Are synths necessary?

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Hades
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Re: Are synths necessary?

Post by Hades » Tue Feb 28, 2012 7:23 pm

steevio wrote:no rules bro
yes and no.

I mean, we're always quick to firmly say "there are no rules", but on the other hand you can't deny that there are certain things we tend to "expect" as a minimum.
For example, steevio, I remember you saying a few days ago how you don't even finish listening to tracks from producers (for your festival's line-up) if the kicks aren't in tune with the rest of the track.
So you can say it's not a "rule", but in reality you kind of don't like people that make tracks that don't apply this "trick" or whatever you want to call it.
You understand what I'm saying, right ? ;)

I honest to god believe there are no strict rules to this thing.
But I seriously do believe there are definitely quite a few tips and tricks to make your music sound better.
Whether or not you want to use them is up to you, of course.

I gotta say though, that it's my personal opinion, if not "belief", that techno is the most "free" music genre of all electronic music genres.
I mean, how many house tracks can you name that have no bass at all ? Or no lead ?
Or even no kick ?
All of that is possible in techno. No problem.

I once read that in order to make techno, you should stop relying on programming and mixing in the conventional manner (if there is such a thing) and try using the entire studio as one interconnected tool.
I kind of like that idea.

I also kind of like the quote I once read on Peter Van Hoesen's myspace "every sound is a note".
That's another thing you won't find so easily in other electronical music genres : the huge diversity of sounds.
You can literally sample anything, and run it through all kinds of FX, and use it in your track.

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Re: Are synths necessary?

Post by NoAffiliation » Tue Feb 28, 2012 7:27 pm

kivetros wrote: What do you mean, a field recording of ambience sent through a resonator? I am a new Live user (switched from FL about a month ago) and I've noticed the Resonator plugin, but I have no idea what it's supposed to do.

Thanks for your input.

-K
If you have access to a microphone or field recorder, just sample some room noise and either put in on an audio track or into a sampler and put the resonator as an insert. basically you have the ability to specify the root note and then dial in a few stages of harmonics in semitones. just mess around with it and try putting other effects after it. you can make a whole bunch of cool chords to fill out a whole track if you work the controls on the resonator throughout the song. you could do all the musical changes in a track just by automating different settings on the resonator.

also, don't ditch the minor chords if you want to make tech house. try detuning the oscillators on the synth and playing the chords to get a more tropical/exotic sound. it's all in the tuning. something interesting i learned when playing somebody's rhodes a few years ago, on his keyboard all the notes sounded good! it was like you couldnt hit a bad note on the thing. i often tune my synths similarly where i play long sequences of keys and find a tuning that gives the most pleasing result

Hades
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Re: Are synths necessary?

Post by Hades » Tue Feb 28, 2012 7:28 pm

kivetros wrote: ...
Well, I feel like I have a very strong grasp of rhythm and groove. I can sit all day and write percussion - big, swingy, organic grooves; tight, unsyncopated, clicky minimal stuff; whatever it is, I can make it, and well. I love percussion.

So, I'll create a new project in Live, find a suitable kick, grab a bunch of samples, and get my percussion going. Then, I reach for Operator or Analog and make a really deep sub-bass... pretty standard-procedure stuff.

After that, I'm totally lost. I will open up a VST, set it to init, and... nothing. I feel like I really struggle with finding the right timbres and chords for minimal or tech house, and I hate it. It's really frustrating.
...
-K
that's kind of funny, cause I usually have exactly the opposite.
rhythms are usually my weakness.
But I can make melodies all day long, and I can always make new sounds starting from scratch with any synth in my studio.

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Re: Are synths necessary?

Post by simonb » Tue Feb 28, 2012 9:07 pm

Maybe it's just the way I look at things but I'd see these as weakenesses to work on... if you can't find the right synth sound/chord, better get practising that synth programming and music theory! Same with if your beats are weak, spend a bit of time improving that skill.

I'm not one to talk since I'm not quite at the level I want to be at (although who is?) but that's how I see these things.

Hades
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Re: Are synths necessary?

Post by Hades » Tue Feb 28, 2012 9:35 pm

simonb wrote:Maybe it's just the way I look at things but I'd see these as weakenesses to work on... if you can't find the right synth sound/chord, better get practising that synth programming and music theory! Same with if your beats are weak, spend a bit of time improving that skill.
.
thank you for stating the obvious :lol:

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Re: Are synths necessary?

Post by steevio » Tue Feb 28, 2012 10:25 pm

Hades wrote: For example, steevio, I remember you saying a few days ago how you don't even finish listening to tracks from producers (for your festival's line-up) if the kicks aren't in tune with the rest of the track.
So you can say it's not a "rule", but in reality you kind of don't like people that make tracks that don't apply this "trick" or whatever you want to call it.
You understand what I'm saying, right ? ;)
.
dont misquote me bro though please, i never said that.

i said i wouldnt book a DJ who mixed tunes in a dischordant way with tunes out of key.

theres a big difference. when i'm on a dancefloor and being hypnotised. i dont want to be rudely brought down from my trip.
artists can do what they want as far as i'm concerned as long as its interesting. its harder for DJs to get that right because they are trying to mix two ideas, for the producer, its his own ideas he's mixing.

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Re: Are synths necessary?

Post by kivetros » Wed Feb 29, 2012 12:56 am

hydrogen wrote:I would get with somebody that has experience with piano. sit by a piano with them and have them show you a few basics of chords and how they work... you should get it within a couple sessions. and then build from there.
That sounds like a really good idea - thanks!
tone-def wrote:P.C.C.O.M.
Yeah. I've got better things to do than get a visual of the insides of my rectum... but thanks for the laugh. :D
oblioblioblio wrote:resonator is very fun tool. you put stuff into it, and it has several different banks that get excited by the sound going in and make a tone. You can turn any sound into a chord.

For me, synths are a very rewarding creative tool. I always enjoyed using them so maybe it's natural for me that way and maybe it's different for somebody else. You've got to learn something to make music, and to learn it very well and build a relationship but you can choose however you like.

Good luck.
I may or may not have broke down and installed Live on my work computer and played with Resonator while I was waiting for some files to transfer, etc... it's extremely cool and will probably be featured in a lot of my productions in the future. Thanks for that.
Hades wrote:I gotta say though, that it's my personal opinion, if not "belief", that techno is the most "free" music genre of all electronic music genres.
I mean, how many house tracks can you name that have no bass at all ? Or no lead ?
Or even no kick ?
All of that is possible in techno. No problem.

I once read that in order to make techno, you should stop relying on programming and mixing in the conventional manner (if there is such a thing) and try using the entire studio as one interconnected tool.
I kind of like that idea.

I also kind of like the quote I once read on Peter Van Hoesen's myspace "every sound is a note".
That's another thing you won't find so easily in other electronical music genres : the huge diversity of sounds.
You can literally sample anything, and run it through all kinds of FX, and use it in your track.
I've never really thought of it that way... your advice is really liberating. But on some level, well, I want my music to make people want to move - and more than that, I want it to fit in and mix well with the music of others so that there's a chance of getting it played out at a party or something. That second one is something that I've always struggled with, but I think I'm getting a little better at it.
NoAffiliation wrote:also, don't ditch the minor chords if you want to make tech house. try detuning the oscillators on the synth and playing the chords to get a more tropical/exotic sound. it's all in the tuning. something interesting i learned when playing somebody's rhodes a few years ago, on his keyboard all the notes sounded good! it was like you couldnt hit a bad note on the thing. i often tune my synths similarly where i play long sequences of keys and find a tuning that gives the most pleasing result
Very good info. Also, I've never thought to try different detune settings on the same riff... I just usually find something and stick with it. I'll try to be more experimental in the future.

Thank you all so much for the advice... I feel like I've learned a lot from this thread already.

-K

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Re: Are synths necessary?

Post by luco » Wed Feb 29, 2012 2:30 am

anal synths are nort permitted

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