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RE: Updated articles? - Terry93D - 06-26-2019

(06-25-2019, 06:34 PM)Mattias Westlund Wrote:
(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).

I mean, designing your own sounds is difficult. If you know what you're doing, sure, it can be productive and rewarding. But frankly it's easier for me to start with a pre-existing patch and modify that until I get the sound I want. More, it acts a better demonstration of what each knob does to the sound then starting from scratch would. And, more, it can be a lot of fun to fiddle around!


RE: Updated articles? - Nayrb - 06-26-2019

(06-26-2019, 01:27 AM)Terry93D Wrote:
(06-25-2019, 06:34 PM)Mattias Westlund Wrote:
(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).

I mean, designing your own sounds is difficult. If you know what you're doing, sure, it can be productive and rewarding. But frankly it's easier for me to start with a pre-existing patch and modify that until I get the sound I want. More, it acts a better demonstration of what each knob does to the sound then starting from scratch would. And, more, it can be a lot of fun to fiddle around!

Both good points. The GUI is often the culprit. The big example I always use is Image-Line's Sytrus synth. When I first got FL Studio in 2006, it was the flagship synth that shipped with a full version. It's great for presets but even modifying them is maddeningly difficult. To this day--and I would say I've got at least an intermediate / practical grasp of how to  build up some basic synth patches now--I think I've successfully made one patch in Sytrus from scratch. It looks like it's loaded with cool features, but trying to learn synthesis on it is a waste of time; even the damn "mono" button doesn't do what you'd expect it to do. Pretty sure it does have a manual online, too. Even watching videos isn't much of a help. Then again, maybe I'm just over i

That said, nothing wrong with using presets and tweaking them. Using synth brass as synth brass is no different from pulling up a trombone sample patch and using it as a trombone, so to speak. Just getting music done is the point, after all. Fiddling with presets is a great way to learn how things work, anyway.