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Topic: Synth sound library - what would you like to see?

  1. #1

    Synth sound library - what would you like to see?

    I am beginning development of a fully-featured library of various synth sounds. One thing I have noticed over the last few years is that you can easily lose inspiration looking around for a particular synth sound. Too many softsynths have cryptically named presets or unusable ones - and unless you're writing purely electronic music, it's usually not too much fun to program your own patches from scratch. I've experienced this frustration quite a bit myself, especially when I'm in the middle of a piece and feeling very inspired, but I can't find "that sound" among thousands of uselses patches. Thus I am going to try to create a very useful, high-quality selection of synth sounds.

    I would like to ask what you would like to see in such a library, and I would love to hear suggestions for it. So far, here is what I am aiming for:

    * Wide variety of electronic sounds created with all types of synthesis techniques (subtractive, AM, FM, granular, graintable, wavetable, physical modelling, resynthesis, etc) using a variety of tools and effects.

    * All sounds intelligently categorized into folders and given straightforward names indicating the type of sound (to the best of my ability). If you're looking for a psychadelic soft pad sound to add a layer of ambiance to a new age work, you can go to the "Pads" folder and check out patches such as "Swirl Tunnel" or "Phasing Vision". Or, if you're looking for

    * All sounds chromatically sampled, including multisamples (depending on the patch). All patches also come with versions that are not chromatically sampled, if RAM is a concern (though even the larger patches will be quite small). For the larger patches, I may include a total of three versions - the full one, a version sampled at minor thirds, and a version sampled at perfect fifths without multisamples.

    * No wet samples. All patches will be designed with maximum usability in mind, and sometimes, that means not having delay or reverb.

    * Careful attention will be paid to proper loop points, but longer samples will be used when needed, such as for complex pads or unstable basses.

    * A low price and numerous options! I do not want to charge more than $200 for this, even though there will likely be at least 6-7gb of content and hundreds of samples. I would like to offer it in as many formats as possible, though currently I am working with Kontakt. Also, a scaled down version with only the "light" patches for people concerned about disk space, will hopefully be available as well for a decreased price.

    Thank you very much in advance for your time. Any feedback is appreciated!

  2. #2

    Re: Synth sound library - what would you like to see?

    Quote Originally Posted by zircon_st
    I am beginning development of a fully-featured library of various synth sounds. One thing I have noticed over the last few years is that you can easily lose inspiration looking around for a particular synth sound. Too many softsynths have cryptically named presets or unusable ones -
    Well, with that in mind I would say that names are almost useless in any event as a guide to sorting sounds. What you need is a really fast audition process to hear patches until you hit the right one, and maybe some attempt at making it possible to navigate to similar sounds with a single click when your getting close to what you want.

  3. #3

    Re: Synth sound library - what would you like to see?

    While that would be nice, I don't foresee developing any sort of new sampling engine for this. I also think that a good naming system certainly helps to find certain types of patches. If you've used Native Instruments' Pro-53, for instance, there is NO organization. You just have to go one by one until you find the sound you want. Conversely, a program like Reason has sounds carefully organized. When you want a drum loop, you go the drum loops folder, and you can select from a style folder. From there, you can see the names of the loops, which contain their tempo, making it very easy to zero in on what you want. I'm hoping to do the same for this library.

  4. #4

    Re: Synth sound library - what would you like to see?

    I think this is a tough market for developers. For example, look at what Sonic Synth 2 is offering for the money (and many people have the upgrade path from Sonic Synth 1 or the "side grade" path from Sampletank2.)

    For original progressive electronic rock influenced by J.S. Bach and (old) Rush, check out: www.soundclick.com/jeffreynaness.

  5. #5

    Re: Synth sound library - what would you like to see?

    I am aware of the possible legal issues, but I wouldn't even consider doing this without consulting a lawyer (which I have), and it appears as though I'm in the clear if I do things properly.

    I do really believe this is still a market that hasn't been tapped to its fullest potential. I have used Sonik Synth 2, and while it's a good product, it isn't the type of thing I'm developing here; SS2 appeals to me as a synthesist, but not as a composer. I'd like to appeal to people who are really not interested in the programming aspect of synth sounds, basically - and from what I've observed, there are a good number of people like that. Sure, there are lots of magnificent synth plugins out there, like Arturia's stuff, Reaktor 4, Absynth 3, Tassman 4, and Logic's Sculpture, but they are no good to someone who just wants to lay some nice synth sounds down without spending hours on them. Part of the problem is that it seems like the most powerful synths have the weakest presets. Reaktor 4 is probably the most advanced modular synth around, but I have yet to use an ensemble with well-designed patches.

    If anything, I think there aren't enough synth libraries around. Not that I'm shooting for this price range, of course, but is there anything as intricate and huge as QLSO Platinum, except for synthesizers? I haven't encountered anything even remotely close. Collections like Atmosphere or Morphology are a step in the right direction, but I don't think they're on the same level.

    Thanks for the comments thus far, folks!

  6. #6

    Re: Synth sound library - what would you like to see?

    I might be wrong here, but it would seem logical that you need to sign or otherwise accept a licence agreement before the usage of a synth can be restricted. Impulses from hardward reverb units seem to be legal even when sold but you can't sell an impulse recorded from Altiverb or IR-1 because the licence agreement forbids it.

    Atleast I would buy a high quality synth library for a reasonable price. I'm not sure but I assume that Sonic Synth, Atmosphere and Ultra Focus can be used on only one computer. I could use a Kontakt library on both desktop and laptop computers. After Kontakt 2 is released there shouldn't be much that the dedicated engines can do but Kontakt couldn't.

    I wouldn't do a completely dry library. On many synths the effects are the thing that make their sound unique. For example most of the sample based Korg synths sound terrible when the effects are disabled because the effects are designed for the synth and they are lo-fi enough (in a good sense) to make the patches sound solid. The easiness you are seeking is lost when the user has to find decent effects to support the lifeless dry patches. How about recording a completely dry version and an excessively wet version in cases where the synth patch really sounds good with the onboard effects? The Kontakt patch could use the Mod wheel to mix between the two.

  7. #7

    Re: Synth sound library - what would you like to see?

    The dry -> wet crossfade is an excellent idea, and you did make a point I hadn't thought of with the whole finding effects thing (even though slapping on a stereo delay isn't quite as hard as programming a lead from scratch). I'll keep that in mind as I design patches benefitting from a wet sound.

  8. #8
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    South Ken, London

    Re: Synth sound library - what would you like to see?

    I see potential and perils. I mean, your idea of multisampling chromatically is noble, but I think the average user doesn't like to hang around for synth patches to load and what you're proposing here could take more than a few seconds. But there are a number of products out there that are basically doing the same thing so there's no reason not to go for it.

    I suppose the main thing, to make your product stand out, is to get the sounds to work in Kontakt (or whatever) in ways that soft synths can't really pull off so well. Use the strengths for innovative sound design. It would mean using multi-layers, velocity and key switching, X-fading for morphs and so on all mapped in a way that the user doesn't have to think about it but can still get great results BUT not in patches that take a bee's lifetime to load. I know I'm stating the obvious but I think a lot of careful planning is needed here.

    The main thing though is that you give it a go, see what happens and set your price sensibly. I wish you all the best - I think anybody who's willing to give these things a shot deserves encouragement and there are plenty of brainy people at NS who I'm sure will offer help.

  9. #9

    Re: Synth sound library - what would you like to see?

    Thanks for the advice (and encouragement). Doing some experimentation, a pad sound sampled from C2 to C8 every note (with no multisamples) turned out to be only about 14mb as an NKI file, and only took about 2-3 seconds to load. The pad sound itself is 10 seconds long (looped after that), so the shorter stuff like basses and so forth should definitely not be too taxing. But your point is well taken. This is still almost entirely tentative, and I'm continually experimenting with ways to make this interesting.

  10. #10

    Re: Synth sound library - what would you like to see?

    Hey guys let's not knock the guy out before he's even had a chance to develop his product. Maybe he can come up with something that's better than what we have now.

    It'd be cool to have a synth library organized by mood in my opinion. Usually when I use synths I use them to set a mood that I otherwise couldn't get with an orchestra.

    Maybe i'm too simplistic when I use synth sounds, but I'm an orchestral guy. Categories like sad sounds, mysterious, dark, etherial, various filter sweep sounds, edgy, street sounds, ect.. You know things that can actually be understood. Then find a way to just quickly flip through the sounds at light speed to test each one out.

    Or, sounds organized by songs or artist like "Annie Lennox patch 1" or Peter Gabrial "Temptation of Christ". I don't know how legal that would be but maybe you could come up with a code like "Pete's Temptation" or something like that.

    I use reason and you're right. Boy I hate flipping through patches with non descriptive names like "Pokey" or "narcotones" or Naj. Get rid of names like that and I'd buy it.

    Just think of infinite userability. And please, no buttered legato patches.. Please.

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