Subtractive Synth Excercise

For this entry i will be exclusively using Native Instruments Massive to make 3 distinctive sounds to use for my Electronic Music Production and i will explain my processes and also my influences on how i got the sound.

Lead Synth

For the lead synth i wanted to recreate the tone of a nylon string being played on a classical guitar whilst adding a more synthsized sound to it.

To start off, i made a lead synth using a basic square wave and I set the wavetable to spectrum.

Screen Shot 2015-03-05 at 6.11.30 PM

Most of the the plucky nature of these strings come from its very sharp attack and so i automated the lowpass cutoff frequency towards a spare envelope which looks like this.

Screen Shot 2015-03-05 at 6.20.11 PMScreen Shot 2015-03-05 at 6.20.34 PM

The sharp attack makes sure the nylon-ish tone kicks in quickly. However the decay is what sets the tone for the overall sound since there is a slow drop off in decay and a low sustain, it emulates the vibrations from a nylon string dying slowly and also makes sure the tone doesn’t linger for too long.

I also applied Reverb and Delay to the track to emulate the feeling of a large environment and to compliment the overall vast feeling of the track.

The notes are very minimalistic and only plays the root notes for each chord on the pad.

Screen Shot 2015-03-05 at 6.09.49 PM

Pad Synth

There was no initial inspiaration for the pad synth however i wanted to create a low passed reverberant pad which can capture the sense of emptiness and vastness.

Now the pad synth is far more complex than the Lead synths since it is a mixture of a pure sine wave, a mixture of sine-square and Massive’s exclusive crush oscillator.

 Screen Shot 2015-03-05 at 5.45.24 PM

The big difference is that the sine waves dynamics are being automated using performers. These performers create a stutter effect since the oscillators are a sharp saw waves with a quick attack.

 Screen Shot 2015-03-05 at 5.46.12 PM Screen Shot 2015-03-05 at 5.46.19 PM

now the rates for these performers are being controlled by an lfo with a half dry half wet setting so that the stutter effect will only be a tiny bit audible and the pad also plays the same time together.

Now the LFO is a simple sinewave which is triggering the rate of the performer and it is also making sure the pad isnt monotonous and more flowing.

Screen Shot 2015-03-05 at 5.46.30 PM

Now to make sure the synth isnt harsh i applied 2 filters.The Scream filter applies a low pass on the pad but also adds brightness to the tones that arent passed.
The high pass simply removes alot of the low end rumble and sub frequencies whilst keeping the warm mid tones.

 Screen Shot 2015-03-05 at 5.45.34 PM

I applied very wet reverb and delay fx to match the same large acoustics as the lead synth.

Screen Shot 2015-03-05 at 5.46.08 PM

Screen Shot 2015-03-05 at 5.48.29 PM

Sub-Bass Synth

The sub bass synth is a simple sine wave that is transposed 2 octaves down.

.Screen Shot 2015-03-05 at 7.19.32 PM

Since sub frequencies are more fiddly than other range of frequencies, i wanted to have total control of how long the sub is playing and when it should stop. The envelope is a very quick attack, high sustain envelope with a very sharp release making sure it does not sustain for too long. Screen Shot 2015-03-05 at 7.01.19 PM

Ive also set the voicing to monophonic legato so that there is a glide between different keys rather than a sudden shift of notes.

Screen Shot 2015-03-05 at 7.01.25 PM

Screen Shot 2015-03-05 at 7.03.00 PM

This is how the overall tracks sound together

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