Preset samples in synths, romplers

This is a discussion about having preset samples in synths. How much do they influence the artistic identity of the musician? Is it any different from having certain raw waveforms on analogue (or analogue-style) synths?
There’s probably a fine line between a rompler and an advanced synth that uses preset samples in some way.
This is a continuation of a discussion first started here: Korg Wavestate


On a related note, Stephan Goldman’s book on this subject is an excellent read:


Does anyone remember the Sealed Deep Synthesis page from several years back? I loved his use of what I had originally thought of as cheap/canned/cliched/dated/etc preset sample based instruments.

There’s something really compelling about how he used these (maligned at the time) sounds to make really beautiful, exotic, adventurous patches. And the fact that you could still detect the fingerprints of the original cheesy romples somehow made it even cooler.

I guess in 2020 this idea isn’t so groundbreaking, but I was really taken aback by the way Sealed approached it and I still quite enjoy stuff in this vein. Reclaiming profane consumer trash and making it sacred -maybe actually remembering that everything has always been sacred in the process.


Really enjoying this book, thank you for the recommendation! Just partway through the Henke interview now, and it’s already got me thinking about the ways in which art changes when it is made more accessible and repeatable…

I have long (since childhood) yearned for a world where creativity was something everyone engaged in, not something reserved for an elite few, but when you consider the demands of our finite time, when we lead “ordinary” lives (with jobs, and families, etc) we are left with a need to recombine readymades in order to fulfill our creative desires for our Instagram audiences.

Presets are one form of those readymades…

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