One problem a lot of producers have is stale and boring synth patches. I find this to be a huge issue among beginning trap producers. The repetitive nature of trap beats calls for exciting synth sounds to keep the beats energetic. Synthesizer sounds will sound very simple, if the patch you're using does not have any modulation. This tutorial will show you how to utilize velocity to create dynamic Sylenth patches.
Real instruments like guitars, pianos, flutes, and xylophones sound different than synth sounds because of their dynamic nature. Let's focus on the piano for example. When a pianist performs a song on the piano, their performance is not perfect. The performer has a unique timing and swing to his notes. His piano is not perfectly tuned. Listeners may hear unintended noises like a creak of the piano bench or their nails hitting the keys as they play. However, these imperfections are acceptable because we are human. We don't like hearing perfect instruments that sound the same every time. Small variations in instrument performance are sonically pleasing.
You can use an existing Sylenth patch or make your own to use this trick. Add Velocity as a modulator using the Misc feature. You can have Velocity modulate Volume, Panning, LFO Rate, LFO Gain, Distortion, Pitch, Cutoff, Phase, and Mix. The point is to have the Velocity of each MIDI note slightly change the sound output, so the synth sounds more dynamic. Adjust the knobs to create bigger variations. You can have Velocity modulate multiple effects at once to make extremely dynamic synth patches.
Go to the Miscellaneous 1 modulator and make the source Velocity. For tutorial's sake make the first mod Cutoff AB and the 2nd Dist Amount. Turn the Cutoff AB knob all the way to the right. This is going to allow for a wide range of tones based on the velocity of the notes you play.
For the Cutoff AB modulator to work, you will need a filter to be activated. I used a Lowpass Filter in the demo. I set the cutoff relatively low so that low velocity notes would be quiet and high velocity notes would be loud.
For the Dist Amount mod to work, you need to enable Distortion for the patch you're working with. The type of distortion used is completely up to you. I used OverDrive in the tutorial video.
Even though this tutorial was designed for Sylenth users, the same principles can be applied to any synthesizer.
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