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Why does most modular music on youtube sound the same?
MUFF WIGGLER Forum Index -> Production Techniques  
Author Why does most modular music on youtube sound the same?
LaMincra
Honestly!
I feel like most of the music on youtube made with smaller modular systems has the same lush ambient sound, and maybe some sequence or chaotic sound as a feature.

Don't get me wrong, I totally get the feeling of getting lost in the atmospheric ambient sounds and enjoy myself wiggling away at my synth.
But it doesn't feel like it is the best material for a song. I mean the music kinda lives in the moment, where you are actively shaping the sound and the tune is slowly evolving. But as a recorded song it kinda looses this sensation.

Another aspect i want to get at is, that it feels like most people do not understand the true power of the system they have. So they always come back to what they familiar with. The lush, dull sound, we have heard so often already.
I am currently pretty much in the beginnings, just working with an Arturia Minibrute 2, but I can already tell, there are endless options apart from the ambient sound i am talking about. So that's how I come to the conclusion, most people do not know they systems very well.

I'd like to hear you opinions:
Did I just miss out on the good stuff, that is different? Or is there maybe a true point to my accusations?
Joe.
Maybe that's the sound they like, that they want to make? seriously, i just don't get it
ignatius
because they all use mutable Rings?

maybe don't listen to music on youtube and listen in other places? people on youtube want to make videos. it's a totally different presentation. it's not the music speaking for itself it's just a gear show or image show or a scene attached to sounds to write the narrative for you.

try bandcamp. for starters.
lisa
It seems that the music of many youtube videos showing off patches are jams or generative stuff, not arranged. I think that might be what you are noticing. However, there’s all kinds.

These tracks, for example, are modular based (heavy on Rings too) but you wouldn’t know unless I told you and they sound nothing like what you’re describing.


wackelpeter
I've seen plenty of great modular vids on Utube but also a lot of average and less inspiring stuff… great demo vids and lame dulling demo vids…

As posted before, People which post their vids, are satisfied with them, they like what they made. It's like with any other Music genre, there is stuff you like and some you don't like.

And as you mentioned smaller Systems, Maybe a few of them are just Beginners, overwhelmed and enthusiastic at first About the first synth farts and bleeps and blops they wan't to share with the world. I can empathize sometimes think the same when i record something, that this should be shared with others, while mostly listening to it again days or months later it becomes Kind of annyoing for me too…

The only criticism i have is that most of the sounds in utube vids often get buried within some deep and heavy reverb, for my taste just too much effect, which makes it all Sound very similar to me quite often... that's just my opinion. others might say that i use too much delay, even as i have it somehow improved a lttle bit and only send a few selected Voices through the delay instead of the whole mix of Voices and sounds… wink
LaMincra
Joe. wrote:
Maybe that's the sound they like, that they want to make? seriously, i just don't get it


Well, that is true, but one should think, there are lots of different tastes and therefore lots of different sounds out there. This does not seem to be the case at first glance. A lot of music seems to fall into the ambient section.
Well, it could be the case, that a lot of people get into modulars, cause they like the ambient sound and therefore produce ambient stuff then aswell.
And as I mentioned before, maybe I just have not found the right sources yet.
LaMincra
lisa wrote:
It seems that the music of many youtube videos showing off patches are jams or generative stuff, not arranged. I think that might be what you are noticing. However, there’s all kinds.

These tracks, for example, are modular based (heavy on Rings too) but you wouldn’t know unless I told you and they sound nothing like what you’re describing.




You've got a point with the arranged vs live. But with all the power of a modular synth, shouldn't you be able to play live something else but ambient generative music, or not? Haven't come across such videos, that's why i was wondering.

With the videos you linked you can hear that they are modular, or atleast modular based, once you know it. You were right that I probably couldn't have told them apart from a DAW production easily if you haven't told me.
Seems like you know your way around the arranged stuff. Could you give me a recommendations to start looking to find more of it?
dubonaire
Actually a lot of youtube music made on non modular synths sounds the same as well. Maybe even more samey.

But the art of listening to any music in the 21st century is sorting the wheat from the chaff and there is a lot of chaff.

Check this guy out - he's exceptional.

http://www.youtube.com/user/disjunctionreunion
notmiserlouagain
Quote:
Actually a lot of youtube music made on non modular synths sounds the same as well.

True!

So it´s basically like a bunch of proud noob guitarists sharing
professionaly edited videos of them practising "Smoke on the water"?
d'oh!
dubonaire
notmiserlouagain wrote:
Quote:
Actually a lot of youtube music made on non modular synths sounds the same as well.

True!

So it´s basically like a bunch of proud noob guitarists sharing
professionaly edited videos of them practising "Smoke on the water"?
d'oh!


Pretty much. That's not necessarily a bad thing, no one forces you to watch and listen, even when they push their own videos on you to get views. At least they are being heard rather than being a tree falling in the forest with no one around.
revtor
Because it’s easier to put a random sequence of cool sounds through a reverb and a delay then it is to actually sit and compose a melodic progression to build a more traditional song structure.

I love both!

Steve
commodorejohn
This reminds me, I should really finish mixing the synthpoppy number I recorded on the Kilpatrick Phenol before I traded it away...
timoka
the better the video quality, the worse the music.
use a music platform to search for music.
forrest
You could use the same argument for almost any kind of music.. Learn to appreciate the subtleties of a genre and you'll find certain performers that stand out more to you.

Anyhow, theres no accounting for taste..
commodorejohn
commodorejohn wrote:
This reminds me, I should really finish mixing the synthpoppy number I recorded on the Kilpatrick Phenol before I traded it away...

And here we go!
gentle_attack
revtor wrote:
Because it’s easier to put a random sequence of cool sounds through a reverb and a delay then it is to actually sit and compose a melodic progression to build a more traditional song structure.

I love both!

Steve

Kind of like how "ambient guitarists" will just use a bunch of loopers, modulated/ shimmer reverb, and tons of delay to do "soundscapes" which are really them just strumming power chords or the 3 jazz chords they learned while swelling a volume pedal and tap dancing different effect on and off (of course you have to have 'trails' on all f the time based effects, to build that 'wall of sound').

Because it's a hell of a lot easier to do that than find other people with drum kit and a bass and a place to play loud as hell that won't get mad when you play the same songs over and over.

Drenching everything in Neunaber WET and Clouds, it makes noodling around sound more 'song-y' but in a real song scenario, not the most useful effects (at least in the soaked/ drenched manner most YTers use them).
naturligfunktion
I sometimes have the feeling that people who are really active on youtube/instagram whatever tend to release music that feels a bit rushed. The song is a basic idea that is repeated and thats it.

Doing that is fine, but I sometime feel sad that such great ideas never get the attention they deserve, but then again, if I feel that way, why don't I make those ideas good instead?

So as several people have mentioned in this thread, the real trick is finding good music that one enjoy.
kf6gpe
naturligfunktion wrote:
I sometimes have the feeling that people who are really active on youtube/instagram whatever tend to release music that feels a bit rushed. The song is a basic idea that is repeated and thats it.


Guilty as charged! It's part of why I'm trying hard not to even think about offering anything I do on any service right now to share; the pressure to knock something out and upload it --- and I'm not very good, mind you, which makes it worse --- is surprisingly strong.
naturligfunktion
kf6gpe wrote:

Guilty as charged! It's part of why I'm trying hard not to even think about offering anything I do on any service right now to share; the pressure to knock something out and upload it --- and I'm not very good, mind you, which makes it worse --- is surprisingly strong.


Yeah I do the same. My soundcloud is filled of rushed ideas. It's also a good thing, to kinda learn to let go and just make tunes for fun. But I wouldn't send those tunes to a record label. Then again, I do not send any tunes, to anyone so I do not really know what Im talking about to be honest

help
AndiSt
LaMincra wrote:
Honestly!
I feel like most of the music on youtube made with smaller modular systems has the same...

I feel very much the same. Reason for this is that many are using a relatively small number of "trendy" modules (Erbe-Verb, Rings, Clouds and the like). Most of these modules are digital, don't really need to be patched up in complicated ways and pretty much do playback of a certain sound.
My fascination for modular has something to do with sound design. I can't relate to these modules at all. I also don't understand why there are "drum" modules - if you know what you are doing, it is no problem to patch BD, SD and HH from a very small set of modules.
seriously, i just don't get it
calaveras
First, I wont even consider east vs west coast synthesis. I doubt many such people are even aware of this paradigm.

I feel that this is more the result of people who get into modular synthesis without any particular goal in mind. I came to this conclusion waaay before I saw this thread. I was at a modular synth fest thing a couple years ago. There were a bunch of manufacturers and gear around as well as pretty much all the musicians in the area. But the most interesting thing I saw that day was an installation by an artist who was using just 3 modules in a Doepfer beauty case. He had a goal. He got the things that achieved that goal. He did not waste time on things that were cool but only adjacent to the goal.

I am all for novelty. I own all kinds of frivolous stuff. But the problem with eurorack for a lot of us is that it feeds our collector nerd impulses.
The musical output is similarly directionless as the modular collecting hobby is for many.

I've noticed that the output of people using stuff like Elektron beatboxes and MPCs do not seem to create such vague compositions.

You may think that I am talking about songs vs more abstract compositions. But I've seen folks doing quite severe stuff with Octatrack and some very basic source material.


Myself, I like to use my modular in tandem with a very crappy drum machine. It provides a bit of contrast in timbre, but also the subdivisions being reinforced by the beat will line up with the clocked LFOs and Delays of the modular (since I am syncing the two) and it overall sounds much more coherent.

I also find myself gravitating away from the whole monster case thing and more towards smaller cases. One case for a Waldorf NW1 and some helper modules. Another for all my Malekko Wiard etc.
stoiker
Getting into modular synths just lately I had the same feeling. But coming from a Punk/HC background I'm used to comments like this on Punk music, too. Grab a cheap guitar, shred some power chords and there you go. Grab a 2k modular system, watch some tutorials and there you go. I do get a certain sound, if I pack my 6U system with mutable stuff, right? I guess many people just enjoy this sound.
AndiSt
calaveras wrote:
I am all for novelty.

There are no novelties in modular synthesis. Manufacturers are shamelessly stealing concepts developed in the 60/70/80ties by Buchla, Moog and a handful others. As a result, the music produced on modern synths sound the same as the ones we had almost 50 years ago. The novel thing with Eurorack is that it is rather small and affordable (compared to the original machines which occupied rooms and cost a fortune such that only institutions could really buy them).
authorless
Confirmation bias.
Panason
Because they all buy the same modules, watch the same channels and read the same forums?
Echo chambers are big these days and anybody with some disposable income can set up a Youtube channel to show off their $5k monophonic fart machine twisted
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