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NEXUS-6 22nd December 2010 03:11 AM

Where do you get your inspiration for building patches?
It seems like I'm just copying other peoples sounds..mezed

In the style of insert your jonra here ___________.khrthjdrt

NewSc2 22nd December 2010 03:31 AM

I too get my inspiration from listening to music.

OurDarkness 22nd December 2010 12:27 PM

I just let it flow: tweak and tweak until it feels right.

Sometimes a patch turns out to be very good and in this case I use this patch as a template for other patches. I save versions of patches, like abc1, abc2 and so on. Then I come at a later date and think why the f7ck did I think "abc4" sounds great? mezed So I either delete those that sound not so great, or dump them into the computer.

I very rarely try to emulate other sounds, except for educational purposes - I find the process to be so ummm.. vain?

oldgearguy 22nd December 2010 12:37 PM

One thing that worked for me when I was beta testing a lot of gear was to explore the extremes. As a tester, you're looking for ways to break the machine, which usually means trying things the designers didn't intend. Crazy values in the modulation matrix routings, using extreme settings for modulation (max and almost zero), setting oscillators way low or way high and then using other params to move the freqs into the audio realm, explore the envelope possibilities fully, spend time playing with VCA modulation instead of VCF modulation, leave the filter wide open and explore the rest of the machine.

By just doing the above and staying away from the standard "2 VCOs going into a resonant filter with an envelope/LFO on the filter freq", I ended up with a lot of good starting material for patches.

Arthur Stone 22nd December 2010 12:38 PM

Experiment, make mistakes, have fun tweaking.

Have a good file menu and naming system for later reference.

Yoozer 22nd December 2010 12:44 PM


Originally Posted by NEXUS-6 (Post 6136920)

Genre. :cop:

There's nothing wrong with bread & butter patches. Classic synth bass and strings haven't changed much, either, to say nothing from guitar, piano, etc.

What kind of music do you make, and to what extend does it depend on a "gimmick" of an unique sound?

Why not reappropriate sounds from different genres for your own? Trance doesn't have enough breakbeat loops and house wouldn't hurt if it featured some dubstep bass. I mean, hiphop's already busy burglaring the entirety of 90's trance.

Tarkovsky 22nd December 2010 01:03 PM

I rarely build a sound on its own. I build several sounds that work well together at the same time and improve them in relation to each other.

rasseru 22nd December 2010 01:03 PM


Originally Posted by Yoozer (Post 6138008)
I mean, hiphop's already busy burglaring the entirety of 90's trance.

and my next trance act is going to burglarise 90's hip-hop! HA!

Brickman 22nd December 2010 01:18 PM

Experimentation . I keep going until I find something that inspires me .

Yoozer 22nd December 2010 02:05 PM


Originally Posted by rasseru (Post 6138032)
and my next trance act is going to burglarise 90's hip-hop! HA!

Don't call it a comeback / I've been here for years! heh

darthtrader 22nd December 2010 02:18 PM

Happy accidents..I really doubt the best sounds were intentionally designed that way.

plaid_emu 22nd December 2010 02:58 PM

I usually don't have any specific sound in my head I'm trying to make so I tend to use patch randomizing/morphing features most of the time for inspiration. I'll usually stumble upon one that I like and tweak it to fit the mood/mix.

There are some really great randomizing tools that are more controllable than just rolling the dice with random parameters.

For example the Virus TI has a nifty function called Parameter Lock where you can freeze certain patch parameters then browse through presets and get some really crazy sounds.

Absynth 5 also has new patch randomizing implementation which is very controllable and tons of fun. Reaktor is also great for this type of thing.

laikenf 22nd December 2010 05:41 PM

Boiler rooms and dreams... and felines...

kraku 22nd December 2010 05:53 PM

First I decide what the next sound should do/add to my track and then I create a sound that does that.

shadowfac 22nd December 2010 06:01 PM


Originally Posted by kraku (Post 6138685)
First I decide what the next sound should do/add to my track and then I create a sound that does that.


First I decide what the next sound should do/add to my track and then I create a completely different sound and find the way to use it in the track.

Headphones 22nd December 2010 06:25 PM

The more control over the synth's waveforms, LFOs, VCOs, etc, the more fun it is to mutate boring presets, and really see what the synth is capable of. It might turn out into something I don't care for, but every now and then it just turns into something unexpected. That's just alot of trial and error, but once you know what waveform you're listening to and how it behaves, is when you know how to shape it.

Then add effects, and viola!

Dave Peck 22nd December 2010 06:29 PM

About ten years ago I bought a Nord Modular and found the old Nord Modular mailing list. It was a great group of folks who emailed each other and discussed tons of new ideas and attached patch files to their emails (the NM allows you to save patch data as simple little text files and easily transfer and share them). Even though I already had about 20 years of patching experience at that time, because it was a diverse group with different backgrounds and approaches to patching, I started to learn entirely new ways of patching.

That group later moved to the forums at Electronic Music - community forum, news, reviews, calendar, CDs which is not as active today, but still has lots of good discussion and new patch ideas.

I think this same idea could apply to folks with other gear as well. Find a group of folks with the same synth you have (on line or in person) and start sharing some patching tips & tricks.

CPH 22nd December 2010 06:34 PM

I'm working in Modular environments mainly (Nord Modular G2 and MAX/MSP) and I usually have "study days". One day it is FM and I try to explore the subject and make lots of patches. Other days it is waveshaping, tempo-syncing, etc. and I try to do stuff in ways I haven't seen in synthesizers. I also make lots of patches for my alternative controllers that makes me think in new ways.

When it comes to my MS20 and the rest of the regular synths I usually just dial up the sound I need when I need it.

And yes. I have patching days and production days and they rarely coincide. When I need to get stuff done I don't wanna get caught patching sounds, but usually the patch days brings me a few papers filled with musical ideas to use on the production days.

(BTW, I make my living from working in this way)

duggabax 22nd December 2010 10:01 PM

Usually I'll be working on a song or just an idea or something and I'll just tweak the patch until it fits what I'm playing.

giorgio 22nd December 2010 11:56 PM


NEXUS-6 23rd December 2010 12:12 AM

Thanks everyone appreciate the feedbackthumbsup

bs333 25th December 2010 05:17 AM

My brain.

synthRodriguez 27th December 2010 04:26 PM

I aurally visualize the sound in my head, select the proper synth to pull it off, call up a preset that's pretty close, then tweak it until it's there.

gremlin moon 27th December 2010 04:44 PM

Synthetic/digital drones and pads inspired by metals, bells, running water , wind, birds, sitars, sarods, tamburas, and disembodied voices that you hear in dreams or trance states. So I guess I take inspiration from the natural world and Indian music.