5 Advanced Sound Design Techniques [SOUND7]

If you are new here check this forum first, your question may have been answered.
User avatar
SOUND7
KVRist
53 posts since 29 Jul, 2017 from SOUND7

Post Sat Mar 16, 2019 12:05 am

Hello everyone.

Following on from our previous 5 Essential Sound Design Tips post this time we look at more advance sound design techniques.

Note; links to youtube examples have to link to the original article otherwise forum code pastes a full youtube player affecting the readability of the article.

The Manual - Yes this is an advance technique! Many manuals go into detail about their synthesis methods, design and functions which can be overwhelming for new synth users. We seriously recommend you give the synth manual some time. Did you realise U-he Diva had a function that enables you to output the mathematical product of two different modulation sources? And how would that influence the sound if you used it? It’s little features like this that’ll help raise your synth game from good to godlike.

Noise - Often overlooked, noise can add some useful harmonics to sounds, making them sound fuller, thicker, nicer and generally more pleasing. It has mix benefits too, filling out the mix without having to use additional layers. White noise is ideal, good used on short plucky sounds that cut through the filter for that warm fuzzy plucky sound. Sometimes just a few notches on the dial is all that's needed. Perfectly illustrated in our preset at 3:10 HERE. You don't hear it so much as feel it. Hmm, lovely stuff.

Movement - Movement of sound adds variation which adds interest to the ear. Use LFOs and other modulation sources to bring in changes in pitch, filter, pan or others to up your sound design game. With some synths such as Xfer Serum almost any parameter can be modulated from the subtle to the mind bending in modulation choices. Try applying low-med LFO rate pitch modulation to one oscillator in very small increments. You can here this in subtle action on the main SQUARE lead here. HERE or in the extremes (high LFO rate and high depth) HERE

Levels - It's often typical to enable the synths additional oscillators and leave the levels where they are. Next time try enabling additional oscillators with some really different tones but drop the volume to 0 and slowly introduce it until it adds a different quality to the sound. It’s not about hearing this sound itself but more about hearing the sum of it’s parts when combined with the rest of the sound source, which can be quite different to the same OSCillator but on full volume.

Know it, use it - This goes beyond reading the manual, this is about understanding your synth and using the features that are unique to that synth. Many synths for example won't include a hard sync of oscillators. Use the unique features as it will enable you to get sounds that will be difficult to reproduce on other synths. You'll then start to hone in on "your sound" and have everyone wondering "How can I sound like that!?"

Get creating!

SOUND7 Team.

Return to “Getting Started (AKA What is the best...?)”