Synth plugs, Nocturn, Midi keyboard and I'm bored to death..

Discussion of music production, audio, equipment and any related topics, either with or without Ableton Live
supamonsta
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Re: Synth plugs, Nocturn, Midi keyboard and I'm bored to death..

Post by supamonsta » Sun Mar 15, 2009 9:24 pm

Thanks for all your feedback. I really appreciate.

First of all, I have to precise that all my disappointment isn't about the sound at all, as I said, I sold my virus Ti, and with plugs like Automat and Massive, I don't regret it at all. I have great sounding stuff under my fingers.

Secondly, yes, and you all helped me notice it, we should always listen to our girlfriend's opinions, by the same fact that they are extremely external to all this composition/gear purchasing process. So they can see clearly what happens.


For the technical part of my post, using Live+plugs+nocturn, there are 2 points:

- yes I have to "learn my shit" much more. I begin to really understand Massive and the nocturn/automap mentality, but I've got sooo much to learn more.

- but besides this fact, I'm just noticing that even with great software/controller integration, like nocturn/automap, I miss the real thing and its immediacy.

You're right Geezus when you say automap/nocturn is a great inst/fx/midi controller, with easy shortcus buttons available ("view", "pages", "user, fx and inst" buttons), and I find it cool.

But before beeing really cool, there is a huge amount of learning / assignation / maps creation time, that needs first to KNOW EXACTLY WHAT YOU WANT TO TWEAK.

and I'm not there for now, as I don't know massive 100%. I don't want of a nocturn map with 10 pages, with each assignable parameter available, because I'll be totally lost.

On the harware side, with a real synth, all is pre-assigned (and generally the pots are labelled). You just have to concentrate on the sound, and tweak-and-test easy process to progressively understand the synth. all is there, under your eyes and fingers.


So, to sum up,

I have to learn more my shit, that is quite good shit, I know, and that can sound really good.

But I still feel that I'll pass times and times building a setup that will EMULATE a real hardware synth, without beeing capable of the real immediacy and using fun of the hardware.

So I'm gonna learn and perseverate, and that is not a real problem for be because, like the majority of you, I'm passionnate, I love learning music skills, gear specs, software parameters, plugs, and so on and so on.

But during this learnig curve, I won't output any funny noise, because IT IS LIKE I HAD TO BUILD THE SYNTH MYSELF BEFORE BEEING ABLE TO REALLY PLAY WITH IT.

I know that, when I'll be more used to this setup, I'll be really happy. But for now all I get is boredom.

I miss a real synth in the studio, for beeing able to switch off the computer, and begin to play and enjoy sounds, melodies, MUSIC! I have to say I'm a piano player, I have played the guitar and the drums, but I have none of these instruments in my little flat (no space). I had a shitty keyboard synth that is now dead. So I need a synth that I can simply play with.

But don't misunderstand me, I'm not really whining like a child, (yes, a bit), I'm just beginning to really understand the difference between hardware and software. :oops:

There is no more real question in this post, just like a testimony : if you're used to real instruments, software+controller is NOT a really great deal, except for the bank account :lol:

Anyway thanks a lot to all of you, I feel less depressed now (and having passed a whole weekend without trying to make music has been a good thing too)

Cheeers

Geezus
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Re: Synth plugs, Nocturn, Midi keyboard and I'm bored to death..

Post by Geezus » Sun Mar 15, 2009 9:25 pm

adventurepants_ wrote:i agree %100. I get very bored without real, physical instruments in front of me. Ive gone down that road, and soft synth with controller is absolutely not the same as a physical instrument (to me), that you can bond with and learn inside out.

I find it impossible to memorise the layouts of synths functions on midi controllers, and i can memorise the layout of most hardware synths in a couple of hours.

thats why you map the controls yourself and save the template as the default. The nocturn and SL even put the name of the parameter under each control so you dont HAVE to remember.

supamonsta
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Re: Synth plugs, Nocturn, Midi keyboard and I'm bored to death..

Post by supamonsta » Sun Mar 15, 2009 9:30 pm

Reading the whole topic again, I just feel ashamed.

you could simply reply:

"you're a bit dumb, monstre jumo, because you bought software synth with midi controller whereas you wanted the hardware feeling... but you knew that it would not be the same!"

dumb me. :oops:

Geezus
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Re: Synth plugs, Nocturn, Midi keyboard and I'm bored to death..

Post by Geezus » Sun Mar 15, 2009 9:33 pm

Also, nobody said you had to assign everything in a synth to the nocturn. I usually just map what I want to play with and get the basics of the patch down with the mouse. Its totally on the fly. With things like massive I'll usually clear out the controls, map the performance controls to the first 8 rotaries, and then add a blank page or two that I leave open to fuck around with stuff as I go. If theres some control i want to fiddle with, say filter cutoff, I'll hit the learn button, move the filter a bit, then tap the rotary nob I want to assign it to (on the 2nd page). Bam now I have filter cutoff and I can play with it on hardware. I dont have to go through everything in the whole synth, I just assign stuff as I go. It saves the template with each project, so you can have different assignments for each live project you have.

supamonsta
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Re: Synth plugs, Nocturn, Midi keyboard and I'm bored to death..

Post by supamonsta » Sun Mar 15, 2009 9:46 pm

You're right Geezus,

that's what I do too. I deleted the default massive template, and assigned the first 8 rotaries to the 8 massive macros to be able to tweak the presets easily. Then a second page for precise tweaking. It is indeed really great, and easy to tweak.

but again, it is great when you know precisely what you wanna do for the track you're working on. I don't find it so good for just experimentally tweaking sounds, but like you and I said, yes, I've got to learn more and more. (and like a child I want immediate pleasure!!! )

anyway thanks a lot for your opinions and help !

See you soon

Geezus
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Re: Synth plugs, Nocturn, Midi keyboard and I'm bored to death..

Post by Geezus » Sun Mar 15, 2009 9:55 pm

Seriously, if I were you, I'd start with Sylenth. Massive doesnt lend itself to hardware controls at all, it is designed to be set up with a mouse and have the live stuff sent to the performance controls after the patch is already pretty much done. If you want to fuck around with everything on a synth, go with something more simple and designed in a way that corresponds to hardware. This would be Sylenth

adventurepants_
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Re: Synth plugs, Nocturn, Midi keyboard and I'm bored to death..

Post by adventurepants_ » Sun Mar 15, 2009 10:57 pm

thats why you map the controls yourself and save the template as the default. The nocturn and SL even put the name of the parameter under each control so you dont HAVE to remember.
its totally not the same thing. To me. I know some people get on famously with it. I like rocking out on a piece of hardware without looking at a screen, and without having to look at knob assignments. Once I subconsciously know where to put my hands to make noises do what I want, then I can start playing and experimenting, without getting dragged out of the creative flow to see on what page the knob i need next is.

different strokes....
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Re: Synth plugs, Nocturn, Midi keyboard and I'm bored to death..

Post by Johnisfaster » Sun Mar 15, 2009 11:34 pm

monstrejumo wrote: My girlfriend says I'm like a child
I recommend you tell her it's not okay to call you anything other than honey and baby. which goes both ways of course. you are looking for a way to express yourself and you need the freedom to find what works for you. whether that means being childish and buying and selling 800 pieces of gear that is your mission and she has no right to throw a negative wrench into the mix as that'll only slow you down in reaching your goal. My wife watches me buy stuff continuously, out of respect I ask her if it's okay to make a purchase and out of respect for my desire to express myself musically she tells me to go for it.

it's no different than if she goes to the coffee shop once a day for a tasty beverage and you said she was like a pig. that wouldn't be okay right? it's the same thing. when I was dating my wife she called me a name one time, I explained how I felt about it and she hasn't done it in the 6 years since. not like I 'put her in her place' or anything like that, it's just about communication and respect.

as far as your boredom goes I have this insight.
"boredom is just 'whats the use' in disguise" boredom isn't caused by the things around you it's caused by YOU. there is no reason you can't entertain yourself with a rock and spoon or a basketball court or ableton live and a midi controller. if you are bored with what you've got it's not the things fault it is yours, most likely caused by your "the grass is greener over there" state of mind currently. I completely understand that a certain set up might be perfect for you and that is worth hunting for but I feel it's worth making note of that you truely are at the drivers wheel when it comes to boredom.
It was as if someone shook up a 6 foot can of blood soda and suddenly popped the top.

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Re: Synth plugs, Nocturn, Midi keyboard and I'm bored to death..

Post by dinaiz » Mon Mar 16, 2009 12:37 am

condra wrote:I feel your pain. We need better hard/soft integration.
I think it really depends on people...I feel totally lost on a hardware synth while software instruments generally looks pretty intuitive to me.

supamonsta
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Re: Synth plugs, Nocturn, Midi keyboard and I'm bored to death..

Post by supamonsta » Mon Mar 16, 2009 10:34 am

:D I didn't expect this topic to get so much feedback, thanks again!

so:
Geezus wrote: Seriously, if I were you, I'd start with Sylenth. Massive doesnt lend itself to hardware controls at all, it is designed to be set up with a mouse and have the live stuff sent to the performance controls after the patch is already pretty much done. If you want to fuck around with everything on a synth, go with something more simple and designed in a way that corresponds to hardware. This would be Sylenth
I now totally understand what you mean. I "learned" "synthesis" on my RM1X, that was perfectly simple, if I can call it a synth. then I bought the Virus Ti, that was over too complex for me as a first real synth, but It pushed me to get syntheseis tutorials, and to learn the principles of substractive and additive synthesis. Now I find masive really much more easy to use, but still really complex, but not too much because if I want I can keep it simple. I have Automat, that is a great simple (but that can quite be much more than simple) synth, especially for great fat basses.

I totally understand you when you say "Massive doesn't lend itself to hardware controls at all", and here is the big point of my present problem, besides my personnal boredom problem, that JohnnyFaster perfectly described. Indeed I guess you're right with saying "If you want to fuck around with everything on a synth, go with something more simple and designed in a way that corresponds to hardware." Then you advise me to try Sylenth, I'll give it a test!
Johnnyfaster wrote:I recommend you tell her it's not okay to call you anything other than honey and baby. which goes both ways of course. you are looking for a way to express yourself and you need the freedom to find what works for you. whether that means being childish and buying and selling 800 pieces of gear that is your mission and she has no right to throw a negative wrench into the mix as that'll only slow you down in reaching your goal. My wife watches me buy stuff continuously, out of respect I ask her if it's okay to make a purchase and out of respect for my desire to express myself musically she tells me to go for it.
I'd say the better way (for me) would be between the 2 extremes, because she is half-right for now with her statement thant I'm like a child with his toys. We can see in this topic replies that the 2 positions can be supported; "learn your shit first", then "go for hardware if you're still not fully pleased with this software/midi control stuff".

Johnnyfaster wrote:as far as your boredom goes I have this insight.
"boredom is just 'whats the use' in disguise" boredom isn't caused by the things around you it's caused by YOU. there is no reason you can't entertain yourself with a rock and spoon or a basketball court or ableton live and a midi controller. if you are bored with what you've got it's not the things fault it is yours, most likely caused by your "the grass is greener over there" state of mind currently. I completely understand that a certain set up might be perfect for you and that is worth hunting for but I feel it's worth making note of that you truely are at the drivers wheel when it comes to boredom.
despite the fact I don't really understand all the syntax of your first sentence, I totally dig this opinion. I'm bored now, and that would probably be the same with, say, a polyevolver keyboard, or anything else. We all have empty times where creativity seems lazy or out of service!

But I still keep on feeling that with a real hardare synth, with its pots and keyboard, and AUTONOMY from the computer/usb/assignations/host routing...... having simple fun and discovering sounds that enhance creativity, give great ideas for new songs would be much more simple and instant-gratificating.

I know some of you would reply, "hey monstre jumo, don't be dumb, the PEK is a great synth, but really complex if you don't have synthesis basis, and buying such a $$$ synth won't give you more instant gratification, because, as for everything, there is a learning curve. and it is not a simple synth."

I hear you, and I won't buy such a thing for now.

This topic and all your replies helped me a lot, both morally and technically.

So my first step is to make a pause :wink:
My second step is to get more used to my present new setup.

Then I'll see, if in 2-3 months I'm still feeling it too heavy to use and not pleasant... then I'll go for hardware.

During this times I'll give sylenth a try.

Thanks again to all of you,

and, oh, DjSynchro:
Pussy! :D
, eh, well "Pussy yourself" ah ah :lol: do you mean I'm not macho enough? or do you mean I should just take care of the "pussy part" of my girlfriend, instead of listening to her?? :lol:

cheers

aeon
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Re: Synth plugs, Nocturn, Midi keyboard and I'm bored to death..

Post by aeon » Mon Mar 16, 2009 12:31 pm

i think there's an awful lot to be said for hardware synths:

firstly, dedicated knobs for major soundshaping functions. it's simply not the same with midi controllers...

secondly, you tend to use an extra analog gain stage when recording your hardware, which not only means you're immediately working with audio, but also that there's some intangible otherness within your recordings.

thirdly, the sound - for example, there's nothing quite like Nord's HP filter model, in the 'hard' or 'soft'ware realms.

however this is all secondary to my main advice, which is something i heard Simon Posford said a few years ago:

when you are bored and uninspired, stop trying to make songs and just make sounds.

this really has stuck with me ever since. it's partly why i like hardware; when i'm not in a music-writing mood, plugging headphones into a synth's outputs and creating sounds is a fascinating and productive thing to do. more generally, it brings you right back to the basics of what we're trying to achieve here, and it's one of the best cures for producer-apathy that i've ever come across...

:)
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supamonsta
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Re: Synth plugs, Nocturn, Midi keyboard and I'm bored to death..

Post by supamonsta » Mon Mar 16, 2009 12:55 pm

when you are bored and uninspired, stop trying to make songs and just make sounds.

this really has stuck with me ever since. it's partly why i like hardware; when i'm not in a music-writing mood, plugging headphones into a synth's outputs and creating sounds is a fascinating and productive thing to do. more generally, it brings you right back to the basics of what we're trying to achieve here, and it's one of the best cures for producer-apathy that i've ever come across...
you're definitely right Aeon, this is just what I miss for now.

I thought I could emulate this immediacy with my purchases, but there is a learning/parametering time due to synth and controller and ableton live processing mentality and technical restrictions that do not allow so much ease and immediacy, and that are a bit painful to deal with when the creativity drive is low...

Cheers

dubgil
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Re: Synth plugs, Nocturn, Midi keyboard and I'm bored to death..

Post by dubgil » Thu Mar 19, 2009 8:23 pm

You're not a CHILD
YOu're suffering BUYER'S, or in your case maybe, SELLER'S REMORSE
Just use what you got.
Everytime I buy or sell something I get similar feeling. Then I use what I got and
sometimes I walk away happy - that's all I need to appreciate what I have.

Be content

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Re: Synth plugs, Nocturn, Midi keyboard and I'm bored to death..

Post by supamonsta » Thu Mar 19, 2009 9:07 pm

Thanks for your kind words DubGil :P

I'm now suffering buyer's too, because I just ordered an evolver desktop and a mfb synth II ... ... :oops: :| :o :D

But now I'm not ashamed anymore, I'm ULTRA-MOTIVATED!!!! :twisted:

Thanks to all your support, I'll tell you if my new hardware makes a difference, and if not... I'll quit :wink:

welcome me in the gear-sluts group !

best regards,

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Re: Synth plugs, Nocturn, Midi keyboard and I'm bored to death..

Post by supamonsta » Tue Mar 24, 2009 12:10 pm

OMFG !!!!

evolver is soooooo sweet !!!!! (can be harsh and metallic sounding also, but it is really sweet in the sweetness realm !!!!=

it's sooooooo fat too !!!!!

MFB is really kickin' ass in the bass department, fat, deep, unstable (but still reliable, just not for live gigs), detuned, sooooo roots !

I just have had half a day on this little analog synths since they were shipped to me, but I had LOTS OF FUN tweaking pots and parameters, browsing presets. I also had LOTS OF IDEAS coming out from this improvisation time...

OMG that is soooo delicious. I love hardware's stability, presence, immediacy, and those little analog beasties sound really really FAT and HUGE and CREAMY, I had never heard such superb sounds under my fingers for now.


So to get back to the topic, and, perhap's, close it, I just wanna say that GEAR IS AN IMPORTANT PARAMETER OF THE CREATIVITY PROCESS, AT LEAST FOR ME.

I just wanted to share my enthusiasm :D

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