While working on Tribes: Ascend I wanted to have as many unique recordings and sounds as possible for the game. As i'm sure any sound designer would obviously want. However the approach that I took to it was not just go out and record a bunch of sounds and process them. I wanted to start at the very root of sound. I would use a signal generator in ProTools to generate the frequencies that I wanted for a particular sound, layer them and then print them to a new stem. So it is now 1 track and not 5 for example. If it was only 1 or 2 layers though I would not print it, so I could have more processing options for each individual frequency. After that I began to process the sounds using various plug-ins such as GRM tools (which I used for 90% of my sounds on tribes). Eventually though I was always able to get the same end results in my sounds that I could get from programming a synth patch. Yea it might have taken more time to do this, and the general public is not going to know the difference, but it felt 100 times more satisfying knowing that I could truly sound design from scratch.
The reason why I am writing about this is because I am wondering how many other people use methods like this. If you have not tried this method I think you should give it a shot. If anything its amazing ear training, because you get so used to the raw frequencies, and once everything is layered you know exactly what is in your sounds.
If anyone else uses odd methods like this for sound design I would love to hear about your process!