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Thread: Synthesizers (and other pro audio stuff)

  1. #301
    Member
    Registered: Nov 2003
    Location: The Plateaux Of Mirror
    I kinda hate the T5 presets, but I think that's a problem with every modern synth I've used/owned other than maybe the Monologue (because that has some badass AFX sequences on it). Modern presets seem to be all about showing off what the sound engine can do, which makes sense, but they're not sounds that I'd ever use in an actual piece of music. One thing I like about the old Prophet 5 or OB-X presets (or the factory presets on my Matrix 6) is that they're pretty basic sounds that can either be used as-is or as starting points for something else, and generally show off the raw tonal character of the synth. My Matrix 6 has presets like "Piano" or "Strings 2" or "Warm Pad" and they're relatively simple sounds that you can write music with or use as a jumping off point for something more complex (and they were invaluable when I was playing 80's cover songs every week back in the day). The Juno 60/106 were like that too. Now you buy a synth like the DeepMind, and the presets are basically "press 1 key to EDM and/or Eno".

  2. #302
    verbose douchebag
    Registered: Apr 2002
    Location: Lyon, France
    The Prophet 6 has pretty uninspiring presets too.
    I don't much care about that though as I tend to make sounds when I am writing.
    That said, the recreated P5 presets are included in the P6.

  3. #303
    Member
    Registered: Jul 2002
    Location: Edmonton
    I only kept a handful of presets from the Minilogue. A lot of them had interesting sequences that made the synth sound better than it normally would because they programmed notes outside of the keyboard range. But yeah, useful for showing off the sound engine; not so much for actual music-making. The sample packs they released had a few good presets, mostly e-piano-type stuff. And I did buy this guy's sample pack, which I don't regret. He has an ability to make the Minilogue sound uncannily good, and most of his presets are just simple sounds with very careful modulation:



    And who could forget this gem:

    Last edited by Aja; 6th Oct 2021 at 16:24. Reason: added the brass video

  4. #304
    Member
    Registered: Nov 2003
    Location: The Plateaux Of Mirror
    Oh yeah, that guy's Minilogue presets are +++. His Sledge videos almost make me want to get one.

    As a rule I don't use presets, but if I were going to I'd definitely grab those.

  5. #305
    verbose douchebag
    Registered: Apr 2002
    Location: Lyon, France
    I bought a preset pack for the P6, but don't really use them at all. Even my own sounds rarely get used outside of the context of initially making them. 9 times out of 10, I make a sound for the part I'm writing as I'm writing it and that sound rarely gets used anywhere else. Not sure if that's how most people operate though.

  6. #306
    Moderator
    Registered: Jan 2003
    Location: NeoTokyo
    I thought y'all might be interested in Loopop's contest if you haven't heard about it already.
    - Video description
    - Contest rules

    Basically: 1. Use only his sample pack (taken from a lot of the Superbooth synths). 2. Make a YouTube video with a track >90s and in the 3 min. range and describing how you made the track. 3. Comment to his video with the url to your video, and tag @loopop in your video description. 4. ??? 5. Profit!

    He contacted some synth companies and a good number of them agreed to send their products as prizes. So that's a good reason to join the contest by itself. And it's something fun to do. Deadline is Oct. 24.

    Well, do with this information what you will.
    Last edited by demagogue; 9th Oct 2021 at 07:06.

  7. #307
    Member
    Registered: Jul 2002
    Location: Edmonton
    Still trying to convince myself to buy a Take 5, but I haven't got there. One thing I've learned from buying a decent number of synths is that if the demos don't sound like you hope but you imagine that in your own hands it'll be different, be wary. Not that it can't work, but it'll definitely be more work. It's gotta have that spark. Anyway, I think what I really want is an OB-6. When I listen to it, it just feels right, but I can't afford one, so I guess I'll just dream about it and start saving.

  8. #308
    verbose douchebag
    Registered: Apr 2002
    Location: Lyon, France
    Sell some fancy woodwork

  9. #309
    Member
    Registered: Jul 2002
    Location: Edmonton
    Yeah, or some ambient cassettes!

  10. #310
    Member
    Registered: Nov 2003
    Location: The Plateaux Of Mirror
    Is it going to add something to your creative palette that you don't get from your Minilogue and/or piles of modular?

  11. #311
    Member
    Registered: Jul 2002
    Location: Edmonton
    Two extra voices and a weightier sound, mainly. And a much better keybed. If I tried, though, I could probably get the minilogue to sound close to the OB-6, especially with some external EQ and compression. As for the modular, well, Iím starting to think of it more as a toy than a productive tool. Itís fun to play with and easy to waste so much time (enjoyable time!) but I rarely get results that I actually want to use in a release (and for me the phrase ďone take, no editsĒ is almost an immediate pass).

  12. #312
    Moderator
    Registered: Jan 2003
    Location: NeoTokyo
    Sort of on topic, Ricky Tinez dropped a video recently on this topic of spending more time developing what you've got then spinning your wheels looking for new ways to make sounds.

    Whenever I visit the synth shop here, the two synths I always play with, and keep playing with for a long while, are the Minilogue & the Prophet 12. The Minilogue just shouts out at to you from across the room to be played with, and it doesn't let you go especially when you start playing with the modulation of what are ultimately pretty simple sounds, like you're saying.

    The Prophet 12 is harder to explain maybe. It's more byzantine, but it does have a lot of knobs, when it sounds good it sounds really good, & I treat it like some kind of riddle to be solved.

    Lately I've also been getting back to playing with the Plasmonic (soft synth) with my workhorse keyboard. It's specifically made for making patches that you modulate in performance as part of the patch itself. I mean any good synth lets you set up performance modulation, but it's like the central design focus here. You're making these patches from the perspective of modulating them as part of the performance, like in addition to playing the notes, you're "playing" a spectrum in timbre or resonance, and then you're thinking about that when you're making the patch. I'm really digging it.

  13. #313
    Member
    Registered: Nov 2003
    Location: The Plateaux Of Mirror
    Quote Originally Posted by Aja View Post
    As for the modular, well, I’m starting to think of it more as a toy than a productive tool. It’s fun to play with and easy to waste so much time (enjoyable time!) but I rarely get results that I actually want to use in a release (and for me the phrase “one take, no edits” is almost an immediate pass).
    That's funny because I'm basically the exact opposite. I have tons of keyboards and I love patching them and playing them for my own enjoyment, but if I want to actually create anything interesting I pull out the modular/semi-modular stuff. I pretty much hate every aspect of music making that doesn't involve rehearsing/playing with good musicians or going on sound/compositional exploratory journeys.

  14. #314
    Member
    Registered: Jul 2002
    Location: Edmonton
    I havenít watched the Ricky Tinez video, but what dema said resonates (lol) for me. I have more than enough gear to make the kind of music I want, yet time and time again I buy something new in the hope that it will finally be the thing that kickstarts me into being productive. And of course it never does because the real problem isnít lack of gear; itís lack of skill and dedication and discipline. As a musician Iíve spent so much time coasting on skills that I developed years ago rather than practising and studying and pushing myself to do better. Not saying everyone should do that, but in my case I do because Iím often not able to realize what I imagine my music should be.

    Now that I think about it, thatís true of modular, too. Itís easy to mess around with it, but the people who make the best music with it are the ones with a more innate understanding of how to get the results they want, and you get that from practise.

    The other day I tried to follow along with a youtube tutorial on how to play piano with a groove and was shocked at how uncoordinated I was. My taste in music has certainly exceeded my ability at this point, and I want to work on that.

  15. #315
    Member
    Registered: Nov 2003
    Location: The Plateaux Of Mirror

  16. #316
    Member
    Registered: Jul 2002
    Location: Edmonton
    But maybe a nice reverb pedal would???

    Instead of the Take 5 I'm now looking at a Strymon Night Sky/Volante combo. I've been wanting a good hardware reverb for a while but I always convince myself in the end I don't need it. But it will make all the synths I already have sound great and let me stop working so much with plugins, which might lead to productivity! Who knows?

  17. #317
    verbose douchebag
    Registered: Apr 2002
    Location: Lyon, France
    Have you considered FX aid for your modular?

  18. #318
    Member
    Registered: Jul 2002
    Location: Edmonton
    Yes, but I don't like the form factor; too many functions that change with every algorithm and no screen to tell you what they are, plus it's a cramped layout. Give me fewer modules and more space to use them any day. Plus, I love Mimeophon. It's just not designed for line-level signals (it gets noisy), and I generally don't enjoy having to fuss with all the cables and preamps/attenuators necessary to interface modular with everything else. Then again, Morphagene and Mimeophon combined are probably the most interesting effects I have, so maybe this is a problem I should finally solve. Maybe an input module with quarter-inch jacks and a strong preamp. I'm always tempted to put them in a little 4MS pod and treat them like a pedal, but what stops me is knowing that they work best with all the other modulation sources in the rack. Well, I'm just rambling now.

  19. #319
    verbose douchebag
    Registered: Apr 2002
    Location: Lyon, France
    I use expert sleepers ES3 & ES6 into my Scarlett 18i20 and just use my modular as an external effect in ableton - works fine and also lets me basically extend my modular setup into VCV rack / Softube modular pretty seamlessly.

  20. #320
    Moderator
    Registered: Jan 2003
    Location: NeoTokyo
    The little mini ARP 2600M that Korg is releasing looks fun: Bobeats' review, Loopop's review, Alex Ball's review & demos

    Aside from the fact it's a classic, the scene has come so full circle that it looks fresh. With so many synths coming out having some kind of gimmick, it's nice to see almost everything you could want on one surface, with sliders & patch sockets for almost everything. So it's fun to patch & to play. It's pricey, more than these massive workstation keyboards I've been looking at, although still well under the Summit. And it's really great for productions like this...

    Last edited by demagogue; 14th Nov 2021 at 00:43.

  21. #321
    Member
    Registered: Nov 2003
    Location: The Plateaux Of Mirror
    The 2600 might be my #1 bucketlist synth of all-time (other than the Minimoog, but that's more of a nostalgia/emotional thing). I pre-ordered the 2600FS the day they were announced and still ended up not getting the order in early enough. Definitely grabbing one of these when I'm able to. It's not even the sound (although to my ears, this thing sounds way more alive and authentic than the Bohringer one) or the Depeche Mode nostalgia, I just want one for the pure utilitarianism of it. It's basically a box full of the modules I'd want if I were putting together a bread-and-butter core eurorack system. It'll give my Keystep a reason for existing too, since it will work with the USB host port on the 2600M for power and midi.

  22. #322
    Member
    Registered: Nov 2003
    Location: The Plateaux Of Mirror

  23. #323
    verbose douchebag
    Registered: Apr 2002
    Location: Lyon, France
    The first blast on that Freeman is so good.

  24. #324
    Member
    Registered: Jul 2002
    Location: Edmonton
    Posting in this thread so I don't have to see Kyle Rittenhouse on the main page for a moment.

    Animoog Z is out for iOS/MacOS. The original Animoog is an excellent-sounding software synth although it was fiddly to program and a lot of the wavetables they included were overly metallic. The new version seems similar but streamlines the interface, adds more modulation and effects, and based on the demo, at least, seems to focus more on meatier, classic-synth-type sounds. I still haven't quite figured out a great use for scanning wavetables along an orbit that you draw by hand, but maybe I could get some good drones out of it. Suzanne seems to get it:


  25. #325
    Member
    Registered: Nov 2003
    Location: The Plateaux Of Mirror
    In theory wavetables are supposed to be great for adding timbral motion to things. In my experience they mostly just sound like noise reduction artifacts until you filter them, and then you basically end up with something you could do on any reasonably featured analog subtractive synth. The one thing I find them really useful for, and one of the reasons I love the Pro 3, is as an audio rate modulation source for an analog VCO. Or as an irregularly shaped, morphable LFO.

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