Let’s face it. Synthesizers can be intimidating.
With their many buttons, knobs, faders, lines, graphics, and abbreviations, you might not know where to start to get the sound you want.
Which is to say that you’re reaching for presets every time. And if you’re not adjusting the knobs yourself, you’re not really getting the most out of your synth, are you? Here’s a quick overview of synthesizers to help you understand yours a bit more.
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That’s right – no matter how complex it is, each part of the synth can fit into one of three categories. Those categories are oscillators, filters, and amplifiers.
The oscillators, often abbreviated OSC, are where the sound comes from. You only need one to get the sound started, but sometimes you can have four or five, depending on the complexity of the synthesizer. You can change this setting to get different sounds, like a sine wave (pure) or a sawtooth wave (hard).
The filters, usually written FLT, are the effects. You can use multiple types of effects on your synth to get crazy and new sounds. Every filter section is a little different, so learn yours by checking out video tutorials or by reading the manual.
The amplifier is the final step. This is usually going to be where you’ll play with the Envelope. Even though you can mess with the envelope on some filters, this envelope will affect the entire signal.
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An envelope is the attack, decay, sustain, and release of your sound. (ADSR – get it now?)
This is how you control whether your synth sweeps in like swelling strings or stings like a needle. Play around with these controls to get cool synth sounds and movement within your patches.
So there you go – get more out of your synth by using the knobs, not just the presets.
Work right alongside us as we work with awesome synth sounds in Secrets of the Hits: In the Style of Bruno Mars takes you step by step through the process of creating hit-sounding records, all in the box. Check it out here!