can i do music x with synth x?

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zmd
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can i do music x with synth x?

Post by zmd » Sat Apr 05, 2008 2:32 am

i wonder when i look at these threads
this is not meant as a shot at anyone, keep asking em, they are good threads quite often!!!

i have a limited stable of synths compared to some, a nice rig compared to others. i have found, learing the gear can allow it to fit what you need. i am the proud new owner of an ion and a korg p3 piano module.
both of these are immediately pressed into service in ambient, industrial, indie and 80's cover work. they are added to the rest to broaden my pallette. i can't imagine a painter saying, does anyone know if this burnt cyan color will work for dada? :)

i have no point, as usual. just thinking bout the broad use of all synths with some input of imagination.

wonder if synthesizers.com has an imagination module?
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Post by alfadawg01 » Sat Apr 05, 2008 3:37 am

I understand your point and agree wholeheartedly. You can make dark ambient with an out-of-tune upright piano and you can make polkas with a Virus TI, provided you have the imagination, chops and musical vocabulary to pull it off with a modicum of credibility. That was the point of synthesizers in the beginning....the removal of boundaries. Better living through electricity and all that. A gold cape helps, too...... :shock:

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Post by Sir Ruff » Sat Apr 05, 2008 3:59 am

I would say that (from my own experience), the more tools one has, the less creativity is spurred. (but unfortunately, that still doesn't stop one from wanting more tools!)
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Re: can i do music x with synth x?

Post by Yoozer » Sat Apr 05, 2008 9:36 am

zmd wrote: i can't imagine a painter saying, does anyone know if this burnt cyan color will work for dada? :)
If it weren't for the fact that not everyone knows what dada is, I'd say that is one of the best analogies I've seen and it should immediately kill the train of thought that associates any synthesizer with any genre.
just thinking bout the broad use of all synths with some input of imagination.
And that's only synths. Thing is, not many* people seem to use their imagination, as it is hard enough for most to even find out that there are knobs on a synth meant to be turned or played with :).

* the question "what plugin do I need" is put forth far more often than "hey, look what I found"
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Post by monolith » Sat Apr 05, 2008 11:03 am

I dig this thread and agree that the Dada analogy is brilliant.
I feel that to assign x synth to x music is anti-innovation. How about getting a synth that isnt 'known' for x kind of music, then chances are you're a step on the way to advancing and evolving that genre's sound. :)

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Re: can i do music x with synth x?

Post by DocT » Sat Apr 05, 2008 11:08 am

Yoozer wrote:as it is hard enough for most to even find out that there are knobs on a synth meant to be turned or played with :).
So what the original question implies is "can I do music x with the factory preset sounds of synth x without using velocity, aftertouch or wheels of a controller keyboard ?" ;)

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Post by clubbedtodeath » Sat Apr 05, 2008 12:51 pm

I agree Zmd, completely. I find the more I explore a synth, the more unexpected corners I find.

As a mod here, I check in regularly and see a lot of these threads. If someone asks that question, I feel they don't understand synthesis.

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Re: can i do music x with synth x?

Post by Johnny Lenin » Sat Apr 05, 2008 1:49 pm

Yoozer wrote:If it weren't for the fact that not everyone knows what dada is, I'd say that is one of the best analogies I've seen and it should immediately kill the train of thought that associates any synthesizer with any genre.
Dada excites everything!

I can understand how certain synthesizers become associated with certain kinds of music. I mean, if there's a certain musician who you'd like to emulate, one of the first things you do is go look at his gear list. On the other hand, that kind of emulation is ultimately a dead-end street.

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Post by tallowwaters » Sat Apr 05, 2008 3:18 pm

clubbedtodeath wrote: I feel they don't understand synthesis.
I feel they shouldnt be making music, period. I have never understood why people have to be told what to buy.

Hey guys, i have 2 grand and saw a (insert shite band here) and thought, h**l that looks cool and i am a friggin sheep, so why i dont try it out? anyhow what synth should i buy that would make me sound like (insert derivative band that sucks a*s here).

I always want to respond with 'give your 2 grand to a musical charity, tool' but alas, common decency gets the better of me.
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Post by Johnny Lenin » Sat Apr 05, 2008 3:41 pm

In fairness -- and this is where I try to play devil's advocate -- not everyone who wants to make music knows how to make music. You have to start from somewhere.

Considering that (a) synthesizers aren't exactly dirt-cheap, though you can still get pretty far on a budget of a few hundred bucks, (b) their function is not quite as obvious as, say, a drum -- bang drum, make noise, repeat, (c) people drawn to make music for the first time are usually inspired by something they've heard, then it's not really that unexpected a question.

In practical terms, you can imagine a novice thinking "gee, I'd really like to make music like <insert artist name>, but I don't have that much money to spend, so I want to get the ideal equipment to do it... maybe I'll ask some experts." Which is why they ask those questions here.

Maybe we should just add this question to a standing FAQ document with the answer "you can use any synthesizer in any kind of music; the limitations are not in the instrument but in your imagination."

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Post by zmd » Sat Apr 05, 2008 4:00 pm

very fair statement. i certainly don't think those threads should be banned or anything, lots of em end up being great reads...like the 80's synth one on here now.

i see a division in some of em tho. some of them are looking for...sonic character? is that a good word?
i need a synth that is overall mellow/bright/cutting/whatever.
vs
i need a synth that will do power pop doom glam!!! i need it to even say that on the back where you'd normally see casio emblazoned!!!!!!!!!


actually, i want that second one now, where's my burnt cyan spray paint at?
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Post by tim gueguen » Sat Apr 05, 2008 6:20 pm

"Can I used X for Y?" threads are common in guitarland as well.

One of the ironies of these kind of threads when it comes to certain forms of synth music is that the artists used certain pieces of gear originally because that's what they could afford. The early house and techno guys latched on to stuff like the TB303 and DX100 because they were cheap.
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Post by tallowwaters » Sat Apr 05, 2008 6:45 pm

Johnny Lenin wrote:
In practical terms, you can imagine a novice thinking "gee, I'd really like to make music like <insert artist name>, but I don't have that much money to spend, so I want to get the ideal equipment to do it... maybe I'll ask some experts." Which is why they ask those questions here.
at the risk of sounding a bit jugelish ( :wink: ), why in the h**l would anybody hear something and think 'i want to sound like that!'

i could easily see how that would be important if you were in a tribute band maybe, but for 'original' music?

I dont know... i can listen to 'converting vegetarians' by infected mushroom and think about how bad a*s those weird organic loops that dont sound like any synth i have heard before sound, but i dont think 'i need to buy whatever softie/overpriced synth they used for that.'

of course i guess that is the difference between cull and prime, right? Machen, Picasso, Stockhausen, etc never said 'i want to write/paint/sculpt/sound like that mammyrammer' so for each foetus thirwell we get a couple dozen stabbing westwards...
Brains can be used like a "stress ball," but only once.

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Post by Johnny Lenin » Sat Apr 05, 2008 7:28 pm

tallowwaters wrote:of course i guess that is the difference between cull and prime, right? Machen, Picasso, Stockhausen, etc never said 'i want to write/paint/sculpt/sound like that mammyrammer' so for each foetus thirwell we get a couple dozen stabbing westwards...
Well... not as mature artists, but at the beginning, they certainly went through periods of imitation [I'm speaking of Picasso and Stockhausen, in any event]. Picasso's earliest work was highly derivative, and it's obvious that Stockhausen is trying hard to sound like Messiaen in some of his work from the 1950s.

On the whole, I agree with you -- there's something self-defeating about another Eno, Tangerine Dream or Boards of Canada knockoff. It doesn't really go anywhere and the imitation is never as exciting or successful as the original. On the other hand, we all do have to start somewhere and I'm not at all convinced that there is any such thing as completely original art anyway. Every use of a minor pentatonic scale, a major-seventh chord or a 4/4 rhythm with the stress on the third beat is derivative of something...

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Post by clubbedtodeath » Sat Apr 05, 2008 7:37 pm

The problem is not that they ask, but how we answer.

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