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Old 05-11-2009, 04:24 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by mr dave View Post
yeah i was taking it on the wrong level with my example. but the idea of tweaking the patches themselves is right. if you leave them at their default settings everyone whose messed around with that piece of software is going to recognize it. don't get me wrong, presets are great and all but if someone else happens to have a hit using that same preset get ready to hear 'oh, you used the same sound as song X' a lot haha.
It's mostly snobbery involved if someone is going to get bent out of shape because someone used a factory patch from a synth. If I'm looking for a Reece or Hoover sound, yea I can build one, or I can use a patch that already produces the sound I'm looking for. The end result is the same.
Complaining about that while overlooking the fact that a lot of people use Reece and Hoover basslines in, for example, electronic music, is contradictory at best.
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Old 05-11-2009, 04:45 PM   #12 (permalink)
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yeah but i'm thinking more in terms of bands that incorporate synths into rock music. would you use the same sound as the eurythmics did on 'sweet dreams' and not expect everyone to go 'oh. that sound'.

it's not so much that people get bent out of shape as much as a different view on why people play synths. with my circle of friends it was always about being able to create a new and unique sound. it's not to say they never used presets but when they did it was only a base element and then modified to become a relatively unique sound.

basically, is the synth being used as a sound effect generator or an instrument? if it's just going to able subtleties to the background then who cares what preset or patch you use. if you're going to be doing lead work, then i think it's a safe expectation to have synth playing peers tear it apart if it's cliche.

like the example you provided earlier about certain classic guitar / amp / effect combos to get the same 'sound' as an idol. when you see a strat a wah and a marshall on a stage do you think 'oh sweet! something fresh and unique!' or just kind of roll your eyes at yet another wannabe hendrix when they inevitably kick into some e minor pentatonic blues licks. while the average fan usually doesn't notice, pretty much ALL the guitar players do. why would synth players be any different?
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Old 05-11-2009, 09:18 PM   #13 (permalink)
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yeah but i'm thinking more in terms of bands that incorporate synths into rock music. would you use the same sound as the eurythmics did on 'sweet dreams' and not expect everyone to go 'oh. that sound'.

it's not so much that people get bent out of shape as much as a different view on why people play synths. with my circle of friends it was always about being able to create a new and unique sound. it's not to say they never used presets but when they did it was only a base element and then modified to become a relatively unique sound.

basically, is the synth being used as a sound effect generator or an instrument? if it's just going to able subtleties to the background then who cares what preset or patch you use. if you're going to be doing lead work, then i think it's a safe expectation to have synth playing peers tear it apart if it's cliche.

like the example you provided earlier about certain classic guitar / amp / effect combos to get the same 'sound' as an idol. when you see a strat a wah and a marshall on a stage do you think 'oh sweet! something fresh and unique!' or just kind of roll your eyes at yet another wannabe hendrix when they inevitably kick into some e minor pentatonic blues licks. while the average fan usually doesn't notice, pretty much ALL the guitar players do. why would synth players be any different?
I guess it really depends on the perspective.
I don't pass off musicians as wannabe's if they're using a known tone as long as it's being used creatively and in context with the music they're playing.
Music itself can be fresh and unique while using creative combinations of standard tones. It is not a requirement that all sounds involved must be new and unheard in order for the music, as a whole, to be fresh.
If you're going to discount a musician for using the same setup as Hendrix or whoever, then you may as well go ahead and discount anyone who uses distortion, reverb, delay, wah, etc. in any particular series.
What I'm talking about is not the same thing as a musician PLAYING like Hendrix AND using his tones. There's a huge difference.

Anyway, if you're referring to rock bands that incorporate synths in their music, I challenge you to point out a synth being used that isn't a standard configuration in basic synthesis. If some synth snob ragged on me for using a square saw running through comb filters and distortion, I'd have to laugh at his ignorance.

It's not only the sound itself, it's also how you use it.
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Old 05-12-2009, 01:31 AM   #14 (permalink)
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If some synth snob ragged on me for using a square saw running through comb filters and distortion, I'd have to laugh at his ignorance.
but a square wave generator being run through filters and an effect is pretty much as far removed from a preset as possible, no? it's not quite as simple as hitting F27 on my buddy's old korg to get the 'sweet dreams' sound (or whatever the actual number was - he did have the same synth though).

i think you're right that it's a matter of perspective and i do agree with what you're saying. i think we're just getting lost in the semantics of the medium.

how about this for an example of what i'm trying to get at. let's say you have to make a soundtrack for a short sketch comedy clip and you need a laugh track for the punch line. do you use canned laughter from a sound effects disc? or do you pick up a mic and round up a bunch of buddies and hit record? ultimately it doesn't make a difference, the end product still gets a laugh track, but other sound effect guys WILL be able to spot the canned sample.

i guess i'm just the kind of person who'd rather make his own wheel than buy a tire.
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Old 05-12-2009, 01:54 AM   #15 (permalink)
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I use synths mainly virtual instrument. I'd be said If someone said I was cheating because I busted out a Fender Rhodes or B3 emulator. You still have to play the music. Do they expect you to go out and build a Leslie cabinet from scratch?
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Old 05-12-2009, 02:28 PM   #16 (permalink)
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but a square wave generator being run through filters and an effect is pretty much as far removed from a preset as possible, no? it's not quite as simple as hitting F27 on my buddy's old korg to get the 'sweet dreams' sound (or whatever the actual number was - he did have the same synth though).

i think you're right that it's a matter of perspective and i do agree with what you're saying. i think we're just getting lost in the semantics of the medium.

how about this for an example of what i'm trying to get at. let's say you have to make a soundtrack for a short sketch comedy clip and you need a laugh track for the punch line. do you use canned laughter from a sound effects disc? or do you pick up a mic and round up a bunch of buddies and hit record? ultimately it doesn't make a difference, the end product still gets a laugh track, but other sound effect guys WILL be able to spot the canned sample.

i guess i'm just the kind of person who'd rather make his own wheel than buy a tire.
You may get a better idea of what a preset or patch is if you checked out Native Instruments Reaktor 5.
It's a modular synth that allows you to build your own virtual synths within the program by using virtual wires to create connections between modules that work like the ones in real synths.
In that context, say you hook up an oscillator generating a square saw wave and maybe another oscillator generating a sine, plug it into some filters, an LFO, output that through some standard effects, and you end up with, for instance, the sweet dreams synth.
Well if you save that setup, you have just created a synth patch, or preset, that anyone using Reaktor 5 can download and use.

It's the same concept as another synth I have, the Access Indigo 2, which is a hardware synth. I don't plug modules into eachother, but all the presets are there and produce a specific sound. I can either use what's there, or tweak it to my liking using all the knobs.
The presets are generally mainstays on it. I'd have a hard time tweaking any of them and making them sound better than they already are. I'm not going to degrade my own potential just to avoid nay-sayers. If the song calls for a standard pad that I've heard before, then it's going there.
I care about what the music needs, not what the critics believe.
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Old 05-12-2009, 04:09 PM   #17 (permalink)
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yeah it's not that we're on different pages but we're in different books.

when i think preset and patches i'm thinking of the X number of preset sounds you get within a synth. like the 124 that come packed into the korg ms-2000 (an actual synth running through a PA not a piece of software running on a computer). you could use those canned sounds or you could twiddle the knobs a bit to actually get your own sound out of things.
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Old 05-12-2009, 06:22 PM   #18 (permalink)
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yeah it's not that we're on different pages but we're in different books.

when i think preset and patches i'm thinking of the X number of preset sounds you get within a synth. like the 124 that come packed into the korg ms-2000 (an actual synth running through a PA not a piece of software running on a computer). you could use those canned sounds or you could twiddle the knobs a bit to actually get your own sound out of things.
Yea man I understand where you're coming from.
My point of view is simply that if a canned sound happens to be exactly what you're looking for, then there's more benefit to using it than worrying about what someone will think.

I agree that it's great to tweak your own sounds into existence, and I always love it when I hear a sound I've never heard. But sometimes the music needs a certain something, and I think giving the song what it needs takes precedence over worrying about a minority opinion.
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Old 05-13-2009, 12:52 AM   #19 (permalink)
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Yea man I understand where you're coming from.
My point of view is simply that if a canned sound happens to be exactly what you're looking for, then there's more benefit to using it than worrying about what someone will think.
for sure, and from a compositional perspective i agree, but from a performing perspective i lean more towards the other side. but i'm a weirdo haha
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Old 05-13-2009, 02:11 AM   #20 (permalink)
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If you can make art out of music while performing, then the only fans worth doing it for are the ones who understand it.

I guess you and I go to different shows.
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