How do you listen to your synth when programming?

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How do you monitor your synth while programming new sounds?

1. Through headphones only
7
17%
2. Through speakers only
16
38%
3. First through headphones then speakers
6
14%
4. First speakers then headphones
9
21%
5. I don't make my own sounds
0
No votes
6. Other
4
10%
 
Total votes: 42

ImperatorDX
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How do you listen to your synth when programming?

Post by ImperatorDX » Mon Jul 19, 2010 8:08 pm

Hi VSE, I've got a poll for you. How do you monitor your synths while programming new sounds?

I've noticed that my synth programming has improved since I started to use my speakers to make the adjustments to the sounds. I used to make satisfying patches that sounded good through the headphones. However, when I played them through the speakers I noticed that the sounds became rather flimsy. As a result I deleted a lot of seemingly nice patches I had made during the years.

Now I listen to a sound through the headphones and the speakers and try to make the best of it in both listening situations. It involves a different programming approach, mainly because I need to think from the start about keeping some of the synthesis resources available to give the sound more roundness or fullness when needed. This necessity can sometimes limit the pallette of the synth but on the other hand the sounds I get are way more satisfying. :hi:
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Re: How do you listen to your synth when programming?

Post by Synthaholic » Mon Jul 19, 2010 11:10 pm

I chose "through speakers only" since 9 times out of 10 that's what I do. Sometimes I'll switch to headphones to tweak the subtle things that are easy to miss on speakers, like fine tuning the mix between layers, panning and chorus effects, things like that.

I'll also use headphones if the environment is noisy (since I don't have a dedicated "studio").
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Re: How do you listen to your synth when programming?

Post by N8-R » Mon Jul 19, 2010 11:32 pm

Definitely through my monitors, unless it's late. If it's late, I use headphones. Don't want to bother the roommates and neighbors. ;)

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Re: How do you listen to your synth when programming?

Post by druzz » Mon Jul 19, 2010 11:48 pm

i use monitors i only use my headphones when i have no choice. when i get my seinheiser hd600 headphones i think i will do more late nigth sessions and migth use them for programming .

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Re: How do you listen to your synth when programming?

Post by ImperatorDX » Tue Jul 20, 2010 7:52 am

It seems most of you use monitors. I don't have a dedicated studio and have to limit the noisy and unmusical 'side effects' of programming - that's my primary reason for the use of the headphones. But they also help with nuances in the sounds.

While we're at it, how do you feel about your family hearing the 'weird and unmusical' noises your synths make in the process of programming? I never let anyone hear my synths before they sound pleasant.
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Re: How do you listen to your synth when programming?

Post by cornutt » Tue Jul 20, 2010 5:13 pm

ImperatorDX wrote: While we're at it, how do you feel about your family hearing the 'weird and unmusical' noises your synths make in the process of programming? I never let anyone hear my synths before they sound pleasant.
Great question... my wife is quite tolerant of of my synth music, but hearing unmusical noises that result from patching (or similar activities, like VCO calibration) drives her nuts. For that reason, I always use headphones for these activities when she's home.
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Re: How do you listen to your synth when programming?

Post by space6oy » Tue Jul 20, 2010 6:35 pm

depends on whether i'm recording or just dicking around. recording anything it's always monitors first then headphones, except when recording drums simultaneously with other instruments, in that case everything else is run direct & everyone's listening through headphones first.

if i'm just messing around though it's usually running to my recording setup's monitors even if i'm not recording or just through an amp.

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Re: How do you listen to your synth when programming?

Post by krzeppa » Tue Jul 20, 2010 6:45 pm

I prefer to do it through my monitors first because I get a more accurate representation of what it will sound like. However, sometimes I use my headphones out of necessity. If I am doing something late at night, and I don't want to disturb my wife, I will use the headphones. I will though go back through the monitors later and tweak it if necessary.

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Re: How do you listen to your synth when programming?

Post by aeon » Tue Jul 20, 2010 9:06 pm

Headphones because of the accuracy and detail, esp. as it concerns the small tweaks.


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Re: How do you listen to your synth when programming?

Post by smoothcriminal » Tue Jul 20, 2010 9:32 pm

"synths -> home-built line preamp -> a heavily modified NAD 310 amp -> a pair of KEF 104/2 speakers"

What is the purpose of a preamp in this setup? Is it strictly necessary? I'm in the process of constructing a similar system using home audio monitors (found a pair of JBL Control1's on the street) rather than PC speakers. Also, what kind of cables are necessary to run PC output thru a reciever/amp?

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Re: How do you listen to your synth when programming?

Post by stikygum » Wed Jul 21, 2010 12:32 am

Monitors are my usual way of programming, but it will always depend if I have my stuff hooked up to my audio interface or not. Sometimes I'll have certain pieces setup with headphones only to give me a little variation while other will always go through the speakers. If I want to program something on the couch or away from my studio then of course headphones will be used. I'm more inclined at night to used headphones also.
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Re: How do you listen to your synth when programming?

Post by asohn » Wed Jul 21, 2010 11:27 am

For me, synth programming happens mostly on monitors. I have yet to come across an issue where a patch sounded so bad on headphones and other speakers (car, etc.) that I had to change the synth patch itself instead of the EQ, compression, mix, effects, etc. I treat the synthesizer like any other instrument: the envelope, filtering, voices, etc. are captured during tracking, and if it sounds good in tracking, then the mix will be the determination in whether it sounds good on one system from another.

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Re: How do you listen to your synth when programming?

Post by Stab Frenzy » Wed Jul 21, 2010 12:32 pm

99% of the time monitors, sometimes headphones if I want to program in bed or in the lounge or somewhere else that I don't have a desk and monitors.

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Re: How do you listen to your synth when programming?

Post by crystalmsc » Wed Jul 21, 2010 12:53 pm

mostly headphones, I like to play with just the synth without turning on the mixer and other things.
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Re: How do you listen to your synth when programming?

Post by Ashe37 » Thu Jul 22, 2010 4:28 am

I use my ears.

(Come on, I waited two days for someone else to say it!)

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