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  • "Synth Secrets Of The Pro's"

    Figured we can use this thread to post links and info on articles written by professionals in reference to Synth tips and tricks.

    Here is my summary of an article featured in Electronic Musician entitled, “ Synth Secrets of the Pros”, written by Gino Robair. The purpose of his article was to bring some of the techniques used by industry professionals to students and composers who otherwise would not have access to these individuals and their knowledge. Some of these people include one of my favorite ambient composers Robert Rich. This article also has a focus on Synth/electronic music although there are some tricks and topics that are relevant to other genres. A total of 12 people were interviewed and asked to provide some of their personal tricks that they use when composing or recording and even performing live. There is a wealth of knowledge in this article and I would strongly recommend that composers and students, who need an extra push in the right direction, should read it.

    I took a lot away from this article, mainly the tips on ambient styled music and film/orchestral work within the electronic realm. But I was also reassured through the article that there is an endless amount knowledge out there and we may only scrape the surface of what we can actually do with our own compositions and software. One of the techniques talked about is one that I am actually very familiar with but figured I would share it since it is important.

    Ambient music uses a lot of drone based synth work. That being said, Brian Kehew talks about the importance of “Motion”. Many of us end up creating drones and synth music that just sounds stagnant and boring. But if we take that one instrument and start tweaking different parameters, envelopes, automation and other things like filters; we can create very interesting sounds and pads. Alessandro Cortini also states that one way to practice and get better at composing and using your software would be to compose whole songs using only one synth for all instruments. I think these are great ideas and have actually been implementing these practices for a while now. But I figured someone else might not know some of these things.

    Robert Rich also spoke about using delays on solo/melody instruments instead of reverbs, which could cloud up the mix. I am really excited to try what he shared next. He said, “Often, I use two different delays with different tap lengths-one panned to the left and one panned to the right.” By doing this you will essentially intertwine the two delays in such a way that it creates a reverb-like trail. This was a great read and I learned a good deal that I can immediately implement in my workflow.

    ***After writing this summary I realized that there is no link online to the article other than within research databases. (Mainly the one I use through school “EBSCOhost”) If you are truly interested in reading the article I have provided an APA citation so that you may do some digging at your local library or university research database, for a copy of the print article/PDF.***

    Reference:
    ROBAIR, G. (2013). Synth Secrets of the Pros. Electronic Musician, 29(1), 72-76.


  • #2
    Very old! But still relevant lol. Enjoy.






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    • #3
      I'm guessing a lot of people here would be familiar with these SOS articles, but they're excellent for learning about synthesis imo.

      http://www.soundonsound.com/sos/allsynthsecrets.htm
      facebook | last.fm | soundcloud

      A composer is a guy who goes around forcing his will on unsuspecting air molecules, often with the assistance of unsuspecting musicians. - FZ

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      • #4
        Originally posted by Hilyard View Post
        Ambient music uses a lot of drone based synth work. That being said, Brian Kehew talks about the importance of “Motion”. Many of us end up creating drones and synth music that just sounds stagnant and boring. But if we take that one instrument and start tweaking different parameters, envelopes, automation and other things like filters; we can create very interesting sounds and pads. Alessandro Cortini also states that one way to practice and get better at composing and using your software would be to compose whole songs using only one synth for all instruments. I think these are great ideas and have actually been implementing these practices for a while now. But I figured someone else might not know some of these things.

        Robert Rich also spoke about using delays on solo/melody instruments instead of reverbs, which could cloud up the mix. I am really excited to try what he shared next. He said, “Often, I use two different delays with different tap lengths-one panned to the left and one panned to the right.” By doing this you will essentially intertwine the two delays in such a way that it creates a reverb-like trail. This was a great read and I learned a good deal that I can immediately implement in my workflow.
        This is really great information! I will have to read more about this stuff, these industry pros are so awesome! Im always in awe of people like Robert Rich & Richard Devine etc

        These guys know their stuff and it ends up showing in their work! Attention to detail and the underlying theories behind why you need the detail I think is absolutely critical if you want to design good sound work.


        As for synthesis

        I absolutely love modular synthesis and I usually try to automate as much as I possible can to create movement in my work. One thing I usually like to do with my synthesis work is automate a synth using my DAW! I really like using the built in controls but I will also use Ableton Live to also add extra LFO's etc so I can create some really crazy sounds. Once I get something I like, I will often further process it more using spectral based processing or granular synthesis depending on the sound that I want. I've always been a experimenter with a mad scientist approach to sound design. Sometimes I find that if you add too much movement you will get a very chaotic sound which can overwhelm a listener so I try to make sure the sounds don't overlap too much with other similar sounds unless I need to help beef them up.

        Sound design using synthesis is definitely one of my favourite aspects of making music. I have taken the time to look at the underlying theories and information on the synthesis methods I use so i can figure out how to best apply them in my work. After a while you can kind of "visualize" the basic sound you want to create before creating it, which is nice. With so many fancy tools though it can seem overwhelming which ones to go to first! I don't understand much of the scientific stuff behind sound design because I am still learning, however the more I learn the more I can apply it to my sounds!
        Last edited by V0RT3X; 01-22-2013, 05:19 PM.
        -=| (Youtube)|(Bandcamp)|(Ambient Online Forums)|=-

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        • #5
          A free sound design course. We can do a wonderful thread about sound design.

          https://www.coursera.org/course/digitalsounddesign

          Starts January 28th 2013 (4 weeks long)
          Workload: 3-4 hours/week

          Have a nice day, buddies
          https://soundcloud.com/irion-da-ronin


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