Forum Replies Created

  • In reply to: Serum and Primer side-by-side

    March 31, 2022 at 8:57 am #47537
    Joe HanleyJoe Hanley

    Hi James

    Create two software instrument tracks. Put Primer on one, and Serum on the other. Then you can have them both open at the same time.

    If you’re playing them with a MIDI keyboard, use the up/down arrows on your QWERTY keyboard to switch between synths.

    In reply to: ‘Baby Don’t Stop’ Retro Lead (NCT U)

    March 23, 2022 at 1:40 pm #47464
    Joe HanleyJoe Hanley

    I’d say your Serum preset is almost spot-on. Here are a few tweaks to try:

    Turn UP the lower oscillator.

    Bring up the resonance on the filter to make it a bit sharper.

    Increase the distortion a bit to get a little more bite.

    Add wide 2-voice unison to both oscillators with just enough detune to make the sound go wide, but not really create any noticeable smearing or pulsating.

    In reply to: Tips for Making Vibrato Leads That Don’t Sound Goofy?

    March 11, 2022 at 3:29 pm #47355
    Joe HanleyJoe Hanley

    I wouldn’t say your sound is goofy or cartoonish. But here are some additional things to try:

    1. Set the Vibrato amount to 0, and then assign a slow envelope attack to the Vibrato amount, so that the note starts without vibrato and then gradually brings it in. This is similar to what vocalists do, even in the Radiohead track.

    2. Modulate the wavetable position with the LFO. Very slowly, and very subtle. This makes things sound less static and synthetic because the timbre is changing in subtle ways, much like vocal does.

    3. Add a little Amp Attack swell and a little Amp Release tail. An abrupt start and end sounds very synthetic. So adding a little swell in and out will make these less stiff and more expressive.

    Overal making the sound a bit more realistic will help take away the synethicness of the vibrato

    In reply to: Tips for Making Vibrato Leads That Don’t Sound Goofy?

    March 9, 2022 at 5:42 pm #47335
    Joe HanleyJoe Hanley

    Congrats on finishing Syntorial!

    1. Typically triangle or sine. Sine may be a better choice for a more natural sounding vibrato as the Triangle has a slightly more abrupt U-turn at the top and bottom.

    2. I don’t think it’s a simple as choosing the right waveform. Rather it’s your whole sound that matters. I think any raw waveform will sound kind of corny with vibrato. So it’s more about what you do with that waveform that matters. Like…

    3. Portamento. That’s a good idea. Adding additional bends between notes could make it more natural.

    4. It’s kind of redundant. I never use it. I remember mentioning it somewhere in the Serum Lesson Pack but can’t off the top of my head think of the use I demonstrated. If you don’t need it, don’t use it.

    Can you post an example of what you’ve made so far? It may not be your vibrato settings, but the tone you’re working with. Like you said, those two examples are actual vocals, versus your synth.

    In reply to: Lesson Packs Tutorials

    March 9, 2022 at 5:28 pm #47332
    Joe HanleyJoe Hanley

    I’m glad to hear you’re enjoying Syntorial! Lesson Packs are on the backburner at the moment while we’re working on Syntorial 2.0. But I’ll keep those in mind for the future.

    In reply to: warm, dark pads like ‘a little bit of luck’

    March 9, 2022 at 5:27 pm #47330
    Joe HanleyJoe Hanley

    Nice! I like the addition of the horn sample. Try bringing the cutoff down a bit more, turning up the resonance a bit, and increasing the unison detune to get a bit more movement.

    In reply to: Weeekly – After School (My Attempt Is Attached)

    February 25, 2022 at 3:41 pm #47233
    Joe HanleyJoe Hanley

    You can make this primarily with two oscillators one octave apart, with about a 4-voice Unison with mild detune and spread, running through a lowpass filter. That will get you the main character of the sound.

    Then to bring out the bottom end add a 3rd oscillator that’s just a Sine, at the same octave as the higher oscillator, running through no filter. This will just provide the heavy bottom end.

    That being said, that Sine should be solid, without any pulsation. Unfortunately the Unison will make it pulsate. So the bottom end will not be as sturdy. You could try adding the Sine as a separate patch. Or using a synth that allows you to apply unison to specific oscillators as opposed to all (Serum for example).

    In reply to: warm, dark pads like ‘a little bit of luck’

    February 25, 2022 at 3:24 pm #47231
    Joe HanleyJoe Hanley

    You could make these pads with subtractive waveforms. I’d experiment with Saw and Pulse waves.

    The most important design aspect for these sounds will be the Filter. You’ll want to use a Lowpass filter and really experiment with the Cutoff and Resonance parameters.

    There’s also some movement which you can achieve with unison or a Chorus effect.

    Yes, they can be done with a VST. If it feels a little “cold” to you, see if the filter has a “Drive” parameter. Turn it up to get a little analog-style warmth.

    Both songs sound like they’re in a Minor key.

    In reply to: Oscillator Sync/FM/Ring Mod: I don’t get it

    February 25, 2022 at 3:10 pm #47228
    Joe HanleyJoe Hanley

    In reality, if you can use multiple approaches to make the same sound, then it doesn’t matter what you use. The only thing that truly matters is you get the sound you want. That being said…

    I find the difference between Sync and FM/Ring to be fairly obvious. Sync grinds, whereas FM/Ring have a more metallic-style tone.

    The difference between FM and Ring varies depending on the settings. Yes, sometimes you can get very similar tones. In Syntorial we limit the FM patches to using Sine waves only, whereas Ring we incorporate the Saw and Pulse as well, which allows the Ring patches to be more dissonant and aggressive at times.

    If you manage to make a patch in Syntorial that sounds very close to the hidden patch, but uses the wrong technique, I wouldn’t get too hung up on it, as again, what really matters is that you get the sound you’re aiming for. Just make sure you understand how to use each technique.

    Regarding that specific Serum patch: I find there’s a metallic string-like quality you can get with an FM bass that you can’t with a Sine-style bass. Kind of reminiscent of a plucked guitar string (though very synthetic sounding of course). It’s noticeable when the cutoff is higher, as it is in the attack transient of that sound.

    • This reply was modified 2 months, 4 weeks ago by Joe Hanley.

    In reply to: Start with interactive tutorials or Massive Lesson Pack?

    February 24, 2022 at 9:10 am #47218
    Joe HanleyJoe Hanley

    Adding to SYNTHTALK’s advice, I would start off with the Lesson Pack loaded. When you load the Massive Lesson Pack it will automatically replace each “On Your Own” lesson with a Massive lesson. So you’ll still get all of the core Essential lessons with Massive lessons periodically mixed in.

    In reply to: Patch request: Never Let Me Down Again (Depeche Mode)

    February 18, 2022 at 10:24 am #47145
    Joe HanleyJoe Hanley

    This one was trickier than I expected. I assume it would be easier with the synth that was actually used, as I found I really had to tweak the envelope curves, filter slope, etc. in Serum to get close.

    Try this:

    Osc 1: Saw. 4-voice Unison, no Spread, mild Detune to just smear the tone a bit.

    Sub Osc: Saw, one octave below. The levels of the osc should be about the same.

    Filter: LowPass, 12 dB. Cutoff around halfway, a little bit of Res, and hefty amount of Drive to get a nice saturated analog sound.

    Filter Envelope: To create a bright spiky attack transient, bring the Sustain to 0, and set a short Decay and Release around 130 ms. Then turn up the mod amount so the sound starts at the brightest height of the filter. Then, I had to tweak the curves of the Decay and Release, dragging them upwards so that the sound hung out a little longer at the top end, accentuating the bright and buzzy attack transient before sweeping down to a round finish.

    Amp Envelope: Bring the Sustain down about halfway, and then set the Decay to be pretty quick, around 260 ms. Then turn up the Main Volume. This will give you a nice loud and aggressive attack transient. Then increase the Release to create a tail, around 550 ms.

    Reverb: This will obviously create an ambient space around the sound, as reverb always does. But it will also accentuate the bright attack transient, creating a smeared version of it in the reverb itself, sort of sounding like 3rd osc one octave higher. Go for a medium size, with 50/50 Wet/Dry. Increase the Low Cut to get rid of bottom bulk, and then turn up the Damp so that the beginning of the note creates a nice bright reverb wash for just a moment that quickly gets dampened down, much like the filter envelope.

    In reply to: Patch Request: ARBAT – Flame lead

    January 28, 2022 at 3:23 pm #46952
    Joe HanleyJoe Hanley

    I think the trick is combining the right filter settings with the right type and amount of distortion. Try this:

    Oscillator: Saw

    Filter: Lowpass 24 dB. Bring the Cutoff a bit to take off the top but still leave a bright sound. Then give it quite a lot of Res.

    Distortion: Crank it

    Voice: Legato with modest Portamento to get the notes to bend into each other

    Reverb: A little wet, very big.

    In reply to: Can someone help me with this lead sound ?

    January 28, 2022 at 12:30 pm #46948
    Joe HanleyJoe Hanley

    Try this:

    Oscillator: saw

    Filter: Lowpass 24 dB. Bring the Cutoff down to about Noon and turn the Res up until it starts to narrow the sound and make it stick out a bit.

    Filter Envelope: Start with a small Mod Amount. Bring the Attack up a little until you get a smooth bubbly attack shape. Then bring the Sustain to 0, and set a medium-long Decay.

    Velocity: Turn the Filter Envelope Mod Amount back to 0, and route the Velocity to the Filter Envelope Mod Amount. Turn up the Velocity amount and start playing around on the keyboard. You want harder presses to create a brighter bubble attack, lighter presses to create no bubble.

    Voice: Legato with a decent amount of Portamento

    Reverb: modest amount of Wetness, and medium-large Size.

    In reply to: Question on Unisons/Voices (Section 14 of Syntorial)

    January 26, 2022 at 5:58 pm #46929
    Joe HanleyJoe Hanley

    “Voice” is used in a couple different ways in synthesis, which can make it a little confusing. In Unison’s case, a Voice represents a set of oscillators. So in Primer’s case, Unison set to 2 voices, will have two complete sets of 1/2/Sub Oscillators. If you set it to 4 voices, it will have four sets of 1/2/Sub Oscillators.

    Yes it would be louder, but Primer compensates for this by bringing each Unison voice’s volume down. Some synths may or may not do this.

    In reply to: Patch Request: Help with Bass Drone

    January 26, 2022 at 5:53 pm #46927
    Joe HanleyJoe Hanley

    Try this:

    Oscillator: Pulse wave, medium-ish Pulse Width. 4-voice Unison, with fairly heavy Detune, and don’t align the start phases of the Unison voices as you don’t want a big attack transient on the first note (in the case of Primer, just turn off the Start button).

    Filter: Lowpass, 24 dB. Bring it pretty far down until it’s nice and round. Now the filter and unison will kind of fight a bit to create that rolling and rumbling sound. Make sure you’re playing a low enough note. Boost the res up to give the sound a bit more shape, make it sound less flat.

    Voices: Legato, and heavy Portamento to really make the notes bend between each other.

    Reverb: Big size, but just a little wet. The sound should be up front with the echoey hall behind it.

    Occasionally in the recording it gets really nasty and bright. For this turn up Distortion as needed.