can i do music x with synth x?

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Johnny Lenin
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Post by Johnny Lenin » Sat Apr 05, 2008 7:42 pm

clubbedtodeath wrote:The problem is not that they ask, but how we answer.
Very wise, Master Clubbed!

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nuketifromorbit
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Post by nuketifromorbit » Sat Apr 05, 2008 8:16 pm

I have to admit that at one point I too was guilty of asking such questions. However, In my defense I thought it would be best to include the genre of music I was interested in when asking," what synth should I get?" This was largely due to the Tweaks site which for the most part recommends that you include this information when making such a request in their forums.

I'm a bit embarrassed about this situation, especially considering that I'm more interested in patch creation than song writing. I'm afraid that I'm going to turn into one of those guys who owns multiple synths just for the sake of making weird noises (hey there are far worse and more expensive hobbies out there).

Now that I know better I would have to agree that such questions are ultimately redundant. Most true synths are capable of performing multiple roles in multiple musical genres, given that they have enough modulation capabilities. Now a days I find drawn to synth's not simply based upon there sound qualities, but the usability of their interface, their durability, and their overall build quality.
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Post by Joey » Sat Apr 05, 2008 8:21 pm

I never understood the point of those threads either, nearly any gear can make any type of music (except maybe a fizmo), its all about how you use it

less gear = more creativity.

hence why i've sold off most of my synths

limitations force you to really learn how to get the most out of your gear...
No one cares, no one sympathizes,
so you just stay home and play synthesizers.

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Post by OriginalJambo » Sat Apr 05, 2008 11:57 pm

On one hand the question is indeed a bit difficult to answer...there are no real hard and fast rules on what gear should be used for a specific genre of music - it's up to the writer of the music to decide what works. And I also agree that emulating your favourite band/solo musician 'til the cows come home isn't always the way forward. Developing your own sound is something that people are more likely to dig.

However, on the other hand it's apparent that some synths are just better for certain, specific applications over others.

Say someone wanted to write a track inspired by funk in the vein of late 70s/early 80s bands. Something analogue sounding and punchy would be a great start...where as a Roland D-50 wouldn't really cut it. Of course, it'd be a h**l of a lot more useful than an analogue synth for late 80s new age music. I mean I'm sure you can get a decent bass sound out of a D-50 but compared to your basic Moog mono which just screams "I do bass like nobody's business" after you twiddle a couple of knobs...would you really want to bother?

So in a sense I see these threads being justified providing the original poster provides enough detail about what they are looking for. You have to remember that not everyone has experienced both or either in this case - and if we can offer our advice it can sometimes help them find what works for them.

And finally I put this to all of you - would you rather take synth advice from VSE or your local Guitar Centre? ;) I think that's one of the great things about VSE - where many of the people know the gear and care.

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nuketifromorbit
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Post by nuketifromorbit » Sun Apr 06, 2008 12:23 am

Joey wrote:I never understood the point of those threads either, nearly any gear can make any type of music (except maybe a fizmo), its all about how you use it

less gear = more creativity.

hence why i've sold off most of my synths

limitations force you to really learn how to get the most out of your gear...
I think "less gear=easier work flow and less distractions" would be a better analogy. You also have to realize that you own an extremely flexible and powerful synth (the virus polar) thats capable of performing multiple tasks, but of course it's also one of the most expensive VA's in existence. I own three synths compared to your two, but two only cost around 360 and the other only a measly 83 USD. So I could definitely see someone accumulating four or five synths, each covering different synthesis methods, over the course of half a decade, due to an inability to plop down more than two grand for one synth. Besides one could always just selectively use just one synth for a certain project, or set of songs in order to streamline their work process.

I've always had a problem with both GAS and negative GAS. In fact I'm probably a prime example of a what a newb should avoid being. I would accumulate four or five synths and then feel that I had to dump at least one due to lack of use, general dislike, or even guilt over owning so many. While this lead to me being able to try out a ton of gear and the end select two that I absolutely love, it also caused me a great deal of stress and resulted in the unnecessary loss of money. I've owned the following in the three and a half years.

alesis Micron (bad choice for a first synth)
yamaha dx200
korg ms2000br
korg ms2000r
korg microkorgx2
korg ea 1 x2
kawai k3
kawai k4r
kawai k1m (sadly broken on accident)
roland r8
zoom mrt-b
emu esi32
korg es1 mk2
zoom st 224
korg wavestation
yamaha tg33
yamana tx7
yamaha tx81z
ensoniq sq80
DSI evolver desktop

I've pretty much become inseparable from my Microkorg and SQ80. I feel that I can guiltlessly leave my tx81z on the back burner due to its low cost. The only thing I really want currently is another DSI evolver desktop, but I've promised myself I'd wait a year before I make another major purchase. Fortunately I think I've finally conquered my gear lust.

Honestly the best advice we can give newbs here is to try out any gear possible before purchasing, try to hunt down online demos that go well beyond a synths presets, and to come close to fully exploring a synth before moving onto a new purchase. I honestly wish someone had told me this when I first started asking around vse and tweakheadz. [/b]
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Post by Joey » Sun Apr 06, 2008 12:42 am

nuketifromorbit wrote:
Joey wrote:I never understood the point of those threads either, nearly any gear can make any type of music (except maybe a fizmo), its all about how you use it

less gear = more creativity.

hence why i've sold off most of my synths

limitations force you to really learn how to get the most out of your gear...
I think "less gear=easier work flow and less distractions" would be a better analogy. You also have to realize that you own an extremely flexible and powerful synth (the virus polar) thats capable of performing multiple tasks, but of course it's also one of the most expensive VA's in existence. I own three synths compared to your two, but two only cost around 360 and the other only a measly 83 USD. So I could definitely see someone accumulating four or five synths, each covering different synthesis methods, over the course of half a decade, due to an inability to plop down more than two grand for one synth. Besides one could always just selectively use just one synth for a certain project, or set of songs in order to streamline their work process.

I've always had a problem with both GAS and negative GAS. In fact I'm probably a prime example of a what a newb should avoid being. I would accumulate four or five synths and then feel that I had to dump at least one due to lack of use, general dislike, or even guilt over owning so many. While this lead to me being able to try out a ton of gear and the end select two that I absolutely love, it also caused me a great deal of stress and resulted in the unnecessary loss of money. I've owned the following in the three and a half years.

alesis Micron (bad choice for a first synth)
yamaha dx200
korg ms2000br
korg ms2000r
korg microkorgx2
korg ea 1 x2
kawai k3
kawai k4r
kawai k1m (sadly broken on accident)
roland r8
zoom mrt-b
emu esi32
korg es1 mk2
zoom st 224
korg wavestation
yamaha tg33
yamana tx7
yamaha tx81z
ensoniq sq80
DSI evolver desktop

I've pretty much become inseparable from my Microkorg and SQ80. I feel that I can guiltlessly leave my tx81z on the back burner due to its low cost. The only thing I really want currently is another DSI evolver desktop, but I've promised myself I'd wait a year before I make another major purchase. Fortunately I think I've finally conquered my gear lust.

Honestly the best advice we can give newbs here is to try out any gear possible before purchasing, try to hunt down online demos that go well beyond a synths presets, and to come close to fully exploring a synth before moving onto a new purchase. I honestly wish someone had told me this when I first started asking around vse and tweakheadz. [/b]
I did my entire first album (7 tracks) with just a microkorg, fruity loops for drums, and sony acid pro. I mastered that synth, and I understand my setup now is a bit more flexible.

I at one point had a whole mess of synths (virus, ms2000, voyager, nord lead 2x, cZ5000, juno, tx81z, m1r) and I got nothing done.

Narrowing it down to just two synths has really helped me focus in, and now i'm actually getting this cd done.

I definitely have my bouts of GAS, but this narrowing down of the setup has really opened my eyes to songwriting instaed of searching craigslist and ebay for that perfect synth.

I agree that certain synths have specific sounds, but this guy listed a plethora of gear that will more than cover any style of music.

The question of can I have x synth for x type of music bugs me a bit because of the entire genrefication thing with synths, it makes people expect certain things from gear and it might not be what they really wanted. I.E. saying the jd800 is only for pads, etc. It also leads people to constantly be searching for that one piece of gear that will automatically make their sound, which they will never find.
No one cares, no one sympathizes,
so you just stay home and play synthesizers.

http://wearereplicants.com

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Post by nuketifromorbit » Sun Apr 06, 2008 1:45 am

Joey wrote:
nuketifromorbit wrote:
Joey wrote: I agree that certain synths have specific sounds, but this guy listed a plethora of gear that will more than cover any style of music.

The question of can I have x synth for x type of music bugs me a bit because of the entire genrefication thing with synths, it makes people expect certain things from gear and it might not be what they really wanted. I.E. saying the jd800 is only for pads, etc. It also leads people to constantly be searching for that one piece of gear that will automatically make their sound, which they will never find.
Keep in mind I didn't own all this stuff at once, I never owned more than 5 synths at a time, nor was I aiming to get a particular sound or attempting to recreate a certain style of music. I wisely kept the gear that I was most productive with and sold the rest. Besides I was listing my huge former gear list as a negative situation not a positive one and stating that we should attempt to steer newbies away from making similar mistakes and politely explain to them why such questions are redundant, rather than calling them idiots for asking a fairly honest question. The mods should just set up a sticky thread and be done with it.

For the most part I'm in agreement with you. Its just that I personally would rather own and stick with several affordable synths rather than latter upgrade to a single expensive model (well that and the juno). This is simply a matter of personal preference. I would regret narrowing my collection down to just two for the sake of writing music, simply due to the fact that I would miss the experience of interacting with the ones to be sold. I apologize if I'm coming across as confrontational.

Edit* I'm not claiming that you personally thought it would best to call such people idiots.
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Post by cram1960 » Sun Apr 13, 2008 7:37 pm

About wanting to sound like band "X" (originality/creativity), I 'll say:

The Beatles started out playing covers and trying to sound like the bands they admired from the States...then they found their own voices. Ray Charles stated out trying to sound like Charles Brown, until he developed his own voice. Some people are inspired to begin their musical quest because they hear an inner voice, some are inspired to begin from without (hearing something cool and wanting o sound like that)...neither is bad or good.

About more gear = less creativity, I'll say": less creativity = less creativity

More distraction, perhaps. But for me music/synths is a hobby...an activity, so absolute"production" is not necessary.
AND I like gear. I like having stuff and getting stuff...
Plus what's to say that creativity can be counted in completed works? More songs= more creativity??? I call BS.

Johnny Lenin wrote:
"you can use any synthesizer in any kind of music; the limitations are not in the instrument but in your imagination."

I like that. I also like:

"You can come her and ask any synth question you may have, , and we will try to help, without attitude or elitism.
The more people into synthesis for whatever reason, the better the community gets for us all." - I wrote that.

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Post by CS_TBL » Sun Apr 13, 2008 7:56 pm

The typical 'Less=More' statement can't be applied to everyone. If ppl need to be restricted in order to get creative then one may wonder why that certain person wasn't able to get creative with lots more equipment. A discussion could be made about the subject 'creativity' or even 'writers block', but those should be without the amount of synths one has.

One could get an idea by fiddling a bit with some preset of a synth, but someone could also get an idea by creating a sound-concept in his mind. In the latter case it's relevant to work out which synth one needs to realize that concept. If it can't be realized with his current synths then he may think about getting a new synth which is able to realize his concept. It's not like each synth is an endless resource, it's not like you always *can* get a certain sound from a specific synth. At a certain point one reaches the end of a synth.
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Post by GeneralBigbag » Sun Apr 13, 2008 8:31 pm

tallowwaters wrote:Picasso, etc never said 'i want to write/paint/sculpt/sound like that mammyrammer'
Picasso said 'Hey, that Braque guy's got a good racket going on...' :)
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Post by tallowwaters » Sun Apr 13, 2008 10:32 pm

GeneralBigbag wrote:
tallowwaters wrote:Picasso, etc never said 'i want to write/paint/sculpt/sound like that mammyrammer'
Picasso said 'Hey, that Braque guy's got a good racket going on...' :)
fine, i meant cezanne or bosch or manet...
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