I have to ask how some people here use presets, loops etc? Some seems to think its a case of push a key to run a loop/arp in alchemy, or drop some beat loop in and job done etc?
I use them alot and sample libraries - hey pianos count as presets too. I have to confess to have quite alot of vengeance, loopmasters, primeloops etc loops and samples etc - yes - lots of cheesy, but often nspiring electro and trance sounds and loops in there. A load of ace, alchemy, massive, sylenth1, twin, sound sets. Quite a few commercial soundsets for my TI not to mention am a complete preset whore on the M1 plugin and even a preset junkies with aether too (becuse the extra preset packs actually sound good.)
BUT, in nearly every case using them tends to demand alot more produtcion effort in terms of shaping them into the time and frequency space of your mix. Nearly everything has reverbs tails or some other junk that needs fixing so you can get yor own choice of ambience, groove or little bleepy groove or whatever and makes them all gel. Loops often need warping, enveloping and often drastrically chopping up, perhaps repitching in melodyne etc to get what you want out of them. Using millions of hit samples to make drum rack often ends up with compression eq and filter settings (at least) on nearly every simpler or sampler (or group such as tops etc) in a drum rack.
EQing, gating, compressing or whatever is needed on the resulting parts is often adds up to as much effort as creating a sound on a synth from scratch. But heres the thing, I just dont have enough lifetimes to learn exactly how to get the best out of the synths and samplers I actually use and certainly not to the skill level of some of the folks who make exellent and inspiring presets for many of these synths. Out of the synths and plugins I use, I will claim to perhaps know one of them inside out and thats the virus TI - I had many years to learn the virus. Next up sylenth and ace (ace just appeals because I was used to modulars/semi modulars). I have however spent alot of time working with EQ and compressor, gates etc and so they are the tools I know best (not claiming well, just best out of my choices).
I will probbaly never get into programming massive or alchemy beyond basic tweaks to get rid of some aspect of a sound I dont like, or enhance some aspect that I do like etc, or perhaps tweak the mod and/or note sequence of an arp or mangled loop etc, or with alchemy using it for resynthesis and wierd fx processing etc.
I do think there are two types of people who use presets and especially loops etc
1. those who just plonk them in and make do - because thats all they know how to do (the guy I work with is such a case because hes a musician - actually a guitarist, not a mix enginner etc and gets quickly lost in EQ, dynamics processing and all the detail of mixing and even gets lost in the kind of odd voicing of chords people use with synths and orchestras etc to get fat yet spacious sounds etc. He can find a wierd chord on a guitar no problem, but often getting a similarly good sounding voicing of the same chord on a piano is too much, so he likes loops etc and especially plugins with an instant 'trance' button on them - whatever - hes a good guitarist.
2. those who actually mould the many bits that they use into a whole that is more than the parts - ie a producer and sound/mix engineer - perhaps what the producers among us here might aspire to.
In the end - I dont think it really matters where you get your sounds from (excepting illegal sources) - it realy is the end result that matters - how they come together - do you like it? Do you feel good about it? If your aim is commercial, then do you think it will sell etc? Whats some knob jocky thinks about it - you shouldnt even care. Perhaps you should care more what a non or minimally musical other half thinks about it *if* she can be honest and tell you its shite when it *is* shite :p
I guess some people may have different aims - and be more interested in the process as a learning exercise at their stage of the game than the end music result?
Perhaps ask yourself what you do and or get the most from and most importantly - why?
1. Playing notes? - Your destined to be a preset whore.
2. Tweaking knobs? - You shouldnt be writing - instead mix someone elses shit.
Answer that - then maybe you know which side of the preset war fence you sit on and why