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Is it possible to make money from programming synthesizers?

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Is it possible to make money from programming synthesizers?

PostPosted: Mon Dec 24, 2018 4:24 pm
by Stickman0_3
I remember when companies such as PA Dacoder, Manymidi, Mirror Image and Sounds OK used to offer sounds for synthesizers like - Yamaha DX7, Ensoniq ESQ*1, Roland D50, Roland Alpha Juno, Casio CZ, Korg Poly 800 to name but a few.

Are these type of companies still in existance? Is there a group I could join to share my passion for synthesizer programming? How did the afore mentioned companies start? I would really be interested in something like that.

Re: Is it possible to make money from programming synthesizers?

PostPosted: Mon Dec 24, 2018 6:35 pm
by desmond
It *is* possible to make money from synth programming, but these days are very different to the days of those old companies, where you could sell commercially a ROM card of 50 sounds for £80.

These days, everyone has access to a million sounds and synths, so the need for sounds is not nearly the same as back in the day when you'd shelled out £1500 for a D50 or M1 or DX7 and needed to maximise it's utility in your setup.

Leaving the big companies aside, who have their own voicing teams, to do synth patches you can either setup as your own business and do the marketing/sales yourself, or try and build relationships with synth developers/companies and offer your products through them. Celebrity programmers/artists have a bit of a shortcut to do this because a synth developer can market those patches of your name.

Note though that many people make/sell patches for synths, especially software synths, so it's hard to make a name for yourself. There are many reputable preset makers out there, and there is a varying level of quality too. As far as I'm concerned, some of these people offering patches for sale shouldn't be, as the quality is poor, the utility and the musicianship and attention-to-detail is poor. Little thought to performance controls, keyboard scaling, volume balancing and so on. If you've not developed patches commercially before, there's a lot to do (imho) to get from "some patches" to "good commercial quality".

I started back in the day by making patches and offering them for free, both individually, and offering them to synth developers for free to build relationships, and over time, you get to voice new synths, or offering commercial banks, and different companies have different requirements and levels of financial return. But like any endeavour, to do it seriously, it's a build over time. Anyone can make patches, but not anyone has what it takes to do multiple good, themed commercial-level patch sets with the attention to detail and musicality I expect from a patch set.

Re: Is it possible to make money from programming synthesizers?

PostPosted: Mon Dec 24, 2018 8:52 pm
by Stickman0_3
Whenevevr I've programmed sounds in the past I've always left the perfomance parameters as they were on the original sound.

I have bought sounds with no performance data whatsoever.

Re: Is it possible to make money from programming synthesizers?

PostPosted: Mon Dec 24, 2018 10:19 pm
by desmond
Like I say, they are plenty of poor sounds with lazy programming out there, and without the reputation of someone who is known for quality, there’s no way to tell pre-purchase what you are getting.

Re: Is it possible to make money from programming synthesizers?

PostPosted: Mon Dec 24, 2018 10:25 pm
by Janneman
I know somebody who is only programing big lightshows for bands. I never went on tour with them. But only design and program the complete show.

I think there will be a job for you in programming midi stuff andso.

Re: Is it possible to make money from programming synthesizers?

PostPosted: Tue Dec 25, 2018 2:31 pm
by CS70
Janneman wrote:I know somebody who is only programing big lightshows for bands. I never went on tour with them. But only design and program the complete show.

I think there will be a job for you in programming midi stuff andso.

That's super interesting. Had no idea you could make a living doing that. :)

Re: Is it possible to make money from programming synthesizers?

PostPosted: Tue Dec 25, 2018 2:55 pm
by Sam Spoons
Lighting designers are quite important people in the theatre world and their brief will be to design and programme the show in collaboration with the director and various others. They will then, probably, leave it to others to implement.

Re: Is it possible to make money from programming synthesizers?

PostPosted: Thu Jan 17, 2019 1:09 pm
by Stickman0_3
OK, I have a spare Facebook page that I might set up for my sounds, failing that I may just put some information on my LinkedIn page or carry on just selling them through classified ads. Any ideas welcome.