This blog was written for primeloops.com – check them out for some ace samples and to see my blogs 2 months earlier!
Wondering how to make your synths more professional and interesting? Here are 10 suggestions for things to do to your sounds, from pretty conventional ones to downright destructive ones!
Here are 10 plug-ins to improve your synths…
A brilliant way to simply widen your synth or to turn it into something reminiscent of an epileptic Dalek. Chorus is great for some mental modulations!
2. Dynamic EQ
A plug in I’ve found much more useful than conventional EQ when it comes to playing with sounds, you can actually carve out the frequency spectrum you want rather than simply boosting certain frequencies! Brilliant for emphasizing those important parts of the sound that are a bit too quiet.
3. Bit Crusher
Need a bit more of an edge to your synth? Bit Crushers can turn your synth into a lo-fi sledgehammer when used correctly!
These are nice plug ins that combine a few things – they can widen, do rudimentary EQing and limiting or compression depending on the plug-in you get. Great for doing a lot with a small amount of processer overhead (as opposed to using loads of separate plug-ins!)
5. Harmonic Exciter
Sometimes also called enhancers (can get pretty confusing with the above plug-in!), harmonic exciters deliberately distort the high end of the spectrum to bring back some of the brightness lost in the recording process. This can really lift a synth up in the mix!
6. Stereo Imager
These are absolute gold when making immense synths or epic soundscapes. They push the synths to the far left and right in the stereo spectrum, widening it and making it feel bigger.
Makes the synth effect as loud as possible while stopping the synth from peaking – really useful on crazier, unpredictable synth effects!
8. Multi-Band Compression
Limiting not making your synth loud enough? Try Multi-Band Compression – it separates the sound into several different frequencies, boosts each filtered section, then puts it back together, making the apparent volume much louder without affecting the overall volume! Ridiculously useful.
Filters are great for making synths sound completely different – just isolate a certain section of the frequencies with a band pass filter and listen to the difference!
Instant talent – Delay makes everything sounds so much bigger and better… just be careful that you’re not totally drowning your synth in the stuff!