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Thread: Pre Sets v. Programming

  1. #1
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    Pre Sets v. Programming

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    I have seen discussions about pres set sounds for sale verse programming the synth yourself etc. I am sure amny people use factory pre sets aand/or twaek them a bit.

    So it erks (is that a word?) me when people say they heard a pre set factory sound on a recording and because of that, completely and catagorically dismissed the miece of music.

    Isn't that a bit shallow. I know the pre set factory sounds on my synths are very, very good and I have quite a few. Yes, I can program but I am in no way a master of the art. For me, it depends on the type of synth and the type of result I want.

    Anyway, I am not offended by factory pre sets sounds. I am offended by the dismissal of someones hard one production because of a percieved use of a factory sound.

    There is nothing wrong with using factory sounds. To me, the trick is not necessarily the sound itself but how it is used in the music. Therein lies the art. Sure enough there is an art to programming but, if you are evaluating the program, then that is one thing, if you are evaluating the music.

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    The majority of the people who would listen to one such production prolly couldn't tell the difference. Only the serious VERY serious keyboardist could tell that it was a pre-set. And that person would have to know his keyboards.

    Maybe if it is a special effect type sound but I am talking Yamaha Piano sounds vs Roland vs Korg etc.

    That is my thoughts.
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    Interesting post and I have to agree. Most people probably wouldn't pick up on it, those that do are probably synth players themselves. I guess it just comes down to not using overused presets that sound similar to what was used on last year's batch of top 10 hits.

    Same thing with effects, loops and lyrics. If it sounds like you're copying some elses style or using the flavor of the month sound/fx/loop/lyric then people in the know (and in some cases even the average listener) will be able to detect this and may discount the work somewhat for sounding like someone elses.

    For example, pretty much every time I hear the Autotune effect on a recording I tend to turn the song off. Even if the rest of the arrangement is original and vibrant I am not able to NOT hear the Autotune effect and it just stands out like a sore thumb.

    I wouldn't discount anyone's work for using presets, but I do believe this, and any musical element for that matter, should be used in good taste and not chosen because a famous producer used it.

    Just my $.02


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    i'd have to agree with everyone,

    you should always try to come up with an original sound instead of overused cliche sounds, but sometimes a preset is the 'perfect' sound for that particular song.

    so as long as it sounds good and interesting, i say use it.

    if someone wants to dismiss your music for that reason, fuck em, it's their loss.

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    Wink

    I think I get too used to hear all KORG's presets. Oldest M1 thru latest Triton. I just know and familiar with almost all their presets. So, if someone put it on their record without edited it, most of the time I can guess it was one of them. It's okay I think. For such recording musician to use the presets anyway, it's not a shame at all. If it's good to be there, then let it be. But somehow, in most case I like to do edit my own sound, most based on the closest preset available, to be starting edit point. I do most guitar based rock music, where synth was only an artistic recording ornament or adding a special effect. Sometime I do editing the sound, to make it thinner, or fatter due to mix needs. Filling the gap where it needs more/less synth ambience than the presets gave. You know, after all tracking session's done, got couple track still unused, then comes some idea, something like
    "... hey, I think it would be great to put this sound on that intro, but it's a bit too thin... lets make it fatter !"
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    There's nothing wrong with presets just bad presets. Use what works, just be sure it does. Theres nothing worse than a song that sounds pasted together.

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    Just to reiterate a point, what is important is not necessarily the sound but the part that is played with the sound. Often, when scrolling through a sound set, you begin to hear the usual sounds suchas string like pads as being rather boring and plain. This is because the sound is being played alone, not in an arrangement and not as an integrated part of a musical phrase.

    Much of the art is using the sound in the phrase. As an example, would anyone ever say that a real piano sound is no good becuase too many songs have a real piano on it. Of course, that is absurd. Therefore, why feel that way about great synth type sounds that have stood the test of time, for instance, the trianble wave, brass type pad playing syncopated chord patterns (a la "jump" to cite a common example though a dated one). This is tried and true and, at this point, as much a part of our musical language as that piano sound.

    So I go back to my original point and that is, a clarinet is a clarinet, however, in the hands of Benny Goodman, it was more. A cello is a cello but in the hands of Yo Yo Ma, it is more. An analogue synth is an analogue synth but in the hands of Keith Emerson or Wendy Carlos, it is more. And with each of these examples, the reason that it is more is the leve of expression they all acheive on thier respective instruments. The basic sounds do not change but the way they use them and put it together is what counts.

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    Thumbs up

    I work with sequencer also. I found many "bad preset" sound ain't doin' that bad in the mix. Some are made "that bad" to be fit in the mix. You know, if everything seems to be going well on their own, you obviously don't know what the hell is wrong in the mix. There's where we need a "bad assumed" preset patch. So don't be hurry to replace those...
    Keep Rockin' and Rollin'...

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