Tuesday, February 22, 2011

V-Synth Analog Tricks


Here is a collection of small tips for V-synth users doing "analog" sound design. With these tips you will probably get a sound that is a lot less harsh/digital than what people would normally expect from this synth. As I've experimented and written about this before, I don't think I can go any further in this area. These are my absolute best tips to make it sound more "analog." I doubt anyone out there has more realistic settings and I won't write about this analog stuff ever again. You can use these tips with any patches you see fit or even within your computer software

1. How to get a pulse wave.

The standard square wave can be adjusted into a pulse wave. Use the "Pulse Width" tab in the oscillator section. Set it to "41" which has about the same pulse sound as other roland synths.

2. How to get a ramp wave or reversed saw.

If the standard saw is too harsh for you, you might want to try the reversed version. Use the triangle wave, but set the pulse width to about "62" This steepens the triangle wave so much that it is now a ramp saw (like minimoog saw).

Also remember that sometimes a sample is the best way to go if the wave your trying to copy is too complex or your synth's waves just don't have the right tonality.

3. Proper Analog Detune

This will be something closer to the real thing, not just deviating one of the oscillators out of pitch. Try this out:

Use the "Com" button menu. Go to the Matrix Control tab on the left. Set Key follow or KEYF as a source. The target will be both oscillator 1 & 2's pitch. Adjust the sensitivity anywhere from 25 to 32. A lower number works better if you are doing a polyphonic patch, a higher number will be a severe detune. This method gradually steps the pitch across the keys like a real oscillator. Don't use the same amount of sensitivity/amounts for each oscillator. Remember each oscillator is not built exactly the same in real life.
Use LFO for "drift". Try + 5 and + 4 Pitch LFO on the oscillators. Again you don't need them to be the same. Go to the the LFO tab and set to RND or random and then the rates to 51 and 52 or so for each oscillator. If you wish you can variate pulse width with LFO as well. Set PWM to -5 and -4 or so (a small number). Set it negative because we have the width up high already for our ramp waves. This variates the length of the waveform slightly.

4. A different filter.

In COSM 1 menu, Use -24db. Try adjusting the DYN knob in the cutoff tab to about "20" Set the envelope amount to "41" or a little higher. Adjust other settings like cuttoff, and the envelope to taste. I prefer a a lower cuttoff setting because it will mix better and doesn't sound annoying / digital. Overall these settings might give the filter more bite and more depth. You can also try turning the dynamics in reverse and then the filter seems more hollow. This is just a recommendation since the filter should be whatever you want for the patch. If you use a high-pass, crank the dynamics up even more for a waspy-type-sound.

5. Use COSM Waveshaping after filter

After the filter is in Cosm 1, try putting Waveshapping afer it as COSM2. This makes your wave a little more agressive and adjust its tone. Originally I wanted to use this setting to simulate internal gain, but I found just a little changes the waveform. Use the SINE wave shape (smooth up and and down, not triangle), and set the drive to "8" or higher. Just use your own preference around "80" you get really noticeable distortion.

6. Tube Amp Gain & Volume boost.

Jack your patch volume to a better level and simulate "warm" distortion without overdriving it. We will be using the MFX Guitar amp setting. Be careful when adjusting these, you can clip your speakers. Most of them are turned way down because we just want a slight tube amp sound and gain boost.

Set MFX send to 74 or higher. You can adjust the initial volume here.

Under MFX Tab set the type to Guitar Amp

Set type to "MS1959I+II"

Set gain to "LOW"Turn down all the Bass to "0"

Treble and Midrange to "70"

Turn presence to "0"Set input volume to "31"

Turn OFF the speaker simulator and noise suppressor. I use the MFX send to re-adjust the overall levels once I'm done.

Tip: I've found that changing some of the volume input knobs doesn't do anything to adjust the amount of distortion. It only changes the volume. The amp type and the EQ do far more.

7. Roland "Analog" Chorus.

"Chorus 2" best simulates the built-in roland synth chorus.

Set the Chorus Send to 0 in the routing. Under the guitar amp MFX setting is a small send knob, set it to 127. The regular chorus send is pre-MFX and the smaller one is post.

Set depth to 18 and rate to 1.10. You can also try setting the depth to 100% and the rate to .10 I'm not sure which I like better, as they both sound similar for some reason. Experiment.

Well thats it for now! I won't ever write about this faking analog stuff again. Next tutorial will be on how to capture your favourite singer and make them into a patch.

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