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One Synth Challenge V - The Filter Strikes Back!

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One Synth Challenge V - The Filter Strikes Back!

Postby Dave B » Fri Oct 23, 2020 11:31 am

It's that time (yet) again! You know you've been waiting for it for months, but finally it's here! No, not an early Xmas, but another One Synth Challenge! Yay!

For anyone who hasn't taken part before, this is what we do :

1. Pick a synth, any synth.
2. Use it, and only it, to make a track
3. Send it in

So let's take these in order. Most of us (even Will) have more than one synth in our arsenal (modular is a grey area here ... but go with me on this) and we tend to fall back to familiar patterns : a Moog bass, an Oberheim pad, a Korg choir, etc. (Bear in mind that I'm probably the worst culprit - I've been using the same 'JD800 warm pad' patch now for nigh on a quarter of a century!) The idea of the challenge is to break this habit and force us to try and get to really know what our gear is capable of when we push it a bit.

So pick one synth - plugin, or hardware, we really don't care. If previous challenges are anything to go by, most of now can't really tell the difference in a mix anyway.. Take / write a piece of music / song and then use that one synth for ALL of the various parts that you can hear in the arrangement. The one exception is drums : feel free to use a drum machine / samples / kit (!) as I find that the rattle and bleep of pure synth percussion can get tiring ;)

Vocals are also fine. :D

Once you have you track, upload it to a quiet corner of the internet and then PM me with a link so that I can download the track to include in the playlist. Ideally, this would be a wav/aiff 24/44.1 file so that we lose the least quality when it gets (re)encoded by Soundcloud. As well as the link, please let me know the name of the track and what synth you used to make it. (Unless you're Desmond as he likes to torture me as he knows that my not knowing drives me bonkers)

The deadline for this challenge is Saturday the 28th November, so please make sure that you've submitted your tracks by midnight. I will then spend the Sunday anonymising them and creating a Soundcloud playlist which I will publish here. The playlist will just be track1, track2, etc so that we will have a few days of blind listening as it's a bit of fun to try and work out who did what and what gear was used. Possibly futile as well ....

After a couple of days of blind listening, I'll publish the list of the tracks, the author and the synth. You can score points if you like and I am always happy to buy the winner a KitKat at the next SynthFest.

Apart from that, there aren't really any rules. We've tried having a theme once - so if anyone wants one then we can have a discussion and pick one. If you really fancy a good challenge, then you can try borrowing kit from friends / fellow forum members. However we do it, we've had some really amazing entries from the simplest of synths all the way up to really complex modelling synths - nothing is out of bounds here. Pick a free plugin or use your Moog One - both have been done and both have been astonishing.

Any other questions then please shout.

Other than that, fire up the studio and have a blast!
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Re: One Synth Challenge V - The Filter Strikes Back!

Postby desmond » Fri Oct 23, 2020 11:38 am

Mine's nearly done! :blush:

(At least this time I didn't have such horrendous monitoring problems to fight my way through...)

Dave B wrote:(Unless you're Desmond as he likes to torture me as he knows that my not knowing drives me bonkers)

I do it purely for you Dave, so you can have a little bit of the guessing fun - after all, knowing everything can be rather tiresome!

So just remember that WHEN I MAKE YOU GUESS! mu-wa-ha-ha! ;)
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Re: One Synth Challenge V - The Filter Strikes Back!

Postby RichardT » Fri Oct 23, 2020 12:56 pm

desmond wrote:Mine's nearly done! :blush:

(At least this time I didn't have such horrendous monitoring problems to fight my way through...)

Dave B wrote:(Unless you're Desmond as he likes to torture me as he knows that my not knowing drives me bonkers)

I do it purely for you Dave, so you can have a little bit of the guessing fun - after all, knowing everything can be rather tiresome!

So just remember that WHEN I MAKE YOU GUESS! mu-wa-ha-ha! ;)

Nearly done? Nice work. I haven’t even started the process of engaging my brain yet.
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Re: One Synth Challenge V - The Filter Strikes Back!

Postby Eddy Deegan » Fri Oct 23, 2020 1:32 pm

Looking forward to this! I shall get stuck in immediately and hope that my slightly unusual (for me) idea works as well as I hope it will :thumbup:
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Re: One Synth Challenge V - The Filter Strikes Back!

Postby zenguitar » Fri Oct 23, 2020 1:40 pm

Any truth in the rumours that you are doing a cover of "up on the roof" Eddy?

Andy :beamup:
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Re: One Synth Challenge V - The Filter Strikes Back!

Postby Eddy Deegan » Fri Oct 23, 2020 3:55 pm

:lol:
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Re: One Synth Challenge V - The Filter Strikes Back!

Postby Ben Asaro » Fri Oct 23, 2020 4:51 pm

ooo, I may actually join in this time! Does the Subharmonicon count as a single synth? :)
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Re: One Synth Challenge V - The Filter Strikes Back!

Postby desmond » Fri Oct 23, 2020 5:43 pm

Ben Asaro wrote:Does the Subharmonicon count as a single synth? :)

You're not supposed to *tell* people what you'll be using!!

For the purposes of not spoiling the fun, no you can't use the Subharmonicon*, sorry.

* You totally can use it, it's a synth, it's fine. ;)
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Re: One Synth Challenge V - The Filter Strikes Back!

Postby Ben Asaro » Fri Oct 23, 2020 5:55 pm

LOL I din't know it was supposed to be a secret. Doh! :headbang:
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Re: One Synth Challenge V - The Filter Strikes Back!

Postby desmond » Fri Oct 23, 2020 5:57 pm

RichardT wrote:Nearly done? Nice work.

I like to get started early, rather than leave it to the last minute...

As this one is different to what I was previously thinking of doing, I might try to do another one, possibly doing something very different and even making it in a different way, as part of the process of exploring different options... we'll see what happens... :o
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Re: One Synth Challenge V - The Filter Strikes Back!

Postby Folderol » Fri Oct 23, 2020 6:18 pm

I haven't even thought about thinking about a song yet :cry:
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Re: One Synth Challenge V - The Filter Strikes Back!

Postby BJG145 » Sat Oct 24, 2020 4:39 pm

Awesome - cheers Dave. It's got me doodling on some different sounds this morning...:thumbup:

Ben Asaro wrote:LOL I din't know it was supposed to be a secret. Doh!

Well, you could still use it...you'll just have to be reeaally creative with it... ;)
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Re: One Synth Challenge V - The Filter Strikes Back!

Postby al_diablo » Sun Oct 25, 2020 10:07 am

Having not done this before, are there any rules / agreed limits on processing / effects / mixing?

Just want to make sure I enter into the spirit of things properly :)
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Re: One Synth Challenge V - The Filter Strikes Back!

Postby Dave B » Sun Oct 25, 2020 12:33 pm

Good point al_diablo.

Any effects processing is fine. I think we'd probably draw the line at an external filter but if you want to do a whole track with a Vox Continental and an Eventide then I've no issue with that..

And I've no problem with automation in the mix controlling parameters on the synth either.

The aim of the challenge is to get you to really dig into what a synth can do and stretch yourself a bit. Other than that, just have fun with it!

:D
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Re: One Synth Challenge V - The Filter Strikes Back!

Postby Dave B » Tue Oct 27, 2020 9:20 am

Another good question has been asked via PM : target mix levels?

I tend to mix to -14LUFS-i (K14 standard) as that seems roughly the norm these days. I'm not going to reject anything that doesn't conform, but if you like a nice target to mix to, let's use that.

:D
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