New Video Series, Project: INIT, Explores Synthesis & Sound Design

Synthesist Mark Mosher has announced a new video series that will take a real-time look at sound design:

In the videos I will offer real-time behind-the-patch footage taking you on sound design missions from INIT using a variety of sonic weapons. By simply coming along for the ride you’ll learn more about synthesis and how to make unique sounds for your productions.

A variety of synthesizers will be used focusing mainly on synths that offer interactive visual feedback making it easier for you to connect with the concepts. Don’t worry if you don’t own the exact synth – watch anyway – as concepts & techniques are most likely transferable to most synths and if nothing else I hope to spark some ideas for you.

So, for up-and-coming synthesists and producers the videos will help you grok the world of synthesis in less time. For seasoned synthesists and producers these videos will serve as inspiration for new ideas and help you learn your way around the featured synths more quickly.

The first video in the series, embedded above, explores working with Tone2 ElectraX.

25 thoughts on “New Video Series, Project: INIT, Explores Synthesis & Sound Design

  1. And if you don’t have a vocal filter on your synth?
    Why should I donate for a basic preset of a softsynth?
    Please don’t tell me you earn money with this.
    So I look out for a softsynth ,look how the preset is made,and make a tutorial so people give me money?

    1. F, somebody gave you a thumbs down, but you nailed this exactly.

      This ISN’T a “tutorial” at all. The guy just recorded a series of steps making settings on a synth, didn’t explain anything or discuss why this or that setting does anything or in what context a setting or effect makes sense. Or anything else.

      Awful. And then it asks for donations. A total time waster. (Worse, because I pay for my bandwidth, I actually lost money watching this.)

  2. Wickedly badass concept. I love how there are bubbles that accompany each step, explaining WHY he’s tweaking the knobs. Sound design can seem like a black box. This helps to take the mystery out of it. Looking forward to more in this series.

    Full disclosure: I’m a regular Modulate This reader and have learned a lot from Mark’s other tutorials and posts. So I suppose I’m biased….but for good reason.

  3. I think this series is a great idea and applaud Mark for his work, not only on this but countless other bits of useful information from over the years. I love watching someone work, especially someone as knowledgeable as Mr. Mosher. If you find this to be such a waste of time, why not cut your losses and move on to something else rather than waste more valuable time spreading negative energy? Remember what mother said: “If you have nothing nice to say…”

    1. I love Mark, he’s an excellent performer and sound designer, but I think the anger here is related to his plea for donations. I balked at that too. I’ve thought about asking for donations too, but I decided against it because frankly there are more worthwhile charities than my ass.

      1. I am quite surprised that mentioning that Modulate This is (and always has been) a reader-supported blog would insight anger – zoiks! I guess that’s the last time I put that in a call out bubble – lol..

  4. I got a feeling that this guy is just tweaking about without a goal.
    What I would like to see is a video series with some dude trying to recreate ‘classic’ synth sounds. Like the blade runner brass och the popcorn pop.
    Tweaking about in synths is fun but usually end up in something that sounds cool for the moment, but when I revisit it, it is usually muddy crap. It is when I have an idea of what I want that I end up with something useful.

    1. I actually have a “classic sound” series on the schedule as well. My plan is to release different styles of videos for different audiences. Again, it will be free like everything so far.

      1. Great stuff Mark.

        Our company had an ice cream social one afternoon recently to thank employees. It was amazing how many people b****ed that the free ice cream was only available in vanilla and chocolate.

  5. Donate to show support.

    Just because it’s on the internet and indeed free does not mean you should ignore hard quality work by complaining about a donation suggestion.

    WTF you cheap bastards? Apparently unaware of this “phenomenon” that keeps the open source programming/code market vibrant using donations to support quality work and honor others dedication.

    I donate all the time to say “you did awesome, here’s a beer”

    What about kickstarter? I guess that is all bullsh*t too? Bandcamp?

    I have some patches on my box I got from Bassnectar – I bet people would pay for those. I’m just not the kind of as$h0le who:

    -Complains about donation suggestions
    -Sells others work
    -Is ignorant to the “pay what you can including $0” model that is very common
    -Usually engages with people who kick up sh*t storms like this

    I have about the same time invested as Mark in this stuff – I think there is a big ole’ plate of STFU in order for anyone who does not contribute to the greater good yet complains. Where’s your body of work? Or is mom getting in the way of you breaking national?

    1. @ Marc
      I appreciate where you are coming from, but this argument is totally flawed. Being free doesn’t make something worth respect, regardless of it’s quality. “Value” and “Cost” are completely unrelated, especially in the music industry! And having “time invested” also doesn’t necessarily add value. If someone does something for 40 years, but does it poorly, they can’t claim to be better than a more talented person with less years invested. (that is in no way intended as an indirect comment on the quality level of the above video, btw) The bottom line is, when we put out something for free there will be a large number of people who don’t like it and tell us so. And it totally doesn’t matter. In fact, you should expect it. They are right, and so is the person who made the free thing. Just move on.

      @ Mark M
      I think what some of the above posters really meant but failed to adequately communicate is that they would like to have seen you convey more core knowledge along with the step-by-step bits. In other words, “why” do some of those steps, what might be other options, how is this sound nearly like something else, etc. I think there is a place for both types of instructional materials, and neither one is necessarily superior, but sometimes viewers want or prefer one or the other. You seem to have done some appropriate branding up front to set expectations, so I imagine the feedback will vary depending up the presentation. 😉 Like the guy who finds your video on youtube after searching for “formant lead” will be delighted with it.

      Also a thought on the donation bit… (and this is just thinking out loud so take it for what it’s worth!) maybe if your videos linked back to a central repository of your free material, and then in the wrapper (web site, app, etc) there was a donation option it might have a very different effect on the viewer. In that case, they would be seeing a huge pile of “free” value you have given the and in return are open to fair donations. $1 for a video seems really expensive to people, but $5 or $10 for a web site full of video feels like an easy thing to do, and leaves them still thinking you have given more than they have.

  6. MM does excellent stuff, and I hardly think he’s the next Rupert Murdoch or Mitt Romney for wanting a few bucks to cover his time and bandwidth. He’s given plenty to the community and is asking in a quite polite manner. People are free to give nothing, or whatever value of currency they desire.
    So complainers, get a life.

  7. Wow, what a rough crowd.

    I have been programming synthesizers for a long time but I don’t make the mistake of others who posted here that there is no value in this video. I don’t agree. My Twitter audience is wide so I often tweet or post blogs to teach people about something I love, synthesis. But I realize if I want to share this love to those who might not know a lot I often try to clarify terms I am using. I do this a lot with music therapists who I am trying to get into tech.

    I have even composed entire works based on music therapists demoing children’s musical toys. The basic sounds inspired me. I think that those who feel upset by this vidio need to squelch the ego a bit and realize we can all learn something from each other. To those who made these comments, if your lost in your own world where you know it all, great. Enjoy your isolation. But realize that the audience for videos can be wide.

    If you don’t want to watch Mark’s vids, don’t. Problem solved. I have learned a lot from Mark and yes, I could have programmed this patch myself but sharing the approach we all take to music enriches all of us. If you can’t see that I feel sorry for you.

    1. Comment deleted for personal attack.

      Filip – please keep your comments constructive and on topic. Comments that are personal attacks will be deleted.

  8. Hi lux,I will never watch any of his video’s again.
    I just wrote that we learned nothing from the video.
    Mark asked to watch the rest of his work (that I have done before) and I wrote again that I didn’t liked it.
    I’m not in my own world ,I just believe a little bit in freedom of speech.
    This is what I’m doing.
    Maybe it’s because I’m bored at work ,I don’t know.

    1. Filip

      Constructive criticism and feedback is always welcome.

      Comments that contain personal attacks & hate speech are deleted.

      If you repeatedly abuse this, the comment system puts your comments in a queue to be screened.

  9. Flip:

    Might I suggest that there is a difference between constructive criticism and personal attacks. Tell me, what synth videos do you think should be on the net. Do you have any? Or music? Let me hear it.

  10. Naaaah,I will spend my money and time on the dvd of Rob Papen.
    It’s almost ready.
    I’m not learning stuff from people that just doing a preset that you can find on any soft synth.

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