How important are a synth's presets?

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How important are a synth's presets?

Vital.. I only use presets!
1
3%
Somewhat important.. I use presets mainly, but I tweak them occasionally to fit my taste.
10
25%
Not very important.. I mainly tweak, but use presets on occasion.
18
45%
Not even considered.. I always make my own sounds, either starting from a preset or from a "default" setting.
11
28%
 
Total votes : 40

Re: How important are a synth's presets?

Postby briandc » Mon Jul 01, 2013 11:51 am

griffin avid wrote:I saw a weird looking keyboard with lots of faders in Sam Ash and was intrigued. I hit a few notes and stumbled across a pad patch. I wasn't even interested in getting another board, but I knew this one was it based on that sound alone. I ran home, looked it up on VSE (I kid you not) and went right back and bought it. It was decently cheap enough seeing that "Several keys just needed cleaning". I bought it as a victim of the syrup-glue-problem, but was happy enough to MIDI it up until I replaced the keybed a few years later.


Cool!
What synth was it?



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Re: How important are a synth's presets?

Postby griffin avid » Mon Jul 01, 2013 1:00 pm

Image

This is the page I Googled. http://www.vintagesynth.com/roland/jd800.php

The JD-800 is Roland's answer to half a decade of hard-to-program synthesizers. Covered in sliders that act as dedicated editors just like a classic analog synth, the JD-800 is an extremely programmable and hands-on digital synthesizer. It is also an interesting and great sounding digital synth with incredible flexibility and control. Internal ROM based waveforms are combined to build your sounds. The sounds are based on Roland's D-50, but updated for the nineties with multimode filters - uncommon but welcome at the time.

The JD-800 came in a tough metal case capped off on the sides with large plastic covers. Programming may be a little too flexible for some users, but once you know what you're doing with it, almost any sound you can dream up can be dialed in and stored.
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Re: How important are a synth's presets?

Postby briandc » Wed Jul 03, 2013 9:15 am

griffin avid wrote:Image

This is the page I Googled. http://www.vintagesynth.com/roland/jd800.php

The JD-800 is Roland's answer to half a decade of hard-to-program synthesizers. Covered in sliders that act as dedicated editors just like a classic analog synth, the JD-800 is an extremely programmable and hands-on digital synthesizer. It is also an interesting and great sounding digital synth with incredible flexibility and control. Internal ROM based waveforms are combined to build your sounds. The sounds are based on Roland's D-50, but updated for the nineties with multimode filters - uncommon but welcome at the time.

The JD-800 came in a tough metal case capped off on the sides with large plastic covers. Programming may be a little too flexible for some users, but once you know what you're doing with it, almost any sound you can dream up can be dialed in and stored.


Thanks. I'll check it out.
I'd like to find a Midi Controller like that. Since softsynths often have lots of knobs/sliders, it'd be nice to have a Midi Controller that has tons of sliders and knobs to control everything on the monitor.


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Re: How important are a synth's presets?

Postby c-level » Wed Jul 03, 2013 8:46 pm

Bitexion wrote:I bought the Alesis Ion solely on the basis of it's many presets demos they posted. There were short demo songs playing lots of famous synth sounds. And they were all included as presets with appropriate names.

Both Jump, the who, styx, the tom sawyer lead and bass sound, etc. When you make a synth with loads of vintage analogue filter emulations as its main selling point, you'd better include lots of vintage sounds in the presets aswell.


this phenomenon kinda speaks to the importance of presets. my first synth was a micron, and i didnt get any of the patch names (soleena strings, tom sawyer, obee strings etc...) but looking back

lately i have been getting into synths that have memorable presets, memorable being relative to everyone's point of reference as to who's used the sound and how. but im getting better at noticing presets. over a variety of styles, old and modern. the JX'es have some memorable presets and im also kind of looking at a D50 or DX7 for the same reason. if you want that sound, use that sound. open up the M1 Legacy and hammer on some 'M1 House Piano' and see how many lazy people just left it on the default 'Universe'
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Re: How important are a synth's presets?

Postby haj » Wed Jul 03, 2013 11:42 pm

When I was a poor college kid decades ago, I bought a Rhodes Model 660 just ONLY for the e-piano patch which I demoed in a music store. Real Rhodes or Yamahas were far beyond my reach then. I sold my DX21 to fund it. Well it's a pretty limited rompler and I was quickly disappointed by what it can do... But there was no financially feasible way to get Rhodes (like) sound (not in today'standard ;-)
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Re: How important are a synth's presets?

Postby moremagic » Tue Apr 22, 2014 11:13 pm

griffin avid wrote:So yeah, maybe that's all why 64 patches aint cutting it any more.

man i dont really use all 32 slots on my polysix, i keep an ep or something else fun to tune up with on A1, strings at B1 and C1, and an organ at B3, and maybe some drum sounds in D bank... otherwise im just turning knobs
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Re: How important are a synth's presets?

Postby simesky » Thu Jul 24, 2014 3:41 am

In general I prefer straightforward presets, if any. That way they serve as a basic shapes that can be tweaked and bent until they fit the context. On the other hand more complex fully fledged presets are more "intimidating" and can appear less flexible. One merit of the presets though is that they can surprise you and inspire you to create something new. So at first you keep that sound but as the composition is evolving you get a more precise idea about the sound you want...
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Re: How important are a synth's presets?

Postby Thefumigator » Sun Jul 27, 2014 6:44 am

I got an Arturia minilab last month, it comes with 5000 preset sounds, I don't own any of the plugins so I can't do any editing, but for quite a while this thing has put a lot of good -uneditable- sounds over my table.
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Re: How important are a synth's presets?

Postby greggybud » Sun Jul 27, 2014 11:19 pm

The Oberheim OB-12 IMO originally had horrible or uninspiring factory presets. They were later improved. I would think this factor, plus potential buyers expecting it to sound like an Oberheim led to its quick demise.
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Re: How important are a synth's presets?

Postby griffin avid » Mon Jul 28, 2014 6:12 am

I'm actually enjoying re-reading my comments in this thread as- in the General Synth section there are numerous posts about being underwhelmed by a hardware synths presets/default sound. The AKAI thread and the new monosynth.
It's always nice to see experts in using synths and sound design tripping over a non super-extraordinary-out-of-this-world-perfect-sound-for-my-next-smash-hit tone coming from a dry product demo.
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Re: How important are a synth's presets?

Postby CS_TBL » Mon Jul 28, 2014 10:47 am

If you compose/produce tracks, then you'll know what kind of sounds you use most. They're usually surprisingly predictable and simple in their concept; pads, basses 'n such. A synth can be filled with the most outlandish presets; harsh filter sweeps, noises with extreme random LFOs, screaming leads and loud explosions, but how often do you actually use those in a real-world situation? So, as to answer the OT: yes they're important for all of those who have a hard time making their own sounds. But mostly presets force me to make my own.
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Re: How important are a synth's presets?

Postby ninja6485 » Mon Jul 28, 2014 10:57 pm

I look at presets like they're bookmarks in the synth's parameters. Or chapter divisions. A good set of presets should provide you with a usable sound, but also a sound that has room for expansion.
This looks like a psychotropic reaction. No wonder it's so popular...
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Re: How important are a synth's presets?

Postby greggybud » Wed Jul 30, 2014 4:32 am

CS_TBL wrote:If you compose/produce tracks, then you'll know what kind of sounds you use most. They're usually surprisingly predictable and simple in their concept; pads, basses 'n such. A synth can be filled with the most outlandish presets; harsh filter sweeps, noises with extreme random LFOs, screaming leads and loud explosions, but how often do you actually use those in a real-world situation? So, as to answer the OT: yes they're important for all of those who have a hard time making their own sounds. But mostly presets force me to make my own.


Very true in my experience.

It's easy to get caught up in all the wild presets. I have Komplete plus integrated with Kore2 for a 28,500 preset library. :( I'm continually impressed with what NI can do with patches. Same goes for DSI on the hardware side. And sometimes it's easy to get distracted...usually morphing one VSTI patch preset into another preset within Kore. But then I think how am I going to use this?

But I also have a special "work bank" that consists of 74 semi-boring "synth sounds". This is where I usually go first, and then I do moderate alterations if needed. If that doesn't work, then Kore2, but most of the time I find just having the "bread n butter" patches are what I need 90% of the time.

Weird huh?
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Re: How important are a synth's presets?

Postby skunk3 » Thu Jul 31, 2014 1:26 am

I think that presets are very important. A good synth should have presets that not only include your typical bread and butter stuff, but also showcase the particular areas in which the synth is engineered to shine. I love designing sounds from scratch but I also love editing presets as well... sometimes you can get some really gnarly patches that you might not have otherwise ever made. The kinds of presets that I tend to hate are the really current ones that exhibit sounds that are popular, like dubstep wubs and other annoying crap. Also - every poly synth should have at a few *stunning* preset pad sounds. The more presets the better, if you ask me. The more patch slots for custom storage the better as well. Those who prefer synths without patch storage are a silly bunch, if you ask me... :?
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Re: How important are a synth's presets?

Postby Jaytee » Fri Aug 15, 2014 4:14 am

I put somewhat important because it describes how I use presets, but it depends on what you mean by important.

On the one hand, I often use presets as a jumping off point when writing music; it's so much easier to scroll through a couple, find the one that's close to what I want, and continue writing as opposed to engineering my own sounds in the middle of a different creative process.

On the other hand, I wouldn't figure it in to the value of a synth much. It's a nice convenience if a synth ships with a bunch of good presets, but if it doesn't, that's not going to stop me. I spend some time just making my own patches to go alongside the presets so I still have something to choose from when I'm writing.
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