To buy another Synth plugin or not – Presets good or bad?

Yesterday I downloaded the demo of Waves new synth plugin, ‘Codex’

I have to say it sounds good, and it has a shed load of presets, I mean far too many to demo here.

All of them very usable, in fact enough to keep you going without having to tweak if all you want to do is plug in and go.

This led me to ponder something though.

Presets, good or bad?

Is it really lazy to settle for a sound without making adjustments.

Well of course it isn’t and bugger anyone who says otherwise.

If you are just wanting to create sometimes a preset can get the juices flowing.

The pro’s of a preset are obvious are they not? It has certainly been the case in my own experience.

As a guitarist I have often resorted to finding a preset on an effects unit.

There are times though that presets aren’t enough but if you have a preset that is close then getting to where you need to be sonically is quite easy with a bit of practice.

Starting from scratch though can itself get the juices flowing as well.

It can often be the starting point for me, just noodling around with a sound, shaping, breaking, melting, cajoling….

The problem that I have found and I think the newcomer will find is the amount of great software out there, all with there own unique sounds and presets.

What if you want to learn how to create your own sounds?

My advice, stop buying synths.

If you have a synth that you like the sound of, learn how to use it.

Learn it inside out. Play with it and squeeze every bit of juice out of it that you can.

I’m going to be bold and say that if you own one decent sounding synth that you will not reach it’s obsolescence very soon.

If you are constantly chasing a sound then stop – you’re not going to find it in a new plugin.

You’ve probably already sitting on it in your plugin folder.

If you are looking for a synth to get started then have a look round for one that suits your needs.

Check out demos on youtube and at music radar or just google.

Research and find one that you can understand – I don’t mean getting an understanding of synthesis in it’s entirety but something that makes sense, that doesn’t look too complicated.

Be narrow, reduce your plugin folder and start playing with what your left with.

Too many plugins spoil the broth.

Get your head around one and the next will be easier to understand.

Think of it like this, if your learning to play guitar buying another after one weeks practice would be ridiculous – having twenty guitars would be obscene and wasteful.

Yes they all have their own sound but they all do the same job fundamentally.

So if you’re looking to learn how to create new sounds, stick to one plugin.

If you just want to get on with it then go with presets – it matters not in the end.

What matters?

Creativity, and how it comes to you is neither here nor there, just as long as it comes.

Ramble over.


Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.