No Synth For Me, But I'll Take the Presets

VST, AU, AAX, etc. plug-in Virtual Instruments discussion
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Tj Shredder
KVRAF
8232 posts since 6 Jan, 2017 from Outer Space

Post Tue Dec 06, 2022 1:26 am

I am a collector. I love to have all those different synths around. Some of them invite you to do your own sounds some have a steep learning curve. So most of my instrument collection just delivers some nice presets and is worth for that alone. I usually do not buy sound packs, but there are some exceptions.
If I want to create my own sounds and I love to do that, I stick to very few. Most prominent is the Grid, and then some with unique methods to synthesize sounds. Preferably ways to sculpt the sound without filters... Nothing against filters, but they make everything sound like a virtual analog...

n9research
KVRist
101 posts since 3 Mar, 2009 from UK

Post Tue Dec 06, 2022 3:11 am

n9research wrote: Mon Dec 05, 2022 8:15 amHaving to deconstruct some elaborate default patch to get to the most basic sound in order to save as default has, sometimes in the past, been an onerous task, and I've declined to buy some perfectly good synths for exactly that reason.
BONES wrote: Mon Dec 05, 2022 10:19 pm Do you understand how completely stupid that sounds?
No, but I'm sure you're going to explain it to me further on..
BONES wrote: Mon Dec 05, 2022 10:19 pm You're happy to make all your own patches from scratch, EXCEPT a default patch to start from, the one patch you will use more than any other.
Maybe I need to wait for this morning's coffee to take effect, but I don't really understand what you're getting at here. Is there a point hidden somewhere in this observation? I find a combination of both is usually the best way to further a conversation.

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Tj Shredder
KVRAF
8232 posts since 6 Jan, 2017 from Outer Space

Post Tue Dec 06, 2022 4:31 am

Any sound without fx can serve as init… Not to buy a synth because it doesn‘t have a simple starting point is silly… You create one, while discovering the architecture of the synth, and you got one. That is the one you call up the most if you insist on going from scratch…
There ain‘t no „from scratch“ btw. unless you start to code a synth in assembler, or create the chips of your computer by hand…
A good read is the attempt to create a toaster from scratch in the „Toaster Project“…

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zerocrossing
KVRAF
12735 posts since 26 Jun, 2006 from San Francisco Bay Area

Post Tue Dec 06, 2022 9:52 am

Tj Shredder wrote: Tue Dec 06, 2022 4:31 am Any sound without fx can serve as init… Not to buy a synth because it doesn‘t have a simple starting point is silly… You create one, while discovering the architecture of the synth, and you got one. That is the one you call up the most if you insist on going from scratch…
There ain‘t no „from scratch“ btw. unless you start to code a synth in assembler, or create the chips of your computer by hand…
A good read is the attempt to create a toaster from scratch in the „Toaster Project“…
I’m in full disagreement on that. While it’s possible to create something new from any patch, it’s often a chore to go and disable or zero out what could be a hundred parameters. Implying that you have to code a synth to “start from scratch,” is like telling a baker that they have to construct and oven and farm all their ingredients before setting out to make a cake.
Zerocrossing Media

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BONES
GRRRRRRR!
14644 posts since 14 Jun, 2001 from Somewhere else, on principle

Post Tue Dec 06, 2022 2:47 pm

n9research wrote: Tue Dec 06, 2022 3:11 amMaybe I need to wait for this morning's coffee to take effect, but I don't really understand what you're getting at here.
What you said is that you like to make all your patches from scratch but if you have to make an INIT patch yourself, it's enough to make you decide not to buy a synth.

Maybe you can explain why making an INIT patch is such an onerous task but making every other kind of patch is something you are happy to do. Is an INIT patch just too hard? Because I'd have thought it was just about the easiest patch to make and, as I said, if you are making your own patches from scratch, it's the patch you will use the most. Given that, it is impossible to see why you would be so reluctant, yet if it's not there when you demo a synth, you will be less inclined to buy that synth. It doesn't make any sense at all.
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sin night
KVRian
1443 posts since 1 Aug, 2006 from Italy

Post Tue Dec 06, 2022 3:13 pm

I prefer to have access to a full synth. I usually prefer to make my own sounds from scratch, but I don't mind using a preset if it sounds good (as long as it's not the feature of the track...). Unfortunately I always end up tweaking any preset, they end up being a sort of starting point and a "player" instrument doesn't provide me the level of control I want, I always end up wanting to change something and hitting a wall because a certain control is only avaible in the full version.

Sometimes I envy those who can just load a patch, apply some minimal tweaks, call it a day and focus their efforts on actual music making...

Tobi MM
KVRist
68 posts since 2 Jul, 2022

Post Tue Dec 06, 2022 6:01 pm

DCrown wrote: Mon Dec 05, 2022 10:31 pm An option to mark presets as fav is a must
This. At least one favorite function, if not a (at least 5-7) color tagging system.

u-he browsers are nearly perfect, on the other hand, well, massive x...

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CrystalWizard
KVRAF
1941 posts since 10 Jul, 2008 from Orbit

Post Tue Dec 06, 2022 7:40 pm

I really like to make patches and i also use presets. If i have a very distinct sound in mind i will make a preset from scratch. If i just have a general or vague idea i will surf a few presets and then often warp one completely out of shape. There are times where i will have a lazy afternoon of surfing presets and that will lead to bits and pieces of something i use in a piece, sometime with presets only minimally adjusted. I do come from a really long background of hardware with no presets.

edit: i like that treasure trove of Zebra presets and i like a lot of the AAS packs that i've gotten as holiday gifts, esp Chromaphone and SS.
Last edited by CrystalWizard on Tue Dec 06, 2022 7:49 pm, edited 1 time in total.
gadgets an gizmos...make noise https://soundcloud.com/crystalawareness
Restocked: Halloween '22

if this post is edited -it was for punctuation, grammar, or to make it coherent (or make me seem coherent).

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CrystalWizard
KVRAF
1941 posts since 10 Jul, 2008 from Orbit

Post Tue Dec 06, 2022 7:43 pm

BONES wrote: Tue Dec 06, 2022 2:47 pm
n9research wrote: Tue Dec 06, 2022 3:11 amMaybe I need to wait for this morning's coffee to take effect, but I don't really understand what you're getting at here.
What you said is that you like to make all your patches from scratch but if you have to make an INIT patch yourself, it's enough to make you decide not to buy a synth.

Maybe you can explain why making an INIT patch is such an onerous task...
My first thought was that it's easy to make one (or two or three). With the big super synth/sample players sure a few different starting points is nice?
gadgets an gizmos...make noise https://soundcloud.com/crystalawareness
Restocked: Halloween '22

if this post is edited -it was for punctuation, grammar, or to make it coherent (or make me seem coherent).

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BONES
GRRRRRRR!
14644 posts since 14 Jun, 2001 from Somewhere else, on principle

Post Tue Dec 06, 2022 8:55 pm

CrystalWizard wrote: Tue Dec 06, 2022 7:40 pm I really like to make patches and i also use presets. If i have a very distinct sound in mind i will make a preset from scratch. If i just have a general or vague idea i will surf a few presets and then often warp one completely out of shape.
I don't really work like that at all. I pretty much never have a sound in mind, beyond "bass" or "lead" or "pad". That invariably means I preview all kinds of sounds for a part, usually from several different instruments, just to see what works best. The only time I'd think to make a patch from scratch would be if it was a completely unimportant part and any old sound would do.

When I make patches it's almost always as a standalone process, most often when I first start working with a new instrument. I'll go through the available presets and tweak some into new sounds, then save them as user patches. When I am looking for a sound, those are the patches I'll go through first. Starting from an INIT patch mostly seems like a waste of time. Having good sounds in our songs matters a great deal to me, where they came from doesn't matter at all.
NOVAkILL : Asus UX8402, Core i7, 16GB RAM, Win11, EVO 8 | Studio One | GR-8, JP6K, Union, Hexeract, Olga, bx_oberhausen, TRK-01, Vacuum Pro, Concept, Thorn, Spire, Odyssey, Proclethya, SEM, VG Iron | Uno Pro.

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Uncle E
KVRAF
14038 posts since 22 Nov, 2000 from Southern California

Post Tue Dec 06, 2022 10:03 pm

ASL SoundLab makes great presets. They got me to use FM8 more.

A nice thing about Analog Lab is the integration with the Arturia keyboards.

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Teksonik
KVRAF
17650 posts since 16 Sep, 2001 from Las Vegas,USA

Post Sat Dec 10, 2022 7:05 am

BONES wrote: Mon Dec 05, 2022 10:19 pm
Teksonik wrote: Mon Dec 05, 2022 10:43 amUnless you are the greatest sound designer on the planet and none of us here are then you can always take advantage of the skills of others.
You make it sound like it's not the easiest thing in the world, when it is. When I use a preset, it's to save time, not to do anything I wouldn't be confident of being able to do myself if I could be bothered.
Sure sound design can be easy if you're making really simple patches. I know you always dismiss sound design as a skill but think about it this way....someone wants to get into synthesizers and knows absolutely nothing about synthesis. On day one are they going to know how to do a low pass filter sweep using an ADSR? It's one of the simplest patches you can make but if you don't know what a low pass filter is or what it does then you'll need to learn what it does and that process is the gathering of knowledge, skills, and experience. The same goes for more complex forms of synthesis like FM or Wavetable or Granular etc.....

There is a reason Howard Scarr is well respected as a sound designer. It's because of the skills he has gained over the years of his experience. There is a reason why he and Kevin Schroeder do sound design for major motion pictures.

Sound Design is a skill and a talent and that's why you'll often see sound designer in the credits of a movie. In that case they're not just doing saw basses, they're making the sounds of the alien spacecraft as it lands or any number of other sounds used in a film.

Suzanne Ciani gained fame in the 70's on her Buchla Modular by creating the fizz sound that a can of cola makes when it's opened.

There is a whole world of sounds out there beyond a saw bass or square lead and the more complex those sounds are the more skills and experience are needed to create them.

I always start with my own patches when looking for a sound because I know them all very well but countless times over the years I've stumbled across a patch made by someone else that fits the track better than the sound I had in my head and I have no guilt at all using a patch made by someone else, even unaltered. I've been in bands so I can take inspiration from others.

Again my point here is don't ever feel like you're "cheating" by using a preset especially when you're first starting out. It's simply taking advantage of the tools at your disposal.
None are so hopelessly enslaved as those who falsely believe they are free. Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

BBFG#
KVRAF
7053 posts since 28 Apr, 2013

Post Sat Dec 10, 2022 10:04 am

There are many that feel they're "designing" a multitude of new and interesting sounds, but never realize they're all in a very limited range of their own perceptions. So they end up having 100 plugins to produce the same 8 sounds and insist they're all radically different and special.
And they seem to post their bias the most in these threads to declare anyone not recognizing "their genius" as "less than".

With so many available, the true sound palette genius shines. And we mostly agree on who they are.

And those continuously posting how easy it is that showcase the same patches expanded to a different plugin are really just the comic relief for these threads.
I used to program, but now it's a waste of time I'd rather spend on actually playing...
Knowing how to tweak and organize is time better spent and the better use of it IMO.

vurt
addled muppet weed
98661 posts since 26 Jan, 2003 from through the looking glass

Post Sat Dec 10, 2022 11:05 am

not to upset anyone (sorry tek hug: )
i don't use presets, not because i think im better than anyone, but because i enjoy the process.
i don't even remember the last time i saved one of my own or even a song file. i like to just play around, then let it go. that session is no more!
i "might" record a two track audio if i find something worth sharing (imo).

but of course, id never judge anyone for working in a different way, as we all enjoy different parts, have different end goals and so on...

do what thou wilt...
if you don't want me to destroy you
take a leaf out of my book, turn it round and have a look...

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martiu
KVRist
412 posts since 23 Jan, 2022

Post Sat Dec 10, 2022 11:45 am

i save everything i make and like, if not save i drink and be sad
:?

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