Learn synthesis or use samples?

Discussion of music production, audio, equipment and any related topics, either with or without Ableton Live
reticent
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Learn synthesis or use samples?

Post by reticent » Wed Dec 12, 2012 3:05 pm

I've been using samples/VSTs since I started.. but I would love to learn Synthesis and make my own sounds like deadmau5 and all the other great producers out there..

Is there a good link to synthesis? should I use operator or analog?

Any help is much appreciated!

störgeräusche
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Re: Learn synthesis or use samples?

Post by störgeräusche » Wed Dec 12, 2012 3:13 pm

Learn synthesis too. Using samples can be fun and you can get pretty creative with sample editing BUT learning synthesis will allow you, provided you devote enough time and energy and you have patience, to get total control over your sound. Well, total control might be a bit bold but you get the idea.
Start with simple synths, like TAL BASSLINE, a very nice SH-101 emulation, 2 osc+sub, noise generator, LFO, Filter, envelope (same env is shared between amp and filter) and that’s it (more or less) so you can really follow what’s goin on when you’re tweaking.
When you have mastered it, or you feel ready for the next step, take a more complex synth (analog for example) and start studying it inside out, reverse engineer presets and try to have a clear idea in your head “which waveforms makes which sounds”, how modulations works.
I’d wait with operator until you have a deeper understanding of synthesis.
On the other hand, there are zillions of presets for operator (covert operators, Christian kleine, …) so you might even use operator and its presets, but my advice is to start with a less complex synth if you wanna understand synthesis.
Good luck, It’ll be a rewarding effort.
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Tarekith
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Re: Learn synthesis or use samples?

Post by Tarekith » Wed Dec 12, 2012 3:26 pm

http://www.soundonsound.com/sos/allsynthsecrets.htm

Start at the bottom and work your way up. Skip all the math and complex stuff if you dont understand in, even a basic skim through these will make you MUCH better at synthesis. Or at least more informed about it.

reticent
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Re: Learn synthesis or use samples?

Post by reticent » Wed Dec 12, 2012 3:44 pm

Thanks for the help.. is there a particular synth I should practice on?
I have the Ableton ones and my hardware Microkorg XL

Unless you guys can suggest a really good synth VST to learn from as well.

Thanks!

Tarekith
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Re: Learn synthesis or use samples?

Post by Tarekith » Wed Dec 12, 2012 3:57 pm

Analog is a really simple synth that follows the basic subtractive synthesis methodology, so I'd recommend that.

pencilrocket
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Re: Learn synthesis or use samples?

Post by pencilrocket » Wed Dec 12, 2012 4:49 pm

Synth always generates more cleaner and phase accurate sound whatever pitch you play. So your song will be more puncher and tighter than one only with samples.
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reticent
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Re: Learn synthesis or use samples?

Post by reticent » Wed Dec 12, 2012 4:52 pm

Well I've been using preset synths from VSTs, but i want to start working towards making my own production

So with Analog I'll be able to make some cool chords like Deadmau5? Not trying to copy him but his synths are so nice and I know he does it all from scratch.

vitalispopoff
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Re: Learn synthesis or use samples?

Post by vitalispopoff » Wed Dec 12, 2012 6:52 pm

analog is probably easier to get into, but operator gives some extra features that are essential for learning the synthesis.

I'd suggest the operator for experiments. All You need to do is limit Your apetite to one oscillator and focus on mastering the oscillator envelope, learn the sound of particular waves.
After that go to the "user" wave and learn the principles of additive synthesis with harmonic matrix - for now avoid using automodulation wich in operator oscillator is called "feedback".
Another step is to master the filter section wich is quite easy, when You get the idea of envelope.
Then go to the FM techniques - gradually adding another modulators and learning different modulation algorithms. step by step.

Then all that's left is to learn LFO, repitching/aux and some really technical stuff in the main window.
If do it right it should take about 3 months to have the operator fully learnt and operational.
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reticent
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Re: Learn synthesis or use samples?

Post by reticent » Wed Dec 12, 2012 10:00 pm

I'll start on Analog, I hear this is a good synth to learn about to; http://www.gforcesoftware.com/products/minimonsta/tour

kanuck
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Re: Learn synthesis or use samples?

Post by kanuck » Thu Dec 13, 2012 8:42 pm

Tarekith wrote:Analog is a really simple synth that follows the basic subtractive synthesis methodology, so I'd recommend that.
Agreed with Tarekith, but fortunately/unfortunately Analog has a few features that can make it's routing very complex. I'd recommend when working just use 1 oscillator, 1 filter, and 1 amp.

-from there you can expand to mixing 2 oscillators
-then parallel filters/filters in series
-parallel amps, etc.

but to learn the basics of subtractive synthesis all you need is 1 osc, 1 filter, and 1 amp. And trust me, you can get quite the range of sounds from just that.

miekwave
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Re: Learn synthesis or use samples?

Post by miekwave » Thu Dec 13, 2012 9:07 pm

reticent wrote:I've been using samples/VSTs since I started.. but I would love to learn Synthesis and make my own sounds like deadmau5 and all the other great producers out there..

Is there a good link to synthesis? should I use operator or analog?

Any help is much appreciated!
Do yourself a favor and get a Nord Lead 2.
Check out some of my soundtracks. Also Ableton Live Performance video.

ImageImage

reticent
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Re: Learn synthesis or use samples?

Post by reticent » Thu Dec 13, 2012 10:01 pm

miekwave wrote:
reticent wrote:I've been using samples/VSTs since I started.. but I would love to learn Synthesis and make my own sounds like deadmau5 and all the other great producers out there..

Is there a good link to synthesis? should I use operator or analog?

Any help is much appreciated!
Do yourself a favor and get a Nord Lead 2.
Thats like $900!!

miekwave
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Re: Learn synthesis or use samples?

Post by miekwave » Thu Dec 13, 2012 10:55 pm

reticent wrote:
miekwave wrote:
reticent wrote:I've been using samples/VSTs since I started.. but I would love to learn Synthesis and make my own sounds like deadmau5 and all the other great producers out there..

Is there a good link to synthesis? should I use operator or analog?

Any help is much appreciated!
Do yourself a favor and get a Nord Lead 2.
Thats like $900!!
It's worth every penny :D
Check out some of my soundtracks. Also Ableton Live Performance video.

ImageImage

timday
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Re: Learn synthesis or use samples?

Post by timday » Thu Dec 13, 2012 11:07 pm

I'd also recommend starting on TAL VSTs. The Elec7ro has an easier interface than Analog and is capable of some pretty awesome sounds, and all the TAL stuff is free. If you can find the TAL vintager it's even simpler and has some pretty good bass sounds.

There are basically only four components to any synth: Oscillators make a noise, Filters cut out frequencies (mostly overtones) to modify the waveform, and envelopes and LFOs modulate various controls. Once you know where the controls for those components are you understand any given synth. Most of them differ mainly in the oscillators - FM, wavetable synths etc (and samplers for that matter) can be thought of as synths with different types of oscillator. Modular synths have all the components in separate boxes so you can connect them however you like. Most of the complicated looking stuff is to do with modulation (i.e. which parameters the envelopes and LFOs are affecting and how). Seriously, that's it. Synths are not nearly as hard as we like to pretend.

beatmunga
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Re: Learn synthesis or use samples?

Post by beatmunga » Thu Dec 13, 2012 11:29 pm

See my signature below for the definitive wisdom on this topic from a far greater mind than mine...
mendeldrive wrote:NOBODY designs their own sounds... There is ZERO point in reinventing the wheel.

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