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Are you synth-oriented or effect-oriented?

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  • Are you synth-oriented or effect-oriented?

    After some time of my computer-based music production I observed that I am effect-oriented. My source sounds don't need to be precisely constructed - I am able to achieve final sound using processing by various effects (what, for example, I practice producing submissions for One Sample Dare Challenges). I use defintely more effects than synthesizers and most of my time spent on creating tracks is dedicated to constructing of various FX chains/networks, especially their reusable templates. One can call it "sound-design approach"?

    And what is your focus? Do you rely on "anysynth" and a bunch of favourite effects, or do you prefer your one-and-only powerful instrument and just a few basic effects for sound-seasoning?
    SoundCloud // FreeSound // Twitter
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    "Shortwave" - collaboration album with Ager Sonus

  • #2
    I find myself using synths less and less. I tend to start with either a field recording or a simple synth line and rely very much on effects and other processing techniques to wrangle it into something I like.

    After a recent laptop rebuild, I really didn't bother reinstalling a lot of the synths I have (mostly freebies it has to be said). Just the ones I can get a decent, basic sound out of quickly to build upon (AlphaFree, TyrellN6...) and a couple of weirder/more complex ones (Rhino, AaltoBE, Scanned Synth Pro etc). But then having Reaktor means I'm covered for more off the wall synth sounds many times over.
    Latest release: never to be repeated

    Hearthis | Soundcloud

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    • #3
      I tend to be much more interested in effects.

      When I am thinking of making a piece, It is always the processing I think of first, then the source.

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      • #4
        Samples, recordings, and effects...hardly any synthesis...at least not in the classic sense of synths with standard waveform etc.
        Last edited by Zach Zinn; 06-19-2014, 08:08 PM.

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        • #5
          75% effects, 15% synths, 10 % samples.

          A sound source is a sound source to me - I seek for something of suitable timbre to start, whether Diva, Absynth, Alchemy, or Kontakt. Start drak, start light, start neutral.

          Then the effects attack! Audio Damage, Melda, Nomad Factory, NI.. and the sound goes round and round and it comes out horribly abused and mutated, or Heavenlike, or Just Plain Weird.

          Shove me into the effects column!
          Home Page: http://www.syntheticaurality.com/
          Soundcloud: https://soundcloud.com/synthetic_aurality
          Authors Den: http://www.authorsden.com/edwardaustinaverill

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          • #6
            Interesting question.

            For me...I think... samples & effects > synths.

            I do use a lot of piano/rhodes, which is synth based. And sometimes I want some simple synth-generated ear-candy, so I go searching in my very limited (mainly bundled) FL Studio synths. Otherwise it's samples, and effects, my signature techniques that I am building on. Layering or twisting up percussive samples; field recordings; twisting up string/pad samples a lot.

            Then using Gross Beat for quick reverses and stutters. Time off-setting certain instrument notes/hits to make them late (for a lazy chilled feel) or early (for sudden urgency). Using alternative or mixed-up time signatures. Unpredictable pattern-arranging. Heavy side-chain compression. Random gaps of silence to let delays/reverbs tail off. Making effective use EQing and dynamic changes in frequencies. Effective use of note-lengths, eg. sudden and short, or faded and long.

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            • #7
              Effects is a interestingly broad category too. Personally, I like to use "effects" as a compositional tool, rather than just something put on the end of sounds, I use things like pitch shift and delay as a backbone of composition.

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              • #8
                Ohh, good question. I am very much synth oriented, assuming we are saying filters are part of the synth and not effect part. For me I spend hours working on a patch and it is always the synth sound that first starts a song and its idea.

                Almost everything goes into the construction of the synth sound and I change the sound using LFO's and envelopes. I very much use my effects as "static" elements i add to the end of my sounds/compositions and they are generally just some reverb or delay.

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                • #9
                  (re)sampling and fx are obviously big, but i do love synthesis & try to extend my skill-set in that field
                  www.soundcloud.com/phoenstorm

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                  • #10
                    definitely a whore for effects. I don't care what's fed into the fx chain as long as I'm grinning at what comes out of it.
                    Meh.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Synthetic Aurality View Post
                      75% effects, 15% synths, 10 % samples.

                      A sound source is a sound source to me - I seek for something of suitable timbre to start, whether Diva, Absynth, Alchemy, or Kontakt. Start drak, start light, start neutral.

                      Then the effects attack! Audio Damage, Melda, Nomad Factory, NI.. and the sound goes round and round and it comes out horribly abused and mutated, or Heavenlike, or Just Plain Weird.

                      Shove me into the effects column!
                      I guess I'm in the minority here then!

                      I'm exactly the opposite of this number...but thanks to Synthetic for giving me some solid figures!

                      75% synths, 15% effects, 10% samples.

                      I am a total softsynth junkie/nerd/whatever. With my own music, I search for patches, tweak patches, create patches always to get inspired. However, I'm really trying to branch out these days and use effects for inspiration...because they so accessible and configurable in Ableton Live.

                      So in conclusion...my numbers are definitely shifting, but when it comes to Alchemy, Diva, and Iris... I'm all in. ;)
                      Last edited by S1gnsOfL1fe; 07-17-2014, 05:58 PM.
                      Synphaera Records
                      Space | Time | Matter

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                      • #12
                        Used to be 50% samples 40% effects 10% synths but over the last couple of years i've been focusing on synthesis so I'd say I'm more likely to start with synths, then add samples and effects afterwards. Maybe more like 50% synths 30% samples 20% effects now.
                        Makrotulpa - SKON - Blog - Soundcloud

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                        • #13
                          Ehhh... where does guitar come in? ;) Depending on the track, I could have any combination of percentages. My two most recent releases have been an entirely synth-based EP and an album made with guitar, piano and effects. Mixing it up keeps things interesting.

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by ambientsketchbook View Post
                            Mixing it up keeps things interesting.
                            Can't argue with that! :D Wise words from the prolific one. :tu:
                            Synphaera Records
                            Space | Time | Matter

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                            • #15
                              40% (hardware synths and guitars)
                              50% (hardware FXs)
                              5% (soft FXs, especially on mixing stage)
                              5% (my own prepared samples or drum samples)
                              0% (from field recorders but I will increase it)

                              I try a lot of soft-synth, and some of them sounds good and insteresting like uhe Diva, but I'm too tired from using my laptop/display at work that I don't like to do extra actions on my home laptop except record/play/select track/move/delete. Also I very dislike modern midi-keys and proccess of mapping midi controllers to soft-synths.
                              http://ovodmusic.com II https://www.facebook.com/ovodmusic

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