Your own hard synth sounds tune in 15 minutes.
Some people have asked "how do I create some hard synth sounds?"
Well, using the tips and techniques that I am going to show you know, you can easily do it and create the startings of a tune in about 15 minutes to half and hour, max.
Listen to these two small MP3 clips of what you will create here:
Without looped drums.
With effected looped drums.
I am not going to use any paid for software, that would be cheating ;) I am going to use a great little free softsynth called, ASynth1.01.
This great little hard synth sound maker can be picked up from here for free.
I am going to use Madtracker as my softsynth host. If you don't have a clue what I am talking about, there are 2 free guides to check out before we continue. Click here to check out the free Madtracker guide, and then click here for the second guide on how to use VSTs (softsynths).
Great, now we can continue. when we load up ASynth, we find that it look like this:
If you tinker about with it on the key pad you can hear it play, also shift through the various presets. Not very hard synth sounds I know, but stay with me :) For the guide, I am going to use the MoogBass1, which is the first preset. It is nice, basic and can be moulded.
First we shall tinker with the middle of the synth. People who subscribe to the free TechnoLite newsletter already understand what Cutoff and Reso are. But it can easily be worked out of you play on the keypad, and then adjust the knobs with the mouse. The sound of you instrument changes, especially so if you adjust the Cutoff to max. When you get comfortable, adjust the settings to the ones below:
I should also note, that there is a button called MS20 and Expander. If you click on the button to go over to either, you shall find your sound should get louder, or harder if you click on Ms20. So that is what I have done. The sound sounds very dull, or muffled, but that is ok, that is what we want.
Next we are going to adjust the ADSR, the Attack, Decay, Sustain, and Release. Quickly going into all 4 on a basic, no theory level.
Attack = How quickly the sound comes to you. When you press a key is the sound instantaneous or does it slowly build. A high attack therefore is good for strings, and a low attack is good for leads and bases.
Decay = This is how long the sound drops from its peak to the sustain level.
Sustain = The constant volume of the sound until you stop pressing the key.
Release = How quickly the volume fads away from when you release the key.
For us, making a lead sound, I want to incorporate sound oomph and some space to a relatively poor sound. I also know before hand that if I want to use a kick drum with this hard synth sound to make it fit well I will use a little bit of Attack, so I can use the sound as a bass, and also as a lead. So the following settings are applied:
Now the WAVEs are going to get it next :)
I prefer the harder sounding Waveforms, so what we need to do is find WAVE (top teft) and turn that until the black box on the right reads UpSaw.
The speed of that waveform and the amount of that waveform also increase, to these levels:
Now I have also adjusted the type of waveform that oscillator one and two have. Basically if we see the two oscillators as separate single synths giving one joint synth sound. By clicking on the red buttons, I have made osc 1 a saw sound, and osc 2 a pulse sound- it makes it like the hard synth sounds that we need. Like this:
Hmmm, it sounds ok doesn't it, but there is still something missing...its not nearly hard enough to be part of the hard synth sounds group!
Luckily, there are a few buttons we haven't touched, but there is one that we should, and that will change our sound for good. This is the Mode button. Again the free TechnoLite subscribers should recognise what this is. It is the type of filter that is applied to our sound. This snippet of info is taken from the newsletter and explains the HP, LP and BP which are found on the Mode button:
High cut and Low pass (LP) filters are one of the same. They remove high frequency content from the cut-off frequency (find the cut off knob, and turn it up and down. You will find that the sound becomes brighter or darker as the output rises or falls). With a HP (high pass/ low-cut) button, the low frequencies are now being removed. BP or Band Pass uses a high pass and a low pass filter- so only a small amount of frequencies within a certain range gets through.
The best way to understand this more, is the mess around with the mode button, but once you have, I have adjusted it to this level, the BP to give us some hard synth sounds:
Sounds a bit harsher now doesn't it. And what can be done now is, if you press F3 to go down an octave in Madtracker the sound will be harsher. Also if you increase the cut-off the sound will just be like a TB303, and have have some cool hard synth sounds.
Hang on, what about the kick and the little drum loop in the back...also how did you get the high pitched sound? The effected beat in the background comes from the free loops that are given away with the Beginners Bible. It also shows you how to get that high pitched sound to kick in and loads of other stuff for the beginner. Check it out here, to make your own hard synth sounds tune.