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View Full Version : I could use a great synth library


GarretGraves
02-27-2010, 08:13 PM
I'd love a good synth library like Dream THeater has.

example: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cKhfkfnbAMQ

I don't know what it is, but when I found my old Images and Words album I seem to have gone into a mode for DT. God I love these guys.

Anyway, if I have to pay for a library then I will. I'm flexible on price. Something I can use for my Oxygen 61.

zircon
02-27-2010, 08:59 PM
There generally aren't many good synth "sample libraries"... you're hearing actual synths, not samples. The first synth sound that comes in during Pull Me Under is a simple subtractive patch. You are better off simply learning the basics of subtractive synthesis (there are countless online tutorials) and using a basic VST like Synth1 with lots of public presets available.

GarretGraves
02-27-2010, 09:24 PM
I toyed around with the XILS 3 and tried to learn with the manual but my brain started to hurt. I was hoping there would be a cool sound pack or something that i would have the mess around with only a little bit to get the sounds that i want.:(

Hmm I guess Im just lazy.

Rozovian
02-27-2010, 10:59 PM
Fortunately, subtractive synths are relatively simple - you have a couple of oscillators that are run into a filter that's controlled by an envelope. Basically.

There's a couple of nice tutorials on youtube, including a pretty good one by ocr's own Dj Redlight, and articles all over the net. Google it.

Just get a synth and start screwing with it. If it comes with presets, screw with different parts of the synth to learn how they change the sound. Then try to create an initialized patch (as simple as it gets) that you can start working from. Add filter, set how the filter is controlled by key, velocity, envelope; change resonance; add an LFO, make it screw with pitch, volume, filter; change volume envelope; change filter envelope; change waveforms, detune it; get another synth, screw with that one; get yet another, learn more. Most synths are subtractive, so they'll be pretty much the same, just do the same things a little differently. Other synths have a lot of the same controls anyway. So do samplers.

djpretzel
02-27-2010, 11:28 PM
I know everyone swears by Zebra & Synth1, but my favs are:


Discovery Pro
z3ta
FM8

Meteo Xavier
02-27-2010, 11:37 PM
I fucking love z3ta. Love it Love it Love it.

If you're looking to still blow more money on an expensive sound library, go take a look at Soundsonline.com and look up Titan.

The Vagrance
02-28-2010, 12:13 AM
I know everyone swears by Zebra

This forum seems to be the only place where people are all over Zebra that I've seen; I don't get quite get it.

FM8 is quickly becoming my favorite synth though, its near impossible to make it sound bad. Not subtractive but that doesn't really matter that much.

PrototypeRaptor
02-28-2010, 12:28 AM
I don't really like zebra or z3ta... they don't sound nearly as good as newer softsynths, imo.

I'd recommend DCAM's Synth Squad or U-he's newer project, ACE, for a more 'usable' sound right away. (albeit with more CPU usage)


If you really want just a library that loads presets(and have a ton of money to blow) go check out Nexus2 - all you need is a couple grand.

Or get Omnisphere and get everything you could ever want in one massive package. Also, I'm pretty sure DT uses it.

GarretGraves
02-28-2010, 02:03 AM
wow this shit is pricey. I may need to wait till after my birthday when all the bday money comes in. :) My relatives love giving me money. Although I think it's making me more lazy just being handed things.

I still gotta buy a bass amp first but I'll look into these. Thanks for the ideas!

I took classes for sound engineering and design and I know how ocilators work and all. But getting them to produce the sound that I want is super tedious! Messing with LFO's and envelopes. It all hurts my brain and I suffer a great deal from A.D.D. so everything I try to learn is a fierce battle. That's why I was asking more for like a sound pack that I could jack with a little cause making sounds from near scratch is too much work at the moment. I don't have the time for it right now.

I do however have a little money left and more coming soon so I'll definately check out sounds online. Thanks again!

zircon
02-28-2010, 02:31 AM
This forum seems to be the only place where people are all over Zebra that I've seen; I don't get quite get it.

It's one of the most popular softsynths ever, in terms of sales and critical reviews; it's just that good!

I don't really like zebra or z3ta... they don't sound nearly as good as newer softsynths, imo.

I'd recommend DCAM's Synth Squad or U-he's newer project, ACE, for a more 'usable' sound right away. (albeit with more CPU usage)

I've used ACE and Synth Squad and honestly the only reason I can imagine why you'd think this is because the default Zebra osc is (a) in the 'soft' analog mode (rather than crisp, which is brighter) and (b) quiet, not to mention (c) the best Zebra filters are in the XMF modules not the default VCF, which I think most people try first. Try Zebra using XMF LP filters and/or the LP Vintage/2 mode... it sounds easily as good as ACE if not better.

However I wouldn't recommend ANY of the synths above to someone who is just starting out. Subtractive synthesis is such a crucial skill if you want to be able to tweak anything. FM8 and Z3ta are not good synths to learn on at all, and Zebra is a bit tricky too. Synth1 is free AND sounds absolutely fantastic. This guy has been posting tons of threads asking for musical and production advice so just giving him more high-end gear isn't gonna help.. he needs to learn.

I took classes for sound engineering and design and I know how ocilators work and all. But getting them to produce the sound that I want is super tedious! Messing with LFO's and envelopes. It all hurts my brain and I suffer a great deal from A.D.D. so everything I try to learn is a fierce battle. That's why I was asking more for like a sound pack that I could jack with a little cause making sounds from near scratch is too much work at the moment. I don't have the time for it right now.

But the sounds you referenced in that DT mp3 are simple. I could make that lead in 5 seconds (couple saw oscs with VERY tight detuning, ~1-3 cents, perhaps mild chorus, reverb, LP filter with env depth linked to velo, etc.) It's actually much MORE work, time and money to buy a powerful synth and try to find that sound in its presets. That's why I'm saying just learn subtractive synthesis. It's such a pleasure being able to dial in any sound I want on basically any synth. It also gives you total control over editing a sound, so you're not stuck scratching your head at why a particular patch sounds good.

avaris
02-28-2010, 04:53 AM
There is massive appeal for Zebra on KVR...it's nuts. If Zebra clicks with your music it is an excellent choice and is alot of fun to make sounds with once you get acclimated to the interface.

IMO it really depends on what kind of sound you are going for. Highly recommend Synth1 to learn on. Once you got the hang of it then look to invest in a commercial synth. If you have the money Omnisphere is incredible.

My Fav soft synths:

Korg Legacy Analog Edition
Sylenth1
Predator
BLUE

Try to find patches you really like and study what makes them so special to you. Sound design isn't something to be learned quickly. Every synth has "sweet spots" and it takes time to learn synths sweet spots. Trust me one day it'll click. The more time you spend practicing the quicker you'll be able to find sweet spots and all kinds of little tricks.

SnappleMan
02-28-2010, 07:24 AM
Korg Legacy Collection and FM8 are all you need.

OverCoat
02-28-2010, 09:23 AM
This guy has been posting tons of threads asking for musical and production advice so just giving him more high-end gear isn't gonna help.. he needs to learn.

This

better to start out with free stuff and move to the professionally made shit if you feel like the freeware is limiting you [but it shouldn't! I could go on all day about free stuff but I won't]

my free bread&butter is like
-synth1
-vopm
-sts-whateverthenumberisnow
-wav samples looped and processed to oblivion

lazygecko
02-28-2010, 12:30 PM
FM8 is quickly becoming my favorite synth though, its near impossible to make it sound bad. Not subtractive but that doesn't really matter that much.

It does matter when you want to learn the ins and outs of synthesis rather than just picking from presets, since the fundamentals of FM are so different from subtractive synthesis, and subtractive is much more common.

Synth1 is my tool of choice and I use it for almost everything. It can easily compete with the general-purpose commercial "monster" synths, it just doesn't come with pre-packaged reverb effects and stuff to make presets seem better out of the box.

Yoozer
02-28-2010, 01:02 PM
wow this shit is pricey
It's never been cheaper.

But getting them to produce the sound that I want is super tedious! Messing with LFO's and envelopes.
You're not using the knobs on your controllers effectively. Map them. It's only tedious because you have to look at the screen and move your mouse with precision every single time.

It all hurts my brain and I suffer a great deal from A.D.D. so everything I try to learn is a fierce battle.
Take your meds, or dump everything entirely and start at the basis with something that only has one single knob per function. You'd be surprised to find out how many other folks have ADD and do music and have to deal with it in one way or another.

Get a secondhand Roland JP8080 or Nord Rack 2.

Yes, that is more expensive, yes, that's more crap to buy, but I swear that if you try one of those that lots of things will become ridiculously obvious to you really quickly - and the knowledge you have carries over to other synthesizers as well. DiscoDSP Discovery copied the UI and character 1:1 off the Nord, it even has a red skin making it look like a plugin version of the rack. Those are pretty much the cheapest non-bullshit user interface synths you can have that have usable polyphony specifications.

That's why I was asking more for like a sound pack that I could jack with a little cause making sounds from near scratch is too much work at the moment. I don't have the time for it right now.
Of course you have the time for it. You've already started a dozen topics; start spending the time on typing on learning how this stuff works :<

http://refx.com/?lang=en&page=products/nexus/summary

See what Nexus 2 costs? That's what you get when you depend a lot on other people doing stuff for you; and to make it worse, the above is nearly without value after a few years because the sound lean so heavily on the genre. Plus, you'll have nothing out of that that you can call your own, since the less ethically inclined will gulp down a giant torrent of this crap and catch up with you left and right.

Even if you got soundpacks that don't cost you a kidney, you'll still spend most of the time searching for something, and preset names are mostly meaningless. Not even the Kore Player's categorization system works well all of the time.

For orchestral libraries it makes sense; those are instruments you can't do yourself, and they're the bread and butter. For synth sounds, not so much.

The Vagrance
02-28-2010, 04:40 PM
It does matter when you want to learn the ins and outs of synthesis rather than just picking from presets, since the fundamentals of FM are so different from subtractive synthesis, and subtractive is much more common.

Except ultimately it really doesn't that much, because if he can get to making wicked sounds on FM8 (which you definitely can) then there really isn't a huge need to learn a bunch of other synths. For this person's needs they probably don't need a huge arsenal of synths but rather one or two that they can really learn in and out.

zircon
02-28-2010, 04:58 PM
Unless you're literally just using the easy morph controls on FM8, which offer only limited editing capability, I don't understand how you could possibly recommend an FM synth to a newcomer to synthesis. It's incredibly convoluted and hard to understand, and there are a million ways to make a 'bad' sound (only a few ratios really 'work' and you need to memorize them along with learning mod matrix values, mod/carrier waveform sounds etc.) This makes no sense. He said he has ADD and you're recommending the most difficult kind of synthesis out there on an advanced synth?

Just get Synth1 and learn it, you will be much faster and get better results.

GarretGraves
02-28-2010, 11:03 PM
This guy has been posting tons of threads asking for musical and production advice so just giving him more high-end gear isn't gonna help.. he needs to learn.

Understood.

Ok. I'll tell you what. Before I buy anything else(and i've spent like $2000 already :0) I'll grab synth1 and go to town on it. I agree I should put my education to use. I learn about synths in class and yet not bother to try them out for myself? You're absolutely right. Thanks for putting that into perspective for me.

EDIT: One more thing. I'm sorry if I post a lot of threads about advice and gear. I understand it seems like I need someone to hold my hand through everything. From here on out i'll try harder to learn on my own. But just so you know, when I discovered that this site had a workshop forum, I felt I hit a gold mine!

You see, at school everyone is hyper-competitive. And what secrets or knowledge they hold they keep only for themselves. One time I heard this guy playing a sound he made from scratch and I asked him, "Wow! What's making you sound like that?" And I shit you not, his answer was, "Magic!" And he refused to say anything else beyond that. Everyone in class is like that! No one is helping anyone. And on top of all that, my teacher is far to busy to answer any questions. He's never in his office during his office hours and he never answers e-mails! It's irritating when you have all kinds of questions and no one to answer them.

So if I seem like I ask a lot about everything, it's because I have no one else to turn to. I greatly appreciate everyone's posts! I promise I'll be better about learning things on my own. Thank you.

avaris
03-01-2010, 01:05 AM
You see, at school everyone is hyper-competitive. And what secrets or knowledge they hold they keep only for themselves. One time I heard this guy playing a sound he made from scratch and I asked him, "Wow! What's making you sound like that?" And I shit you not, his answer was, "Magic!" And he refused to say anything else beyond that. Everyone in class is like that! No one is helping anyone. And on top of all that, my teacher is far to busy to answer any questions. He's never in his office during his office hours and he never answers e-mails! It's irritating when you have all kinds of questions and no one to answer them.

Sorry to hear that dude. People will never get anywhere in this type of field keeping everything to themselves. The best people I've ever known or worked with are some of the most sharing people I have ever met. Although there is a thin line to walk to between taking the initiative yourself and trying to have everyone else do the hard work for you. (not saying that's you) Good luck!

GarretGraves
03-01-2010, 07:21 AM
Zircon, you nailed it for me. Synth1 is fucken awesome! Im actually pulling out some awesome sounds with it! It may not get as fat as actually priced synths but it most definately gets the job done.

I think I got discouraged when using the XILS 3. I cannot control that thing for the life of me. But this is even simpler than the synths at school. Again, thank you!

SnappleMan
03-01-2010, 07:35 AM
FM7 and FM8 make programming FM patches really easy with their matrix view, I don't think it's too convoluted for an inexperienced person. It does come with a manual and not only that but you have PDF scans of the original DX7 manual and a major internet fanbase that keeps up to date info and tutorials on it.

And there's no rule that says you MUST use every operator.

LuketheXjesse
03-01-2010, 06:19 PM
Synth1 will definitely suit most of your needs. It has less oscillators than other synths however, so some layering might be necessary.

And yes, I've heard great things about FM7. Granted, I've never used it, but I trust my buddy Snap's opinion. <3

Yoozer
03-01-2010, 07:13 PM
Zircon, you nailed it for me. Synth1 is fucken awesome!

Here's a really simple tutorial I wrote that takes you through it step by step, hopefully in a way that doesn't drive you nuts:

http://forums.somethingawful.com/showthread.php?threadid=2974992&pagenumber=1

when I discovered that this site had a workshop forum, I felt I hit a gold mine!

If you feel adventurous: http://www.gearslutz.com/board/electronic-music-instruments-electronic-music-production/ and the cherry on top : http://www.gearslutz.com/board/tips-techniques/168409-tips-techniques.html

Just by reading you'll already have enough material to fill weeks.

One time I heard this guy playing a sound he made from scratch and I asked him, "Wow! What's making you sound like that?" And I shit you not, his answer was, "Magic!" And he refused to say anything else beyond that.
Did you see him actually make it from scratch? Because if that's not the case, then "magic" may be an euphemism for "this awesome sample CD or library I've found".

FM7 and FM8 make programming FM patches really easy with their matrix view, I don't think it's too convoluted for an inexperienced person.

It's convoluted because everything's hidden away behind a button. I am hoping they'll redo the UI, but chances on that are slim since it's probably more profitable to pump out more soundpacks.

Arcana
03-01-2010, 09:03 PM
Zircon, you nailed it for me. Synth1 is fucken awesome! Im actually pulling out some awesome sounds with it! It may not get as fat as actually priced synths but it most definately gets the job done.

'Fat' often comes by simply adding some reverb, boosting EQ in the mid-range, or by using two of the same oscillator and detuning them by a few cents. If you're feeling a little more adventurous you can experiment with delay and chorous/flanger.

You can also gain "fat" sounds by using a stereo spreader, or by using two of the same synth, panning one left, and panning the other right.

Lots of options! The best part of all of this is that you'll be able to make your own "magic" sounds too.

GarretGraves
03-01-2010, 09:25 PM
yup! Im already saving all the cool sounds i make!

OverCoat
03-02-2010, 01:58 AM
It's convoluted because everything's hidden away behind a button. I am hoping they'll redo the UI, but chances on that are slim since it's probably more profitable to pump out more soundpacks.

I liked the FM7 interface better :(

GarretGraves
03-02-2010, 04:45 AM
Did you see him actually make it from scratch? Because if that's not the case, then "magic" may be an euphemism for "this awesome sample CD or library I've found"..

The assignment at the time was to make something with nothing but the ocillators. And the guy was sitting right next to me and I didn't see him load anything beyond the dongle. (We use Logic which actually has great synths with it.)

Nevertheless, all this week I'll make the effort to pull what I can out of Synth1 or whatever other free or cheap synths there are.

This also gives me a chance to set up the mod wheel and toy with it. But even that requires a vid tutorial to setup since FL Studio doesn't have it set up already. But I got all that covered.

Yoozer
03-02-2010, 07:06 PM
.

The assignment at the time was to make something with nothing but the ocillators. And the guy was sitting right next to me and I didn't see him load anything beyond the dongle.

Check : http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n8YM6wBx5Vs and http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GfGR0q3jUiw for your own magic.