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Trance Forum Ľ Ľ Forum  Production & Music Making - The Importance of Sound Design

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The Importance of Sound Design

routingwithin
IsraTrance Junior Member

Started Topics :  46
Posts :  204
Posted : Mar 9, 2016 15:19:46


We should always note that when it comes to composing a track you should not be too hasty. Many people starting out believe itís going to be easy and try to throw a bunch of random sounds together, do some basic mixing, render it, upload it, market it a bit on the web and wait for, in their opinion, their amazing tune to flourish and make them famous.

A misconception of universal nature.

In this reality there are truly forces implementing rules and judgment upon us all. You donít have to believe it, but how does random order sometimes give you what you deserve. i.e. When you work really hard on something you usually get something out in the end.

Only problem with many of us are that we donít quite realize how hard we should work before we reach that point. If you sit around all day then doing some basic chore would be hard work and if you work 12 hours a day then youíll realize that same chore is quite basic.



So your situation would ultimately shape your perception.

Anyway my point with this is to share with you the importance of sound design before you even start the composition of a track. It is clear that when you listen to the music of a great producer you would hear the effort put into the track. Also that if you have gone through presets on the best VSTiís you will struggle to find the actual sounds they use. Not talking about your basic SAW pluck sound Arpís.

IMO it is crucial to design your own sounds to give your sound originality and taint it with your style. (What you think sounds good). A great way to start is to find a nice sounding preset. Then force yourself to turn every knob from top to bottom. (yes every knob) And stop at a location that sounds even better than it did before.

After this is done you will have a sound that your ears think sounds good. i.e. Many kickís in bazzism, big kick or NR kick sometimes sound crappy to me. Fiddle a bit with every knob I always reach a sound thatís better than the actual preset was. Not saying itís better, but now itís my kick , cause my ears just love it.
You can use different plugins one after the other and design a sound with them. Then save your customized presets in a location and keep building up a database.
Consisting of Leads, Synth hits, FX, Pads, Percussion & FX Loops, etc etc etc. Also going through sample libraries and pick out samples you like and making a copy of it in the same location, putting in complete focus when listening to each sound.

Then when youíve got your database Ė itís much easier to build up a great sounding track, cause your ears will love every sound you add to the track. See it as drawing up a blueprint before you build a house.

Just sayingÖ. It works.

Cheers
          " We are together in this matter you and I, closer to death, yes, closer than i'd like. How do you feel? - There can be no division in our actions, or everything is lost. What affects you affects me. "
Vermeee
IsraTrance Full Member

Started Topics :  107
Posts :  1069
Posted : Apr 5, 2016 06:10
there are many people in psytrance makin worldwide tours that has no clue what to do if u give them a init preset....           
http://soundcloud.com/bgos
knocz
Moderator

Started Topics :  40
Posts :  1130
Posted : Apr 5, 2016 21:31
Quote:

On 2016-04-05 06:10, Vermeee wrote:
there are many people in psytrance makin worldwide tours that has no clue what to do if u give them a init preset....



I get your point, but do you have to know how to program a synth?

I find routingwithin and Vermeee to be absolutely correct, and knowing not only sound design, but composition, arrangement, melody, harmony, structure, mixing, etc., helps a lot I tend to get lost in (and building) a library, and when searching for the next sound, I load up the init Ableton Operator and go from there.
But when I want to lay down something in a hurry, mostly in psyambient (I shouldn't be in a hurry when doing this, but hey ) I can find benefit in the "randomness of swapping through presets".. not that I'll use it as is, but a different starting position will lead you to different results.

I tend to avoid rules - even when so solid like this one.
But then again I think there's a difference between "making a good tune" and "making it out there". To do tours you will benefit much more from other skills than actually making good tunes - managing the "band" and getting gigs has little to do with the quality of the music - if you know the right guys or have the right exposure or get a hint of luck, it's easy(er). Having good tunes is just a plus.


Psytrance related, nothing impedes you from making a killargh tune from just sampling other peoples tunes (please dont! ), and with the right producing you can get it to sound original, but it's an even harder path than building it from scratch.           Super Banana Sauce http://www.soundcloud.com/knocz
Vermeee
IsraTrance Full Member

Started Topics :  107
Posts :  1069
Posted : Apr 6, 2016 00:13
AS Fun as it can be.. i know someone that i wont say names that plays worldwide and lots of his sound is sampled from other tunes.... not the whole music of course.... but lots of it....

anyway

im one of those designer freak... been producin music for years and years without ever usin a preset...nowadays i feel cool with my sound design but still not enough to be "competin" with people around...

sound design is engineering... music production no....

u cant expect that everyone that wishes to produce music to decide to focus their time on engineering... its realy time consuming if u try to go on ur own.. i used to judge people who uses audio samples, presets etc..nowadays i totaly understand them..           
http://soundcloud.com/bgos
routingwithin
IsraTrance Junior Member

Started Topics :  46
Posts :  204
Posted : Apr 8, 2016 13:02
I get that just using others samples cut out of tunes does give you a boost in progress, but in a way ur a fake composer. i.e I can hear with the greats that their kickdrum say is not a kickdrum you will easily find in any sample library.

The other question is if you cut out a kick lets say from a tune of Astrix - do you think that you are allowed morally to do it. You are using a kick that you put fcukall effort in, I mean.. It's like stealing a quality you know nothing about.
It's not you, again.. you're a fake.

Thats just my opinion.

I feel if you cannot create it, you should not use it. Otherwise your gonna end up as a generic producer and one day look really stupid when talking to the pros.


          " We are together in this matter you and I, closer to death, yes, closer than i'd like. How do you feel? - There can be no division in our actions, or everything is lost. What affects you affects me. "
frisbeehead
IsraTrance Junior Member
Started Topics :  10
Posts :  1350
Posted : Apr 8, 2016 23:55
I used to think like that, but I think that's a very radical position to have. Specially for yourself.

Think about it. Samples and even loops are a big part of electronic music and the ground basis for some genres even. It's worth has been challenged from the beginning, but history shows that putting things out of context, taking a few textures from here and there and rearranging them has its place among other styles of production, techniques and technology.

On top of that, I can think of a lot of situations where it's just boring to do another sweep or explosion, specially after a couple thousand times doing it, and that you may think, ok, just need another one of those, you pick it, transpose it, eq it, make what u have to make to it, so it fits the track, and quickly move on. Depends where your focus is. In the end, do you actually think it makes any difference? I don't. I've also seen top notch producers doing it and it wouldn't occur to me to say they're fakes or less capable. I'm pretty sure they can do whatever sound they want if they want to. But sometimes it's about the flow and laying down ideas quickly. A sound, any sound, is just a starting point. It's actually what you do with it that matters.

But I'm all for knowing your tools and knowing how to make things. This may include some sampling and loop rearranging of sorts. For example: just think of jungle and the ad nauseum usage of the amen break loop. Just think of Hip Hop and derivatives and how they made fresh sounds out of chops from old albuns and creativity. What I mean is, it's good to have a working ethics and to take pride in actually knowing your craft and being able to make and engineer and produce what you want. Sure. But being creative is about keeping an open mind and being flexible. Don't set yourself any hardcore rules.

Btw, I'm not even trying to defend anyone that steals a kick from a track within the same genre, as that's not what I have in mind when talking about sampling or using loops. But even if someone does this, which is just weird to me, they'd still need to make it fit with their other sounds - and chances are it's even harder then when making your own, and that it's going to sound actually worse. But if they like it, I'm not complaining.

If all a person knows how to do is use presets and put effects on it, render stuff to audio and move things around. Even when they're good producers, 'cause let's face it, it's possible, then there's only so much they can do before they hit a wall. I trust people can tell the difference and therefore that one shouldn't really worry about any of that.

But make sure you experiment with sampling, even from other stuff and don't fail to see it's creative uses. Even throwing something into a tune and seeing how you'd react to it can lead to great discoveries. And often does.
routingwithin
IsraTrance Junior Member

Started Topics :  46
Posts :  204
Posted : Apr 9, 2016 22:12
Sure i get what ur saying. You are not defending them but also not agreeing.. or yeah.. visa verse. You tend to give your point of view while agreeing and also not .. you kind of sound indecisive somethimes.
however if you say you use to believe that and now dont anymore.. it sounds like you kind of gave up learning. Being a composer is a passion. Learning how to synthesize sounds is the whole beauty of making music.

I believe that the only way to reach the top is to put in the effort. Every aspect of this art should become a part of your life. Using presets will make u a generic producer. And like u said will end up reaching a brick wall.

The reason i promote learning synthsis is cause its the only way for us as a whole to progress into the next level of universal music production. We should not stay at the point of what is popular now.. but rather seek a journey that will lead us into the new age of music.

          " We are together in this matter you and I, closer to death, yes, closer than i'd like. How do you feel? - There can be no division in our actions, or everything is lost. What affects you affects me. "
mmoloch

Started Topics :  1
Posts :  5
Posted : Apr 10, 2016 13:57
There is a big diference between producing music and creating music... between faking art and creating art

Leonardo da Vinci not produced the Mona Lisa, created the Mona Lisa and 500 years later there is not a soul on this planet that does not recognize da Vinci work, can someone tell me the name of a forger who produced the Mona Lisa only with the intention of making money?

I totally agree with routingwithin, is better to invest time creating our own patches/presets and learn how to master them... than producing 1, 3, 5 tracks that sound completely different just to show others and to (try) make easy money.

After creating our own patches/presets and master them is extremely easy to compose 10 songs for an album that not sound like 90% of the remaining, an album that reflects our soul and tells a story that makes sense!
frisbeehead
IsraTrance Junior Member
Started Topics :  10
Posts :  1350
Posted : Apr 10, 2016 16:09
Allow me to build on that Da Vinci argument a little bit. Leonardo, besides having his own merits, was also lucky enough to have started out as a student of a very accomplished artist named Andrea Di Verrocchio who's introduced him to a professional artistic studio and all the techniques available at the time, where he's met older artists like Botticelli and others. Go figure. He's used many of the inventions of his older peers and built upon them to create his own style - which isn't that different from many others of his time.

What I mean here, of course, is that even though people focus to much on personalities 'cause that's what helps sell books, most of the discoveries of the Renaissance were actually pretty much akin to team work. Pretty much like PsyTrance or just about anything.

While this may feel like a weird deviation, it's not. Even if you set yourself to make all your sounds, you'll probably come up with tons of them that have already been used in tons of records up to this day. If not, let's all ear about them. Please.

You should take pride in your music and its originality and not on your working ethics. That's not what the public wants or cares about. If you recorded all your vocals and samples. Does any one of you, btw, do that? Or is that originality actually just a "no presets please" kind of thing? I know I've done that and still do. But you know the only person that really benefits from it, if at all, is me. Because I get to learn my tools. No one else should really care for any of that. Why should they? Isn't it the music that counts?

@mmoloch

"After creating our own patches/presets and master them is extremely easy to compose 10 songs for an album that not sound like 90% of the remaining, an album that reflects our soul and tells a story that makes sense!"

Extremely easy? Are you sure? Let's listen!!

Sorry if this comes across a little harsh, but really? Are you sure it doesn't take more then that?

@routingwithin

I've been here for quite some time mostly answering questions about sound design, synthesis and the likes. I think it's fair to assume, since you're into assuming things, that I must have hit that "init" preset a lot, no? If you don't think that's true, then ask questions.

But here, this is a conceptual topic by definition, isn't it? And I do feel that it's great to have that drive to learn things through and I've said it here, on this very forum, many many times. Great man! But if you build up dogmas that wouldn't allow you to throw some clichť sample and get things moving when you have to, then I think you should be reminded of how being flexible is a good idea. And that's what my post was about, really. More then that, I think it should be quite obvious.




frisbeehead
IsraTrance Junior Member
Started Topics :  10
Posts :  1350
Posted : Apr 10, 2016 16:24
To put things in perspective here, I've seen this video recently and I somehow recalled him mentioning the bloody vengueance samples:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sGWaMxA4P5w

Now any of you, please go ahead and tell us all how him using that sample has all but removed the worth from his work, how it instantly made his music and himself, a fake. Go ahead.

I mostly see dogmatic people put strength in their own concepts of how things should and shouldn't be and not really accomplishing anything - many times due to the fact that they're taking things, or themselves, way to seriously, and that often leads to failure, not success. I'd still love to be proven otherwise when it means that any of you, here, does some incredible music that sounds nothing like the 90% of what's out there. More then that, I take off my hat to anyone who accomplishes such a thing. No pride, no nothing. I love good music and I'm quick to applaud it when I ear it.
frisbeehead
IsraTrance Junior Member
Started Topics :  10
Posts :  1350
Posted : Apr 10, 2016 16:31
And here's another one:

http://www.ted.com/talks/mark_ronson_how_sampling_transformed_music

And another:

http://www.bbc.com/news/magazine-32087287

Does anyone here think it's still possible to do fresh sounds with a TB 303? With that brand new distortion pedal maybe?

frisbeehead
IsraTrance Junior Member
Started Topics :  10
Posts :  1350
Posted : Apr 10, 2016 16:49
For anyone thinking it's all about control, check Venetian Snares and how he's made his last album. There's a great interview on latest Future Music mag. And probably loads more around on the internet.

Another great tip from him, that would probably enable anyone to get that sound different from the other 90%, is that he simply doesn't use 4/4. Hardly ever does.

That's one quick way to sound original. It isn't just about the presets, or is it? Just try and do that and see how much open minded the psytrance audiences are. Or just about any other audience for that matter.

Tip: original doesn't actually sell any good. People strive for something that sounds familiar, albeit with a new touch. In case of any doubt, check the lineups for major festivals within the psytrance scene on this "new age of new music". Then report back on how much this audience puts the money where they see innovation. Let's also hear all about that, please (I couldn't help but laugh on this last one, sure all will understand). Cheers

mmoloch

Started Topics :  1
Posts :  5
Posted : Apr 10, 2016 17:59
@frisbeehead, of course it does take more then that, I made a bad choice of words for you guys understand the the concept or the ideia

For someone who knows music theory and play instruments it will be much easier and fast to compose 10 songs using the patch he created and learned to master than use 10 different patches for 10 different songs that sound different.

Techniques and tricks for the tools we use is something different from using samples, loops, presets of other artists...

On my part have nothing to do with principles or dogmas, my band survives playing covers at weddings and I'm glad to see the smiles on the faces of people when we are playing but I do not feel accomplished because the music I play does not reflect my soul...


... that's why about two months I began to learn to work with vst synths to produce psy, for someone like me who plays instruments and knows music theory I believe it is better to learn how to master a synth before composing music, in creating my own presets before composing music, learn how to use the tools and techniques before composing music... the same way I learned music theory, then learned to play piano, then learned to play accordion and only then formed a band. It would make no sense to form a band before learning to play instruments!

Is not my computer, my DAW or my VSTi that make music... these are just instruments/tools, is me who creates music.


What is art?

frisbeehead
IsraTrance Junior Member
Started Topics :  10
Posts :  1350
Posted : Apr 10, 2016 21:24
@mmloch

It certainly is you! I agree and that's quite an interesting personal story

You guys certainly don't think I'm telling people that it's ok not to learn, right? All I was trying to show is that there's no good in setting hardcore rules, specially for creatives.

What kind of psy are you into btw? Cheers
frisbeehead
IsraTrance Junior Member
Started Topics :  10
Posts :  1350
Posted : Apr 10, 2016 21:48
Another link:

https://www.attackmagazine.com/features/long-read/danger-being-retro-revivalism-dance-music/

Trance Forum Ľ Ľ Forum  Production & Music Making - The Importance of Sound Design

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