This Trance music production tutorial is spot on and is a really good one for anyone looking to get a better understanding of how to design sounds using Sylenth1, as well as how to put a new spin on the classic supersaw lead synth.
[aside title="A Modern Twist!"] The classic supersaw lead synth will live on for many more years to come, and along the way we will undoubtedly enjoy many more modern variations![/aside]
Sylenth1 has been a go-to synth for Trance music producers for years now and is capable of creating incredible sounds. It can be a bit daunting for the beginner though, and this video does a good job of explaining each step taken throughout the process of designing this lead synth instrument. Breaking away from the traditional sawtooth layering, this synth ends up being just a bit warmer from the old school Trance leads.
Combining a Sawtooth wave and a Tri-Saw wave, this lead requires slightly less separation than some other types of supersaw synths. The Sawtooth wave is loaded into oscillator 1, the pitch is dropped one octave and the voicing is increased to a total fo 4. The Tri-Saw wave is loaded into Oscillator 2 and the voicing is increased to 8. Phasing is added to the second oscillator at a value of 180 degrees. A small tweak to the Fine tuning knob is made to add a little more distance to the phasing. Then the two oscillators are both detuned, slightly differently from each other. This gives you a simple phased synth sound to work with.
With the core sound of this synth in place we can now begin shaping it and working on the delivery. First, the main amp envelope is set up, with a small amount of decay to increase the punch of the attack. A Lowpass filter is added to oscillator 1 before moving onto the task of modulation. Now a Cutoff AB is added, and a small amount of decay and sustain are introduced. Then some Resonance is added for a little more tonal character. The secret sauce in this sound is the addition of a Pitch AB, with a touch of decay to alter the initial delivery and make the individual notes pop and cut through the mix. A small amount of warm distortion is also tossed into the mix to add a little edge to the sound.
The second part of this sound is a noise oscillator. Of course, you can play around with the detuning, phasing, etc to get the right kind of noise effect for your project. Decimation distortion is added to provide an extra layer of texture. The EQ is activated and tweaked to further shape the sound. And a small amount of delay is introduced to extend the sound and add more depth. Once you have the sound pretty much where you like it, a Pitch AB is inserted into an LFO and the modulation rate and gain are set so that it creates a nice movement in the synth. If you choose to add this to your sound as well, make sure you do not go overboard and apply too much of this effect, as it can really detract from the rest of your music.
At this point the sound is basically complete and is ready for any additional processing that you may want to apply in your DAW. Adding chorus or additional delay are solid traditional choices and really cannot fail. You will probably want to further shape the sound through an EQ plugin to make sure it will sit properly in your mix. And of course, some reverb can be applied to give the synth the space it needs to come to life.
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