Does anyone ever use Live's built-in synths?

Discussion of music production, audio, equipment and any related topics, either with or without Ableton Live
ilya.soloviev
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Re: Does anyone ever use Live's built-in synths?

Post by ilya.soloviev » Wed Feb 12, 2014 12:19 pm

Martin Gifford wrote:Just about presets:

I was using Ableton synth presets. I liked the idea of keeping everything simple and in-house.

But then I heard Sylenth and was amazed. After using it for a few weeks, I went back and listened to Ableton synths, and they sounded laughably thin in comparison.
Its because Sylenth1 has built in effects. Ableton synths needs to be processed by effects later in chain

BoddAH
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Re: Does anyone ever use Live's built-in synths?

Post by BoddAH » Wed Feb 12, 2014 12:41 pm

ilya.soloviev wrote:
Martin Gifford wrote:Just about presets:

I was using Ableton synth presets. I liked the idea of keeping everything simple and in-house.

But then I heard Sylenth and was amazed. After using it for a few weeks, I went back and listened to Ableton synths, and they sounded laughably thin in comparison.
Its because Sylenth1 has built in effects. Ableton synths needs to be processed by effects later in chain
Also while Live's factory synths definitely do have potential when you tweak them yourself and get to know them, the presets in the Core library are notoriously bad and uninspired.

tedlogan
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Re: Does anyone ever use Live's built-in synths?

Post by tedlogan » Wed Feb 12, 2014 12:57 pm

Operator is great, quite powerful for such an unassuming little GUI. Two of them in a rack is awesome, slightly detuned. Sampler is great too. Like Finn, I'm also fond of Collision - you can get really esoteric dissonant pads and sounds from it.

And as BoddaH said, Live's synth presets are mainly notoriously awful, and don't help to sell them at all, in my opinion. They're capable of much better sounding patches.

I must add that I mainly use Zebra nowaways for everything though, sometimes supplemented with older Operator and Collision patches I built.

ttilberg
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Re: Does anyone ever use Live's built-in synths?

Post by ttilberg » Wed Feb 12, 2014 5:11 pm

As everyone here says, I agree that Operator is pretty boss. If you aren't into programming the synths though, you are better off with 3rd party stuff.

Lots of people mention Sampler as a good synth -- but I'll even go so far as to say Simpler makes a great sound machine too, even though it doesn't have nearly as many modulation options.

I think the other instruments aren't as easy to get on with. Analog can be okay, but as others noted, it's hard to get inspired by it. The default INIT patch is horrible as well. One of the first things I do on a fresh installation is tweak the default Analog to not sound so lame.
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mholloway
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Re: Does anyone ever use Live's built-in synths?

Post by mholloway » Wed Feb 12, 2014 9:00 pm

doghouse wrote:It's funny when you think about it. Every year DAW makers add more factory plugins to "sweeten the deal" but outside of Reason owners I never hear anyone talk about using the included instruments! [/b] Live.
People have been talking for years about using Logic's EXS-24 sampler and ES-2 Synthesizer. They are massively used in all corners of the electronic music world.


To the OP: Operator is pure genius in terms of simplified design / UI. It is by far the most approachable FM synth on the market, while also being a damn good one. It certainly deserves your attention.

Simpler / Sampler are incredibly useful sampling tools, far easier to use quickly than the very ungainly EXS-24 in Logic. Cubase still doesn't even have a basic sampler, bizarrely. Live's Simpler is so effective for quick-n-dirty sampled based instrumentation, it's sick.

as for the other native synths, can't speak for 'em, and like you, I don't use them.

-M
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KrisM
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Re: Does anyone ever use Live's built-in synths?

Post by KrisM » Wed Feb 12, 2014 11:06 pm

I think it's very telling that Ableton's in-house synths, Operator and Sampler, are lauded as awesome while the ones outsourced to AAS are not getting much love.

I find use with all of them, but Operator and Sampler are definitely my favorites :)
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Mister Natural
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Re: Does anyone ever use Live's built-in synths?

Post by Mister Natural » Thu Feb 13, 2014 7:08 am

Operator is a MONSTER that goes dangerously off the chain once you learn it !
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Martin Gifford
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Re: Does anyone ever use Live's built-in synths?

Post by Martin Gifford » Thu Feb 13, 2014 9:25 am

I just noticed a curious thing. The best DAW (Ableton) and the best synth (Sylenth) have probably the two ugliest interfaces in computer land. Coincidence? I think not. Maybe talent for creating software is different from aesthetic sensibilities.

TomViolenz
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Re: Does anyone ever use Live's built-in synths?

Post by TomViolenz » Thu Feb 13, 2014 10:30 am

Martin Gifford wrote:I just noticed a curious thing. The best DAW (Ableton) and the best synth (Sylenth) have probably the two ugliest interfaces in computer land. Coincidence? I think not. Maybe talent for creating software is different from aesthetic sensibilities.
I installed the Maschine skin for Live and now find it actually quite beautiful! (I admit that the standard grey got a little depressing after a while)

Martin Gifford
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Re: Does anyone ever use Live's built-in synths?

Post by Martin Gifford » Thu Feb 13, 2014 10:37 am

Yes, I've been using that skin for the last few weeks, based on your recommendation, I think. Love it! Now I don't notice the ugliness. But I'm still going to be tempted by Bitwig just because colour and light and fluid workflow inspire me!

BoddAH
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Re: Does anyone ever use Live's built-in synths?

Post by BoddAH » Thu Feb 13, 2014 12:39 pm

Martin Gifford wrote:I just noticed a curious thing. The best DAW (Ableton) and the best synth (Sylenth) have probably the two ugliest interfaces in computer land. Coincidence? I think not. Maybe talent for creating software is different from aesthetic sensibilities.
Aesthetics are subjective. I for one love the flat an minimalistic aesthetic of Live. Plus it also allows a degree of flexibility (resizing) and customisation (colour schemes) that no other DAW with a shiny and "realistic" interface can achieve. Flat and minimalistic is pretty fashionable anyway right now!

I agree that Sylenth1 looks like shit though. :lol:

Martin Gifford
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Re: Does anyone ever use Live's built-in synths?

Post by Martin Gifford » Thu Feb 13, 2014 12:51 pm

I understand. But there's a difference between what's in style atm, and what works. Some people are really inspired by colour, light, and fluid workflow. People's brains are wired differently - we aren't all German software engineers.

As for resizing, etc., I'm on a laptop, and I'm fighting with the midi editor in arrange view all day long. Drives me crazy - even using keyboard shortcuts and a programmable mouse. I edit a clip, then hit play and the midi editor is still up there and I can't see the arrangement. And the midi editor never remembers the size adjustment I made. But it would be great on a big screen desktop. I'm going to get a drum machine just so I get some consistency and fluidity and colour.

Yeah, I look at Sylenth and feel like setting fire to it. But then I hear it! So I just use the presets. Don't feel like learning to make my own. If it was pretty and fluid, I would learn it for sure because it is so good.

login
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Re: Does anyone ever use Live's built-in synths?

Post by login » Thu Feb 13, 2014 4:04 pm

Some day people would learn that a good GUI is about function over aesthetics.

Live GUI for me is the best of any DAW, or any audio program.

No useless 3d graphics, no annoying windows, GUI serves functions and is designed for the workflow.

My more requested feature is to ble able to make "skins" for third party plug ins so they looked as Live devices, that would get rid of stupid windows.


There are also other aproaches to good GUI design in the audio world which are a little more fancy with the graphics, Fabfilter stuff is great cause it makes the most use of a mouse and presents information in very graphical way which makes it very easy to work with. A daw designed around those concept would be fantastic.

FAW Circle and Madrona Labs Aalto also have very nice GUi's.

Martin Gifford
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Re: Does anyone ever use Live's built-in synths?

Post by Martin Gifford » Thu Feb 13, 2014 9:14 pm

H2O had a funny comment somewhere. Something like:

Ableton looks like a rainy day, and the forum's colour looks like a dog's sphincter.

Live looks like an architecture drawing. I prefer looking at and using the finished building. Nevertheless, it's cool that some people like it. The German software engineers are pleasing their like-minded friends.

I don't think other DAWs will be copying the interface colour scheme, yet they copy functionality (e.g. Session view). I wonder why? It's because the interface is an ugly turn-off for many people, but the functionality is great.

TomViolenz
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Re: Does anyone ever use Live's built-in synths?

Post by TomViolenz » Thu Feb 13, 2014 9:42 pm

I think you are making way more out of this than it deserves. Especially since the color scheme can easily be skinned.

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