Hi there! Generally speaking I do not believe in synth sounds being “dated”: ‘80 synthesizers are the most sought-after for how awesome they sounded (search for the price of a restored Yamaha CS-80, one of Vangelis’ most beloved machines, and you’ll know what I’m talking about).
What lacks in today’s virtual synths like the above mentioned Absynth is the warmth and depth of the old analog machines – but in my opinion we have no choice: an old Moog is expensive, hard to maintain, a nightmare to repair and needs time to be tuned (and forget total recall, of course).
For improving your VST synth sounds I would suggest you 3 things:
- be selective in purchasing virtual instruments: for example, U-he Diva has replaced 90% of the VST synth I used before. Try to understand what your needs are, and search for the best synth in that field.
- warm them up to taste with saturators or tape simulators (there’re plenty on the market)
- use a harmonic enhancer like Loomer Mainfold to make the sound bigger and fatter, but be careful not to overuse them as you can easily loose clarity and mess up with the stereo image.
hope it helps…
These are great and super detailed tips!
Thanks a lot Pietro! I was considering buying a synth to use as an outboard synth and maybe even performance every now and then.
Quick question, what does a saturator/harmonic enhancer do? It sounds a bit like magic!
Hi Antonio – I just used Zebra2 (u-he) on a recent project and was blown away with what I could do with it. It sounds superb and I was able to find a sound for every mood I was after.
I highly recommend this synth paired with sound sets from “The Unfinished”http://www.theunfinished.co.uk
You can dig in and create your own patches relatively easily, and there are stacks of ways to mutate and mangle your patches and sounds. Hans Zimmer used this synth extensively on The Dark Knight soundtracks. There is even a version of Zebra2 called The Dark Zebra which comes with a huge soundest of patches used in the movie and a modified version of Zebra with features the original does not have.https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4rBMb2oijyo
http://www.u-he.com/cms/118-tdz-news Sylenth1 looks fun but I’ve not purchased that yet. Good luck mate in your quest for the ideal soft synth! Let us know which one you opt for.
This is pretty sweet and well priced too. This is even better than what I wanted as these are presets for Synths I already own. I didn’t know people sold these!
I probably will be buying these in the near future, and maybe some of the other synths the other guys recommend later in the year. This is definitely a nice short term solution till I learn more about how these synths work!
Thanks so much man!
Erick! Thanks a lot for the detailed replies!
It’s been pretty consistent that all my synth stuff gets hard-rejected so I don’t blame the reviewers for that one. Some of my work also got turned down by this production house for the same reasons as they said that all my synth sounds sounded way too old fashioned, so I took that as a sign that it was time to do something about it.
That production house did mention using filters and gates, but they had me lost there. I’ve been trying to learn this technical stuff recently but It’s always been something I’ve been averse to. I always figured by buying these pre-made sounds I could then just compose freely, but it seems that isn’t good enough anymore.
Anyway I’ll check your links now, thanks so much dude!
Also, no I don’t have Camelspace? Is it something very useful?
Great example! Even more so if you insert the New Coke hiccup starting in 1985. People hands down preferred New Coke in blind taste tests, but ultimately rejected the New Coke product because in America at least the original Coke brand was so emotionally ingrained. Anyway, I changed my logo because I wanted to have something consistent on all sites where I post and because I was tired of looking at my old one. I don’t think it made a difference either way in the amount of sales or revenue. Monophobia, for whatever it’s worth I’ve always liked your avatar and I think your profile page looks clean and professional. But if you want to change, I’d say go for it.
Joel, I really like your new site design. It’s a great logo as it’s simple yet really gets to the point of what you like to do!
I also really liked your old site design too. The photo on the beach and this bee next to a flower… it was so random! But also awesome!
Anyway good to hear sales haven’t been hurt!
So as of late, I’ve been noticing that any synth-predominant track I upload here gets hard rejected. Initially I thought it was a fluke but I soon began to notice that it was a trend. Initially this was when I was using some of Reason’s combinator patches and pre made synths and the reviewer said the sounds sounded dated (on numerous occasions) so I got the message and stopped using those patches. As of late, even synth tracks that heavily feature some of the synth sounds I use from Absynth and FM8 are getting hard rejected too.
So here is my question, is there a really nice (and probably expensive) VST/program for synths or is it (gulp) about knowing how to tweak these programs and synths to make them sound nice?
Or is the answer in buying outboard synths?
If it’s about tweaking do you know any good guides?
I try tweaking them myself but rarely does any of it sound nicer than the pre-made patches made by the company that made those VSTi’s.
Learn from the masters of branding:
+1 Great idea mate! Only thing is I believe that the author test no longer exists so I think we would need to revert to your other idea that someone needs at least one purchase or approval to write on the forums. Great thinking!
Envato please listen to the man!!
Second and final submission into the competition:http://audiojungle.net/item/christmas-family-comedy-suite/8916317
I’d say I buy gear as promotions happen/as I travel to countries where gear is cheaper. I’ve currently moved out of Sydney for a few months so I had to buy a few basics again (mic stand and pop filter) but I did sell stuff when I left so it all equals out.
As a percentage it comes out to about 12%-20% a year but that is in itself a slightly false number as A.) I already had a lot of gear from graduating music college and B.) some of that gear I buy for fun and I secretly know it won’t directly make any money for me any time soon! Like buying foreign instruments when you go to other countries on holiday, many times those instruments aren’t tuned the best and don’t sound so good in recordings. I just tried writing a song that featured o few of these “instruments” and I got a big hard reject in the face for it! lol!
I’m currently in between things right now and supposedly told myself I would be composing/producing more, working on my marketing and advertising more and just generally focusing on my music career now that I have more free time. I even moved city temporarily (but am planning on returning to Sydney by next year) so in that sense I’m experiencing the whole moving + focusing on music more thing right now.
Have I? Well, yes but I’ve also been working on other things and one thing that kind of happens when you go from one job to another and you have free time in between is that a LOT of stuff you’ve been pushing aside suddenly comes tumbling into that free time and you find that you should address it.
Also transitions take time and money so you may find that it may take a while before you get back into the groove of things music-wise. Furthermore as Adam said earlier,once you’re relying on yourself more for income (rather than on your job where the income is fixed) the mental strain of how much you make from music really goes up a bit.
On the positive side, I have found that moving (and travelling) has really cleared up my mind a lot and I have been able to compose/produce more than I was before (I had been going through a mental/creative rut) and that I’ve begun having new ideas again. Also I’ve been able to really take a step back and assess where my career is going and that is a plus too from the new perspective and free time.
To sum it up, I’d say yes the transition is nice but its important to first ensure a smooth transition and secondly then focus on your music afterwards so everything goes well. Write up a business plan and really be aggressive on the whole marketing thing, simply writing /producing more is ok but may not yield the results you want financially as efficiently.
If you want to discuss details please do send me a personal message via the AudioJungle “contact me” box (or anyone else who is interested) as it is something I would enjoy to discuss in detail but I think there is some personal and private information that I would rather not just leave in public for anyone to read.