The EMC synth thread

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous' started by ShelLuser, Sep 17, 2015.

  1. But I only come here to play Minecraft and talk about that.

    Why not pick the right forum for the right topic?

    You guys probably don't know it but I am an audio fanatic. I'm quite adversed with synths, audio sampling, making sounds, sound effects and actually building effect machines.

    Yet I know better than to even try and rant about this on the EMC forums. EMC is Empire Minecraft, not: Empire Synthesizers.. If you think some of my posts are long then you haven't seen anything yet. On specific audio fora I actually wrote essays. Quite popular ones too.

    But I come here to play Minecraft first and foremost.

    I absolutely don't mind some topics and some kind of discussions, but I do think that there's also something such as overdoing it.
  2. what's your favorite synth though?
    TomvanWijnen, ShelLuser and DubChef like this.
  3. There's a miscellaneous section of the forum for a reason. There's no harm in having off-topic discussions. Nobody's forced to click on a thread. That subject was brought up because one player keeps bringing it into every conversation possible.

    And what about the staff? :confused:
    SoulPunisher, 607, Eviltoade and 2 others like this.
  4. All forums have sections for other subjects. The issue is not the subject; it's the people that cannot hold said discussions in a peaceful manner. This is the norm on almost every site. Someone will ALWAYS post something that throws the entire discussion into chaos. There's a good chance THIS thread will land there.
  5. Sooo tempting fate. Soft synths if you must know, Ableton Live Suite 9 (includes Max for Live) extended with Reason 6 to be exact :)
    WayneKramer likes this.
  6. nice!

    I've used this before -- as well as Fruityloops back in the day.

    For hardware I've used this --

    I even bought a synth controller and used Reaper ( along with NI Komplete and made a couple of attempts to write songs but I just don't have that creative part of the brain to do it... either that or just the will to keep going until it comes.

    Got any links to songs you've made?
    607 and ShelLuser like this.
  7. Ever check out the Arturia synths? I have that arturia key lab synth and play it once in awhile.
    Awesome stuff.
    Eviltoade, ShelLuser and The_Boulder like this.
  8. No, because I am not a musician but an engineer.

    Apart from the above setup I also got Max 5 full (nice detail is that I got the license & a C'74 t-shirt from discovering a major fluke 'somewhere'). Max is a visual multimedia programming language which allows you to program your own stuff. A nice example could be this here:

    This is a so called "Max for Live" device, but still consists of the Max programming language. You mentioned Komplete: Max can be considered a "low level counterpart" of Reaktor. The main differences being that, as mentioned, its much more low level and in my opinion versatile. Where Reaktor gets you more or less ready to use "blocks" Max basically provides the underlying circuitry. To me Reaktor is more of a "do it yourself" synth instrument whereas Max is a "do it yourself anything" because of the depth.

    Alas: you mentioned NI.. Yes, I also have Komplete 7 Elements. The smaller version of Komplete but thankfully the good one; before Elements got nerfed. Next I got is Absynth, Guitar Rig, and some licensed components (like the Finger and the Mouth). And no: those are legitimate sound devices. My setup is aimed at audio design. Which is why I don't need the complete package, instead of going Komplete I saved up and went broad. A larger diversity in sound engines.

    Ok, I think some of you you don't believe me now...

    Reaper? For sure: ReaPlugs. Free to use VST plugins which ironically can almost surpass Max (or Reaktor) as a free counterpart. Just program your stuff using Javascript using ReaJS. Seriously: some of the plugins offered there (ReaPlugs) heavily defies some of the commercial stuff.

    My expertise lies in mastering. I've mastered a lot of material for several bands all using DAW's which is basically where a passion of mine lies. And gets some bills paid.

    I don't do hardware. The problem is the sound engine: one engine to go on. I like the diversity I have with soft synths; I get to pick out of 3 sound engines (Live, Reason and/or Max) and use what I deem fit. Also: I consider myself a sound engineer not a muscian.

    Oh well, this derailed too, more or less.. I'm talking about this stuff:

    One of my favorite soft synths....

    So much for the spam (I am both a die hard Live and Reason user, 6 is IMO the best version so far). So what about sound design?

    Try this out:

    But this is as far as I'm taking this, don't expect audio rants here :p
    607 and highlancer54 like this.
  9. oOOOooOOOoooo let me ask you this:

    I have a recording from the 90s and it was mastered horribly. All of the levels are so low that I have to turn the volume up at max just to hear it. All I have is the CD of this so I don't have like raw files or whatever. Do you think it's possible to just take the files off that CD in some format and "re-master" them to sound better?

    or do you need like the master tapes or whatever so you have everything in different channels?
    607 and ShelLuser like this.
  10. Sorry, thought the thread was about synths :p I am amazed that you are passionate about it.
    The thing I got is a 'fancy' midi controller, which really relies on all software.
    As you mentioned synths, was curious as to whether you looked at any of them :)

    If you are up for it, I would love for you to open a thread up in the misc section...

    Thanks much for the share about things you like.
    ShelLuser likes this.
  11. I tried to comprehend this picture (I have no idea what synthing is) and I think I just blew a major fuse in my brain.
    That's enough internet for tonight.
    ShelLuser and Gawadrolt like this.
  12. Absolutely. A CD is basically nothing more than a collection of WAV files (CDDA), neatly sampled at 44.1kHz which makes it so that the effective frequency will never raise above 22.05kHz. It is very easy to grab the raw data and use that. Most audio programs will support ripping: copying the audio data from the CD. And don't fool yourself: it doesn't do anything fancy at all, but all it does is merely copying the data.

    Some Unix environments even know the phenomenon of "cdfs" (compact disk file system) even though a compact disc does not have a filesystem such as a regular data cd. But using those drivers makes the content show up as wav files which you can copy and then play or process or whatever.

    As to re-mastering: if this has already been processed then it is very likely that they already set it up so that the effective volume sits around 0db, so there is a risk that you might get a little distortion if you raise this too high (obviously I don't know). But merely raising the effective volume should be easy, you may not even have to "master" anything but just raise the volume.

    Something you might be able to do yourself... I'd start by looking into ripping the audio from the CD. Then look into software such as Wavosaurus or Audacity. I personally prefer the first, but that has everything to do with their VST support: it allows you to use all kinds of sound effects (and instruments if needed) while editing audio files. But both can do the job easily: merely trying to use the "normalize" feature (just select the audio data and apply the "normalize" effect) might be enough to boost the audio to better usable ranges.

    That's where I'd start.

    Darn you moderators, I'm foiled again! And I almost got away with it too :p

    Well, that's what happens if you grow up with electronic music a little and set a goal for yourself in life: to, at one point, own your own synthesizer(s). So when I eventually could afford it (this stuff is kinda expensive; Ableton cost me a good 800 euro's, Reason around 400, Komplete around 100, etc. Expensive but so much worth it...) I went for it. As said: I focused myself completely on software, but extended with good audio equipment (external sound cards). I have had some hardware synths (borrowed a Roland SH-201 from a friend once; awesome piece of machinery) and also briefly owned a Yamaha MM6 but that's also where I noticed the limitations which these devices have.

    And the real fun part here is that the Max environment allows me to pretty much do anything I want. If I need a specific audio effect and my default effects can't handle it then well... I'll simply build it myself. At one point I even build myself a randomizer once. Something which would completely randomize (sorta; computers aren't fully random) and resample the audio data which gave out a very weird chaotic effect. That's the kind of stuff which regular software doesn't easily allow.

    Don't underestimate what you can do with that stuff. What do you think I have? ;)

    Though I don't use a mere midi controller only but an electronic keyboard (Casio) which can create some sound of its own. Which is then also automatically useful with...

    The main things to look out, IMO, is a good high-end soundcard which allows you to use high sampling rates. Also generates tons of audio data, but if you're out for good quality... If you're looking for live audio then a good microphone also works miracles and yah.. Good software 8)

    But if you're making CD's when meh... In the end it'll all drop down to 44.1 aka 22.05kHz anyway.

    Oh, right, I forgot the forum we were in. Hmm, I could probably request this to be moved into the Misc section ;)
    607 and highlancer54 like this.
  13. oh would you look at that it moved all by it self :p
    highlancer54 and ShelLuser like this.
  14. I've got a Korg MicroKontrol that I use with Reason and Reaper, though I'm primarily a guitarist. <insert something interesting here ;)>
    ShelLuser and WayneKramer like this.
  15. Nice. I have a Korg kaossilator pro that has the midi inputs and outputs. Is more of a synth/sampling piece, with SD card support. Sounds decent, has a mic input, and has a ton of pre-loaded sounds, so if I have something stuck in my head, I 'could' just hook it up and play something.

    The arturia, I got it as it felt like a nice solid MIDI controller, with a ton of 'knobs, wheels, pads, etc' that actually function well. The software they got of all the 'classic' type synths, I thought was awesome. Arturia CS80 or Mini V or the Moog Modular or prob one of my favorites, the Modular V.

    The cool thing about most of those, is that there are loads of customization, that is way way above my head (so was curious as you did mainly software end of it, if you ever ran across any of it). I just usually use default settings, and play around with it. I am good on a keyboard, and can play ok, but sadly, thats about where it ends for me.

    Mmmm casio. I spent a load of time playing around with those when I was a little kid ;). Had a disk drive in it where I could load up and save samples. Then midi software on the apple IIe.
    Ok, enough flashback for me!
    ShelLuser, WayneKramer and CadenMann like this.
  16. Oh well, might as well add another tidbit from the not so distant past :)

    One of the reasons why I like tinkering with this stuff so much is because almost just like Minecraft you can experiment a lot and by merely experimenting and playing you sometimes get to achieve some awesome results. The fun part is that even the very small (common) parts of the synthesizer can have a big impact on their own.

    I'd like to share a micro tutorial with you guys which explains the Pulsar dual LFO 'rack extension' within Reason (=program which I mentioned above; see my "spam section"). Although this device is pretty specific for Reason I think the video can be pretty fun to watch in common, and you might even learn something. Also: while the device is specific for Reason, an LFO is not. As such the idea shown here is very much usable in other environments as well.

    And it gives you a very good impression as to why tinkering with this stuff can be so much fun...

    click here if the video doesn't play
    ScrObot and highlancer54 like this.
  17. For the record: I am not too sober at the time of writing :) This weekend was pretty cool, even managed to get a "synth evening" going; a good friend of mine came over to jam a bit and have fun overall. He's more of a hardware guy while I prefer software. He's a true musician (plays in his own band) while I'm more of an engineer (I even mastered one of their cd's which was kinda cool). Anyway, I revived my synth blog. Initially I let the original domain expire but alas...

    Some people asked for tracks / scores. In a few months time we will have something to share :p We decided to take on a fun project; re-doing an orchestral performance but instead of an orchestra (you really can't beat a real live orchestra IMO) we're going to use synths. I'll share more in a few months time.

    For now I'd like to share something I posted before "somewhere else", but this is pure synth awesomeness... In my opinion this piece deserves to be mentioned in 2 places:

    click here if the video doesn't play

    This is why I love synths so much: I hope you'll agree that it looks all too easy. And in some cases it is: with synths it sometimes really is "press a button and a fanfare sounds". But who created that fanfare sound in the first place? Dun, dun, duuun! :)

    Anyway, enjoy :)
  18. So this thread is old, but this thread is still the perfect place for what I'd like to share....

    Minecraft 1.9 is almost upon us and I've mentioned it several times now how much I dislike the new sound effects. In my opinion nothing has really changed other than Mojang applying some audio filters in order to make it sound "different". And well, this is obviously just my opinion on the matter, but I think they did a pretty lousy job when it comes to setting up those bandpass filters (low/high -pass filters).

    In the mean time some players came up to me and asked me about those audio filters; if this wasn't the right way to use them then what is? Easily asked, but a bit hard to explain, especially if you're not familiar with audio filtering.

    So this evening I logged onto Youtube, checked my audio section (I don't check that very often) and what do you know... Here is the perfect youtube video which explains a bit more about low/high end filtering:

    Now, you might not fully understand what's going on here, but don't worry about that. Just follow along and look what he does. Most of all: listen carefully to the end results, especially when they demonstrate the differences between having the filters active and not.

    Hope you'll enjoy and learn something ;)
  19. I wish I could get a Fairlight CMI or a Emu-Emulator II. Sadly, they both cost thousands of dollars..
  20. I help synths out. I destroyed the institute, but I didn't kill the railroad or brotherhood. I still do those synth rescues for the railroad. My favorite synth is Curie though.