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Old 22.11.2017, 08:00 AM
Williamhawk Williamhawk is offline
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Default How did you learn sound design

Hello,

I can never seem to make the sound that I want, so rather than asking about a specific lead or bass.

I was wondering how each of you went about learning and what resources you found useful?

please help

Thanks for any suggestions.

I didn't find the right solution from the internet.

References:
https://theproducersforum.com/index....0&topic=2406.0

Animated marketing video

Last edited by Williamhawk : 24.11.2017 at 08:09 AM.
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Old 22.11.2017, 11:16 AM
MBTC MBTC is offline
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The best piece of advice I would say is use softsynths (lots of them) to learn sound design. Download free ones, use them in trial mode, whatever. It's more effective than learning on hardware, because most people can only get their hands on X number of hardware instruments at any time. You will learn sound design faster and have better retention if you have dozens of different synths, with a variety of user interfaces (and even synthesis methods) at your disposal. The mouse and keyboard just gets you from point A to B much faster, and the large computer screen offers visualization of the signal and other features that are difficult to achieve with hardware, and its easier to drag and drop things around than to switch back and forth between hardware and software, or limit yourself to whatever display is on the hardware itself.

Tons of good info on the web and youtube, no need to buy books unless you want to; if you do, you might want check out some of the books by Simon Cann. I also have a copy of Welsh's Synthesizer Cookbook that I really want to read cover to cover one of these days, because each "recipe" describes the fundamentals that go into each category of sound, so it makes for a nice reference without overloading you with theory.

Also keep in mind that in many ways, the Virus does things differently than many other VA synths. It's quirks are part of its charm but you'll appreciate quirks more after you've worked with a few dozen different synths. Not that "different" is bad (I learned sound design on a Kawai K5, an incredibly different Additive synth that is considered one of the most difficult to program synths ever created. Even though very few synths are similar, I still learned a lot that carries forward today).


http://www.synthesizer-cookbook.com/

https://noisesculpture.com/
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Old 22.11.2017, 01:51 PM
oli@bass oli@bass is offline
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Interesting. For me it was quite the opposite: I was using softsynths (mostly NI Komplete) for several years, but was mainly looking for presets that fitted to the music. And although I am interested in sound design for decades, I rarely tweaked those presets, and even less often I created something by myself. Most of the time I was overwhealmed by the plethora of available presets and the complexity of the softsynths.

It wasn't before I bought my first hardware synth, a Moog Sub37, that I started to create sounds from scratch. There's something about the simplicity of a high quality monophonic hardware synth that helped me to dig in: The reduced set of features, all those knobs that scream to be tweaked and a sound that is great from the start even with a single sawtooth. That synth really helped me to understand the basic ingredients of synthesis and how to put those ingredients together to acheive certain results. That experience was so positive, that I soon wanted polyphony and more features, which I found in the Virus.

What helped me then, and still helps me are:
  • YouTube videos on synthesis and sound design. Even if they are about a different synth than the one you want to use, or about a different sound aspect than you're currently interested in, you always learn something for later and may run into a bit of information that can help you in a different situation.
  • Whatch or read more technical oriented information. It can help you to acheive sounds that might be impossible before. Just a tiny bit: A delay, a chorus, a flanger and a comb filter are essentially the same but allow to adjust and modulate the delay time differently. So a delay which allows to precisely adjust very small delay times can act as a comb filter, and one that allows to modulate the delay time as a chorus. This technical knowledge comes in handy if you want to get a certain sound but your synth is missing the obvious element: Maybe you can tweak some other part to behave in the desired way.
  • Analyse presets which you like. How are they made. What waveforms, what filters, what effects do they use. What happens if you change one of those elements.
  • Recreate sounds you like (from other synths). By doing that, you have to dissect the original sound either literally if you have the (soft)synth in question and can check out all its elements, or aurally by trying to identify all the elements and recreate them.
  • Emulate sounds of other instruments as closely as possible, even if you have no intention of using them. It sharpens your skills of analysing and synthesizing, and might give you new ideas on how to acheive something. For example: The last couple of days I tried to emulate the Vox Humana sound on the Virus, and I'd never have thought that the crucial piece to match that sound is the LFOs.
  • Spend lots of quality time with your synth (yes, only one at a time). Get to know it. Get to understand how you can work around its limitations.


A great resource to get deeper, especially on the Virus are the tutorial videos offered by Access Music. IMO, Ben Crosland is a great sound designer and a great teacher. That's about it. For now.

Hope that helps!

Last edited by oli@bass : 22.11.2017 at 11:28 PM.
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Old 22.11.2017, 10:46 PM
MBTC MBTC is offline
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I guess the answer is that whatever we find that inspires us will cause us to dig in and learn more. I just started out in a world of hardware synths around the time MIDI was first introduced. And I spent countless hours dealing with latency issues, hardware issues, etc. So when softsynths and DAWs came out, with impeccable timing, low cost, no limits on physical space or even money really, it was a real turning point for me. Reintroducing hardware synths into my life basically also reminded me of a lot of hassles in the past. Look at all the posts about USB integration with the Virus on this forum for example. My old Juno 106 spontaneously lost an oscillator, I had to practically give it away to a guy who had a shot at fixing it.

I still like hardware and am inspired by it, but I think it takes access to a lot of hardware and dozens of physical synths to get the same learning opportunity that softsynths provide. But yeah, I fully understand about the physical interaction of working with knobs and faders directly on the board, its inspiring to me too. Even just having blinking lights around me seems to inspire
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