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Synth sound strategies...

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Re: Synth sound strategies...

Postby Arpangel » Sat Jan 04, 2020 9:44 am

Sam Spoons wrote:I always though 'boffin' was just a name for a flatulent scientist. :D

Isn’t that a bay somewhere in Canada?
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Re: Synth sound strategies...

Postby Sam Spoons » Sat Jan 04, 2020 11:02 am

If it is it's probably windy all the time :D
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Re: Synth sound strategies...

Postby Wonks » Sat Jan 04, 2020 12:53 pm

If you've ever read "Most Secret War" by RV Jones (one of the men who really made a huge difference in WW2), you'll note that for him, the term 'Boffin' was reserved for scientific stuffed-shirt management, not the scientists themselves.

A highly recommended and most fascinating book BTW.
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Re: Synth sound strategies...

Postby ManFromGlass » Sat Jan 04, 2020 1:52 pm

I love that stuff - thanks, Wonks.
Oh and it’s Boffin Island.
Oh wait, Baffin Island. Visited by the Norsemen many years ago.
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Re: Synth sound strategies...

Postby Arpangel » Sun Jan 05, 2020 10:38 am

Baffin Island? Noisemen?

I’m baffled...
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Re: Synth sound strategies...

Postby Chimera » Wed Jan 08, 2020 1:24 am

Interesting thread. I have ended up favouring synths that have software editors available. This wasn’t a conscious choice, I just gravitated to them as I enjoy a visual cue to help explain what I am hearing. I adjust settings on the synth but use the editor to avoid menu diving.

Using the editor as a reference I review every patch on a new synth and treat it as a springboard, exaggerating what I like and diminishing what I don’t. If there is space on the synth then I will save there and give a reference to the sound type with the patch name. During noodling sessions I revisit sounds and develop them more, saving them to the Mac as PatchX1, X2 etc. Working this way, I get a feel for what the synth does well. Once I reach this point I begin creating from an init patch to tailor the patch specifically to a song - built in wardrobes look more professional than freestanding/off the shelf wardrobes. Being able to name a patch is really important. My OB6 is underused just because the number cannot reference the sound. My methodology is really just an observation of my passive/lazy strategy but understanding it has become a big factor in which new synths I will buy.
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Re: Synth sound strategies...

Postby BJG145 » Sat Jan 11, 2020 6:24 pm

desmond wrote:The next favoured approach is to not delete stuff (in case they might be useful for some future project), but spend a little time and go through and Favourite or rate them. This means I can at least go into Show Faves mode, or Sort by Rating, and only flip through sounds that are to my taste, and skip all the wobble basses, EDM gunk and alien space landscapes. While this is also an investment, I usually break it up by grabbing a coffee and say "Ok, let's going through the Pad category" today, and just work through the sounds to fave or rate them (depending on the features of the synth).

In something like Alchemy, say, I will usually do something like:
5 stars - *love this*
4 stars - really nice
3 stars - ok, but nothing special
2 stars - don't really like, can't see it being useful
1 star - awful/useless

Just a quick note to say thanks for this; currently working through a batch of presets on this basis for a forthcoming live set and it's simple but useful advice.

(It's actually a patchbank on a Roland El-Cajon. It only has a number for each patch. I've just finished jotting down notes on the "FX" section.)

1) Techo maxx
2) Crazy techno
3) Hard shake
4) Epic dustbin
5) Bad steel
6) Woodpecker crunch
7) Talkdrum
8) Steel dustbin
9) Belltree
10) Don’t

...don't think I'll be using any of those for tonight's rendition of "Sex on Fire". :tongue:
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Re: Synth sound strategies...

Postby BillB » Sat Jan 11, 2020 8:25 pm

Thanks, interesting to hear your approach and preferences, mine are similar. I have a Roland SH-201, great little VA synth for making sounds on, but a pig when it comes to saving or remembering sound locations, as it has no display. It has a 'proper virtual analogue filing system' of buttons to select 4 banks x 8 programmes... :headbang:

So that's a warning that, even though I really fancy the sound of a Korg DW8000, it would share the same frustration - well, similar - two digit numeric display.

I had a system of 6 stars I was using in MidiQuest, but since the comments on this thread I have rationalised it to 5, as Desmond's rating is so useful. I have now changed it from stars to the numbers 1 (best) to 5 (worst) so that patches can be listed in 'quality' order by clicking on a MidiQuest library column header.

For me, this is all moving towards a really good set of categorised patches on each synth, with the rest as backup. May take a while to get there...
I'm grateful for everyone's thoughts to date. :thumbup:
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