Author Topic: Soft Synths....What do you like?  (Read 9112 times)

Altus

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Re: Soft Synths....What do you like?
« Reply #20 on: July 22, 2012, 06:58:58 AM »
What Im noticing as I demo the software discussed here is that some of the best have a tendency too take away a certain amount of the joys of layering sounds that is so crucial to ambient music.  I say take away because these virtual instruments do it for you in the most seductive manner.
This was a concern I heard voiced from a few artists when Omnisphere was released. I would say a quarter of the sound/sample sources in that library are too complex to use in useful manner. Most of these complex sounds contain built-in chord structures that severely limit their usefulness.
But the best part of excellent pre-made patches (built from simple and layer-able sound sources) is to deconstruct and learn from them.  :)
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El culto

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Re: Soft Synths....What do you like?
« Reply #21 on: July 22, 2012, 10:16:27 AM »
Hi Julio,

first of all I have to say Iīm not a fan of this fashion synths (Omnisphere, Alchemy) as there is a huge risk of sounding similar to others. Remember, if you like a Patch, 100xxx others may like it as well, especially if it is a workstation like Omnisphere :-) ( I remember this issue with Atmosphere - cannot count the releases using almost the same Sounds or Presets....terrible). For this reason, I always look for synths which arenīt hyped in the market. I can highly recommend "Chronox" by Linplug. You can use your own samples but has also a great library. It includes now the complete content of "Sophistry" which was before released as a separate Plugin, specialized for Ambient/Space. For my ears the sound quality is superb and it is very easy to use and tweak.

A lot of people may not know this Synth and you may ask why! There was an interview a while ago with the header and they ask him the same question. He answered something like this:

"we are not searching for the people like other competitive players do. Our interest is, people finding us and our products for the right reason" 

Have to say, I like this approach very much 8)

Cheers,
Tomas

Julio Di Benedetto

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Re: Soft Synths....What do you like?
« Reply #22 on: July 23, 2012, 08:01:33 AM »
But the best part of excellent pre-made patches (built from simple and layer-able sound sources) is to deconstruct and learn from them.  :)

Good perspective to have Mike.....one can learn a great deal from master programmers like those over at spectrasonics.  On the other side it does inspires me to be a better programmer and start to think out side the box more, especially when I realized that quite often the source used for the samples are synths that one may actually own, or take your field recorder out for a walk and get creative. 

Hi Julio,

first of all I have to say Iīm not a fan of this fashion synths (Omnisphere, Alchemy) as there is a huge risk of sounding similar to others. Remember, if you like a Patch, 100xxx others may like it as well, especially if it is a workstation like Omnisphere :-) ( I remember this issue with Atmosphere - cannot count the releases using almost the same Sounds or Presets....terrible).

Thanks for joining in Tomas......this has always been a concern about presets and great presets like those in omnisphere..... sameness.   listeners who generally are not musicians probably can not identify a sound as an omnisphere patch, however there is still a risk of music having a homogenous feel to it.  Historically this was true with hardware synths like the Korg Wavestation & the Roland D50 who's sound was everywhere in film scores etc.....did the general public know this?

I will check out the Linplug synth.....I have heard of Rob Papins Albino synth. 

APK

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Re: Soft Synths....What do you like?
« Reply #23 on: July 23, 2012, 08:10:38 AM »
Reminds me of the problem with a piano .... not enough presets, and people all start sounding the same  ;)
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El culto

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Re: Soft Synths....What do you like?
« Reply #24 on: July 23, 2012, 11:28:17 AM »
Quote from: Julio Di Benedetto

Thanks for joining in Tomas......this has always been a concern about presets and great presets like those in omnisphere..... sameness.   listeners who generally are not musicians probably can not identify a sound as an omnisphere patch, however there is still a risk of music having a homogenous feel to it.  Historically this was true with hardware synths like the Korg Wavestation & the Roland D50 who's sound was everywhere in film scores etc.....did the general public know this?

I will check out the Linplug synth.....I have heard of Rob Papins Albino synth.

Yep, this issue isnīt new :-) For the public issue - I believe in the old times it didnīt matter so much as there was not so much music spreading. But today people have Youtube an access to samples to almost each new release. Also the customer in today is much more advanced and concerned in this matter because of too much music around. By this, people comparing much more than ever before. Another point are the labels - the people behind are in most cases musicians or producers as well and they know the tools. So, for artists just using just one or several patches as they are or mainly one of the fashion synths to make an album it might have difficulties to find a "respected" label in a specific genre.

Cheers,
Tomas

El culto

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Re: Soft Synths....What do you like?
« Reply #25 on: July 23, 2012, 11:35:02 AM »
Reminds me of the problem with a piano .... not enough presets, and people all start sounding the same  ;)

Your example doesnīt work ;) By its nature (apart from some string manipulations) a piano has always the same sound. It is restricted in sound by purpose and the mechanic.

So, what about a Synth or Workstation?  ;D

petekelly

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Re: Soft Synths....What do you like?
« Reply #26 on: July 23, 2012, 01:20:51 PM »
Julio,

I think Wusikstation is an interesting one, not terribly easy going (regarding the installation of /  figuring out what it can do) but it's quite unique.
The library that comes with it is absolutely huge - not in terms of size, but in the number of presets and I've had to do some heavy duty 'pruning'. For me, the most interesting sounds are the wave sequencing ones where you can start with your own sounds.

Slightly off-topic, but I've just bought a really interesting sample library, Orange Tree Sample's 'Lap Steel Guitar'
http://www.orangetreesamples.com/lap-steel-guitar
still getting my head around it, but possible (unusual !) ambient usage, methinks.

APK, same with a Strat, just 3 (or 5) 'presets', what were they thinking ? :)

Pete

APK

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Re: Soft Synths....What do you like?
« Reply #27 on: July 23, 2012, 01:30:16 PM »

APK, same with a Strat, just 3 (or 5) 'presets', what were they thinking ? :)


 :)
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APK

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Re: Soft Synths....What do you like?
« Reply #28 on: July 23, 2012, 01:34:17 PM »
Remember when the rom in a synth was just a small fraction of what it is now, and a rompler used just the attack portion of a sound, then envelopes and lfo's to create the patch?

Now rom/ram is not a problem and romplers have essentially become samplers that use huge samples. So even when you get back to the samples a preset is made from they can still be overly rich and distinctive.

On the other hand, synths like Omnisphere are great for getting non-musicians/players into the business of creating music. Not necessarily a bad thing.

I find it's nice to just use a good subtractive synth now and then, rather than these big-sample-based-pre-made-music monsters.

APK
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hdibrell

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Re: Soft Synths....What do you like?
« Reply #29 on: July 23, 2012, 04:34:40 PM »

I find it's nice to just use a good subtractive synth now and then, rather than these big-sample-based-pre-made-music monsters.

APK
I agree. I enjoy playing around with soft synths, but nothing gets me going like grabbing and twisting the knobs of a subtractive synth and making the hair on the back of my neck stand up.  8)
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petekelly

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Re: Soft Synths....What do you like?
« Reply #30 on: July 24, 2012, 07:06:42 AM »
I deleted a lot of the Wusikstation presets as they just seemed to be pre-made sounds in their own right, with no real means of manipulating them. I don't work that way, so they were of no interest to me.
I've never tried Omnisphere, but I find it bizarre when a synth is marketed as an 'ambient synth', as if we musicians don't have the imaginations to make ambient sounds from anything and everything (within reason) ! 

Time to revisit the ACE demo, methinks.

Altus

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Re: Soft Synths....What do you like?
« Reply #31 on: July 24, 2012, 04:08:50 PM »
I've never tried Omnisphere, but I find it bizarre when a synth is marketed as an 'ambient synth'...
To clear up any confusion, Omnisphere is definitely not an 'ambient synth'. It's a diverse library, and the sounds you can make with it cover a lot of ground.

Judging from the posts here (and I could be reading you guys wrong so tell me if I'm off base) but I sense a tad bit of elitism that personally drives me crazy. It's not just here, but on other forums as well.
Whether you use hardware or software, it really doesn't matter. Judge an artist by their tools, and you're missing out. Because that's what they are: TOOLS!

It's how you one uses those tools that make all the difference.

Sorry for the vent... straw that broke the camel's back and all that.  ::)
Mike Carss -- Altus : aural journeys for the mind's eye
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Julio Di Benedetto

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Re: Soft Synths....What do you like?
« Reply #32 on: July 24, 2012, 05:55:45 PM »
Reminds me of the problem with a piano .... not enough presets, and people all start sounding the same  ;)

Well said Anthony ;D......mind you we can't be far from having "The Steinway Artist Series: The Glen Gould Presets, with Humming" ::)

I think Wusikstation is an interesting one, not terribly easy going (regarding the installation of /  figuring out what it can do) but it's quite unique.

Does indeed look interesting Pete.....I see a mac version is coming out.

These past few days Ive been really enjoying NI's Massive demo.   Sort of overlooked it because of its name thinking it would be all about being Massive and analog emulating, Well it can be but its so much more.  I really like the sound, interface & drag and drop modulation.


I find it's nice to just use a good subtractive synth now and then, rather than these big-sample-based-pre-made-music monsters.

APK
I agree. I enjoy playing around with soft synths, but nothing gets me going like grabbing and twisting the knobs of a subtractive synth and making the hair on the back of my neck stand up.  8)

Absolutely......however the one environment that is a beautiful combination of software & hardware is the Virus TI.  I feel I can get much deep into the synth via the software gui than the hardware interface, that is until the Virus starts messing up my audio AD/DA interface and taking over core audio et el.....but all this is another story.

hdibrell

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Re: Soft Synths....What do you like?
« Reply #33 on: July 24, 2012, 09:16:09 PM »
I've never tried Omnisphere, but I find it bizarre when a synth is marketed as an 'ambient synth'...

Judging from the posts here (and I could be reading you guys wrong so tell me if I'm off base) but I sense a tad bit of elitism that personally drives me crazy. It's not just here, but on other forums as well.
Whether you use hardware or software, it really doesn't matter. Judge an artist by their tools, and you're missing out. Because that's what they are: TOOLS!

It's how you one uses those tools that make all the difference.

Sorry for the vent... straw that broke the camel's back and all that.  ::)
I hope I'm not the one that gave you that impression. I like soft synths . I play with them a lot. I do have a preference for my hardware synths, though. Every year , I think about selling off more of my synths. They are a pain in the ass to maintain and they take up room. I don't judge an artist by what tools they use. I do enjoy reading about the tools, however. If nothing else, artists that use different tools are releasing works. I'm just sitting around making noises and dreaming about my future releases. I don't think I'm elitist, so please keep up the good work.
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petekelly

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Re: Soft Synths....What do you like?
« Reply #34 on: July 25, 2012, 02:24:11 AM »
Mike,

I didn't mean to say that Omnisphere is an 'ambient synth', as I said, I've never tried it. However, they are a number of synths out there that are termed as such and an awful lot of libraries, loops etc. that are described as 'ambient'. My point was that I choose to make my own sounds and I find it to be one of the most stimulating elements of ambient. When I was studying, I was exposed to electroacoustic music techniques and a big part of that is the sound design element, it's an 'anti-preset' music if there ever was one. I took this from the genre as it was probably the only thing that resonated with me in the whole 'eam' thing.

On the tools point, I flippantly referred to the Strat as only having three sounds - but it has a massive potential to use all manner of playing techniques to create anew these basic 'presets'. Saying that though, I've heard some synth presets that do sound great, but you know that because they have such instant appeal, they may well be used considerably - unmodified.

No problem with the 'venting', it's good to see more discussion hereabouts !

Altus

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Re: Soft Synths....What do you like?
« Reply #35 on: July 25, 2012, 04:18:21 AM »
Heh, thanks for taking my spaziness with a grain of salt. It wasn't aimed at anyone in particular. I'll admit I was in a 'mood' yesterday evening and sort of regret the tone in my post. In saying that, it's still something that really bugs me.

I seldom let people know the tools I use to a make music, simply because I know some people would judge me by the tools I use, rather than the music I produce from said tools.
These same people generally don't give netlabel/free music a chance simply because they believe it to be somehow inferior to a paid product... and I think we can all agree: just because you paid for it, doesn't mean you're getting quality music.  ;)

And then those who will only listen to music on CD. Download only is somehow the devil...
Like I said: elitism. It drives me crazy! Aughh!  :P

Ok, sorry... I'm getting all worked up again. And off-topic. I'll stop now. I swear! ;D
Mike Carss -- Altus : aural journeys for the mind's eye
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ffcal

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Re: Soft Synths....What do you like?
« Reply #36 on: July 25, 2012, 11:03:01 AM »
Interesting discussion here.  I just wanted to add that learning about how an electronic sound is put together has been a lot more fulfilling to me than simply using out-of-the-box presets.  I don’t see anything particularly elitist about learning to create sounds on your own.  It makes about as much sense to me as arguing against even a quasi-formal study of music and composition.  Why discourage learning?

Also, I  prefer CDs to downloads, too---sorry!

Forrest

El culto

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Re: Soft Synths....What do you like?
« Reply #37 on: July 25, 2012, 11:37:22 AM »
Quote from: Altus
These same people generally don't give netlabel/free music a chance simply because they believe it to be somehow inferior to a paid product... and I think we can all agree: just because you paid for it, doesn't mean you're getting quality music.  ;)

I read this statement several times and still think it is a weird comment.

If i buy a CD or Download iīm sure I will get quality music as i have selected my purchase. What is otherwise the point to buy it? Purchasing just because of too much money?

Cheers,
Tomas

APK

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Re: Soft Synths....What do you like?
« Reply #38 on: July 25, 2012, 12:37:08 PM »
Like Tomas, I'm for buying really good music. CD or MP3 of high quality ... makes no difference.

I think the vast majority of finished pieces of music (especially in our broad genre) could be turned into 320kbs mp3, then back from that into wav file and put on a CD and no one would be the wiser. A lot of people sail under the belief that there is something special and inviolably pristine about the products artists turn out in their so-called "studios", such that something very important would be lost if it's converted to a downloadable format other than flac. (Heck, I've even head people complain abut flac !)  It's like thinking a single brushstroke can't be changed on a painting without ruining the whole work. Kinda misguided if you know how these things are actually produced.

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Altus

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Re: Soft Synths....What do you like?
« Reply #39 on: July 25, 2012, 05:39:45 PM »
I don’t see anything particularly elitist about learning to create sounds on your own.
You misunderstood my incoherent babbling. ;) I have a deep appreciation for those who enjoy the art of making sound, especially from scratch (Saul Stokes comes to mind). I'm talking about listeners who don't give music a chance simply because an artist uses software (VSTs and softsynths) instead of hardware (synths, outboard effects, etc) to create their music.

Also, I  prefer CDs to downloads, too---sorry!
So do I, but that's doesn't stop me from enjoying music released through netlabels (which is download only). I'm talking about those who turn their nose up at free music because they assume it's all crap.

I read this statement several times and still think it is a weird comment.
You're right. What I meant was to say was:
Just because you can pay for it, doesn't mean you're getting quality music.

I hope that clears things up on what I'm trying to say. Again, this isn't an attack on anyone, just general venting.
Mike Carss -- Altus : aural journeys for the mind's eye
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