In 2010 I was just getting a hold of music production when I visited the AnjunaBeat forum to witness a lot of producers talking smack on a hot new talent.
Skrillex was killing the game, but one thing that made him look bad was the fact he used samples/presets in his music.
The AnjunaBeat forum took no mercy and went on a rant how presets are horrible and sampling is bad to the point that it made Skrillex less of who he was.
Reading the words they wrote made me feel like using presets was horrible and I swore to learn sound design and never use them again.
The one thing that made me become who I am today came from random people talking sh!t on Skrillex for using samples and presets.
At the time I felt the only way to make music was to learn to do everything on my own.
3 Years of my life was spent learning sound design to the point I started my youtube channel Zen World.
Was It Worth It?
Was it necessary?
I'll try and give you some answers in the most objective way possible.
CONS Of Using Samples and Presets
Lets start with some of the reasons many people specify using Samples and Presets is Bad.
The first argument people have is that using samples and presets won't help you find a unique sound.
Finding a sound means the moment someone hears a song on the radio or the club they can instantly tell it's you by the sounds being used to the vocals.
Another argument is that samples and presets is cheating as you never learn how to create them and you are less of a producer for that. This one reminds me of the fact that DJS who can mix in vinyl are greater than those who mix on CD.
The last common argument is that producers who use samples and presets won't own the sound as anyone will be able to get that sick snare you used and copy you.
Using Samples and presets have also gotten a bad rep as many producers tend to rip off a whole rift from a sample that was made just for that.
Pros Of Using Presets and Samples
Now that we got the negative stuff out of the way lets focus on the positive side of using Samples and Presets.
The 1st good thing about using samples and presets is the ability to instantly sound professional.
Good sample companies will offer you presets and samples that will require almost no processing as it has already been done for you making you sound instantly professional.
The 2nd good thing about using presets and samples is that it saves you time so you can focus on producing more rather than how to make a simple snare or simple sound.
The 3rd good thing about using presets for synthesizers will be the ability to start creating your own sounds from a finished sound. Presets help tremendously for me as they allow me to start with a supersaw and then work to a new sound from there, rather than making a supersaw all over again.
The 4th good thing about samples and presets is the ability to learn from them as they allow you to see how a sound was made and you can deconstruct them to learn a bit about how they were made.
My Thoughts On The Matter
My thoughts on using samples and presets is clearly gonna be to use them.
First is that when you are making music and find yourself getting the producer high(the idea is just coming out fast) you can't spend 1-2 hours figuring out how to make a sound as you can lose the high.
In those situations I tend to use presets from some of my favorite sound designers to continue the idea and focus more on the melodic aspects.
The next thing is the fact that using good samples and presets will increase your sound tremendously. Literally the biggest thing you can do for you production will be to use good samples and presets and learn how to mix them in your track.
Samples and presets are a very controversial matter that has kinda sided more towards accepting them. While they can be used by anybody and you aren't the only one that has access to them they can easily help you go from sounding very unprofessional to very polished.
Now I'm not saying samples and presets are the magic pill as you still need to learn how to mix them in your track properly and make them fit together but, they can help you get to the professional sound you always wanted faster.