Presets or diy?

I like to make my own patches but some synths I find too flippant to work with and use presets instead. Just wondering how many of us prefer making their own sounds and how many use the presets.

Poll: do you prefer to design your own patches or use presets?
  1. Presets or DIY Patch design?34 votes
    1. Presets
      50.00%
    2. DIY patches
      50.00%
«1

Comments

  • diy or die

  • I like both, but a simple compromise would be a preset system that allows for very fast / intuitive 'versions' of presets. Many of the apps I like I find it difficult to keep track of things. Every new preset should sort of be a folder with variations within... Some apps do this, would love to see it become standard.

  • @scottsunn said:
    I like both, but a simple compromise would be a preset system that allows for very fast / intuitive 'versions' of presets. Many of the apps I like I find it difficult to keep track of things. Every new preset should sort of be a folder with variations within... Some apps do this, would love to see it become standard.

    Kauldron offers something like what you’ve mentioned with their “spawn” system for making your own presets..

  • Both. Some boxes like the elektrons don't have presets so I'm fine building my own sounds from scratch. Other times I find that starting with a preset saves me loads of time to focus on composing, and then I can tweak the sound design aspects later on.

  • @Tarekith said:
    Both. Some boxes like the elektrons don't have presets so I'm fine building my own sounds from scratch. Other times I find that starting with a preset saves me loads of time to focus on composing, and then I can tweak the sound design aspects later on.

    THIS

  • I get a lot of joy out of creating my own patches, but…

  • Haha, first time I’ve ever heard synths described as ‘flippant’. Good stuff

  • I usually find a good preset as a base, then tweak it to taste.

  • @oat_phipps said:
    Haha, first time I’ve ever heard synths described as ‘flippant’. Good stuff

    I’d consider interfaces like that of Enkl to be flippant...I mean I’m all for a new approach but come on..tc11 and frankly anything controlled by XY pads are pretty flippant for me..

  • I would much rather create music than program synth patches, but the trouble is that I often don't find the sounds I'm looking for in the presets, so in order to create the right vibe and sound I'm looking for I have to create my own patches from time to time.

  • Find a preset that's close to what you want and tweak it. Time's too precious to fiddle with synths unless that's the prime objective.

    As @richardyot said: I'd rather be making music.

  • @supadom said:
    Find a preset that's close to what you want and tweak it. Time's too precious to fiddle with synths unless that's the prime objective.

    As @richardyot said: I'd rather be making music.

    I get this. I do this on occasion but I often find a lot of the tracks I’m working on are inspired by the process of creating patches.

    Guess I approach from a painters aspect. Prepare the canvas, mix the colors, then paint. Patch design is colour mixing for me.

  • @99476598326 said:

    @supadom said:
    Find a preset that's close to what you want and tweak it. Time's too precious to fiddle with synths unless that's the prime objective.

    As @richardyot said: I'd rather be making music.

    I get this. I do this on occasion but I often find a lot of the tracks I’m working on are inspired by the process of creating patches.

    Guess I approach from a painters aspect. Prepare the canvas, mix the colors, then paint. Patch design is colour mixing for me.

    Yeah, it's all about priorities. Sound design vs song/piece construction. Ideally both unless time's limited. But even if I had unlimited time I'd still likely choose going out climbing trees than fiddling with synths for hours ;). We're all different!

  • A synth's output can vary a lot with multiple destination controls, like XY-pads and the (more complex) TC-11/Data approach. To a degree you don't recognize the original patch anymore.
    While an XY-pad may be faked by 2 dials turned at once (common on regular hardware), the time/distance/group scheme of TC or ApeMatrix's multi-LFOs adds a lot of unpredictability at first, but can be 'learned' by doing.

  • Does twiddling cutoff and res knobs on a preset count as DIY? The more presets the better for me. I would like to see an iOS synth with maybe a couple of thousand- I would buy that straight away.

  • @robosardine said:
    Does twiddling cutoff and res knobs on a preset count as DIY? The more presets the better for me. I would like to see an iOS synth with maybe a couple of thousand- I would buy that straight away.

    Go on treat yourself...try messing with Filter Envelope's attack and decay too ;)

  • I’d consider interfaces like that of Enkl to be flippant...I mean I’m all for a new approach but come on..tc11 and frankly anything controlled by XY pads are pretty flippant for me..

    I think you mean "futuristic" :)

    personally, tc11 makes more sense to me than turning knobs on a touch surface. not sure how an interface that is highly flexible, suited to the technology, and extremely customizeable might be considered flippant. a little bit intimidating, yes... I realize you're likely being facetious, but I don't really get your use of the word flippant.

    I realize there are different approaches. As a musician, I don't want to code all my own software, just as I wouldn't build a pipe organ when I want the sound sound of a pipe organ. But I do appreciate instruments that allow users create sounds with high levels of control and variety. When I get a new synth or sampler, I usually clear out all the presets and then spend a few days creating my own. If there are any presets worth building off of or learn from, I might keep a few of them around, but find it much more fun and satisfying to program from scratch.

  • @palm said:
    diy or die

    If I play guitar or piano no one suggests that I do anything to change the timbre. Suddenly you buy a synth and this is the prevailing mentality? You could play Launchpad loops as your only app and I would not care as long as it sounds great.

    I guess it is priorities. I have limited time and want to make music, other people are better at sound design so I use their work. Simple as that.

  • @richardyot said:
    I would much rather create music than program synth patches, but the trouble is that I often don't find the sounds I'm looking for in the presets, so in order to create the right vibe and sound I'm looking for I have to create my own patches from time to time.

    +100

    I'll add that creating patches often inspires me to make music. It may seem counterintuitive, but I often find that scrolling through a bunch of presets is a hassle and time waster. As beautiful as some presets are, I seldom find gold in there. I understand the other POV, but it just doesn't typically work for me.

  • @shiftsynth1 said:

    @palm said:
    diy or die

    If I play guitar or piano no one suggests that I do anything to change the timbre. Suddenly you buy a synth and this is the prevailing mentality? You could play Launchpad loops as your only app and I would not care as long as it sounds great.

    I guess it is priorities. I have limited time and want to make music, other people are better at sound design so I use their work. Simple as that.

    To be fair with an electric guitar you might spend a long time messing with the timbre, Slash doesn't sound like Johnny Marr for example, guitarists add a lot of sound design in the shape of pedals and amps etc...

    But fundamentally with a synth you have a much wider array of sonic possibilities, which can and should be exploited. Guitars and pianos don't come with ADSR envelopes, and softening the attack for example on a lead guitar sound isn't all that easy (can be done with a volume pedal or an E-bow), but it radically changes the feel of the sound - this kind of thing is trivial with a synth and opens up so many possibilities in terms of feel and texture.

  • @richardyot said:
    I would much rather create music than program synth patches, but the trouble is that I often don't find the sounds I'm looking for in the presets, so in order to create the right vibe and sound I'm looking for I have to create my own patches from time to time.

    I came to the conclusion that it was faster to make the patch I need than to search through the preset browsers for most iOS synths, but I will absolutly use a factory preset if I stumble upon it.

  • edited June 14

    I am always thanks they come with presets. I run through them, look at all the knibs and switches. Best way to learn a synth for me.

    Dont know that Ive ever actually used a preset. But I pretty much make rock music with synths in it. Most are just not programmed for the likes of me. Many sound great on their own, just not my style.

  • I love presets. I find that a really well crafted preset can be that igniting fire to a song. Seriously, I’ve made so many songs off of a single preset that just got my inspiration flowing.

    On the other hand, when all I wanna do is noodle around sounds, then creating presets is very enjoyable. But it definitely slows down my flow IMHO.

  • Once in a while I find my self selecting INIT and do some sound design.
    When I hear @brice patches I put it away again :)

    Seriously @brice how do you do that, Sir? Can you recommend anything for eager learners? Is there a good youtube channel, website, course to buy, book (?!) that helps on the journey?
    Or is it "only" turning and twist knobs for hours cumulating for weeks, for months for years, for decades!?!?

    I would love to get better in diy but its frustrating from time to time ;)

  • For some people is even too much complicated to choose preset, they need "randomize" button :smiley:

  • With every new synth I usually build two or three presets to prove to myself that I can do it.

    And from then on I use the presets exclusively... :smile:

  • @david_2017 said:
    Once in a while I find my self selecting INIT and do some sound design.
    When I hear @brice patches I put it away again :)

    Seriously @brice how do you do that, Sir? Can you recommend anything for eager learners? Is there a good youtube channel, website, course to buy, book (?!) that helps on the journey?
    Or is it "only" turning and twist knobs for hours cumulating for weeks, for months for years, for decades!?!?

    I would love to get better in diy but its frustrating from time to time ;)

    Yes, I’d say it’s a combination of all the things you mentioned. Absorb as much information as you can find; YouTube tutorials, blog posts, books, etc. Pick one or two synths you enjoy playing and turn as many knobs as you can. Spend time focusing on what happens to the sound based on each parameter adjustment. Eventually you’ll begin to understand what parameters need to be adjusted to achieve the result you’re after. It just takes time, and you will be frustrated along the way. But if you enjoy the process then these frustrations won’t derail you.

    I don’t have any specific suggestions for resources to pursue, though I have heard good things about Syntorial. However, as a place to start I would suggest learning subtractive synthesis as a subject. This knowledge will translate across a wide variety of synths. Learn how to identify the sound of basic waveforms (sine, saw, triangle, square,....) and why you may choose one waveform over another to craft a specific sound. That knowledge will go a long way towards a deeper understanding of sound design.

  • I’ll have spells when I create a ton of patches I like for no apparent use. Then, down the line after I’ve forgotten about them, I’ll open up a synth when working on a song and it all comes together magically with a load of presets that seem to fit perfectly what I’m doing in the song. I have good, dumb luck in that way and I’m thankful for it.

    P.S. @brice Starion Pad in Zeeon is the best synth patch ever. I’ve already used it in a track, but I still go back time and time again to just play pads with it.

  • @oat_phipps said:
    I’ll have spells when I create a ton of patches I like for no apparent use. Then, down the line after I’ve forgotten about them, I’ll open up a synth when working on a song and it all comes together magically with a load of presets that seem to fit perfectly what I’m doing in the song. I have good, dumb luck in that way and I’m thankful for it.

    My feeling is that it isn’t dumb luck at all. You make patches that appeal to your sensibilities and they make their way into the finished product. Just a thought...

  • @ALB said:

    @oat_phipps said:
    I’ll have spells when I create a ton of patches I like for no apparent use. Then, down the line after I’ve forgotten about them, I’ll open up a synth when working on a song and it all comes together magically with a load of presets that seem to fit perfectly what I’m doing in the song. I have good, dumb luck in that way and I’m thankful for it.

    My feeling is that it isn’t dumb luck at all. You make patches that appeal to your sensibilities and they make their way into the finished product. Just a thought...

    Well either way, it’s a reminder that as long as you’re doing something productive and entertaining yourself instead of getting frustrated you can’t crank out the song you want on demand, it’ll all come back around.

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