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Every producer has their vices.
Whether it’s using the same preset too much, using the same amount of swing on every song (I’m looking at a certain Swedish producer here) or killing prostitutes, there is sure to be something that tarnishes their image.
This article will take a look at the former. 7 of the most overused synth effects in the industry and the culprits that use them.
Here we go – The Seven Deadly Synths.
“Lust” – The PWM Synth
Synthful Sinner: Benny Benassi
What better synth for lust than the sexy sound of Electro House’s self-proclaimed Daddy?
Benny Benassi has turned the knob for the Pulse Width Modulation in almost every one of his tunes and used side chain compression to make them pump more dynamically than those girls in his videos.
“Gluttony” – Vocoder
Synthful Sinner: Daft Punk
Daft Punk positively gorge themselves on formants, using their signature vocoded vocals on the vast majority of their hits.
Their bellies must be full of vowel-sounding synths and you can almost hear them throwing up in synth effects like the bass in “Technologic”.
“Greed” – Portamento Sine Synth
Synthful Sinner: Dr Dre
Who better to represent greed than the Doctor that insists on hanging tight in the top 10 wealthiest rappers of all time after so many years. His synth sound is that whiney portamento sine synth (or sometimes saw synth) that punctuates all his dopest beats, positively screaming out how rich he is.
“Sloth” – Detuned Saws
Synthful Sinner: Lil Jon
A million and one producers use this sound in genres from Trance to Hip Hop, but Lil Jon manages to take the title of sloth since he’s just so lazy.
One synth riff, then the same riff an octave higher – that’ll do for a song. Hell, that’ll do for an album… or even a career. A couple of sawtooth waves slightly tuned apart to thicken it up and voila – instant powerful synth.
“Wrath” – Hardcore Kick Drum
Synthful Sinner: Angerfist
The nightmare of migraine sufferers the world over – the hardcore Gabba bass drum is so painfully distorted that it actually produces a clear note. Yet producers like Angerfist insist on using it percussively to drive their tracks harder than Lewis Hamilton. Your ears are sure to suffer the wrath of this harsh patch!
“Envy” – Echoey Pure lead
Synthful Sinner: Tiesto
How can you help but feel envious about his success? He’s been #1 DJ in the world, he’s sold out massive venues and he’s talented enough to write absolutely gorgeous trance music. And it wouldn’t be possible without that simple, pure sine lead he uses time and again in songs like “Just Be” and “Adagio for Strings”.
“Pride” – Dirty Electro Bass
Synthful Sinner: Justice
I’m sure that having a crucifix as your logo makes you have at least a bit of a god complex. Justice have ridden their overly distorted bass sound and their slap-bass funky electro house to success; perhaps they have good reason to be proud!