Monday, February 18, 2013
How to Use Amp Distortion To Rebalance Brightness In Synth Patches
Amp distortion can help you set the brightness in your patches to reduce ear fatigue and enhance mixability when a sound is played back at high volume. If you have trouble setting the cutoff filter or mixing loud sounds, this tip can help.
Choose a guitar amp effect or overdrive that is set relatively flat. Use your nastiest, but best sounding amp model with medium or high gain. Send your sound through it. Certain frequencies become dramatically enhanced. Sharp brightness is heard in the high ends of the distortion. With this overemphasized you can find an exact cutoff point for the synthesizer's filter that won't cause ear fatigue when the distortion effect is removed. Just sweep the filter cutoff to the point that feels right to you while the sound is under distortion. You can adjust the envelopes as well. Next turn off the distortion effect and enjoy your non-fatiguing sound.
This trick works by simulating a cheap amplifier and speaker setup thats being played way too loud. You don't have to increase your monitors actual volume, use a power system, or suffer ear fatigue. With the right amount of gain and right model, you can rebalance your synth patch. There is a risk of watering down your sound however. This should not be done with every sound, but when you want a softer effect. It seems to work well with pads and leads.