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How many synths do I need to produce a track Virtual Instrument Plugins
Old 4th March 2014
  #1
Gear Nut
How many synths do I need to produce a track

My first synth is on the way. It is an 8 polyphony. I assume this means that I can pull out some chords together with a bass line through the midi from this synth at the same time, in total 8 tones.

How many other synths will I need to buy to make a tune, pressuming a track consist of chords, pads, bass, effects + + (drums excluded here)
Old 4th March 2014
  #2
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Jay-'s Avatar
you can record a midi track and I assume freeze it in cubase or bust it down to audio (save midi file for later)
Then go to track two.

I have a 16 voice synth and it "Steels voices" with the long decay time making it useless.
Unless you mix down an audio track right under the frozen midi file, or disable the midi track but keep it.
That way you can edit long after.

Hope that helps, software synths have unlimited voices but hardware do not!
But you can make several audio files after your done with each midi track
Old 4th March 2014
  #3
Quote:
Originally Posted by Me.Lee View Post
My first synth is on the way. It is an 8 polyphony. I assume this means that I can pull out some chords together with a bass line through the midi from this synth at the same time, in total 8 tones.

How many other synths will I need to buy to make a tune, pressuming a track consist of chords, pads, bass, effects + + (drums excluded here)
Well, that's up to you really. It can depend on the genre- e.g. a singer/guitarist uses one instrument plus voice, and some EDM can get pretty layered. It also depends on whether you want a sparse or lush song.

So there's no real answer. Whoops- there's one: it's really up to you. You want to develop your own sound.

If you are looking for other synths, you may want to check out all the great free VSTs that are out there- Synth1, Oatmeal, Ugo's stuff, and so on.
Old 4th March 2014
  #4
Gear Nut
Maybe I should have been abit more specific :o but the question is regarding hardware only. The only software I will concider to use will be a sequencer, tho I am gonna try hardware there aswell. The genre is electronic and I'm planning to build layers of sounds...

I do not want so save any audio on laptop/software. I want the sounds to be play'd directly from the synths. Midi of course I could always save
Old 4th March 2014
  #5
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TheBrightSide's Avatar
I believe you are talking about the Prophet 08?
It can only play 2 different sounds at once, with the 8 voices divided between those two sounds.
Here is an explanation from the DSI website:
" It is bitimbral. That is, it can play two patches simultaneously via MIDI in Multi mode (on two MIDI channels) or from the keyboard in Split or Stack mode. Each Prophet '08 program consists of two layers and each layer can contain what is essentially a different patch. Both layers can be played simultaneously in stacked or split keyboard mode with each layer routed to its own stereo output. In Multi, Split, or Stack mode, each patch is allocated four of the eight voices."

A multitimbral synth lets you play multiple sounds over different patches and midi channels.
Though I'm not sure if there are any analog multitimbral synth, as you need many voices for this.

But a synth like the Prophet 08 is a great workhorse synth, in that it covers a lot of ground. Basses, leads, pads, effects and even drum sounds.
You can make some great music with just this one synth.
Here is a couple of demo tracks, where all sounds comes from the Prophet, including the drums.

Prophet '08 - Any Second Now - Jonas Sjöström - YouTube

Prophet 08 Demo Song. - YouTube
Old 4th March 2014
  #6
Gear Nut
Quote:
Originally Posted by TheBrightSide View Post
I believe you are talking about the Prophet 08?
It can only play 2 different sounds at once, with the 8 voices divided between those two sounds.
Here is an explanation from the DSI website:
" It is bitimbral. That is, it can play two patches simultaneously via MIDI in Multi mode (on two MIDI channels) or from the keyboard in Split or Stack mode. Each Prophet '08 program consists of two layers and each layer can contain what is essentially a different patch. Both layers can be played simultaneously in stacked or split keyboard mode with each layer routed to its own stereo output. In Multi, Split, or Stack mode, each patch is allocated four of the eight voices."

A multitimbral synth lets you play multiple sounds over different patches and midi channels.
Though I'm not sure if there are any analog multitimbral synth, as you need many voices for this.

But a synth like the Prophet 08 is a great workhorse synth, in that it covers a lot of ground. Basses, leads, pads, effects and even drum sounds.
You can make some great music with just this one synth.
Here is a couple of demo tracks, where all sounds comes from the Prophet, including the drums.

Prophet '08 - Any Second Now - Jonas Sjöström - YouTube

Prophet 08 Demo Song. - YouTube
Tnx, that is an answer I atleast understand 80% of

Let's say I want to place a 3-note chord made from 2 sounds: 1 staccato sound + 1 pad sound. Have then used 6 of 8 voices (leaving me with 2 voices left for a bass sound on a separate midi channel), or can I on another midi channel place a 5-note chord (3-note + 5-note = 8) consiting of 2 other sounds, or have I by placing the 3-note chord from 2 sounds used all my options with the synth?

Sorry if this is a confusing question... as I am very confused abt this
Old 4th March 2014
  #7
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TheBrightSide's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Me.Lee View Post
Tnx, that is an answer I atleast understand 80% of

Let's say I want to place a 3-note chord made from 2 sounds: 1 staccato sound + 1 pad sound. Have then used 6 of 8 voices (leaving me with 2 voices left for a bass sound on a separate midi channel), or can I on another midi channel place a 5-note chord (3-note + 5-note = 8) consiting of 2 other sounds, or have I by placing the 3-note chord from 2 sounds used all my options with the synth?

Sorry if this is a confusing question... as I am very confused abt this
Don't worry, this stuff can be confusing for anyone, but especially if you are starting out.
I think the answer is in the last line of the paragraph I posted: "In multi, split or stack mode, each patch is allocated four of the eight voices"
So it looks like the voices are divided evenly when using two different sounds/patches.
Old 5th March 2014
  #8
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You shouldn't need to buy a lot of synths to make a song. You might want to check into a workstation where you get more poly, timbers and sampling. It would be your all in one center piece for composing music.
Old 5th March 2014
  #9
Quote:
Originally Posted by Me.Lee View Post

Let's say I want to place a 3-note chord made from 2 sounds: 1 staccato sound + 1 pad sound. Have then used 6 of 8 voices (leaving me with 2 voices left for a bass sound on a separate midi channel)...
If you use a bitimbral synth like the Prophet 8 you will have used up your two sounds (patches in Prophet lingo) with the layered 3-note chord. No sound left for the bass.

You really can't do much with an 8-note, bitimbral synth. If you multitracked it with a DAW you would get so much more mileage out of your synth. Even if you buy a workstation as suggested above you are really just byuing a computer with black and white keys. But if you really don't want a 'puter or a tablet then a workstation will get you a bit on the way.
Old 6th March 2014
  #10
Gear Nut
Quote:
Originally Posted by thedberg View Post
If you use a bitimbral synth like the Prophet 8 you will have used up your two sounds (patches in Prophet lingo) with the layered 3-note chord. No sound left for the bass.

You really can't do much with an 8-note, bitimbral synth. If you multitracked it with a DAW you would get so much more mileage out of your synth. Even if you buy a workstation as suggested above you are really just byuing a computer with black and white keys. But if you really don't want a 'puter or a tablet then a workstation will get you a bit on the way.
Tnx for your reply. That is not good news... could you briefly explain how this 'multitracking' works? in DAW (lets say I only have the prophet)
Old 6th March 2014
  #11
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TheBrightSide's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Me.Lee View Post
Tnx for your reply. That is not good news... could you briefly explain how this 'multitracking' works? in DAW (lets say I only have the prophet)
Multitracking is fairly simple.
In the DAW, you record the first track from the Prophet (either played live or triggered by the internal DAW sequencer)
Then the DAW plays that back on track 1, and you can record a new part from the Prophet on track 2. And so on.
DAW's essentially have unlimited recording tracks, so you can do this as many times as you like, and mix all the parts on the DAW's internal mixer.
This is basically how recording music has always been done (starting with tape recorders) but DAW's are great as they are an all in one solution.
Old 6th March 2014
  #12
Gear Nut
Are we talking about recording wave sound from the synth to a digital audio file? Then I would need to buy a sound card and the sound quality will be reduced, right?
Old 6th March 2014
  #13
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TheBrightSide's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Me.Lee View Post
Are we talking about recording wave sound from the synth to a digital audio file? Then I would need to buy a sound card and the sound quality will be reduced, right?
Yes the DAW records the wave sound, with the soundcard (or audio interface) converting the analog signal from the Prophet to a digital wave file.

Soundcards and audio interfaces have come a long way, and spending as little as $100-$200 will get you some great results. As far as reduced sound quality, I would be surprised if you could notice any difference between a recorded wave file and the Prophet playing live. The sample rates being used are very high, and the audio quality is excellent, even with budget soundcards.

The other benefit with a soundcard is that most come with midi ports, so you can sequence directly from the DAW to the prophet. You can also use the Prophet to as a midi controller with plugin synths within the DAW. There are tonnes of great synth plugins available, even a huge amount of free ones that sound fantastic.
Old 6th March 2014
  #14
Gear Nut
Tnx BrightSide; think I have most info that I need to set up a small home studio now. Just have to wait for the synth and see if I'm even capable of getting proper sounds out of it !!!
Old 6th March 2014
  #15
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TheBrightSide's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Me.Lee View Post
Tnx BrightSide; think I have most info that I need to set up a small home studio now. Just have to wait for the synth and see if I'm even capable of getting proper sounds out of it !!!
Trust me, you will love this synth, you have made an excellent choice.
The Prophet is my favorite synth. It is a real pleasure to play, and easy to turn a few knobs and get some wonderful sounds from it.
Old 10th March 2014
  #16
Gear Nut
Oki, since I get some replies here... let me take it one step further.

When my synth arrives, what is the next component I need to purchase. As far as I have read; to get that very warm analog sound you need to send the sound through a delay unit. Is that so? What should I look for?
Old 11th March 2014
  #17
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TheBrightSide's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Me.Lee View Post
Oki, since I get some replies here... let me take it one step further.

When my synth arrives, what is the next component I need to purchase. As far as I have read; to get that very warm analog sound you need to send the sound through a delay unit. Is that so? What should I look for?
Yes using effects will really take the synth to another level sound wise.
Delay sounds great, but so too does reverb, chorus, flanging and lots more.
So I would suggest a multi effects unit, which will do all those.
Choices depend upon budget, but even something cheap like the Behringer Virtualizer will work well. There are lots of good secondhand multi effects out there too.
But also remember, if you do get a DAW, you can add effects in there too. And the quality is very good.
Old 11th March 2014
  #18
Gear Nut
Good good. Think I should look for a used multi effects unit as U say, hard not soft type. Did a small search and the opinions are many so I will not ask for any recommendation here. Most important is the sound quality... I still have mths to learn programming ahead of me anyway!!!
Old 12th March 2014
  #19
Quote:
Originally Posted by Me.Lee View Post
Most important is the sound quality... I still have mths to learn programming ahead of me anyway!!!
If you are a beginner I think any multi-effects unit will do. How these things sound will have much more to do with your skills and your taste then with the hardware. Therefore, I believe that you will do fine with a DAW on your computer or your iPad. Myself, I have been making music with synths, multi-effects and other instruments for 35 years, partly professionally. To me, hardware will sound slightly better, but software stuff is usually enough for making great sounding songs!
Old 12th March 2014
  #20
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@Me.Lee...

No offense, but do you actually know how to play a keyboard?
Old 12th March 2014
  #21
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steveswisher's Avatar
 

How many synths can your studio hold?
Old 13th March 2014
  #22
Gear Nut
Quote:
Originally Posted by bdenton View Post
@Me.Lee...

No offense, but do you actually know how to play a keyboard?
I do I do. Play'd piano as a kid in the 80s
Old 13th March 2014
  #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Me.Lee View Post
I do I do. Play'd piano as a kid in the 80s
And I apologize for asking...I always try to get a handle on what a person knows and does before I start throwing out advice. And I always feel really bad when I "talk down" to someone or when I talk over someone's head.

So...as we say Down South..."Right pleased ta meetcha"...
Old 13th March 2014
  #24
Gear Nut
Quote:
Originally Posted by bdenton View Post
And I apologize for asking...I always try to get a handle on what a person knows and does before I start throwing out advice. And I always feel really bad when I "talk down" to someone or when I talk over someone's head.

So...as we say Down South..."Right pleased ta meetcha"...
No worries buddy. I am asking questions like a kid... but my only experience is with software production, like Reason, and I have not really succeeded in it. That's why I will try hardware now & dig deep into how things work before I start.

Plug'n'play software vs midi hardware seems like two very different things. In addition... I have to be careful when I purchase items as I can not right-click and 'add flanger' with my creditcard every time I need an effect
Old 13th March 2014
  #25
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you need all the synths!

and a warehouse to put them in!

cause we love them!
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