Are certain synths good for certain types of sounds?
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Old 04-04-2012, 10:22 PM   #1
Whappy
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Are certain synths good for certain types of sounds?

Do you think certain synths (either hardware or software) are better at creating certain types of sounds over others? (Eg. pads, leads, basses, SFX, drums, dubstep noises, etc). Are some synths, for example, great for making pads but awful when it comes to leads? Is there a synth in your arsenal which you would NEVER use for a bass, or for a dubstep noise, etc etc? Is there a synth in your arsenal which you ALWAYS go to when making a pad?

Why am I asking? I am only just beginning my journey into soft synths, and rather than learn how to use all ten squillion of them, I want to make an informed decision about which ones are most worth my time.

Thanks in advance, and play nice!

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Old 04-04-2012, 10:38 PM   #2
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Re: Are certain synths good for certain types of sounds?

One main distinction that I think of when looking at synths is whether it is FM or not.

FM synthesis is really important and useful for making gritty, filthy, or clangy sounds. A synth like FM8, or even operator will suffice for this.
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Old 05-04-2012, 03:02 AM   #3
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Re: Are certain synths good for certain types of sounds?

As mentioned before, you first have your different kinds of synth whether it's soft or hardware--FM, subtractive, additive, granular, sample based, the list can go on and on, and they're pretty well documented, so I'll leave that to you.

On the other hand, there is, I think, a big difference between analog and software. Keeping in mind that this is purely my opinion, I find that it's tremendously easy to pull out massive leads, dots, and basses out of software, and in fact prefer VST to hardware for certain "harsher" sounds. On the other hand, I have a really hard time getting the super lush pad sounds I like out of VSTs, but the very first time I sat down with a Nord Stage I created the most gorgeous swells you could imagine right in the board.

Keep in mind this is all personal preference. Some people would never dare use a softsynth at any point in their mix, some scoff at the mere mention of hardware. It's really to personal taste but you will find a certain 'ease' to program sounds in different environments. My advice is to go to a music store/guitar center/some place with lots of sound gear, play with a few Nords/Korgs/Rolands, play with each at your leisure, and just see how easy it is to program certain sounds with them. If you like what you hear then that's all that matters.

On an unrelated note I also really enjoy softsynths for the simple fact that MIDI programming allows me to program noises at 340 BPM that no human being could ever play live, because I like my music to sound like a glitched out acid trip.

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Old 05-04-2012, 03:15 AM   #4
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Re: Are certain synths good for certain types of sounds?

Yes, different synths have different characters and tend to be suited to certain sounds. No synth does it all.

But I'm not really sure what you're asking. True analog sounds different from VA, and VA sounds different from FM, etc. And one VA synth may sound different from another. They are musical instruments, and they vary in sound.

A cello sounds different from a violin, and one violin will sound different from another one. Same with synths.

There is no list of synths that tells you which synth to use for what. Just use your synths. In reality, any synth can do almost any kind of sound well enough, it's how you use it.
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Old 05-04-2012, 03:50 AM   #5
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Re: Are certain synths good for certain types of sounds?

Quote:
Why am I asking? I am only just beginning my journey into soft synths, and rather than learn how to use all ten squillion of them, I want to make an informed decision about which ones are most worth my time.
About this specific question...

Which are most worth your time?

IMO Zebra or FM8
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Old 05-04-2012, 09:31 AM   #6
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Re: Are certain synths good for certain types of sounds?

I just posted this in a different thread but it seems relavent here as well...

Omnisphere for -------Atmosphere, fx and Pads
Massive for -------- wobble bass
Kontakt for --------- Live instruments (Not technically a synth)
Hypersonic for ------- A quick go to synth to get ideas down or try out sounds.
Synplant for -------- Experimenting
Z3ta ----------- Sub Bass

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Old 05-04-2012, 09:50 AM   #7
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Re: Are certain synths good for certain types of sounds?

That's why the desktop Evolver is awesome, on a compact footprint you get 2 real analog oscillators, 2 wavetable oscillators, FM synthesis (2 operators), analogue filter and a fuck-a-thon of modulation possibilities...

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