Synth Tutorial: Layering with Sylenth1


Watch Joe Hanley, the creator of Syntorial, as he demonstrates synth patch layering techniques with Sylenth1. This video is an excerpt from the Sylenth1 Lesson Pack for Syntorial, which contains 38 videos, over 2 hours of footage, and covers every inch of Sylenth1. Get 4 more Sylenth1 videos for free via the Syntorial Demo.


In this video, I’ll be showing you some synth patch layering techniques using Sylenth1. Layering our synth patches allows us to create richer and more detailed synth patches and Sylenth1 is perfectly designed for layering.

This video is actually an excerpt from the Sylenth1 lesson pack for Syntorial. Syntorial is a synthesizer training app that teaches you how to program synth patches by ear. It does this using video demonstrations and interactive challenges in which you program patches on a built-in soft synth. The Sylenth1 lesson pack adds 38 videos that show you how to take everything you’ve learned in Syntorial Synth and apply it to Sylenth1. And you can actually get the first four videos from the Sylenth1 lesson pack for free. Just go to, click try for free and you can download the Syntorial demo for Mac, PC or iPad.

Now this demo comes with the first 22 Syntorial lessons, but also you can go into the menu select download lesson packs and download a sample of the Sylenth1 lesson pack, as well as a pack for Z3TA+ 2 and a Minimoog Voyager and will be adding more in the future.

So let’s get started and talk about some layering. Sylenth1 part A and B. So throughout these videos I’ve showed you a lot of different examples of how you can use part A and part B, but we really just hit the tip of the iceberg here. Part A and part B are absolutely great for layering in this synth and there are endless options on how you can combine them.

One of the most obvious is creating two very different sounds, which essentially treats part A and part B as two different synths. Show you one example in the factory presets patch 103 Moon Cloud. We’ve got two very different patches here. We’ve got this round smooth pad and then we’ve got this rhythmic noise. And it’s a cool use of different amp envelopes.

Part A we have the slow attack to create that swell, but part B immediate attack so that, that noise comes in right when we hit a note and we get a nice combination. This is treating part A and part B as two synths in one, and in the factory presets there are so many cool examples of this, but I wanna show you a way to use part A and part B that focus on the two filters.

We can do all sorts of interesting things using filter A and filter B. First one I wanna show you, patch number six. So let’s take a look at our filter setups here, for filter A we’ve got oscillators from A and B coming in. So that probably means our filter B is disabled, we’ve talked about that a bunch. Let’s take a look. Nope, filter B is doing the same, oscillators from A and B are coming in here too.

So essentially what we’ve done here is we’ve taken all four oscillators and made a copy of them. One copy is going through part A’s filter another copy is going through part B’s filter. Why? Well, let’s take a listen to them individually. Now, when you use this solo button where you’re actually soloing is the filters output. So when we’re in part A and we’re soloed we’re only hearing what comes out of filter A which in this case is the oscillators from both part A and part B. All right, so we’ve got an LFO moving a band pass up and down in our sound.

What about part B? Okay, just a wide open filter, no movement. What did we get when you combine them? We basically get a phaser effect. This is a very simple, straightforward, chunky phaser, another cool use for these dual filters is this patch. So what’s our setup here. Filter A takes the oscillators from A okay that’s normal. Filter B takes the oscillators from both A and B, but the B oscillators are disabled, zero voices for both.

So the only oscillators that are making any sound are the oscillators from part A, and those are being doubled they’re being sent through filter A and filter B. Okay, so let’s solo filter A, what do we get? So this is our main sound, it’s the body of this flute sound.

What’s part B? Okay, it’s a sharp band pass sweeping down creating kind of an attack transient. So let’s, un-solo what do we get? It’s subtle, so I’m gonna un-solo and re-solo and listen to the difference. So it allows us to just layer in the attack transient, so it’s not upfront and loud, it just is kind of subtle. We can control just how subtle it is now with mix B, that controls the volume of our part B filter.

One more example. I’m gonna disable the compressor in arpeggiator and what’s our setup here. Okay, so filter A is taking oscillators from both part A and B and filter B is doing the same, taking oscillators from part A and B. So again, we’re taking all the oscillators and making two copies of them, one to go through filter A and one to go through filter B. So what are we hearing in A? A big nice low end base, part B? This is a more pronounced high band pass with no low end. Combine them.

So this is nice ’cause maybe you want that really pronounced sharp band pass movement but you wanna keep your low end because it’s a bass patch, this allows us to combine the two. Now, sometimes when you layer A and B they can combine in an unexpected way.

For example, this patch had the compressor on so let’s turn that on and listen to how much quieter part B gets when we un-solo it, so here it is by itself, un-soloed. This is because when we un-soloed both part A and part B are activated and it gets a lot louder, we’re sending a lot higher volume through the compressor. So the compressor is gonna smack down on it harder and ends up reducing our part B volume. It’s just an unexpected combination.

Another example is patch 11. Listen to part B soloed. Un-soloed. It almost disappears. Let’s go to part A and solo that to hear What part B adds. So instead of it being all bell like when it is soloed, it just ends up being this sort of high edge once we combine them. This is due to the distortion. If I turn this off, it stays bell-like when we combine. But like the previous patch when I enable both parts, we’re getting volume from both filter A and B, so we’re increasing the volume of the input going into this distortion, which is similar to just increasing the amount. Everything is gonna distort harder now that you have two parts going into it. So you have to be very careful when you combine the two parts.

My advice is when you decide to add a second layer to your patch and you go over to part B, try to program part B without using the solo button, you’re gonna have a much better idea of how things are gonna combine and exactly how the parts sound together if you program them while they’re both playing. It can be trickier but can save you time and give you a much more accurate patch.

Well that’s it, thanks for watching. Remember, you can get four more of these Sylenth1 videos for free just by going to, try for free grabbing the demo and then inside the demo, click this drop down, download lesson packs and download your sample for Sylenth1.