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Old 05-10-2009, 09:46 AM   #1 (permalink)
kin
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Hello.

Not sure where to put this, but it does involve song writing. So anyway, I am writing instrumentals much like the sound of Godspeed You! Black Emperor, and I find myself using a lot of pre-made softsynths. I feel kind of.. I guess bad for using them, and rather I should make my own sounds with a hardware synth. I do have a hard-synth, but I find it impossible to make the same sounds as the ones I find on reason. I'm just wondering if a lot of those bands use pre-made softsynths, and if it's umm.. "frowned-upon" to use them (I know it sounds cheesy).

Thanks.
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Old 05-10-2009, 10:18 AM   #2 (permalink)
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It really depends on how much you use them and how much is counterbalanced by your own stuff. Personally I wouldn't care unless you had like the whole song made of them
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Old 05-10-2009, 01:10 PM   #3 (permalink)
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There are hundreds, thousands, if not millions of fantastic musicians who are making music using only softsynths. Why should you feel bad for using them? The whole POINT of synthesis is being able to create and manipulate sounds any way you want. Why limit yourself based on the feeling its somehow wrong?

I'll tell you one thing. It takes a lot longer to get a synth'd track to sound human than it does for a competent musician to play a good take.

Do whatevers easiest for you.
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Old 05-10-2009, 02:54 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Erm, it sounds like you think I am talking about using softsynths in general. I meant if all I use are patches that were made by other people, and not myself.

Last edited by kin; 05-10-2009 at 03:06 PM.
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Old 05-10-2009, 04:18 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Same principle applies. You use the tool that fits the job.
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Old 05-10-2009, 04:21 PM   #6 (permalink)
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This is what T-pain does right?
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Old 05-10-2009, 06:04 PM   #7 (permalink)
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This is what T-pain does right?
No. T-Pain uses auto-tune.
He's the new Cher.

To the OP:
Kin,
A lot of people use the patches on synths without modifying or creating their own. It's frowned upon by some folks, but honestly, as long as you find a sound that fits your song, you're doing something right. Ultimately the end justifies the means.
Obviously, you'll want to learn a little more about synthesis and how it works so that you don't have to always rely on factory patches. Having to rely on them because of an inability to create your own can often lead to settling for sounds that may not be what you need because they are your only options.

If you learn how to make your own patches, you'll open up a lot of creative possibilities and you won't be as limited.
Start by loading a pre-made patch and study what parameters are involved in making the sound what it is. One by one, disable a parameter and take note of what it does to the overall sound. Do this until you're left with a basic oscillator, then go back and start enabling the parameters you disabled. Take note of how it builds the sound back up.
When you do this, it gives you an idea of what building blocks fit together to form the finished product.
You can also experiment and change any of the parameters to alter the sound.
Think of it as reverse engineering. Doing it that way provides you with a hands on training lesson by ear.
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Old 05-10-2009, 08:18 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Ultimately the end justifies the means.
while i DO agree with this there are still some considerations to be made about using softsynths. especially if you're using other people's sounds.

my friends who do play synths can spot canned sounds from out of any track. you also run the risk of sounding like a preset demo. it really depends on how you're using the synth parts in your music.

if you're using someone else's patch the exact same way they did and aren't modifying or tweaking it yourself then i'd frown on you. it would be like a guitar player deciding he wants to write a badass blues tune and just lifting a zeppelin riff straight off the record and not bothering to change it at least a little. on the other hand if you borrow their idea then twist it around a bit and add your own little flavour on top then you're laughing.
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Old 05-10-2009, 09:16 PM   #9 (permalink)
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while i DO agree with this there are still some considerations to be made about using softsynths. especially if you're using other people's sounds.

my friends who do play synths can spot canned sounds from out of any track. you also run the risk of sounding like a preset demo. it really depends on how you're using the synth parts in your music.

if you're using someone else's patch the exact same way they did and aren't modifying or tweaking it yourself then i'd frown on you. it would be like a guitar player deciding he wants to write a badass blues tune and just lifting a zeppelin riff straight off the record and not bothering to change it at least a little. on the other hand if you borrow their idea then twist it around a bit and add your own little flavour on top then you're laughing.

I wasn't suggesting that he make an entire song out of presets.
You can make a song, however you like, and if you so happen to need a sound and a preset is spot on and works perfectly, I COMPLETELY disagree that you'd need to compromise the integrity of the song just to avoid disapproval from synth guru's. That's crap.

I think you're confusing yourself with the definition of a synth patch.
A synth patch is a saved configuration of settings that outputs a certain synth tone or sound. (not an arpeggio or a melody line). Even when using a synth patch (or preset, same thing), you're able to make synth lines using your own creativity.

It's the same with guitar tones.
Do you frown upon people who like to search for amp-cab-pedal configurations to emulate guitar tones famous guitarists used?
Of course, it's creative to experiment and make your own combo... But if you KNOW a certain combo has a good sound and you want to use that sound to play your own riffs... What's wrong with achieving it?
No one ever put a copyright on tonal landmarks.

Either you misunderstood what we're talking about here, or you're not seeing the potential of using superb tonality in the context of your own song.
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Old 05-11-2009, 01:49 AM   #10 (permalink)
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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.
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