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Christian Jones

So.. How many vst synth presets have you amassed by now? Do you save them at all? How?

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I've been spending about 3 weeks going through *all* the presets on all my Kontakt vst synths and saving the ones I like to a user folder via Kontakt's "Patch + Samples" save feature. I have a few synths from Synth Magic and Samples From Mars as well as a few other single instrument type libraries and of course Komplete 10 and I try to keep my synths Kontakt based. I'm trying to limit myself; I don't want every amazing sound under the sun available to me as I'll never be able to choose anything then. I'm not an endless tweaker; I'll tweak as long as necessary but I like to tweak my sound and go, so I like to start with great presets. 

Now that I'm done mining all my Kontakt vsts I've amassed over 500 presets from the various synths, which took about 3 weeks little by little because in some cases I also spent a little more time vetting each sound to make sure I like it. This also gave my subconscious a glimpse as to what I have available so when I get a sound in my head I can (in a perfect world) connect it to a sound I already have and where I have it stored, rather than plowing through a bunch of soft synth presets looking for a sound, which is a vibe killer and the whole point of why I did this - so I wouldn't have to do *that*. Instead, I can just go straight to *my* folder where I have all my sounds indexed by type - and as it turns out I happen to *like every single sound in my folder*, though naturally not every sound will work for every song but I'm starting off on better footing right off the bat with a folder full of sounds all of which I like in general. Now I will again quickly go through the over 500 presets I've saved and sort them by category, which means I'll have to give them another quick listen. These are going to be my sounds from here on out and I'm creative enough to never outgrow them though I can add to them. 

This was one of the most tedious things I've done in my studio and I've never bothered to do it before, but I believe it will have been more than worth it as it will help me to be more prolific w/o having my vibe killed in searching for a single sound through a bunch of vsts. And once it's done it's done and I'll have a folder w/ over 500 amazing sounds in various categories to draw from. 

Has anyone else done what I've described and what has your experience been like? Was it worth it? Any tips? Do you bother saving presets at all? How do you do it? For me it's about the most efficient work flow possible and getting my money's worth from the synths I bought, and keeping everything Kontakt based makes all this super easy and efficient for everything from saving to layering. Word. 

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Everyone has a different work style and what you've done sounds like it could be very useful.

My problem isn't usually finding good sounds, it's finding enough time to do the other elements of song creation.
I tried creating a list of great & usable patches once upon a time but found I rarely used it.

 

Edited by TheSteven

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I've done a similar thing with other VSTi's, and it took days, but it was worth it as it left me less overwhelmed by the number of presets to choose from.

I guess I did the same thing when sampling my hardware synths too: I went through every patch on every hardware synth I had, decided if I liked it or not, and sampled each one. I also went through all my old unfinished projects (some dating back to Pro Audio 7), and updated them to use the sampled synths rather than the real ones.

This took about 3 months, but it does mean all my old hardware synths are now all "in the box", and in particular on my laptop when I'm on the move.

 

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Yeah, for me it's also peace of mind knowing that my sounds are no longer scattered and that these 27 organ sounds I've gathered are the absolute best of what I have and it's nothing to quickly load/audition one after the other in Kontakt w/ a single click, you can't beat that. And the separation of sounds from categorizing makes the 500+ lot of presets way less daunting to become familiar with. 

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If - for example you needed to re-build your PC and re-install Kontakt again - would the saved patches /sample paths stay current to a project ? Does Kontact know where to look for the samples?

As an aside :  * Rant Warning *

I'm not a big fan of Kontakt myself : though I use it often enough to keep some older libraries alive - I haven't updated in a number of years. I would rather they kept the individual libraries alive and not rolled everything into Kontakt. Sorry - I think it's very clumsy interface for many very basic things - and digging in deep is a cluster  ( my opinion only.)   I love Battery - it's my staple drum program ( still on battery 3 ) - and Elektric Piano  - B4II - etc. I have the older Acoustic Piano selections as well which I thought was decent. I have very little use for the other 70,000 instruments in Kontakt though - and feel it's a big waste of space and an expensive cluster to keep current. Obviously I use it mainly for real instrument emulation - not much for the synthy bleeps and blorps kind of thing. The latest snag was the new  requirement for me to update my video card to use Native Access. They're not making more money from me because of simple basic backward compatibility issues.

Edited by RBH

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I have over 20,000 presets for various synths stashed away in Akai VIP. Using one VIP browser I can search for certain types of sounds among that entire collection.

I have another 15,000 presets for Synth1 organized in the Synth1 Librarian. Also searchable by tags.

And then when the SampleTank 4 releases later this month, I will have a total of 6,000 sounds searchable in that.

On second thought, I should probably break that down to my 500 favorites!  :D

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I guess I'm "lucky" then...

I consider myself to be more of a "sound designer" nowadays and I find that I get away with using factory presets and then tweak until I get to something I like. Or even initialising a patch and start from scratch.

So, I suppose the question for me is, "don't you save your tweaks as presets then?"

And the answer to that is, "no."

I treat each project as a "new start" and each sound, although very similar to other sounds, are still unique to that project. I never take a sound from one project to another.

That's what I mean by "lucky..." I do not have to worry about saving presets in order to use them in another project.

 

And then there is my modular system... No presets there... Every sound is built from scratch.

 

But, yeah, that's not for everybody, I understand that, it's just how I work right now :)

 

cheers

andy

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I got clinical with my Kontakt libraries at the beginning of the year - tossing out freebies that I never use, less good versions, really obscure things - what remained are my NI pianos (especially the Gentleman), OrangeTree Samples Steel Slide (I use this for every mix now as distorted guitar), a set of  free Korean Libraries (small size and have that Eastern sound).  The rest, I keep on a seperate drive to swap in and out when I feel the need.

My set up is more 'live' instrumentation though, so I don't need that many virtual instruments. - In fact, I'm regretting some of the purchases I made at the beginning of the year when there were 'unmissable' sales on.  Just taking up space on the SSD.

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18 hours ago, abacab said:

I have over 20,000 presets for various synths stashed away in Akai VIP. Using one VIP browser I can search for certain types of sounds among that entire collection.

I have another 15,000 presets for Synth1 organized in the Synth1 Librarian. Also searchable by tags.

And then when the SampleTank 4 releases later this month, I will have a total of 6,000 sounds searchable in that.

On second thought, I should probably break that down to my 500 favorites!  :D

Lol dude, dwindle that down man 😧😨🤪🤯😵☠️

Well I know a lot of you have been collecting sounds for possibly decades, myself been at it over 20 years but I only recently decided to do this because w/ Synth Magic especially I've never had such amazing sounds and I just wanted to keep them in a bottle. Between the Synth Magic and the Samples from Mars and the Komplete 10 libraries incl Kontakt factory library I must've listened to maybe 2000-3000 presets of which I got the over 500+ from. As I'm in part focusing on an 80's Horror/Thriller/Sci Fi soundtrack sound I prefer vintage synth sounds from the 70's and early 80's and am not into the techno-ey/club dance sounds so I skipped right over those. Like the Logan synth I got, man that thing just sounds like an old movie and I'm really preferring some of these analog synth strings over those pristine Hollywood real string libraries.

But I limit myself big time and I will not collect synths, I just want a few as too many options is a problem for me. 

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7 minutes ago, Chris Jones said:

as too many options is a problem for me

With you there, Chris, you can end up spreading yourself a bit thin as you try to keep on top of your tools, learning how to use them, get into their sound and all that.

 

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3 hours ago, 53mph said:

... what remained are my NI pianos (especially the Gentleman), OrangeTree Samples Steel Slide (I use this for every mix now as distorted guitar).. 

 

.... In fact, I'm regretting some of the purchases I made at the beginning of the year when there were 'unmissable' sales on.  Just taking up space on the SSD.

OrangeTree steel slide, is that pretty cool? As a guitar player I've had way back vowed not to use guitar samples, but a steel slide put through some distortion could be pretty cool... hmmm

 

Lol what did you buy during the sales that you're not using? I almost bought a ton of stuff that would've gone to waste, but ended up choosing better w/ only maybe this accordion I bought that was half price that I may not use after all. 

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6 minutes ago, synkrotron said:

With you there, Chris, you can end up spreading yourself a bit thin as you try to keep on top of your tools, learning how to use them, get into their sound and all that.

 

How do you mean? 

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5 hours ago, synkrotron said:

I guess I'm "lucky" then...

I consider myself to be more of a "sound designer" nowadays and I find that I get away with using factory presets and then tweak until I get to something I like. Or even initialising a patch and start from scratch.

So, I suppose the question for me is, "don't you save your tweaks as presets then?"

And the answer to that is, "no."

I treat each project as a "new start" and each sound, although very similar to other sounds, are still unique to that project. I never take a sound from one project to another.

That's what I mean by "lucky..." I do not have to worry about saving presets in order to use them in another project.

 

And then there is my modular system... No presets there... Every sound is built from scratch.

 

But, yeah, that's not for everybody, I understand that, it's just how I work right now :)

 

cheers

andy

A friend of mine works this way. For him it's a new sound each time but he enjoys the sound design aspect whereas I do not so much, at least not deeply. But he also won't spend more than a day on a song either, that's just how he works (hip hop). I joke w/ him that his work flow is like one of those tv shows where it's a new adventure every episode rather than a continuous story lol. Works great for him and I love seeing the different work flows people have. 

Personally, part of why I gathered just 500 or so sounds is *because* I like to reuse sounds - like a signature thing similar to a rock guitar sound you frequently use. Some bands, like Keane, who I'm not into.. they constantly use this CP-70 ep sound and it's part of their sound and I like that idea. But there's definitely something exciting about dialing up a new sound each time.. it's not for me but somehow I envy it. 

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19 hours ago, RBH said:

If - for example you needed to re-build your PC and re-install Kontakt again - would the saved patches /sample paths stay current to a project ? Does Kontact know where to look for the samples?

I keep all my libraries on a separate dedicated drive (always recommended), so if Kontakt had to be reinstalled it will not affect the libraries provided that I don't move the libraries from their current location... and even if I did Kontakt will just give you that "missing samples" pop up where you simply click the browse button and point it to the new location no big deal.

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1 hour ago, Chris Jones said:

How do you mean?

Well, you said,

1 hour ago, Chris Jones said:

I just want a few as too many options is a problem for me

I took that to mean that you want to have a few synths because having lots of synths is "a problem," and I interpreted that problem to be, the more synths you have, the less time you have to spend with each one, therefore not really getting to learn about what you can do with them.

If I have interpreted your thoughts incorrectly I can only apologise.

cheers

andy

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No that's pretty much it man, but time isn't the only factor; it's also just having too many options and getting option paralysis and just the way I go about placating my insecurities by minimalizing things 🤓

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I sometimes use track templates for a fast start. I blend synth with guitar with Roland gr20 synth. I usually use a rapture pro pad because errant guitar midi sounds bad when too precise and loud. That might mean i suck, but i can get cool sounds for a sucky guitar player like me.

I have a sustain pedal. I like using my touch screen with the xy controls in rapture pro for swooping weirdness.

Because i am usually playing my guitar through my real pedals and amp, there is huge variance in my sounds night to night.

I have a 16 year old child who twists the knobs for fun all the time and when I'm not there. It is like a syntorial ear challenge to dial everything back to something that inspires me.

https://www.syntorial.com

Sometimes i listen to a recording from 20 years ago and think awesome! I wonder if i can get that sound again!

 

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