How do you get your synths to sound huge?

How to do this, that and the other. Share, learn, teach. How did X do that? How can I sound like Y?
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DJ Warmonger
KVRAF
2810 posts since 7 Jun, 2012 from Warsaw

Post Mon Nov 13, 2017 11:16 pm

Correct EQ makes day and night difference for me. Otherwise, various processing tricks don't cut it.

Also, the bass. Without proper bass no lead will sound huge as it should.
http://djwarmonger.wordpress.com/
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Kinh
KVRian
1124 posts since 26 Aug, 2012

Re: How do you get your synths to sound huge?

Post Tue Nov 14, 2017 2:01 am

kamalmanzukie wrote:
have you tried: drift (low amplitude fm with brown (-6 db per octave so most 1 pole with cutoff at 0 hz fed white noise get you real close) noise

50 cycle hum is in all electronic devices at a low level. its a sine wave with weak harmonics. its a subtle thing but i think is one of the main things missing to get a good emulation. i even tried 60 hz first but found that 50 actually sounded better and makes more musical sense for most keys. also most emulations dont account for slightly colored high frequency noise which will be present in any circuit in whatever flavor occasioned by its constitution


lowpss filter with zdf and 'infinite linear interpolation' taming the aliasing in the tanh saturation goes a really long way too. there's reaktor and flowstone patches that exist, as well as published paper about it

that's what i did, and my now softsynth game is unassailable, immune to all criticism!
have you tried: drift (low amplitude fm with brown (-6 db per octave so most 1 pole with cutoff at 0 hz fed white noise get you real close) noise
Are you suggesting I simply layer brown noise?
50 cycle hum is in all electronic devices at a low level. its a sine wave with weak harmonics. its a subtle thing but i think is one of the main things missing to get a good emulation. i even tried 60 hz first but found that 50 actually sounded better and makes more musical sense for most keys. also most emulations dont account for slightly colored high frequency noise which will be present in any circuit in whatever flavor occasioned by its constitution
How does one emulate this? Are you talking about adding a signal or filtering a synth through something? The plugins out there are designed to eliminate this sort of thing.
lowpss filter with zdf and 'infinite linear interpolation' taming the aliasing in the tanh saturation goes a really long way too. there's reaktor and flowstone patches that exist, as well as published paper about it
I dont know what this means exactly.

User avatar
do_androids_dream
KVRAF
2769 posts since 26 Oct, 2007 from Kent, UK

Re: How do you get your synths to sound huge?

Post Tue Nov 14, 2017 3:11 am

Don't stress. It's your mixing chops. Make track after track after track without spending too much time worrying about this particular 'problem' each time. You will get there - but there's absolutely no short cuts in music making - it's experience and repetition of techniques, tweaking those techniques, adding in a new bit of info etc. that wins out. Try all the techniques mentioned here - watch loads of youtube stuff - you'll pick it all up eventually.

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ATN69
KVRAF
1794 posts since 5 Oct, 2015 from Swedish / Living in Hong Kong

Re: How do you get your synths to sound huge?

Post Tue Nov 14, 2017 3:15 am

Big speakers :D On a serious note I find that layering, using paining and mid/side processing will help to give huge sounds like pads and plucks
Win 10 -64bit, CPU i7-7700K, 32Gb, Focusrite 2i2, FL-studio 20, Studio One 4, Reason 10

Robmobius
KVRAF
3094 posts since 10 Sep, 2010 from A shit hole (Ireland).

Re: How do you get your synths to sound huge?

Post Tue Nov 14, 2017 3:47 am

Um... Lots of Parallel processing and signal splitting.

Add sub + Saturation distortion + Correct EQ (has already been said).

Try layering synths together as well.
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Kinh
KVRian
1124 posts since 26 Aug, 2012

Re: How do you get your synths to sound huge?

Post Tue Nov 14, 2017 4:48 am

Robmobius wrote:Um... Lots of Parallel processing and signal splitting.

Add sub + Saturation distortion + Correct EQ (has already been said).

Try layering synths together as well.
I dont know what you mean by signal splitting in this case

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tedannemann
KVRist
241 posts since 25 Jan, 2016 from in my DAW

Re: How do you get your synths to sound huge?

Post Tue Nov 14, 2017 5:07 am

I think a lot of the "hugeness" is based one the chord "voicings" alone. Just search on YouTube for "How To Make Future Bass Chords" or "How To Make Flume Synths" and so on. Translate your triads into layered, more complex voicings.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yfm6lMgO-7o (watch the whole video, for sound listen at 22:48)

Robmobius
KVRAF
3094 posts since 10 Sep, 2010 from A shit hole (Ireland).

Re: How do you get your synths to sound huge?

Post Tue Nov 14, 2017 6:02 am

Kinh wrote:
Robmobius wrote:Um... Lots of Parallel processing and signal splitting.

Add sub + Saturation distortion + Correct EQ (has already been said).

Try layering synths together as well.
I dont know what you mean by signal splitting in this case
Well... Basically, send the mids (and tops) out into their own bus. So you can process them separately from the low end and then add your extra chorus, distortion, stereo spread, etc. while leaving the bass end mono and intact. You don't really want too much happening on the low end other than some saturation or something.

But if you are going to add a sub then you really don't want anything from the synth to interfere with that it. So you'd EQ out that low end of the synth (or where it would conflict). Generally, you want everything below 250 hz to be in mono.
We 'the leaders' bring you the ultimate paradigm shift. Dramatization: No paradigms were actually shifted in the making of this statement. Furthermore, any reference to paradigms is for entertainment purposes only.

Kinh
KVRian
1124 posts since 26 Aug, 2012

Re: How do you get your synths to sound huge?

Post Tue Nov 14, 2017 6:10 am

Robmobius wrote:
Kinh wrote:
Robmobius wrote:Um... Lots of Parallel processing and signal splitting.

Add sub + Saturation distortion + Correct EQ (has already been said).

Try layering synths together as well.
I dont know what you mean by signal splitting in this case
Well... Basically, send the mids (and tops) out into their own bus. So you can process them separately from the low end and then add your extra chorus, distortion, stereo spread, etc. while leaving the bass end mono and intact. You don't really want too much happening on the low end other than some saturation or something.

But if you are going to add a sub then you really don't want anything from the synth to interfere with that it. So you'd EQ out that low end of the synth (or where it would conflict). Generally, you want everything below 250 hz to be in mono.
Shit, of course! Thanks, I'll try that.
Last edited by Kinh on Tue Nov 14, 2017 6:51 am, edited 1 time in total.

Woodgardens
KVRist
168 posts since 18 Oct, 2017

Re: How do you get your synths to sound huge?

Post Tue Nov 14, 2017 6:14 am

Interesting. My bass already sounds a lot better by cutting some low off of the lead.

MogwaiBoy
KVRAF
2732 posts since 26 Nov, 2015 from Way Downunder

Re: How do you get your synths to sound huge?

Post Tue Nov 14, 2017 10:11 am

Use sawtooth waves if you reall want to fill out the sound and command the ear.
Image

And compress and boost the hell out of them!

kamalmanzukie
KVRist
145 posts since 12 May, 2012

Re: How do you get your synths to sound huge?

Post Tue Nov 14, 2017 12:38 pm

Kinh wrote:
kamalmanzukie wrote:
have you tried: drift (low amplitude fm with brown (-6 db per octave so most 1 pole with cutoff at 0 hz fed white noise get you real close) noise

50 cycle hum is in all electronic devices at a low level. its a sine wave with weak harmonics. its a subtle thing but i think is one of the main things missing to get a good emulation. i even tried 60 hz first but found that 50 actually sounded better and makes more musical sense for most keys. also most emulations dont account for slightly colored high frequency noise which will be present in any circuit in whatever flavor occasioned by its constitution


lowpss filter with zdf and 'infinite linear interpolation' taming the aliasing in the tanh saturation goes a really long way too. there's reaktor and flowstone patches that exist, as well as published paper about it

that's what i did, and my now softsynth game is unassailable, immune to all criticism!
have you tried: drift (low amplitude fm with brown (-6 db per octave so most 1 pole with cutoff at 0 hz fed white noise get you real close) noise
Are you suggesting I simply layer brown noise?
50 cycle hum is in all electronic devices at a low level. its a sine wave with weak harmonics. its a subtle thing but i think is one of the main things missing to get a good emulation. i even tried 60 hz first but found that 50 actually sounded better and makes more musical sense for most keys. also most emulations dont account for slightly colored high frequency noise which will be present in any circuit in whatever flavor occasioned by its constitution
How does one emulate this? Are you talking about adding a signal or filtering a synth through something? The plugins out there are designed to eliminate this sort of thing.
lowpss filter with zdf and 'infinite linear interpolation' taming the aliasing in the tanh saturation goes a really long way too. there's reaktor and flowstone patches that exist, as well as published paper about it
I dont know what this means exactly.
sorry, the things i'm suggesting are probably more synth design methods than general tips. its all stuff to try to get the signal to behave more like a real analog. if you use any kind of modular softsynths this sort of thing is possible. or anything that accepts frequency modulation. the basic idea is analog has a lot of weak subtle things acting on it that give it a very pleasing character. so what i am talking about is modulating the frequency of your oscillators with

A) 50 hz waveform that is very close to a sine wave but still with weak harmonics. its known as parabol waveform (you could use a sine and a waveshaper)
B)the brown noise which is extremely low frequency
C)some higher order noise as well to act like bleed

the point is to make this modulation extremely weak, though. more around the level of the noise floor of recording equiptment. maybe a bit more. when two separate oscillators are played together they wont be boringly perfectly in tune, they'll breathe its really makes a profound difference

kamalmanzukie
KVRist
145 posts since 12 May, 2012

Re: How do you get your synths to sound huge?

Post Tue Nov 14, 2017 1:35 pm

actually ill make it easy for you. heres all of that edited together. its cherrypicked from half a dozen files, with only the parts considered the most beneficial added in. certified fair trade, GMO as hell

if you can get this weakly modulating the frequency of whatever you use (1.5 hz at most + or - at most) i think you'll find some of the mojo you're after

kamalmanzukie
KVRist
145 posts since 12 May, 2012

Re: How do you get your synths to sound huge?

Post Tue Nov 14, 2017 1:41 pm

kamalmanzukie wrote:actually ill make it easy for you. heres all of that edited together. its cherrypicked from half a dozen files, with only the parts considered the most beneficial added in. certified fair trade, GMO as hell

if you can get this weakly modulating the frequency of whatever you use (1.5 hz at most + or - at most) i think you'll find some of the mojo you're after
here:
https://drive.google.com/open?id=1aOGuE ... q70Y8Yhut4

Kinh
KVRian
1124 posts since 26 Aug, 2012

Re: How do you get your synths to sound huge?

Post Tue Nov 14, 2017 9:43 pm

kamalmanzukie wrote:
kamalmanzukie wrote:actually ill make it easy for you. heres all of that edited together. its cherrypicked from half a dozen files, with only the parts considered the most beneficial added in. certified fair trade, GMO as hell

if you can get this weakly modulating the frequency of whatever you use (1.5 hz at most + or - at most) i think you'll find some of the mojo you're after
here:
https://drive.google.com/open?id=1aOGuE ... q70Y8Yhut4
I'm no sound designer. So can you tell me what do I need to learn or do to accomplish what you're suggesting. I get the basics of what you're saying which is use a special type of wave form to modulate the frequency of the oscillator. I have FM8 and Reaktor6. Modular synthesis is uncharted territory for me and FM8, as far as I know you have a frequency offset to modulate which has a ratio, both of which are controlled by an 'amount'.

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