Last modified on 2010-08-09 20:12:00 GMT.
Here’s some basic steps to programming a variety of sounds in the excellent Sylenth1 synth by Lennar Digital.
Please note the sounds made aren’t the best but are a good indication of the steps towards making your own quality presets from scratch!
This tutorial is aimed at beginners mainly so….
Select the initial preset from the menu…
On PART A, Oscillator ‘A1‘, select a SAWTOOTH wave and turn the voices up to ’8′.
Repeat this on Oscillator ‘A2′.
Notice that the sound hasn’t really changed.
Now listen to what happens when you turn the DETUNE knob up on each Oscillator (to about 5).
This thickens up the sound a lot.
Sounds a bit to washy though so turn the RETRIG (retrigger) buttons off on both oscillators and hear the difference again.
Also turn the DECAY (D) and RELEASE (R) faders up a bit as shown.
Now we have a simple Trance saw type sound! This can be tweaked into all sorts of useful patches so i’ll continue…
The sound could do with thickening up some more so select PART B and copy the settings we used in the PART A.
Turn the OCTAVE to ‘+1′ on oscillator B1, and to ‘-1′ on oscillator B2.
Now we have a (all be it quite Cheesy) simple supersaw style sound.
Filters: Now to show how this can evolve into better things select PART A again and look at the filter section.
Under FILTER A ‘INPUT SELECT’ set it to ‘AB’, FILTER TYPE to lowpass, and CUTOFF to around 975Hz.
In the FILTER CONTROL section turn the CUTOFF up to max and activate the WARM DRIVE.
Now if you hold a note and move the FILTER CONTROL CUTOFF up and down you can hear how it affects the sound. This can be modulated like any effect in you chosen software to create nice build ups and fade outs.
To add more ‘bite’ to the sound you can turn up DRIVE on FILTER A, and add some RESONANCE on the FILTER CONTROL. Now play a note and tweak that FILTER CONTROL CUTOFF to hear the difference again!
Now lets have a little more fun with the sound by activating the ARPEGGIATOR (click the box next to it so there is a tick).
You can copy the settings i’ve done here as an example or set your own.
Here I have the TIME dial set to 1/16, the GATE dial at 50%, MODE is STEP, VELOCITY is STEP+HOLD, etc.
Just hold down a note (yeah i know it’s not the best but it’s an example of how it works), and try moving that FILTER CONTROL CUTOFF knob up and down slowly… starting to sound more trancey eh?!!
Of course to trance up the sound even more you can play around with some REVERB and DELAY on it.
Using this sound it is also posible to make plucks. Simply start by turning off the arpeggiator.
Now on the AMP ENV (A & B) turn all the faders right down, you should now just hear a little clicky noise.
On PART A Turn the DECAY (D) up to about 4, and the RELEASE (R) to a similar setting, do the same on PART B. Of course you can adjust these to taste.
You should now hear a sort of pluck sound where (even if you hold down the keys) the sound is short and abrupt.
Play a chord and you can see where it’s heading. Also tweak the FILTER CONTROL CUTOFF like previously suggested while you play.
Still sounds a little ‘dry’ eh? So lets add some FX.
Ive added this REVERB…
And this DELAY….
Just have a tweak around until you find the sound you want.
To change the pluck sounds more of course you can play with different waveforms like SQUARE waves for example, also try different DETUNE settings, and various effects.
The important thing is to play around and create your own unique presets!
When you have made a preset you like make sure you SAVE it as an .fxp file so you can recall it whenever you like!
This is just a basic intro to try and show some of the more used functions of Sylenth1 or any subtractive synth really.
Hopefully i’ll get round to a ‘Part 2′ fairly soon!