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I still return sometimes to read the "Freeware favorites" and "Orchestral template rundown" articles to read. Their commentary, and especially the rundown, are unique among what I read for, well, the commentary, and, in the case of the rundown, being a unique peek into the workflow of the composer (our beloved Westlund). That and I always have new thoughts each time I come back to them - "why don't I try this synth out", or "can I find that soundfont."

(Which reminds me, I need to dive into Polyphone sometime and figure out how to use it, 'cause I've got a bunch of samples that I'd love to be using but don't have sfz for... but that's a separate thing.)

I wasn't sure where this best belonged so I decided on General Discussion.
Glad to hear you enjoy them! I have no plans on making a new template rundown until I have a template that I've used for more than one thing (I mean otherwise it's not a template, it's just a project right?), but I have a draft for an updated Freeware Favorites that I need to finish. Come to think of it, I should probably keep the old one around as sort of a time capsule as it was written six years ago, before I even went 100% x64, and I don't think there's a single one of those plugins that I use anymore.

Edit: I haven't looked at that page in ages! Turns out there are a few I still use regularly. Sforzando, Alchemy, Dune (though not the BE version), Synth1, Pizmidi and Molot. All the other ones I've pretty much replaced with other plugins.
(06-20-2019, 06:49 PM)Mattias Westlund Wrote: [ -> ]Glad to hear you enjoy them! I have no plans on making a new template rundown until I have a template that I've used for more than one thing (I mean otherwise it's not a template, it's just a project right?), but I have a draft for an updated Freeware Favorites that I need to finish. Come to think of it, I should probably keep the old one around as sort of a time capsule as it was written six years ago, before I even went 100% x64, and I don't think there's a single one of those plugins that I use anymore.

Edit: I haven't looked at that page in ages! Turns out there are a few I still use regularly. Sforzando, Alchemy, Dune (though not the BE version), Synth1, Pizmidi and Molot. All the other ones I've pretty much replaced with other plugins.

True that. 

Deffo interested in an update to your freeware favorites. I'm always amazed at the quality stuff that can be found for free online, and I have a feeling that your good taste would reveal stuff I've never heard of but would love playing with once I have.
I'll have a look at it when time permits. And you are quite right that there's a crazy amount of really good freeware plugins around. I even find myself choosing freeware over commercial plugins sometimes--the Ignite Amps amp sims being a perfect example. I have a couple of commercial amp sim suites but they're so damn bloated and convoluted that I find myself reaching for the Ignite Amps stuff over and over, simply because the plugins just do what they're supposed to do, i.e. being a pedal or an amp or speaker sim or whatever, and not an end-all solution to all things guitar.
Things that quack like ducks shouldn't also try their hand at barking and neighing. Big Grin
Mattias' articles were instrumental in getting me started. Derived from practical experience, they are a straightforward way of actually helping a newcomer get something done. Prior to finding them, I spent a long time putzing around the internet gathering whatever VO information I could find, and a lot of it was surprisingly silly in retrospect. One article from Sound on Sound suggested HPFs on everything that didn't have content below a certain range. Why, pray tell, would one need to cut something that isn't even there? Mattias brought simplicity to the table where I think other resources suffered from that "gear-head" mentality often cultivated by commercial sectors that in some ways plays on a person's naivete rather than building on their practical understanding of what they're doing, muddying the waters rather than providing clarity.

I direct everyone interested in getting started to Mattias' articles and encourage them to join SC for further questions.

As for templates. I'm still fighting with mine. It's a rather individualistic process, I'm finding, and it certainly isn't static. Things change all the time. "Rome wasn't built in a day" as the saying goes.

And I think I use more freeware synths than any that I've paid for excepting the Kontakt library stuff (which is technically samples of synths). Synth1 is an absolute joy to use and it's a great tool to learn the basics of synthesis.
They're not how I got started, but they're priceless to me nonetheless, for exactly the reasons you mentioned. They're practical and they're straightforward. They're simple, but not simple-minded.

I remember making my thread about a template, and I eventually did make it, and I haven't actually used it since. I'm too used to working off of loading up what I need...

I don't actually use many synths because my knowledge mostly isn't sufficient to make fullest use of a lot of them - like Arminator, for example - so I mostly use this simple but excellent synth called Charlatan. Really, I just need to get to hands with them and fiddle with them a lot until I can get it into my head what it all does, but that takes time gosh darn it...
(06-23-2019, 12:51 AM)Terry93D Wrote: [ -> ]They're not how I got started, but they're priceless to me nonetheless, for exactly the reasons you mentioned. They're practical and they're straightforward. They're simple, but not simple-minded.

I remember making my thread about a template, and I eventually did make it, and I haven't actually used it since. I'm too used to working off of loading up what I need...

I don't actually use many synths because my knowledge mostly isn't sufficient to make fullest use of a lot of them - like Arminator, for example - so I mostly use this simple but excellent synth called Charlatan. Really, I just need to get to hands with them and fiddle with them a lot until I can get it into my head what it all does, but that takes time gosh darn it...

Indeed! I shouldn't say they got me started either; I'd been at this for years prior. They just helped bring it all together, added clarity, helped me move forward beyond where I was stuck.

Templates kind of build themselves over time. I think starting from scratch each time is essential to template building in the end. You have to know how your stuff works in order to make the necessary adjustments, and you only learn by trying.

Synths are great fun, but some are not really designed very intuitively. I used FL studio and many of the native synths are ridiculously complicated, and for no good reason that I can think of. Such convoluted design can make learning hard. It helps to start simply.
(06-23-2019, 01:12 AM)Nayrb Wrote: [ -> ]Synths are great fun, but some are not really designed very intuitively. I used FL studio and many of the native synths are ridiculously complicated, and for no good reason that I can think of. Such convoluted design can make learning hard. It helps to start simply.

I definitely agree with this. Synth-heads often say (or used to say?) you shouldn't use presets, you should learn the synth and make your own sounds. That becomes kind of a ridiculous notion if you look at some of the software synths around today. You can't realistically learn more than a handful of these more advanced instruments, at least not if you want to actually make music as well and not spend all your time programming synth patches.

Having said that, the complexity sometimes comes from bad GUI design. If the synth is laid out in some, uh... let's say creative way that doesn't make it clear how the signal flow works and how everything fits together, figuring it out quickly becomes a nightmare even if you have a manual handy (and many synths don't even come with that).
(06-21-2019, 05:50 PM)Terry93D Wrote: [ -> ]Things that quack like ducks shouldn't also try their hand at barking and neighing. Big Grin

Exactly. Even if these suites are modular and you can turn off all the crap you don't want, the modularity in itself adds a whole other layer of complexity that I don't need.
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