Poll - Do you prefer to use factory presets or your custom sounds in VSTs?

VST, AU, AAX, CLAP, etc. Plugin Virtual Instruments Discussion

When using VSTs do you prefer to use presets, edit the presets, or create your own sounds?

1. I prefer to use only the plugin's presets. It saves me time and hassle.
3
2%
2. I prefer to use the plugin's presets and adjust them as needed. It saves time.
54
33%
3. I prefer to make my own sounds from scratch, with basic waveforms or INIT patches.
27
16%
4. I use a combination of both presets and my own synthesized sounds.
53
32%
5. I prefer to use/edit presets, but am considering synthesizing my own sounds from scratch too.
12
7%
6. I prefer to synthesize my own sounds, but am considering using and editing presets too.
16
10%
 
Total votes: 165

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I use both, but the ones I program are trying to get close to a preset I used on a synth I don't own now.

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I tend to roll the sounds from init for each tune I make. Occassionally loading in a preset, either my own or from someone else. The exception is Pianoteq, in which I use the factory presets with small adjustments. The simple reason being that the factory presets are pretty hard to improve upon.

This way the sound design and songwriting get mixed up into one process, which I actually have mixed feelings about. I'm quite sure that my productivity would benefit from separating these processes more. My experience, and that of other producers I trust, seem to confirm that. But the habit is now strong enough that it'd take real discipline to change.

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I will often use presets, but always tweak them. Sometimes so much that they don’t bare much resemblance to the original preset. I’m just as likely to program from an init patch, it depends on my mood. One thing that I notice I’ll do is program a bunch of presets when I first get a synth and then never use those presets for anything, but program all new ones when I start to work on a track. :lol: It’s probably my way of learning the ins and outs of a synth.
Zerocrossing Media

4th Law of Robotics: When turning evil, display a red indicator light. ~[ ●_● ]~

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zerocrossing wrote: Mon May 27, 2024 7:11 am I will often use presets, but always tweak them. Sometimes so much that they don’t bare much resemblance to the original preset. I’m just as likely to program from an init patch, it depends on my mood. One thing that I notice I’ll do is program a bunch of presets when I first get a synth and then never use those presets for anything, but program all new ones when I start to work on a track. :lol: It’s probably my way of learning the ins and outs of a synth.
I also like to do presets in order to play around with a new synth... Generally with types of sound I am used to in order to compare workflows. Then I try to add a twist specific to the synth... And then forget about these presets. Except with Twin 3 where I created a song I so loved that I build a whole song about it lol...

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With synthesizers I almost always go from an initialized sound. I'd rather spend time making sounds than spend time scrolling through presets. This is just how I got used to making music. I don't have many strong feelings one way or another about presets although I have, a few times, heard a completely unmodified preset on an album by artists I really like used very up front and it did give me an icky feeling.
Don't F**K with Mr. Zero.

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I usually find a preset close to what I'm looking for then edit it. I also make patches from the ground up too

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Ah_Dziz wrote: Mon May 27, 2024 10:12 am With synthesizers I almost always go from an initialized sound. I'd rather spend time making sounds than spend time scrolling through presets.
Worth reiterating this. While I will do a cursory scroll through presets when I install a new synth, assessing an entire bank is just mind numbingly boring and I usually give up almost instantly. For the majority of my synths, I've probably listened to 10% of the presets. So who knows, maybe I'd be a total preset whore if I had the attention span to actually listen to them all 😀

Otoh, if I buy a bank, I will go through most of them and favourite them, etc but even that bores the hell out of me. But I would have tens of thousands of presets that will never grace my ear canals. A few seconds per preset times many many thousands is just time I don't have.

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Especially when testing a synth on a time-limited trial before purchasing, I find factory and pro presets invaluable to evaluate a synth's strengths and range. Pro presets, in particular, can often bring out features and combinations of settings that one might otherwise overlook. Generally, the more familiar I get with a synth, the more I focus on rolling my own.

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I do a lot of original patches but as time passes i will more often use presets and modifry them. Sometimes to the point of changing everything. Waaay back i made all my patches from scratch as there was no patch memory.
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if this post is edited -it was for punctuation, grammar, or to make it coherent (or make me seem coherent).

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del

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noiseboyuk wrote: Sun May 26, 2024 3:41 am Good poll though. As I type it's 22 / 8 from those who use presets to some degree to those who think that is ideologically impure.
i dont think its ideologically impure to use presets, but i was one of those 8.
i just enjoy making my own sounds, its all part of the fun for me.

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vurt wrote: Tue May 28, 2024 11:40 am
noiseboyuk wrote: Sun May 26, 2024 3:41 am Good poll though. As I type it's 22 / 8 from those who use presets to some degree to those who think that is ideologically impure.
i dont think its ideologically impure to use presets, but i was one of those 8.
i just enjoy making my own sounds, its all part of the fun for me.
you just sample youtube videos and then you use paulstretch and call it a patch in your tal sampler :?
aliasing plugin owner
:?

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martiu wrote: Tue May 28, 2024 12:06 pm
vurt wrote: Tue May 28, 2024 11:40 am
noiseboyuk wrote: Sun May 26, 2024 3:41 am Good poll though. As I type it's 22 / 8 from those who use presets to some degree to those who think that is ideologically impure.
i dont think its ideologically impure to use presets, but i was one of those 8.
i just enjoy making my own sounds, its all part of the fun for me.
you just sample youtube videos and then you use paulstretch and call it a patch in your tal sampler :?
thats not true at all!
i dont use tal sampler.

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it is a good sampler :hug:
aliasing plugin owner
:?

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Whoa! :o So many great, insightful responses in just a few short days! :D

Thank you to everyone who shared their input so far. I could understand how creating sounds from scratch is better for having your own unique sound and style for your music. But I also enjoy how presets can spark ideas, and help with finding a suitable sound quickly.

I am not going to stop using presets and editing them to my liking. I still look forward to synthesizing and finding my unique sound. I just know it's going to take a while, though. It just means I need to play around more with sound synthesis. Maybe the more I play, the faster I may find that sound.

Thank you again to everyone who voted and/or posted a reply so far! :tu:
My new dream is to create a video game and its music before I die or before the world ends.
Retrowave | Lo-fi | Video Game Music :wink:

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