Preset sounds on the A4 versus self programmed sounds


#1

Hi,

how do you like the factory sounds on the A4?

For my taste the most or them are not very usefull.
Do you always create sounds from the scratch or do you
you use mostly the factory sounds and kits?


To preset or to not preset is the question
#2

For me, sound design is part of composition so I don’t touch them but if I were the type who would I’d struggle to find anything useful too.


#4

Indeed - I always only use my own sounds in music but picked up the floppy disk pirates packs as a learning tool for tips n tricks with sound design. Some great sounds in the packs. Didnt think the stock sounds were bad either, just I have a style and can make my own to fit it.


#5

The presets sounds good for certain type of music but I didn’t like it for the type of music I make. I thought it sounded too “clean and nice” for an analog synth. I was seriously thinking about selling the A4 since I wasn’t too thrilled about menu diving and the small screen on the A4 to create patches.

I then found the patch editor one of the member was selling for $5 from this forum. Using it, I was able to come up with sounds I liked and decided to keep it. $5 very well spent.


#6

IMHO preset browsing hinders creativity. That was my main error during my sad years ITB. I came up with a loop, spent hours auditioning presets for it, eventually got bored by the endless repetition, and went away. Nowadays I always start from scratch. Once you have it in your muscle memory, programming is so fast on A4 that it takes less time to get there with your legs. The more, I don’t like most of the presets, as they tend to be too loud on the filter, and sound all the same. You can get so much timbre richness if you start to use gain staging inside A4 signal path. To me this is one of its main strong points. It always amaze me how elektron people miss to showcase this feature in the factory presets.
If I’m in a real hurry, I could load the occasiona kick/snare/lead and tweak it to fit in my project, but it never stays untouched.
To be fair, I could even get away without the saving facilities. I have tons of pattern and kits that I keep telling me I should look back into, to scout for sounds to save in the pool, but every time I turn the unit on I start programming something new and never look back…


#8

I like the idea not to use preset sounds untouched by my own sound design.
Only as a start point to something new.
Thank you for notes.


#9

sounds need to be sculpted to suit the song and mix

most presets wont be suitable but can be a good starting point


#10

Could you point me towards that Patch Editor? Searching on the Forum just brings me to your above post.

EDIT: found it with good old Google.

Looks great - cheers!


#11

one of the cool things about analog gear and especially something with poly, onboard sequencer (and fx) like the A4 is that you can scuplt each sound for the particular track you are making, and it will naturally sound cohesive and part of the same “world”… so i would advise trying that - with all 4 parts as new patches designed specifically for a new song, and then make a different song using new patches… and see what happens when you do that, because i think you will be pleasantly surprised


#12

I always at least tweak the sound to my liking, but they are good for starting points. Many of them are very plain, which is a good thing when you want to customize.


#14

Could you point me towards that Patch Editor? Searching on the Forum just brings me to your above post.

EDIT: found it with good old Google.

Looks great - cheers![/quote]
Good you found it. The editor has good randomizer function if you ever get in a rut when designing sound.

I also use the randomizer to get a slight variation of a sound I like so that I can use several similar sounds in a song to give it some variety.


#15

Could you point me towards that Patch Editor? Searching on the Forum just brings me to your above post.

EDIT: found it with good old Google.

Looks great - cheers![/quote]
Good you found it. The editor has good randomizer function if you ever get in a rut when designing sound.

I also use the randomizer to get a slight variation of a sound I like so that I can use several similar sounds in a song to give it some variety. [/quote]
Yeah I bought it but no Download link appeared and I didn’t get an email. I sent a message via the website (after Google Translating the Japanese) and I have PM’d the guy on here… It’s Sunday though, so I expect he is busy with other things.

Anyway, I decided to sell my Analog Keys - I may get an A4 though.
(SOLD: (UK) Analog Keys £950 (and some other stuff))

EDIT: download link just came through. :slight_smile:


#16

I make my own… and then I give them to you guys :stuck_out_tongue:

I find I always go through a new bank and listen to everything. If I like it I tag it with a “fav.” Then, if I’m stuck, I can browse my favs.

I’m a self-confessed gear whore, and for so many reasons, the A4 is my favorite synth. It’s like that thing is an extension of me. I can dial in anything I want. I love it.


#17

Hi Elektronauts,

Just out of curiosity, how many of you folks use presets versus rolling your own from scratch? Like for example, building a kick or clap from scratch. I do both.


#18

…i always end up with my own sounddesigns…no matter if i start with a preset or from scratch…
i mean, presets in hardware gadgets are a different kind of deal, compared to the next hot predefined must have shit in a common software…and with a few little tweaks on any elektron machine u can go anywhere, anyway…
i like all these standards in the a4…always a good point to start from…and hey, the presets in the dtone are really breathtaking!..no big fuzz to use them for a good starting point to any sonic safari trip…
end of the day, it’s not that much the single elements of a track but the overall impression of it and how they work alltogether…and if those single lines rely to some musical content for real in first place…
so, if a line not already makes some funky or mystical sense somehow with just a simple standard piano sound, something’s missing anyways…


#19

When I bought my first A4, for a moment I thought it was somehow flawed or broken, because many of the presets sounded very harsh, somehow digital, and musically unusable. Since then, I’ve bought some soundpacks and realized that this wasn’t the case, especially the Biopads 1&2 proved me that the A4/AK is capable of very delicate and beautiful pads and drones. Creating a sound from scratch out of an init sound is very enjoyable and easy on the A4/AK. A fat bass sound is just a few tweaks away and the possibilities are quite daunting.


#20

My A4 should come in the mail later this week, will try out those Biopads patches then, thanks for the heads up.

In general with analog synths, I find joy in the process of getting to the sound…in a way it makes my understanding of and relationship to the sound I end up using much more intimate and emotional…presets hardly ever move me even if they sound nice…on the other hand, a simple bass patch that I created/discovered may move mountains for me.

I figure when patching myself, usually I stop when I find something that SOUNDS nice to me, so I feel with that approach my ears take charge (rather than the analytical mind). So all in all, I find designing sounds on analog synths totally worth the effort.


#21

agree I love the biopad samples on the A4 and sound discovery with creating own patches from blank slate is tons of fun. I came up with some weird drums and pads that way as well as acid type bass and FX.

Compared to other synths, the tools in such a small footprint on the A4 are super amazing! I love my Moog and Microkorg but not as easy to come up with patches. The MS-20 is great as well for the simple layoff approach to synthesis.


#22

I find that I get closer to the sound I’m looking for when I just go from scratch, and I get there quicker. As someone above mentioned, it’s satisfying to craft it yourself - exercising your knowledge and your ears, pushing yourself to learn. Admittedly I’m not great at making super ‘clean’ sounds though, I tend to often end up with more roughness or dirt than I’d intended! :see_no_evil:

With presets, I often find that they sit in a bit of a sweet spot, which you quickly lose as you start to adjust it to suit. So it feels a bit more awkward going that way about it. I used to focus on trawling presets - after all, some very talented synthesists make the banks of sounds you can load in - looking for sounds that I like. But these days it feels really tiresome to do that.

Having said that, if anyone has genuinely good Strings or Piano presets, I’d be interested - I struggle with those a lot on the AK!


#23

Agree on most things but drums for me are way trickier to get right especially creating claps and snare drums from a blank slate. I can craft a bass drum or kick drum easy on the A4 but the claps and snares are harder for me to craft.