The most over-used terms used to describe sound

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The most over-used terms used to describe sound

Post by skunk3 » Wed Apr 16, 2014 10:34 pm

Here's my list:

1. "punchy"

end of list.

Partially kidding, but in all seriousness, has anyone read the user comments for most of the samplers here on VSE? There's pretty much at least one person who has described virtually every sampler reviewed on this site as "punchy," which leads me to believe that "punchy" means nothing aside from the fact that it plays back sound. Such a generic descriptor.

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Re: The most over-used terms used to describe sound

Post by monolith » Thu Apr 17, 2014 12:22 am

Grit/gritty

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Re: The most over-used terms used to describe sound

Post by Percivale » Thu Apr 17, 2014 1:44 am

"gives you that 808/909.."

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Re: The most over-used terms used to describe sound

Post by cgren72 » Thu Apr 17, 2014 5:04 am

warm

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Re: The most over-used terms used to describe sound

Post by ninja6485 » Thu Apr 17, 2014 5:39 am

fat/Phat. warm takes the cake though. Also, "sits well in a mix" can be overused. With the Jx-8p I get it, especially compared to the d-50, but the phrase has definitly taken on a life of its own!
This looks like a psychotropic reaction. No wonder it's so popular...

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Re: The most over-used terms used to describe sound

Post by Rezisehtnys » Thu Apr 17, 2014 11:58 am

Sterile

Cold

As far as I'm concerned a synth either sounds good, or it sounds like garbage. Thankfully there are more good sounding synths than ones I feel compelled to throw through a window.

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Re: The most over-used terms used to describe sound

Post by meatballfulton » Thu Apr 17, 2014 1:37 pm

Organic
I listened to Hatfield and the North at Rainbow. They were very wonderful and they made my heart a prisoner.

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Re: The most over-used terms used to describe sound

Post by Sir Ruff » Thu Apr 17, 2014 6:17 pm

monolith wrote:Grit/gritty
Yeah, the context of samplers, it's definitely overused and needs to be qualified further. In my mind, there are two types of "grit/grunge" you can achieve with samplers--noticeable high-end aliasing as a result of no anti-aliasing filter (a la SP-1200/Emax 1/Mirage), and general top-end reduction (due to anti-aliasing filter) and resultant mid-range boosting (a la early Akais). A lot of "heads" just want to call anything that has lost its high end "gritty", but can't clarify how.
meatballfulton wrote:Organic
Another perfectly valid term that's only lost its meaning due to overuse. I would argue that in the synth world, this can really only apply to VCO-based synths (or those that mimic them), and specifically those with limited autotuning ability (i.e., the OBX, but not the Xpander; any Yamaha CS- polysynth; the Alesis Ion with its authentic "detune" function). But, saying that, I have also described my SQ-80 as sounding digitally "organic" (an oxymoron I know) just because when you're dealing with waveforms with such low sample/bit-rates, they develop a unique character of their own (similar to the uber-aliased nature of the Mirage). But even more than the Mirage, this is particularly true on the SQ80 because of how the multisampling leads to weird shifts in sound quality across the scale. So it's really heterogenous (and "organic") in that sense.
Do you even post on vse bro?

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Re: The most over-used terms used to describe sound

Post by Rezisehtnys » Thu Apr 17, 2014 8:20 pm

Sir Ruff wrote:
meatballfulton wrote:Organic
Another perfectly valid term that's only lost its meaning due to overuse. I would argue that in the synth world, this can really only apply to VCO-based synths (or those that mimic them), and specifically those with limited autotuning ability (i.e., the OBX, but not the Xpander; any Yamaha CS- polysynth; the Alesis Ion with its authentic "detune" function). But, saying that, I have also described my SQ-80 as sounding digitally "organic" (an oxymoron I know) just because when you're dealing with waveforms with such low sample/bit-rates, they develop a unique character of their own (similar to the uber-aliased nature of the Mirage). But even more than the Mirage, this is particularly true on the SQ80 because of how the multisampling leads to weird shifts in sound quality across the scale. So it's really heterogenous (and "organic") in that sense.
I would say FM synths are organic, they can make some sounds that blur the lines of what's "a synthesizer sound" and something from the natural world. Though in the living aspect of organic, something that's temperamental as an octogenarian and drifts more than a 16 year old that just saw Fast and the Furious I can see where that'd apply as well.

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Re: The most over-used terms used to describe sound

Post by Jabberwalky » Thu Apr 17, 2014 10:24 pm

Describing sound is hard.

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Re: The most over-used terms used to describe sound

Post by supermel74 » Fri Apr 18, 2014 5:19 am

vanilla, lush

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Re: The most over-used terms used to describe sound

Post by Rezisehtnys » Fri Apr 18, 2014 6:47 am

Synthy. :lol:

Someone had to do it.

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Re: The most over-used terms used to describe sound

Post by Psy_Free » Fri Apr 18, 2014 10:13 am

meatballfulton wrote:Organic
Unless used to describe a Hammond sound ;)
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Re: The most over-used terms used to describe sound

Post by blavatsky » Fri Apr 18, 2014 3:55 pm

analog or analog-ish

anything with a synth sounding "like a sega genesis" or NES or 8-bit

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Re: The most over-used terms used to describe sound

Post by madtheory » Fri Apr 18, 2014 5:46 pm

Jabberwalky wrote:Describing sound is hard.
Mos def. It needs a common language (ok, that's a tautology, but you know what I mean). That's why the "over-used" words are so annoying, they don't mean quite the same thing to everyone, and most of the time there are several ways to make something "warm" or "cold" or whatever.

So how do we get a common language? Through technical ear training. This here is the best set of exercises I've seen (and I've done a lot of research on it), but you need the book for the instructions:

https://sites.google.com/a/umich.edu/ja ... r-training

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