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Dedicated Sound Design Days?
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medearis
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#1
19th November 2012
Old 19th November 2012
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Dedicated Sound Design Days?

Hey errrrbody,

I have a really, really deep addiction to sound design/exploration. I'm a drummer who became a full-time synth geek about three years ago (thanks to the Machinedrum). I now have this "problem" of always tweaking sounds. I have set aside dedicated studio days where I just go in with the mentality "JUST MAKE SOUNDS". It's been kick ass and I've leveled-up my sound-synthesis by doing this and I never really feel bad about it either, it's quite meditative.

Guess I'm wondering if anyone else finds themselves excited to just sit and tweak away... completely juxtaposed to music creation itself.

Every Monday night I go into the studio to simply explore sound & synthesis.. sometimes alone or with my partner-in-crime. It's insanely fresh to go in there KNOWING we're not going to work on writing/organizing a song (unless it just happens of course).

Anyone else in this boat? I'd love to read some of your experiences, maybe some sound-epiphany moments (AKA "AH-HAH! So that's how it works.)



Peace!
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#2
19th November 2012
Old 19th November 2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by medearis View Post
Hey errrrbody,

I have a really, really deep addiction to sound design/exploration. I'm a drummer who became a full-time synth geek about three years ago (thanks to the Machinedrum). I now have this "problem" of always tweaking sounds. I have set aside dedicated studio days where I just go in with the mentality "JUST MAKE SOUNDS". It's been kick ass and I've leveled-up my sound-synthesis by doing this and I never really feel bad about it either, it's quite meditative.

Guess I'm wondering if anyone else finds themselves excited to just sit and tweak away... completely juxtaposed to music creation itself.

Every Monday night I go into the studio to simply explore sound & synthesis.. sometimes alone or with my partner-in-crime. It's insanely fresh to go in there KNOWING we're not going to work on writing/organizing a song (unless it just happens of course).

Anyone else in this boat? I'd love to read some of your experiences, maybe some sound-epiphany moments (AKA "AH-HAH! So that's how it works.)



Peace!
Hell yes.
Best thing in the world, I do it all the time.
#3
19th November 2012
Old 19th November 2012
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Oh tell me more about you MD synthesis skills, I make allot of sounds on this thing.
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#4
19th November 2012
Old 19th November 2012
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i like how you set yourself on a schedule, i have a very hard time forcing myself to do that but i know that diligence like that can pay off huge
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19th November 2012
Old 19th November 2012
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Dedicated time for sound design is also good when you're having writer's block.
#6
19th November 2012
Old 19th November 2012
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I think for many modular users, every day is a dedicated sound design day!
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#7
19th November 2012
Old 19th November 2012
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Sinner is offline
Quote:
Originally Posted by medearis View Post
Hey errrrbody,

I have a really, really deep addiction to sound design/exploration. I'm a drummer who became a full-time synth geek about three years ago (thanks to the Machinedrum). I now have this "problem" of always tweaking sounds. I have set aside dedicated studio days where I just go in with the mentality "JUST MAKE SOUNDS". It's been kick ass and I've leveled-up my sound-synthesis by doing this and I never really feel bad about it either, it's quite meditative.

Guess I'm wondering if anyone else finds themselves excited to just sit and tweak away... completely juxtaposed to music creation itself.

Every Monday night I go into the studio to simply explore sound & synthesis.. sometimes alone or with my partner-in-crime. It's insanely fresh to go in there KNOWING we're not going to work on writing/organizing a song (unless it just happens of course).

Anyone else in this boat? I'd love to read some of your experiences, maybe some sound-epiphany moments (AKA "AH-HAH! So that's how it works.)

Peace!
Yes. I do that. And epiphany? Long time ago, but when I realized that the thing I didn't like about most of my synth patches wasn't the synthesis engine but the simplistic delay processing. I run almost every synth thru a delay that has stereo or multiband modulation etc.
#8
19th November 2012
Old 19th November 2012
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I absolutely do that. I make sure that if I am going to be doing sound/patch design that it is ALL I do. I found through bitter experience that the second you stop the creative flow to tweak patches when you are doing music it just kills everything.

One thing I have found invaluable is to go into the studio every day with a plan. It sounds obvious, but if you just walk in and have no idea what you want to accomplish you are definitely going to get distracted much easier. Keep a notebook at hand at all times to write stuff down. It removes the stress of trying to remember that killer idea that occurred to you that you forgot.

Separate from all the time budgeted for screwing around is the time I always set aside to practice every day. No sense having instruments if you don't have the chops to play them and that takes dedicated practice time. Not as much fun as sound design but ultimately a lot more important.
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19th November 2012
Old 19th November 2012
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For the first 5 years or so of using synths I would program them and jam live without ever thinking twice about trying to 'produce a complete track.'

Do what's enjoyable. Production skills develop over time with learning and experience. If you focus on developing your patches, you'll have a lot of unique and personal sounds to use whenever the time comes to get it all together.
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19th November 2012
Old 19th November 2012
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I like to call it sound play, but yeah, it's my favorite thing to do, so much so that I have more samplers and loopers to capture stuff on the fly than sound design gear. (And the samplers are powerful sound design tools in their own right!)
#11
19th November 2012
Old 19th November 2012
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getmethough is offline
I need to do dedicated sampling days, I hattttte sampling, but it is useful

I love dedicated sound design days, but i never really save my patches, stupid really, but also I am a lot better at calling up sounds any time I want because of it
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19th November 2012
Old 19th November 2012
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I definitely do this, but always with my DAW running capturing output because I go for a long time through various different sounds and kind of do it as a live sound design "performance", then I have various 20-30 minute tracks of source material that I can chopped up and sequence in audio instead of MIDI, which has been very liberating to my production lately.
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#13
20th November 2012
Old 20th November 2012
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I get stuck doing weeks of sound design sometimes! I really need to spend more time sampling.. Seems like I am always doing sound design and never actually completing full projects :/
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20th November 2012
Old 20th November 2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by medearis View Post
...It's been kick ass and I've leveled-up my sound-synthesis by doing this and I never really feel bad about it either, it's quite meditative. ...
This. Sound Design is like Zen for me. I am exploring unkown territory and sculpting my sounds out of a raw block of frequencies into a shape I have in my mind. So many variables to take care off. It is a passion for me.

Cheers,

Sebastian
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20th November 2012
Old 20th November 2012
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For myself sound designing and composing go hand in hand. I really really hate preset/sample scrolling more than anything. Even if the presets are those that I created. So no, sometimes I'll want to explore a synth and find a cool sound then write a riff that goes along with it. That would become the foundation for a new song.
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20th November 2012
Old 20th November 2012
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I do this with hardware, I'll get a new hardware digital/late period analogue synth and spend a few weeks ploughing it's depths and coming up with cool sounds, to hopefully use in future productions. I just did 40-50 MT32 patches that are really useable
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#17
22nd November 2012
Old 22nd November 2012
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A little story about a sound design session:

We've just moved house, and I'm absolutely exhausted from lifting very heavy boxes, stressed out by the grief the estate agency has given us, worried about the kids settling-in period in the new house ("daddy I want to go home" arggh!) and generally feel depressed...so I went into my studio room with only the computer + monitors + master keyboard set up (all my hardware still in storage) resigned and disinterested, generally in a sour mood but wanting to fiddle with a soft synth...and to my surprise I had the most interesting, rewarding sound/patch editing session for a long time. Things just flowed, but in a very different way. The synth in question was the one I used extensively over the last few years, in fact I thought I knew it inside out...and yet here I was getting sounds I didn't expect, sounds which revealed a new hidden depth to this synth.

The main difference to all my other sessions with this synth was that the sounds created in this bleak mental state I've found myself in are dark, gritty, full of weird resonances, some are almost post apocalyptic in their timbre and playability (whatever that means)...but all sounds are just so cool and different to what I have managed to coax out of this synth before. One thing is certain, I was absolutely not expecting to create any sound at all, let alone sounds which have put me on a new path with this synth. I thought I'd just sit there staring blankly at the monitor, perhaps ending with the ubiquitous pad or bass, alas, I got little 'wonders' instead.

Another unexpected thing concerned the speed with which these sounds 'emerged'. I would stumble upon an interesting sound while making another and I found myself having to save just the initial stages of some patches and go back to the one I was working on (this actually always happens when making patches, but here I was struck by the speed and certain consistency across all sounds.)

Anyway...I thought I'd share this as it seems that 'creativity' is ready to 'flow' when we least expect it, thus dedicated sound design sessions, as good and desired as they are, are not the only way.
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