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I'm in a rut on my music production journey, help! :D Keyboard Synthesizers
Old 17th September 2011
Gear Head

I'm in a rut on my music production journey, help! :D

I've been going at techno production/DJing for about a year now. To me, its been a process of breaking down walls. Every time I hit a wall, its just a total motivation breaker, I just get a blah feeling about everything music, and I usually reach out for help when they come around. :D

My first wall to break down was the one dealing with a total lack of knowledge about everything, like what programs to use, totally overwhelmed by everything out there. Second one had to of been getting into VSTs and making my own synth sounds. Third was overcoming my horrible loopitis, (I posted here about that one :D) which I'm still in the process of doing. Now my newest wall...

Making GOOD synth sounds. Kind of ties into my 2nd wall, but at that point, taking a saw and running it through a filter and a bitcrusher made me happy. :D The best I know how to do right now is take a synth, make it sound pretty good, then route the audio into a audio track (I'm using Ableton) throw a audio effect rack in there, and run 3 filters hi mid and low. I usually end up widening the highs, bit crushing the mid, and saturating the lows. Little tweaking here and there, it sounded awesome when I first started doing this, but now that I've started (loopitis grr) 4ish songs and done the same thing, all the synths sound relativity the same! And that just pisses me off. Boils down to a soft progressivy synth, with some kind of ping pong/reverb on it, or some heavy sounding side chained **** that you hear in 50% of all heavy electro songs.

I would say part of my problem is I am only really comfortable with ONE synth. Which is Strobe by FXpansion. I've messed with Massive and I haven't gotten anything good sounds out of it, even though like every pro producer has used it. :D Early on in my production venture I decided to download VSTs by the pack and just install them in huge clusters. Kind of a bad Idea since I don't use any of them except a very specific few. :P I THINK, that I might need to invest in processing vsts? Abletons are good, but I need to get more of them?

Whats Gearslutz diagnosis this time? :P Help me out. :D

Thanks!!! :D
Old 17th September 2011
Gear Nut

don't be tempted to learn all synths... go on with strobe, its a wonderful synth, choose a nice eq, compressor, reverb, delay some good drum sounds and make your music. try to master those and the results will be much better than if you lose your focus on too much gear

Superstringz - Evolver (Radio Edit) - Gung Ho! Recordings - YouTube
Old 17th September 2011
Lives for gear
Mardi Gras's Avatar

tip for making good sounds. Set up your default patch then before programming the synth throw some delay and a chorus onto the channel strip.. then program away. FX always lead to different ideas than you would have gotten if you programmed the synth dry.
Old 17th September 2011
Lives for gear
sftd's Avatar

Others will mention this as well (already have!) but if I could say one thing that has helped more than ANYTHING for me, and from my point of view concerning sound design:

Master something.

It doesn't matter what it is, pick a synth and learn the nonsense out of it.

Keep using strobe, force it to work for you rather than you work for it. Force it to do everything you want. If you have Strobe you obviously have its brethren. You -need- nothing else.

Sent from my PC36100 using App
Old 17th September 2011
Lives for gear
blinky909's Avatar
Yes, master a synth. Learn it's limits and push the heck out them. This is why a Juno 106 was a classic first synth. While it may have a sameness to the sounds, it can be pushed. Listen to early Autechre, that's mainly 106. They mastered that sucker and got way more then the typical brass or pad with chorus we all know and love.

I like the idea of tossing some delay or chorus on the synth when programming, I do that with the JD800 and man it can take you places... The risk is to lose yourself in the sounds for hours, but that's not a bad thing, is it heh
Old 17th September 2011
Gear Head

I really like this master a synth idea. Thank you. :D Yea when I said I "comfortable" with strobe, I've only really scratched the surface of it. I think I'm going to learn the ins and outs of the synth squad pack. especially the fusor with all the modulation and effects it has to offer. :D Got the operator manual, gonna read this many times. :P

Gaa Gearslutz, 2-0? :D :D :D Thank you so much. :D
Old 17th September 2011
Lives for gear
pointsource's Avatar

I second that. Choose one synth and master it.

When i started i wanted to tweak all the synths all the time, half hour at one synth and i was jumping to the next. No good.

Choose one and go deep
Old 17th September 2011
Stick to Strobe now that you seem to like it. Leave the other synths and especially Fusor alone from the synth pack.

Learn sound design with your synth. This is the most important thing.

It's really tempting for the beginners to swamp their sounds with effects. Avoid this at all costs. Use as few effects as possible. Try to get the sound right right at the source (the Strobe in this case). Only when you really really have to, add some effects and try to keep them as simple as possible.

This way you'll learn quickly and your sounds start fitting the mix nicely.
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