I merely assumed that if you were to study sound engineering or music production at school, there would be classes on synthesis and sound design. I never meant to say a whole program oriented toward that one topic.
Believe it or not, "sound design" is a relatively recent invention. For decades people just made patches for their synths because it was basically impossible to share patches, you got what came with your instrument and anything you changed you saved in your instrument and that's where it stayed. Nobody thought of it as a specialist skill or even anything worth separating from the rest of the process. It's really only since soft synths started to sport their own preset browsers, so you could actually work with hundreds of presets, that it's become a thing in its own right. That's why I find it impossible to take someone who thinks of himself as a sound designer seriously. It's a made-up job and that's how I will always see it. That people are stupid enough to pay for banks of patches continues to bemuse me.
vurt wrote:
Tue Feb 12, 2019 5:23 am
synth sound design once you know how to make a bass, is having ideas about making that bass in to many different bass sounds.
theres no real secret beyond ideas!
This, which is why I have made it bold. It's not science, it's art. You have to go with the flow, do what feels right. Don't make it technical, beyond basic knowledge of how synthesisers work and how the instrument you are programming works.
Re: stupid enough to spend money for patches.

It really depends what you want to do, where you want to spend your time, and how much time you have.

If I were to put on my consultant hat on, I charge by the hour. Its a very simple ROI equastion. Total amount.of time spent x hourly rate. If the expectation was to come up with a composition and not unique patches, I would buy patches and only spend time working on the composition itself and bill the patches as a material cost. It's going to be a hell of a lot cheaper than me billing 100 hours making patches.
Just a keep on a goin' a forward, without a single ounce of fear
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BONES
GRRRRRRR!
7725 posts since 14 Jun, 2001 from Somewhere else, on principle

Re: To the people who physically studied sound design in school

Post Fri Feb 15, 2019 3:21 pm

I don't agree. I hate making music. If there was a button I could press that gave me a finished song that was entirely mine, I'd be the happiest man on the planet. I find the process tedious and boring to the point that sometimes I'd rather just go to the office and work there (at least they pay me). But it's a necessary part of the process so I make time and I put in the effort. The effort is important. If you don't pour your heart and soul into every part of a song, how good is the final product going to be? How much is it going to mean to you?

You are trying to reduce making music to a series of business decisions. It shouldn't matter how long it takes - our last album took seven years - what should matter is that it is precisely what you wanted it to be when it's done. As an artist, don't you want it to be a reflection of who you are? So the question becomes are you an artist who is happy to pay someone else to do the bits you don't like doing or are you the kind of artist who will do whatever it takes to get the right result?

Do you know anyone who is a serious painter (artist)? If you do, talk to them about their paint and see how much an artist puts into something that you and I would assume they just buy from an arts supply shop. I see the sounds we use to make music in the same way an artist sees their paint. I don't want it to be the same stuff everyone else is using, I want to take it to a different place of my own invention/creation. Maybe that will start from a preset but hopefully it will always end up being uniquely mine by the time a song is finished. Maybe you can use presets like a pencil sketch, to rough out your ideas before painting over them to create the finished piece, but that's as far as I'd take it.
NOVAkILL 3.0 : Acer Switch5 (Core i5, 8GB RAM, Win10), Yamaha AG06, Orion 64 bit, Roli Seaboard Rise 25, Ultranova, Rocket, Pulse 2, Analog Keys, MicroMonsta, Uno.

elassi
KVRAF
2143 posts since 8 Sep, 2009

Re: To the people who physically studied sound design in school

Post Fri Feb 15, 2019 3:40 pm

BONES wrote:
Fri Feb 15, 2019 3:21 pm
Do you know anyone who is a serious painter (artist)?
Only know the not-so-serious ones, read: non successful, and unfortunately a lot of 'em (another story).

They're a plague. Never met a musician or have read a KVR member comment that comes close to this shocking experience.

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telecode
KVRist
361 posts since 24 Mar, 2015 from Toronto, Canada

Re: To the people who physically studied sound design in school

Post Fri Feb 15, 2019 7:42 pm

BONES wrote:
Fri Feb 15, 2019 3:21 pm
I don't agree. I hate making music. If there was a button I could press that gave me a finished song that was entirely mine, I'd be the happiest man on the planet. I find the process tedious and boring to the point that sometimes I'd rather just go to the office and work there (at least they pay me). But it's a necessary part of the process so I make time and I put in the effort. The effort is important. If you don't pour your heart and soul into every part of a song, how good is the final product going to be? How much is it going to mean to you?

You are trying to reduce making music to a series of business decisions. It shouldn't matter how long it takes - our last album took seven years - what should matter is that it is precisely what you wanted it to be when it's done. As an artist, don't you want it to be a reflection of who you are? So the question becomes are you an artist who is happy to pay someone else to do the bits you don't like doing or are you the kind of artist who will do whatever it takes to get the right result?

Do you know anyone who is a serious painter (artist)? If you do, talk to them about their paint and see how much an artist puts into something that you and I would assume they just buy from an arts supply shop. I see the sounds we use to make music in the same way an artist sees their paint. I don't want it to be the same stuff everyone else is using, I want to take it to a different place of my own invention/creation. Maybe that will start from a preset but hopefully it will always end up being uniquely mine by the time a song is finished. Maybe you can use presets like a pencil sketch, to rough out your ideas before painting over them to create the finished piece, but that's as far as I'd take it.
I see where you are coming from. I like it as it's a certain view of making music that's detached from it's commercial and societal acceptance aspects. but is it "art" though? most of us on here, (at least not me) we are not really sound artists. there are actual sound "artists" that make "art" with sound. the goals of those works are completely devoid of song structure or western rhythms.

I sort of look at music making a bit like making commercials or graphic design. there is creativity involved (in many cases a great deal of specialized skill and highly sophisticated creative minds involved) but there is ultimately a commercial goal at the end result. it's not just a highly focused creative effort that results in an artistic work that just sits there somewhere in the middle of nowhere waiting to be discovered and admired by some idle passerby. in the process of making the music (aka you art) you are consciously trying to connect the final work somehow with an audience, a genre, a style, an attitude that will understand and appreciated the art. Just my own theory on it.
Just a keep on a goin' a forward, without a single ounce of fear
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vurt
addled muppet weed
41881 posts since 26 Jan, 2003 from through the looking glass

Re: To the people who physically studied sound design in school

Post Sat Feb 16, 2019 4:16 am

elassi wrote:
Fri Feb 15, 2019 3:40 pm
BONES wrote:
Fri Feb 15, 2019 3:21 pm
Do you know anyone who is a serious painter (artist)?
Only know the not-so-serious ones, read: non successful, and unfortunately a lot of 'em (another story).

They're a plague. Never met a musician or have read a KVR member comment that comes close to this shocking experience.
is bones implying he puts jizz and faecal material in his sounds?
metaphorically speaking of course...

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BONES
GRRRRRRR!
7725 posts since 14 Jun, 2001 from Somewhere else, on principle

Re: To the people who physically studied sound design in school

Post Sat Feb 16, 2019 10:17 pm

telecode wrote:
Fri Feb 15, 2019 7:42 pm
I see where you are coming from. I like it as it's a certain view of making music that's detached from it's commercial and societal acceptance aspects. but is it "art" though? most of us on here, (at least not me) we are not really sound artists. there are actual sound "artists" that make "art" with sound. the goals of those works are completely devoid of song structure or western rhythms.
I don't know about you but what I make is 100% art. It might be the shittiest art ever made but I'd rather that than it be viewed as nothing more than a commercial product.
I sort of look at music making a bit like making commercials or graphic design. there is creativity involved (in many cases a great deal of specialized skill and highly sophisticated creative minds involved) but there is ultimately a commercial goal at the end result.
Maybe for you but definitely not for me. Our last album may have spent two weeks at no. 1 on the only chart that matters to us but we are yet to make a cent from it. The likes of Beyoncé and Tay-Tay can be in it for the money but the likes of you and I have a very different reality. (You know you've made it when auto-correct adds the accent above the "'e" in your name.)

I work in broadcast and advertising so the difference for me is very obvious - at work I use my skills and creativity to create art for someone else but when it comes to music, the only person I have to please is myself. It is without compromise or commercial consideration and, as such, a much more pure representation of me and infinitely more satisfying. I have often thought that I would hate to do music for a living, knowing the amount of compromise involved in commercial art. It would be utterly soul-destroying.
in the process of making the music (aka you art) you are consciously trying to connect the final work somehow with an audience, a genre, a style, an attitude that will understand and appreciated the art. Just my own theory on it.
No, I am not. Not in any way whatsoever. We have a label that tries to do that, we just do what we do. Genres are for other people to decide, they don't affect how we go about anything. If it finds an audience, all well and good but if it didn't, that would not have the slightest effect on how I went about it the next time. What comes out is what's inside me; all the anger, all the hate, all the aggression is mine. It is not some cynical exercise designed to find an audience. I don't even know how you'd do that. Surely people would see straight through the subterfuge.
jancivil wrote:
Fri Feb 15, 2019 3:44 pm
Yeah shockingly enough there will be quite a few individuals on the planet that aren't exactly your mirror, BONES.
No kidding. Yet it surprises me that no-one is agreeing with my sentiment. Does no-one here think of music as art?
SJ_Digriz wrote:
Fri Feb 15, 2019 3:46 pm
yeah, the 100s of thousands of songs possibly millions of songs that have featured a Moog left everyone using them wishing they had a casio.
Correlation does not imply causation. Your argument is nonsensical. Not one of those songs got made or sold even one copy because it had a Moog in it. I mean, how good is a song if the fact of their being a Moog on it is its best feature? I imagine there are more songs with a Korg M1 on it but I couldn't use that fact (if it is a fact) to determine that an M1 is better than a Moog synth, could I?
NOVAkILL 3.0 : Acer Switch5 (Core i5, 8GB RAM, Win10), Yamaha AG06, Orion 64 bit, Roli Seaboard Rise 25, Ultranova, Rocket, Pulse 2, Analog Keys, MicroMonsta, Uno.

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telecode
KVRist
361 posts since 24 Mar, 2015 from Toronto, Canada

Re: To the people who physically studied sound design in school

Post Sun Feb 17, 2019 5:49 am

snipped for posterity.
BONES wrote:
Sat Feb 16, 2019 10:17 pm
I don't know about you but what I make is 100% art. It might be the shittiest art ever made but I'd rather that than it be viewed as nothing more than a commercial product.
I am one of those people that believe there is no such thing as shitty art or shitty music. It can't be judged based on how good it is because there is no measuring stick for "goodness" or "shitness" in art. There is such a thing as understanding the art and not understanding the art. And it's perfectly okay to be someone who doesn't understand a particular art and does not like it for that reason. You may be one who looks at a Jackson Pollock painting and just sees a bunch of random paint swirls or you may see nature in all its glory, organic randomness and a work of art completely free of man made shapes framed within a rectangular man made shape. The individual decides if they want to keep looking and appreciating it or just keep on walking to find something else they like to spend their time to appreciate.

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I do have a slight issue with every creatively inclined person calling everything and anything they make "art". There has to be a point at which you have to say, sorry the cool looking jewelry you make at home in your spare time really isn't art, it is really cool looking amazing jewelry that is truly unique and looks like nothing you can buy in a department store.

In musical terms, I see art in music as music that defies popular genres like pop, rock, alternative, hip-hop and is really trying to push the boundaries and constrains of what is means to listen to a song or music. There is a large movement of various electronic musicians working in microsound and minimalism which are an extension and evolution of what John Cage was doing that are making what I consider "art" in music. Its stuff that has no seemingly obvious formal song structure e.t.c. People like Miki Yui are an example and so on.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fBqVN9u ... 3B&index=9
No, I am not. Not in any way whatsoever. We have a label that tries to do that, we just do what we do. Genres are for other people to decide, they don't affect how we go about anything. If it finds an audience, all well and good but if it didn't, that would not have the slightest effect on how I went about it the next time. What comes out is what's inside me; all the anger, all the hate, all the aggression is mine. It is not some cynical exercise designed to find an audience. I don't even know how you'd do that. Surely people would see straight through the subterfuge.
I completely disagree with you on this one. I listened to a track back when you were asking on KVR whether Diva was for you or not. You are consciously making a connection to your end audience and genre while you are in the creative processes of creating your music. You may not know exactly what the end result will be, but you and your band mate and fully conscious of roughly where you want the final end result to land and who the final consumer (or fan or appreciator or whatever you want to call them) is going to be like who will listen to that music and should like it. You sure as hell aren't making music for fans of Kacey Musgraves or Drake, and you know it, right from the start, before you even put down a single drum or synth line idea into your DAW.

"So.. here we were, messing around with VSTs and effects and busy drum beats and distortion and what popped out the other end was this twangy-folkey-new-country type ditty, we don't know how it happened!??" Sorry, if doesn't work that way.

I guess the analogy is a bit like breaking for the summer when you were a teenager in high school. You know you and your friends are all going on a road trip to the beach. You don't know what's gonna happen along the way, but you do know that you are going west and there will be babes in bikini's when you get there, because if you wind up going north and wind up at the top of a mountain with a bunch of smelly sheep and shepherds, someone really f**ked up and someone is going to get beaten up. :-)
Just a keep on a goin' a forward, without a single ounce of fear
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BONES
GRRRRRRR!
7725 posts since 14 Jun, 2001 from Somewhere else, on principle

Re: To the people who physically studied sound design in school

Post Sun Feb 17, 2019 4:00 pm

telecode wrote:
Sun Feb 17, 2019 5:49 am
In musical terms, I see art in music as music that defies popular genres like pop, rock, alternative, hip-hop and is really trying to push the boundaries and constrains of what is means to listen to a song or music. There is a large movement of various electronic musicians working in microsound and minimalism which are an extension and evolution of what John Cage was doing that are making what I consider "art" in music. Its stuff that has no seemingly obvious formal song structure e.t.c. People like Miki Yui are an example and so on.
That would be the musical equivalent of Pollock's Abstract Expressionism but it's hardly the only form art can take. Look at this gallery, for example -
https://www.artgallery.nsw.gov.au/prize ... bald/2018/
The Archibald Prize is an annual portrait competition held here in Australia. As you can see, portraits come in all styles, from photo-realistic to completely out there, but it's all art.

Art is nothing more than an expression of an idea, real or imagined, through whichever medium an artist chooses. There is no right or wrong way to express yourself so there can be no right or wrong way to create art. Art certainly isn't required to push any boundaries in order to have value, as the Archibald Prize proves year after year.
You are consciously making a connection to your end audience and genre while you are in the creative processes of creating your music.
You cannot possibly know that, you are just projecting your own thought processes onto me. Trust me, I don't think the way you do.
You may not know exactly what the end result will be, but you and your band mate and fully conscious of roughly where you want the final end result to land and who the final consumer (or fan or appreciator or whatever you want to call them) is going to be like who will listen to that music and should like it.
Well, of course, we're not idiots. But that knowledge does not guide what I do in any way. If I want to do a rock song, I'll do a rock song - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Zp3ksC_aqTU. If I want to do a song that others would classify as Goth, I'll do that. I do what I want to do, not what I think anyone else expects.

Where the audience comes into it, to a degree, is in deciding which songs will actually make it onto an album but even those decisions are made from the perspective of how we want NOVAkILL to be seen by an audience, not which songs the audience will like more. i.e. It's all about us, how we want to be perceived, not how we can make people like us. As I said, I can't even imagine how that would work.
"So.. here we were, messing around with VSTs and effects and busy drum beats and distortion and what popped out the other end was this twangy-folkey-new-country type ditty, we don't know how it happened!??" Sorry, if doesn't work that way.
Of course not, for the simple reason it is a reflection of us, not of Kenny Rogers. Someone else will use exactly the same tools we do and make completely different music, the music that's in them. We take those tools and make the music that is in us. That's what makes it art.
I guess the analogy is a bit like breaking for the summer when you were a teenager in high school. You know you and your friends are all going on a road trip to the beach. You don't know what's gonna happen along the way, but you do know that you are going west and there will be babes in bikini's when you get there, because if you wind up going north and wind up at the top of a mountain with a bunch of smelly sheep and shepherds, someone really f**ked up and someone is going to get beaten up. :-)
Even that analogy is crass and shallow. If I'd gone on a road trip in high school, it would have been to get as far away from the things you describe as possible, so ending up on top of a mountain, surrounded by sheep, would have been a better result for me. (We used to go to the beach every afternoon after school, so bikini babes were a bit run of the mill.)
NOVAkILL 3.0 : Acer Switch5 (Core i5, 8GB RAM, Win10), Yamaha AG06, Orion 64 bit, Roli Seaboard Rise 25, Ultranova, Rocket, Pulse 2, Analog Keys, MicroMonsta, Uno.

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telecode
KVRist
361 posts since 24 Mar, 2015 from Toronto, Canada

Re: To the people who physically studied sound design in school

Post Sun Feb 17, 2019 5:02 pm

BONES wrote:
Sun Feb 17, 2019 4:00 pm
Even that analogy is crass and shallow. If I'd gone on a road trip in high school, it would have been to get as far away from the things you describe as possible, so ending up on top of a mountain, surrounded by sheep, would have been a better result for me. (We used to go to the beach every afternoon after school, so bikini babes were a bit run of the mill.)
Fair enough. Touche! It was a good discussion on art and music. :-)
Just a keep on a goin' a forward, without a single ounce of fear
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