5 Ways to make your Synths more interesting
Tired of the same tired, old synth sounds? In need of some inspiration to make something a little less conventional? Here are 5 suggestions to bring your patch making skills up to the next level of creative experimentation!
1. Use some LFOs!
LFOs are fantastic for making simple sounds sound less stereotypical! Route an LFO to your cut-off on a filter for a quick fix to make a synth more interesting… Or you can go all out and try routing an LFO to pitch, then run the LFO so fast that it creates another overtone! The beauty of LFOs is when pushed to the extreme on certain parameters; they can make sounds you didn’t even know were possible…
2. Band Pass Filtering
Not only does this technique usually have a nice side effect of making your synths sit in the mix better because of the specific frequency range, but it can also highlight a part of the sound that isn’t normally the focus – try a band pass between about 300 and 700hz on a dirty multi-oscillator saw wave to get a sound more suited to a pad than a lead!
3. Overdrive it!
Get some distortion on the go – Add enough of this and you could turn the above pad into a convincing guitar emulation! Or try it on the high end for some piercing leads! Or use it on a bass effect to make a more interesting low end synth sound – distortion I’d say is the most useful tool for making some interesting powerful synth sounds.
4. Resonance = full!
If you’ve got some more interesting filters like a comb filter, turn the resonance to full and watch the synth turn into something COMPLETELY different. You’re entering circuit bending territory now! The feedback loop creates some amazing sounds useable for cool FX, ambient pads or, when coupled with some creative EQ-ing and distortion, some awesome leads!
5. Oscillator Sync
Lady Gaga will tell you that some of the best synth effects come from oscillator sync – using one synth to cut off the other synth mid oscillation every time it oscillates, making a hollow sounding effect when the octave is lower on the slave than the master oscillator! Sounds complicated, but have a play around and you’ll soon see what I’m on about!