Would Complex-1 be a good way to learn about synths / synthesis?

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napynap
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Post 09 Feb 2019

CloudsOfSound wrote:
07 Feb 2019
napynap wrote:
07 Feb 2019
Good responses here, and since you provided a detailed background read (yes, I read it all!), then let me provide you with a background of how synths originated. Watch a great documentary called 'I Dream of Wires'.
Thanks! I'll definitely check out that documentary!
Ask Audio also has an interesting series on the history and evolution of synths from The Bob Moog Foundation, called
"THE FOUNDATION OF SYNTHESIS" that I'm currently watching.
That sounds like a good one for me to check out. Thanks!
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EnochLight
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Post 09 Feb 2019

napynap wrote:
07 Feb 2019
then let me provide you with a background of how synths originated. Watch a great documentary called 'I Dream of Wires'.
CloudsOfSound wrote:
07 Feb 2019
Thanks! I'll definitely check out that documentary!
Ask Audio also has an interesting series on the history and evolution of synths from The Bob Moog Foundation, called
"THE FOUNDATION OF SYNTHESIS" that I'm currently watching.
napynap wrote:
09 Feb 2019
[That sounds like a good one for me to check out. Thanks!
If we’re talking synth history, then a MUST WATCH is a documentary called “Synth Brittania”. It was produced by the BBC and is absolutely sublime.


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TritoneAddiction
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Post 09 Feb 2019

I know many people here recommend Subtractor as a good beginner synth, which is a good advice. But I think starting out with Legend would be even better. It's got all the basic waveforms, looks cleaner/better, sounds better (I know highly subjective), it's got some simple modulation abilities too. Everything just looks more inviting and simple.
Overall I just find the user experience a lot nicer with Legend compared to Subtractor and that's important if you want to keep learning about something.

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CloudsOfSound
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Post 09 Feb 2019

TritoneAddiction wrote:
09 Feb 2019
But I think starting out with Legend would be even better. It's got all the basic waveforms, looks cleaner/better, sounds better (I know highly subjective), it's got some simple modulation abilities too. Everything just looks more inviting and simple.
Is this available as a Rack Extension or is it VST only?
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CloudsOfSound
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Post 09 Feb 2019

EnochLight wrote:
09 Feb 2019
If we’re talking synth history, then a MUST WATCH is a documentary called “Synth Brittania”. It was produced by the BBC and is absolutely sublime.

Nice! I'll check it out during the weekend! ☺️ 👍
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"Computers are like bicycles for our mind"
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TritoneAddiction
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Post 09 Feb 2019

CloudsOfSound wrote:
09 Feb 2019
TritoneAddiction wrote:
09 Feb 2019
But I think starting out with Legend would be even better. It's got all the basic waveforms, looks cleaner/better, sounds better (I know highly subjective), it's got some simple modulation abilities too. Everything just looks more inviting and simple.
Is this available as a Rack Extension or is it VST only?
It's available for both.

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EnochLight
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Post 09 Feb 2019

CloudsOfSound wrote:
09 Feb 2019
Is this available as a Rack Extension or is it VST only?
Fun fact: The Legend was actually a Rack Extension first, and then a VST. :)
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CloudsOfSound
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Post 09 Feb 2019

I see that it's available in subscription, so I'll try it out first then maybe add it. Just trying to figure out what to swap out without bouncing the tier I'm currently on... 😜
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motuscott
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Post 09 Feb 2019

The whole Britannia series is great. Pop Britannia w/ the quarreling Oasis bros is pure old rock fucker comedy gold and those guys are at least a decade younger than me!
Sometimes a cigar is just a synth that's on fire

m.arthur
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Post 09 Feb 2019

No, it's not a good starter synth at all. It's too complicated for that. It's amazing, yes, but it's advanced. Start with SUBTRACTOR. That's great learner's synth if ever there was one!

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kuhliloach
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Post 09 Feb 2019

As someone who took way too long to begin understanding synthesizers I can agree with most of what's been said here. Subtractor is a good place to start, but even Subtractor may be too complex! My idea about how to learn focuses on the concepts, not the synth, so just about any synth can work. Right click any synth and choose Reset Device. Then I suggest flipping on an oscillator and heading straight for a filter section. Flip through the different waveforms on a single oscillator and mess with the filter cutoff Frequency and Resonance. IMO everything else should come later: envelopes, ADSR, LFO's, etc.

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CloudsOfSound
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Post 09 Feb 2019

I also found a nice little synth called Helm

It lets you basically turn off everything and does a very nice job at visualizing how the ADSR, envelopes and filter stuff works and how one thing impacts another:

Image

Helm can run as a standalone app or as an LV2, VST, VST3 or AU plugin.

Found it easy to understand compared to many others! 👍
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craven
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Post 10 Feb 2019

CloudsOfSound wrote:
09 Feb 2019
I also found a nice little synth called Helm
Great for bringing Helm up, I heard good things about it but never used it so far.

Another amazing about Helm is the integration into the game engine Unity if you but the related asset: https://assetstore.unity.com/packages/t ... ator-86984

That way, you can combine game mechanics with sound generation or create any sorts of generative music (check those tutorials).
Another reason for me to eventually get into Unity - but I really need a clone at this point to accomplish all these dreams, haha.
:ugeek:

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CloudsOfSound
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Post 10 Feb 2019

craven wrote:
10 Feb 2019
CloudsOfSound wrote:
09 Feb 2019
I also found a nice little synth called Helm
Great for bringing Helm up, I heard good things about it but never used it so far.

Another amazing about Helm is the integration into the game engine Unity if you but the related asset: https://assetstore.unity.com/packages/t ... ator-86984

That way, you can combine game mechanics with sound generation or create any sorts of generative music (check those tutorials).
Another reason for me to eventually get into Unity - but I really need a clone at this point to accomplish all these dreams, haha.
Yeah, I've been doing some Unity programming myself, and it's great that this synth is available as a Unity Asset!
I used to work as a C# developer, so Unity was a natural choice for learning about game development.

But I have the same problem as you; there's only one of me...
Now I mostly do cross platform mobile development and some iOS specific projects.

if you're into sound programming, also check out this amazing open-source library, used to create the free Synth One app for iOS (amazing app): It's really easy to get going with, just clone the project source, build, and you'll have a working synth in no time, for you to customize...
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two shoes
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Post 10 Feb 2019

i think ES-01 might be a good synth for starting out too - it's even simpler than Subtractor or the Legend but you can make some great sounds with it.

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CloudsOfSound
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Post 10 Feb 2019

two shoes wrote:
10 Feb 2019
i think ES-01 might be a good synth for starting out too - it's even simpler than Subtractor or the Legend but you can make some great sounds with it.
I went the Subtractor route! I now have an Xmind document to visualize my new wisdom in a digestible (more or less) format, and it keeps getting bigger with more sheets...

Watching videos from Ask Audio Academy, Groove 3 and reading the docs... 🤓

This is a humble beginning and probably about half is misunderstood, but it's a start...

Synths for life, man! 😎
Image
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diminished
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Post 10 Feb 2019

Nautilus is super simple too, only downside: it is monophonic
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Loque
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Post 11 Feb 2019

:reason: 10, Win10 64Bit.

DannyRichardson
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Post 11 Feb 2019

I would recommend checking out Welsh's synthesizer cookbook. This teaches synthesis in an awesome way that you will understand right away.

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bxbrkrz
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Post 11 Feb 2019

All the feedback is great. That say, regarding your original question I would say yes Complex-1 is a very good way to learn. The keyword is 'learn', not instant gratification or some predictability with a semi modular synth. :puf_smile:

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CloudsOfSound
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Post 11 Feb 2019

Loque wrote:
11 Feb 2019
On PB you actually get a course for free if you buy something:
https://www.pluginboutique.com/articles/1425
https://www.pluginboutique.com/products ... -Synthesis
Already did! 👍

The downside is that you have to stream it through their site (PB) and you're not allowed to download it for offline viewing in a decent video player...
So it's semi-true that you "get" the course for free.
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"Computers are like bicycles for our mind"
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Re8et
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Post 11 Feb 2019

All Synths which are not full modular, have predefined "normalled" connections. Usually it is very simple internal routing, from osc to envelope, filter, amp, in that order.
Subtractor is one of those.

Complex-1 has no predefined internal routing. I would go Blamsoft polymodular, Ochen K A-series, and Complex-1 for a Start, there's tons of patches that will show you what these
routing can do. Keep in mind that normalled Synths are easy to play, immediate, and fun, and to master a Synth like Subtractor, or Thor, or Europa, is not easy, it takes time anyway, you can concentrate more on music; but you don't need to be a good musician to understand Synthesis, always trust your ears.

jlgrimes
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Post 11 Feb 2019

CloudsOfSound wrote:
06 Feb 2019
Hi there!

First impressions count, or so I've heard...
This is my first post in here, so I'll try not to sound like a complete moron, but this post will be too long for most people, so just skip to the main question after TL;DR; if you're not the type who cares about introductions...

I'm a software developer (day job) and a hobby musician at nighttime and in any spare time-slot I can find in my schedule.
I'm not much of a musician, but I've played guitar for a few years. I'm 42 now and started when I was 13, so a few years it is.

When it comes to DAW's I've been hopping around, trying to find The One Package that magically turns me into a fantastic, hit producing, music machine, but reality has a tendency to creep up on me, and I realize that this is off course wishful utopia at best.

I just sold my Ableton Live Suite license, went all-in and purchased Reason 10 together with a couple of RE's.
Ableton wasn't for me. I'm not a DJ, so all the session and push related stuff isn't my cup of tea, besides I think the UI is awful.

Always been fascinated by Reason, but never really "got it", but it's starting to come together now, and I'm loving the creative flexibility that the design of this unique software gives me.
It's just amazing to actually enjoy learning about a DAW for a change. Each new video I watch on Groove 3 or Ask Audio Academy gives me "a-ha moments" that I immediately can put into use and have fun with.

TL;DR;

Get To the Point!

I've never really understood much about synths. I've been the kind of user that buys a VST and get a bunch of presets and find something that sounds cool.
Now I want to get a deeper understanding of how the different types of synths work and what they are used for and why.
Why are there so many if they all can do pretty much the same thing if set up correctly, and why is one virtual synth considered "better" than another?

So I'm thinking about starting from the basics of oscillators and work my way through wavetables, filters and all that stuff.

Complex-1 is marketed as a "Modular Synthesizer", so I interpret that as a way of saying it can work as either type of synth (subtractive / additive) and that it's possible to start with a "clean slate" so to speak and build up the basic components with modules and learn how they work together along the way? Or am I wrong?

I'm currently watching a series about synthesis on ask.video called "The Foundation Of Synthesis" which should be a good starting point before moving on to the more concrete stuff, like the "Reason - Synthesis Explored" series and other more detailed courses.
I've also purchased a course from ProducerTech Beginners Guide To Synthesis, so I'm in for a couple of days of synth theory I suppose.

My main question boils down to:
Is Complex-1 a good way to learn how the components of various synths work, and if not so, what would be the best synth to use for exploring the concepts while following the video courses?

I guess I could start with Subtractor, and move along with Maelstrom or something, but if Complex-1 is what I think it is wouldn't this be a great way to explore the world of synthesis?
Combined with using Syntorial maybe, I don't know.

Appreciate your opinions on the subject!

Happy Reasoning! :reason:

Subtractor or even Europa are perfect for learning synths.

Clearly laid out interfaces, Subtractor doesn't get much easier for subtractive and if you need something crude and simple, it is perfect.

Europa is a more typical modern wavetable with unison. It is a bit more advanced but still a simple interface that is easy to follow.

Complex sounds complex and is a take on west coast synthesis which might be overwhelming for a beginner.

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WeLoveYouToo
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Post 11 Feb 2019

nothing will ever beat the classic:

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