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True Confession! I only use Presets!!! Keyboard Synthesizers
Old 4th September 2011
  #1
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lineofcontrol's Avatar
 

True Confession! I only use Presets!!!

I have been a Reason user since 1.0 (actually been with the Propellorheads since rebirth) and use it now with Recyle and Record. I use Cubase too(with every synth Rob Papen has ever made and a few Arturia goodies and of course the gorgeous Zeta...)

If i counted up all the various sounds I have in all the various refill banks( 8 Gb and counting) and other libraries, it would literally take me years just to audition them, all of which takes time away from- making music!

I'm sure most of you, If u need a "real" sound like a piano or strings - use a preset and play with some filters and effects and EQ and off u go.

But I do the same for synth sounds too. Why would I spend hours, or even minutes creating a sound when someone who is way better at it than I already did it for me? I often will layer sounds, but create my own? Not in software.

anyone else care to come clean?

I use effects and EQ on everything, but that is it...

How the hell do you guys who have things like Omnisphere and dozens of VSTs even actually get around to making music???
Old 4th September 2011
  #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lineofcontrol View Post

How the hell do you guys who have things like Omnisphere and dozens of VSTs even actually get around to making music???
Using presets, you're likely to spend more time on effects an EQ. I think some work the other way around, programming a sound from the ground up means less time needed on EQ. Whatever works. It shouldn't be a confession. It all balances out.

For me programming sounds is simply fun...and can be a nice break from mixing and composing.
Old 4th September 2011
  #3
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sftd's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by lineofcontrol View Post
I have been a Reason user since 1.0 (actually been with the Propellorheads since rebirth) and use it now with Recyle and Record. I use Cubase too(with every synth Rob Papen has ever made and a few Arturia goodies and of course the gorgeous Zeta...)

If i counted up all the various sounds I have in all the various refill banks( 8 Gb and counting) and other libraries, it would literally take me years just to audition them, all of which takes time away from- making music!

I'm sure most of you, If u need a "real" sound like a piano or strings - use a preset and play with some filters and effects and EQ and off u go.

But I do the same for synth sounds too. Why would I spend hours, or even minutes creating a sound when someone who is way better at it than I already did it for me? I often will layer sounds, but create my own? Not in software.

anyone else care to come clean?

I use effects and EQ on everything, but that is it...

How the hell do you guys who have things like Omnisphere and dozens of VSTs even actually get around to making music???
I've been making EM for a little over two years now, and for at least the first year used ONLY presets, and usually with very little alteration.

Now, a year later, and I have found this:

My issue is I usually have a very clear picture of what I want each element to sound like in my ol noggin, so unless I happen upon a preset that just so happens to match that sound, then I'm going to be forced to do some programming to achieve it.

Now, I might find a preset that shares some elements of my little imagined sound, and then I can mold it from there, but sometimes that's the longer of the roads because I end up spending more time trying to make it what I want than it would have taken to just go straight from init and get there.

I made the mistake of initially going crazy in VST buying and luckily realized the error of my ways before too long. Now, I didn't sell off those that I already aquired, but truthfully I stopped using a lot of them. I always have them if I decide to go exploring one day, but for the most part I have a few select favorites and nearly always end up using them as the basis for the creation of my little imagined sounds.

For me however, each sound and it's creation/implementation process is only complimentary to the entire whole of the song. I may end up changing a particular sound drasticly many times during the finishing of a song. I may compose a song entirely with a sound and then radically change it come mix time. On the other hand I may end up using it for the entire affair. The sum of this is -FOR ME- everything is second to the song.

Sound design, etc etc, is for me only a means to an end, and the end is the song I am envisioning.

As few as 4 months ago I didn't place much value in sound design's ability to make the mixing phase a thousand times easier, but I do now!

I would much rather shape the sound to the mix than the mix to the sound now. I don't believe that this is either the "right" or "wrong" way to go about things, but for me personally it has helped.

So again, all this rambling adds up to this:

It's easier (when viewed in the light of the entire process) to invest time in sound design than it is to bend everything to the will of presets.
Old 4th September 2011
  #4
I spend much less time creating the sound from scratch than trying to find a suitable sound from thousands of presets.

That's why I don't use presets that often. I also don't need to use much effects/eq/etc.
Old 4th September 2011
  #5
Gear Maniac
 

you can always go back and make preset sounds more unique in a mix with midi and all. most important is to get that song written, then go back and replace all the dull presets with more interesting sounds... everyone does this.

unless the song is written around a specific sound - that's the opposite end of song writing which is also cool..
Old 4th September 2011
  #6
Gear Maniac
 

that being said, most presets for me are entirely uninspiring.. the only exception that comes to mind is Dave Smith stuff - his team writes VERY useable presets...
Old 4th September 2011
  #7
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Beermaster's Avatar
 

Most songs and music from the earliest times in history to the current day use mainly 'presets' - whether that's a 'Piano' sound or a 'Guitar' or a 'Violin' or a 'Drum' .... 'Presets' are everywhere and they are nothing to be ashamed of

Beer
Old 4th September 2011
  #8
Gear Maniac
 

nothing wrong with presets imo.

people who play acoustic instruments seem to do fine with presets
Old 4th September 2011
  #9
I'll start with a preset, and then tweak it out to something else or stack effects to desired taste.

sometimes, i get what i want from a preset and just roll with it. who cares right? i mean if it works and it's what you want, and you get to making the music because of it the rest is just history.
Old 4th September 2011
  #10
just my opinion but, i hate hearing the same (especially) nexus / sylenth / Massive presets over and over again.
its taking away the magic of a song TO ME.
but at least, a good song is a good song,
who cares about the sources of sounds.
Old 4th September 2011
  #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kraku View Post
I spend much less time creating the sound from scratch than trying to find a suitable sound from thousands of presets.

That's why I don't use presets that often. I also don't need to use much effects/eq/etc.
+1
dead on
Old 4th September 2011
  #12
Gear Guru
 
Yoozer's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by lineofcontrol View Post
I'm sure most of you, If you need a "real" sound like a piano or strings - use a preset and play with some filters and effects and EQ and off u go.
That's because it's already an instrument. You only can go into the direction of "more like a piano".

Quote:
Why would I spend hours, or even minutes creating a sound when someone who is way better at it than I already did it for me?
Because if out of a collection of 200 presets only 10 are usable for you, it's not really bang for the buck. Worse if you buy another plugin that has another 200 presets where another 10 are usable - if, with just a little bit of study, you could've gotten those out of the first one already.

It's economical. You love synths? You owe it to yourself to learn a little about them - and if not to yourself, at least your wallet. Do painters not mix their own paint? Do carpenters not build their own furniture?

Furthermore, because if someone else already used that really cool sound as a gimmick or a hook, you can no longer do that. You're a copycat. You're a follower, not a leader.

Quote:
How the hell do you guys who have things like Omnisphere and dozens of VSTs even actually get around to making music???
Look, it's not rocket science. You can study synthesis while making music; it's not like you have to lock yourself up for a year and not make music in the meantime. One activity does not cancel out the other. Not everyone gets lost doing sounddesign; keep the end goal in mind and separate the duties of composing from those of making sounds, and you're generally good.

I don't get why people seem to think that it's voodoo on the level of a Master's Degree. It's not. You can go as deep as you want, but for becoming competent, if you sum the amount of time required, you should not need more than a few months. Not a decade. Total control of an instrument - now that takes a decade.
Old 4th September 2011
  #13
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I use EQ presets all the time.
Why bother analyzing frequencies.


Old 4th September 2011
  #14
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sftd's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Yoozer View Post
I don't get why people seem to think that it's voodoo on the level of a Master's Degree. It's not. You can go as deep as you want, but for becoming competent, if you sum the amount of time required, you should not need more than a few months. Not a decade. Total control of an instrument - now that takes a decade.
Exactly, at least in my case, correct.

Redundantly outlined in my initial post of this thread, I went from zero interest in sound design to feeling very comfortable with many aspects of it in under a year.

I am of below average intelligence. This means that those of average or above average intelligence can grasp and subsequently implement the use of it in an even quicker manner than myself.

Two people of equal health and body-makeup can look at the drop from a short one-story balcony. One may think it is quite some distance and be fearful of it while the other may think it really not that large of a drop at all. For the most part, if they both were to jump down (assuming they both landed correctly) neither would be hurt.

But one may never end up jumping at all!
Old 4th September 2011
  #15
Gear Addict
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by lineofcontrol View Post
I have been a Reason user since 1.0 (actually been with the Propellorheads since rebirth) and use it now with Recyle and Record. I use Cubase too(with every synth Rob Papen has ever made and a few Arturia goodies and of course the gorgeous Zeta...)

If i counted up all the various sounds I have in all the various refill banks( 8 Gb and counting) and other libraries, it would literally take me years just to audition them, all of which takes time away from- making music!

I'm sure most of you, If u need a "real" sound like a piano or strings - use a preset and play with some filters and effects and EQ and off u go.

But I do the same for synth sounds too. Why would I spend hours, or even minutes creating a sound when someone who is way better at it than I already did it for me? I often will layer sounds, but create my own? Not in software.

anyone else care to come clean?

I use effects and EQ on everything, but that is it...

How the hell do you guys who have things like Omnisphere and dozens of VSTs even actually get around to making music???
boooooooooooooo!
Old 4th September 2011
  #16
Gear Addict
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by sftd View Post
Sound design, etc etc, is for me only a means to an end, and the end is the song I am envisioning.
+1
Old 4th September 2011
  #17
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Rogue Ai's Avatar
I am going to come clean...

I only used self-programmed synth sounds.
Old 4th September 2011
  #18
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dhollmusik's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by lineofcontrol View Post
I'm sure most of you, If u need a "real" sound like a piano or strings - use a preset and play with some filters and effects and EQ and off u go.

But I do the same for synth sounds too. Why would I spend hours, or even minutes creating a sound when someone who is way better at it than I already did it for me?

I used to be a little snobbish against using presets, but now I see the light and congratulate you for making much more progress in your music-making than some of us synth freaks.

Good luck to ya
Old 4th September 2011
  #19
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Tarkovsky's Avatar
 

How long have you been making music? After a while I'm sure you'll find almost all preset sounds uninspiring... after all, width of palet is what electronic music does best.
Old 5th September 2011
  #20
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djshire's Avatar
 

I use presets on things I don't quite have a grasp on, such as EQ, but I'm slowly moving away from that.

But on synths, I use the presets as a tool to learn what the synth is capable of, and then try and mimic what was done by the preset. It gives me an idea of what went into creating that sound, and also helps me create my own sounds.
Old 5th September 2011
  #21
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RedTuxedo's Avatar
Not much of a preset guy at all. BUT!!! Pro Tools Dyn Comp 3 Thump Kick is pretty amazing place to start.....
Old 5th September 2011
  #22
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Naugo's Avatar
 

well...

Some of us like making our own sounds. It gives me what feels like an entirely new level of control over my creation. I am, however, openly willing to admit using virtual instrument sample libraries by the likes of LASS and etc when i need convincing strings or pianos or horns.

Owning a multitude of vst's just feels like i have more ammo in my arsenal. Of course, the more you have the more time you have to spend learning each one so there is that tradeoff. But the feeling you get when you have learned the ins and outs of an instrument so well you can dial up any tone on point, is priceless & addicting.

I admit i spend more time building soundscapes and bass patches and etc but in the end it pays off when i make a track.

I totally get why you would feel this way though. Plenty of folks have become successfully going your route. The real key is to have a quality taste for music, and really understand how to properly engineer a piece of music. That will get you to good music. no matter what sounds you use.
Old 5th September 2011
  #23
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L-feld's Avatar
 

Dude, do you have any good presets for you SH-101? I can't find any!

Sorry, couldn't resist.

Anyway, nothing wrong with presets if the presets are good. And by good, I mean programmed by Eric Persing.
Old 5th September 2011
  #24
The "I never use presets cause they suck and are unoriginal" line strikes me as insecurity. Its not the use of presets that makes a song sound like **** or unoriginal! "A bad workman always blames his tools" and all that...

Whatever gets the job done and works for you, nothing to be ashamed of.



.
Old 5th September 2011
  #25
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Kindred's Avatar
 

Nothing wrong with using presets as a starting point - its what you do with them that counts. I have heard Eric Prydz/Pryda tracks where I could identify the exact preset from Korg Legacy Collection he used - but somehow managed to turn them into magic...better that than spending two days coming up with the ultimate sound from scratch but having no idea how to use it to great effect in a track...
Old 5th September 2011
  #26
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BTByrd's Avatar
True confession: Most of my synths don't have presets.
Old 5th September 2011
  #27
I used to waste a lot of time making sounds thinking wow i'm so cool i can make sounds. Then i scroll through the presets to find wow they are already in the machine sometimes better than what I did The only time presets suck ass is on really old analogs like the jupiter 8, junos etc. Seriously some of the worst presets, to get those synths to shine you had to make your own sounds.

But on a virus or half the soft synths. LOL i bet most cant even make sounds as good as the presets. Sometimes i still do make some of my own sounds or tweak them. I would rather use presets that sounds good and put my own fx on them, then make my own sub par sounds.
Old 5th September 2011
  #28
Gear Guru
 
Yoozer's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by msl View Post
The "I never use presets cause they suck and are unoriginal" line strikes me as insecurity
It strikes me as improbable too - chances that you're going to end up to something close to what's already in there are pretty big, unless you're making something truly outlandish.

I mean, there are only so many variations on the bread & butter stuff. "Yay! I made a 2-osc saw bass patch all by myself!" Sweet, now how much did that differ from the factory preset? 3 knob turns?

It's only a problem if you are caught-red handed; and then it's only a problem if you give a damn about what a bunch of synth nerds tell you heh

Besides, anyone selling 3-month old expensive paperweights for half the price they cost new because the sound they're looking for is not exactly in there - sweet, I get a discount because of that person's lack of effort!
Old 5th September 2011
  #29
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tvsky's Avatar
I use lots of presets , especially when I am making something like drum and bass , which is more about the processing than the timber of the unprocessed sound

but the processing chains on those presets can get long and crazy!!!
Old 5th September 2011
  #30
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With awesome refills on Reason no way could I ever dream up many of the sounds on there... they got like 8 modules hooked up to that thing...but I make my own sound by taking a few awesome sounds then use the combinator and layer those...

But I hardly go to any VST and program a sound simply because if I am in the mood to make something... I gotta get right to it.

I did make an awesome sound using AAS but I think I took something else and just manipulated it into what I wanted. However...It was more for sound design less for an actual song at the time, but I did end up re-using it in a song years later.

For those programmers out there and on here...thumbs up. To the preset users... we do what we gotta do.

I think the main key...is 2 things.

1) you like making music
2)you make money with music.

If you have 1 of those...who cares what it takes for you to make music.
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