Who uses presets?

Discussion of music production, audio, equipment and any related topics, either with or without Ableton Live
Neon Breath
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Re: Who uses presets?

Post by Neon Breath » Mon Nov 29, 2010 7:15 pm

I sometimes on rare occasions, especially when I'm running out of ideas or creativity, use presets as a starting point only. From there I tweak and adjust the params to fit my sounds...

CFM
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Re: Who uses presets?

Post by CFM » Mon Nov 29, 2010 7:47 pm

I don’t see much wrong with using presets. In-fact, many of the sounds are extremely usable and they have been created to be used. If not why do companies pay professional musicians to create sound sets? You may as well have NI FM8 and blank banks or even that hardware synth. At the same time there is also satisfaction when altering or creating your own sound. Sometimes I’ll take a preset and add a load of effects to it and create something different.

sporkles
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Re: Who uses presets?

Post by sporkles » Mon Nov 29, 2010 8:12 pm

3phase wrote:
AceLuby wrote:A stolen piece of software is the same as a preset? Um, no, not even in the same ballpark.
nobody is saying that..but the moral twists behind it are compareable
On the contrary, that is pretty much what you said (even though you use the word "hack" inaccurately), and the comparison
is so fucking retarded that no one should even dignify it with a response (I'm aware of the irony):
3phase wrote:however there is a hacker ethics that clearly says that once you make regular use of the software or personal profit you have to buy it..
a release is personal profit regardless of the amount of money earned with it..

anybody never used a hack? anybody never used a preset?

pretty much compareable i guess...
All I wanted to know when I started this thread was whether you, 3phase, use presets or not. I now know more than I asked for,
so you've gone way beyond your call of duty here. Honourable discharge; medal is in the mail.

Machinesworking
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Re: Who uses presets?

Post by Machinesworking » Mon Nov 29, 2010 9:07 pm

3phase wrote:
AceLuby wrote:A stolen piece of software is the same as a preset? Um, no, not even in the same ballpark.
nobody is saying that..but the moral twists behind it are compareable
I for one completely understood what you said. it's lost here though, far too many instant gratification types here vs people interested in originality and art. In fact I would go as far as to say you made all the right points, including that using some presets are not taboo, being generic or making bad music without understanding how to program synths, using too many genre specific samples etc. is!

Anybody making a comparison to 808 samples or expensive violins or violin samples is IMO willfully missing the point and just trying to argue with you. seriously? I freakin love synths but comparing a preset synth or sampler patch to a violin is silly at best.

alex.the.forge
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Re: Who uses presets?

Post by alex.the.forge » Tue Nov 30, 2010 1:37 am

sporkles wrote:..
All I wanted to know when I started this thread was whether you, 3phase, use presets or not..
:lol:

at least you weren't disappointed.

To open another can or worms and possibly incur the wrath of 3phase…

I spent years trying to avoid using loops for the same reason we're discussing here… desperately trying to be original at all costs. Now I'm a bit older and occasionally as jaded as 3phase I realise it's a completely pointless limitation. Adding loops to a track can bring it to life and add loads of extra rhythmic texture. Unless you're making straight minimal music (which I suspect is what 3phase makes).

You could maybe argue that using loops is probably worse than presets, but then maybe not because usually the first thing I do is compress/EQ/effect/chop up/blend it in with the track so that it is part of it, not just a loop standing out on its own unchanged.

The end result ultimately I guess like taking a bass guitar and customising the controls on the bass and the amp - by making those tweaks you end up with a different sound.

In fact most of us here who are saying it's fine to use presets would probably do the same thing with presets - I know I certainly do. If I use a preset, the riff I play, plus the processing I do afterwards, often freezing/flattening and reprocessing again, all of these things add up to a unique sound.

I really don't see how there can be a problem with any of this. And like Cezband said - it's utterly impractical, or even impossible to be completely unique with every single sound.

3phase
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Re: Who uses presets?

Post by 3phase » Tue Nov 30, 2010 2:01 am

alex.the.forge wrote:Adding loops to a track can bring it to life and add loads of extra rhythmic texture. Unless you're making straight minimal music (which I suspect is what 3phase makes).
extra rhytmical texture like a real bongo joe?

your own loops can have this fx too :!:

a loop can hold te whole substance and atmosphere of a track..

is the loop variating your track or are you variating the loop with your track?

in the second case its not really your track anymore.. call it a remix of that funky loop..
james browns drummer is not dead...

and in the first case the question is wether just claping in your hands would have done the same job without possible publishig rights trouble...



and regarding the op.. i really dont care what the op wants to hear in this
"i use presets" justification thread.. why he is asking such stupid questions when he dont want to gain some excuse for something at least one inner voice is a bit susspicious about. which actually should have told him allready that its a bit shaddy at a certain level.. lazy at least and when then voices pop up that claim that a decission against presets is a decission against an carrer..
ok...

so i think its perfectly necessary to point to the horendous damage the evil doings of the preseterman can cause to the young soul..
just say NO :mrgreen:
mac book 2,16 ghz 4(3)gb ram, Os 10.62, fireface 400,

sporkles
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Re: Who uses presets?

Post by sporkles » Tue Nov 30, 2010 4:12 pm

3phase wrote: just say NO :mrgreen:
Basically sums up my response to your contribution in this thread, so everybody's happy.

Freedombeats
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Re: Who uses presets?

Post by Freedombeats » Sun Dec 05, 2010 1:32 pm

3phase wrote:
Freedombeats wrote:There's no rules in music

really? and what is with all theese style boundarys and harmony rules? or rules what is considred cool and uncool? or political correct.. or even legal and unlegal, like using uncleared samples or lyrics?

there are quite a few rules and breaking them has more or less possible consequences.. using presets is not unlegal but its pretty lame so you live with the risk beeing called a lamer.
You thought to much into that comment. If someone wants to use a preset and it makes their track sound good, then its all good. If your making rubbish music used from presets, but its making someone happy by listening to it, then its still, all good.

Freedombeats
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Re: Who uses presets?

Post by Freedombeats » Sun Dec 05, 2010 1:34 pm

Freedombeats wrote:
3phase wrote:
Freedombeats wrote:There's no rules in music

really? and what is with all theese style boundarys and harmony rules? or rules what is considred cool and uncool? or political correct.. or even legal and unlegal, like using uncleared samples or lyrics?

there are quite a few rules and breaking them has more or less possible consequences.. using presets is not unlegal but its pretty lame so you live with the risk beeing called a lamer.
You thought to much into that comment. If someone wants to use a preset and it makes their track sound good, then its all good. If your making rubbish music used from presets, but its making someone happy by listening to it, then its still, all good.
Also if you follow the rules, your gonna end up sounding like everyone else...

oddstep
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Re: Who uses presets?

Post by oddstep » Sun Dec 05, 2010 2:00 pm

Move on... this thread only seems to be about presets. Its actually about the potential of techno to liberate humanity from outmoded and slavish modes of thought and bring on the infinite love realm. :wink:

nylarch
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Re: Who uses presets?

Post by nylarch » Sun Dec 05, 2010 2:56 pm

Was searching the Ableton forum, saw a pretty innocuously titled thread had reached 8 pages long, wondered at what point 3phase had got involved....was not disappointed.
MacBook Pro; Live 8 Suite, Reaktor; '77 Fender Jazz Bass; Apogee One;

razorblade
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Re: Who uses presets?

Post by razorblade » Sun Dec 05, 2010 4:15 pm

Fortunately, I've managed to overcome the ego vs efficacy battle.

I still kill too many hours tweaking shit, but I got no problem making some preset my bitch.

But God bless the purist...you've got my respect.
No...I am 3phase!

moonpie
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Re: Who uses presets?

Post by moonpie » Tue Dec 07, 2010 2:55 am

I dunno, I have couples modes of thought with this - I see the whole sound design thing as orchestration. Very rarely single sounds will make a song. Deciding what goes where and playing them and mixing them is the original bit. We dont HAVE to reinvent the wheel. BUT - Theres a MASSIVE caveat. Since the dawn of time, if theres one thing that has always mattered in music (ok, at least for the past 300 years) its authenticity. So while the end result can sound the same, people do care (especially with time) how authentic an artist was and whether they really broke barriers or did anything special. And general, the artists that were original are the longest lasting.

Another thing i think - Audiences/listeners do appreciate technical skill, and since playing synths really isnt physically demanding more most of us, I think its expected the technical skill lies in the creation of a sound. And while most people wouldnt give a fig now or cant tell, that will change greatly in the next decade as more people learn - and we'll be asking more and more from electronic musicians and electronic music. We're all music fans too, we want to hear things we cant do or inspire us.

I think simple economics is what kept emulating alot of artists electronic sounds out of reach in the past, but now with soft synths everyone can own one. It would bug me no end finding a patch belonging to my favorite artist. It would also bug me no end if someone was able to dial in sounds I might have made for my own songs, then with a switch play a gig with em at the weekend. With the internet as it is, if youre using synth presets and youre fairly popular, you wont hold onto your secrets too long, and then everyone will buy the same gear, and what made you standout in the first place will grow fainter.

I am a music geek. I appreciate technical skill. I need authenticity in the music I listen to. Not everybody needs these things. And you can make alot of money without appealing to my niche! Its controversial and prejudice but I think, if you enjoy art and really love the act of creation, all artists should know their art inside out. And apart from commercial reasons (which is very understandable) I think theres nothing stopping people at least trying to create something new.

oddstep
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Re: Who uses presets?

Post by oddstep » Tue Dec 07, 2010 7:04 am

Plenty of compositionally cutting edge stuff is written using presets. One example I can think would be early 'grime'.... dancehall too, sleng teng is basically is preset off a keyboard. Sound design is a techno and art rock value.. there are plenty of other perspectives.

Machinesworking
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Re: Who uses presets?

Post by Machinesworking » Tue Dec 07, 2010 7:29 am

Just like using loops from a factory CD, presets are another way you become less invested in the music you do. This isn't a good thing.
Just like the advent of digital recording is a great thing, but also heralds the end of talent, so does using loops and 3000+ preset libraries.
There is nothing wrong with an artist using presets, loops, buying songs, never learning to play an instrument or program a synth, yet still making music, if that's the exception.
I'm getting the the impression it's the rule these days.

There is a massive difference IMO in actual investment of energy in the music you do when you use shortcuts. I think this translates in the music, if a person is creating a style that matters over substance, then of course it doesn't matter. Here's the clincher for me though, any day of the week, month year, any day, I would rather listen to a bad rock band than a bad electronic act, and I think that comes directly down to the level of artificial saccharine coated garbage there is in the electronic music scene.

I've sat there and created most of a song around a loop or obvious preset and it would sound pretty good, but at some point I would reconsider, and trash the whole thing, it's just not me to use shortcuts. Again nothing wrong with the occasional preset that sounds great in a song, but if you rely on them, and don't know how to use the synths and samplers you use, then you're missing out, and I believe it's affecting the quality of electronic music these days no matter what the genre.

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