Electro House Tutorial Day 4: Making a Sexy Electro Lead Synth [7 Day Song]
Hi! I’m Dave from boyinaband.com, and welcome to day 4 of my seven day song tutorial on Electro House.
In day 3, I added some sweet FX to fill out the beat a bit. In day 4, I’ll be teaching you how to make a sexy lead synth to go on top of our Electro House beat! This will incorporate scream 4′s tube distortion, some EQing, compression and limiting to create our effect.
Okay! Let’s begin.
Start, as always, by creating a combinator. Name it “Lead” and create an instance of Thor inside it. Right click and initialize thor. I’ll just add in some notes. Notice how the notes are chromatic? Remember I said in the bassline tutorial on day 2 that the chromatic scale is great for cool riffs? That’s why I’ve used it here – I’ve also added a note which is slightly off the beat to give a slight swing to the riff.
We want 3 oscillators – an Analog Oscillator for the main punchiness of the sound, then two Multi Oscillators, both detuned quite a bit on the sawtooth wave mode, one octave apart so there’s quite a range of frequencies in the texture of the sound. Don’t forget to route all 3 synths through with the “2″ and “3″ buttons.
Set the low pass filter envelope to about half way. This means the envelope will have quite a big effect on the filter. On the envelope, take the Attack to 88ms so it takes quite a while for the Frequency to kick in – this will give a “wah” effect at the start of the synth. Take the Decay to about 1.5 seconds so the synth patch lets the high frequency through for most of the effect.
On the Amp envelope, where it defines how the volume of the patch is affected over time, take the attack up to 18ms so it takes time to fade in, giving it that almost trumpet-like start to the synth, then take the sustain up to full so it doesn’t lose any volume over time.
There’s still quite a lot of low end in this effect, which might interfere with the bass in the mix – for filter 3, choose a state variable filter. Set it to high-pass mode, then turn the frequency to 175hz and the resonance to 64 to emphasize that high end and remove that low end.
Lastly on this synth, just to widen it a bit, turn on the chorus effect.
Now we have the basis of the sound, we’re going to make it a bit more harsh, so it stands out more prominently as the lead synth. Right click and create an instance of Scream 4 distortion unit. Turn it onto tube mode – this mode emulates a tube distortion, which is when someone pushes the power tube of their tube amp too hard – This is generally for a more overdriven, warm distortion.
The P1 knob controls the “contour” – this is kind of like a high pass filter, changing the tone of the distortion. P2 controls “Bias” – essentially controlling the “symmetry” of the sound. To be honest, I can’t really tell much of a difference to the sound on this effect, so just take the damage control to around 80 and be done with it.
In the cut section, take the low to the line, the high just above the line, then the mid just below – emphasizing the high end slightly.
Now it’s time to bring out the best parts of the sound and make it sound more defined – right click and create an MClass Equalizer.
Set Param 1 to de-emphasize around 330hz by about -6dB and widen the bandwidth to 2-ish, this will remove a bit more of that low end so the bass has more room in the mix.
Set Param 2 to emphasize around 4khz by about 5dB and again, widen the bandwidth to about 2. This really brings out that edgy high end from the distortion.
Now we want to make it punch a bit more – right click and create an MClass compressor. Turn the input gain up to about 8dB, then turn the threshold to -18dB and the ratio to infinity to 1. Turn the attack up to about 80ms – this will mean that after 80ms, which is around the time it takes for the effect to swell, it’ll compress the signal to -18dB. This means that even though there’s a slow attack on the effect, it’ll still punch harder at the start than the tail of the effect.
Finally, to make sure that punchy attack isn’t too loud, right click and create an MClass maximizer and just turn on the 4ms look ahead to brick wall limit it.
And there you have it! A sexy trumpet-like lead synth that Fedde Le Grande would be jealous of. We’re over half way through our 7 day song – I think it’s time to start looking for some hot girls who don’t mind wearing practically nothing for your music video!
Tune in tomorrow for day 5, where I’ll be adding in a vocal hook, provided by my homegirl Emmie from GraphicsGirl.co.uk! Until then, check out her website and see if you can guess what kind of voice she has from her picture – chances are you’ll be wrong!
See you tomorrow!