Tutorial 2: Free Synths

Fly Through Space by Staffan Öhman

This tutorial is based upon a few VSTis that are available for free, just to show that it is possible to make spacesynth music without buying expensive synths.
 

The Song

The tutorial song consists of just a few tracks to make it easy to understand how the song is constructed. Here is a mp3- and midi-file of the song:

fly_through_space.mp3
fly_through_space.mid

Next we scratch the surface of the different parts and explain how they have been made.

Synths

The VSTis that have been used in this tutorial example can be downloaded on the following links:

Synth1, http://www.geocities.jp/daichi1969/softsynth/

SuperwaveP8 1.4, SUPERWAVEP8.zip

LoopAzoid, http://www.nexoft.de/

Note that a newer version of SuperwaveP8 can be found from the authors webpage, but the patches that are used in this example is based upon version 1.4 (patches made with earlier version have some problems when loading with the latest version).

SuperwaveP8 webpage

Bassline

Made with Synth1 by using this patch synth1bass.fxp. Remember to add some stereo delay to the bassline, otherwise it will sound quite thin and simple.

Chords/Stabs

Made with SuperwaveP8. Remember to use and EQ and increase the high frequencies to make the sound crispy and aggressive. Stereo delay and a little bit reverb have been used to make the sound more fat.

SuperwaveP8 Stab Patch

To be able to get the stabs punchy, use the editing tools in the sequencer program after recording the notes and change to a fixed note length. In CubaseSX it can be done in this way:

Mark the notes and set the beat (1/16, 1/32, etc). Then use the function Fixed Lengths that can be found in this menu:

Fixed Lengths

The result will then look like this (before and after):

Fixed Lengths before
Fixed Lengths after
 

Lead

Made with SuperwaveP8. Use the provided patch to get this sound.

superwavep8lead.fxp

Arpeggio

Made with Synth1. The patch we use is very easy to use as it makes the filtersweep automatically.

synth1arpeggio.fxp

Snare and Kick drum

Made with some Linn samples that are played by using LoopAzoid. The Linn samples have been edited by Marco Rochowski.

marcodrums.zip

Hihat

The hihat has been made with Synth1. The hihat-sequence is made by playing ordinary notes (i.e. no drum mapping have been done), just to be able to have different pitch on the notes (to make it sound more alive).

synth1hihat.fxp

Vocoder

Made with the CubaseSX-vocoder with the patch provided in this tutorial. The speech has been made by using the text-to-speech tool which can be used through a webpage. The example song includes two different kind of vocoder part, both the traditional singing vocoder and also the robot-style vocoder (both parts are using the vocoder patch that is mentioned above). The singing vocoder part is made by playing chords (same notes as the strings), and the robot-style vocoder is made by playing one single note on the lowest part of the note scale.

Text-To-Speech Tool
cubasesxvocoder.fxp

Remember that sounds that are used for the fast parts (for example the 16 beat-bass and the quick chords) require that the Attack and Decay values in the ADSR-envelope are quite small. Try to experiment with the parameters for the ADSR-envelope so that you find a patch that works for your needs.

 

Discussion

Discuss more this article in the forum

 

2005-07-22 23:45:29Written by Staffan Öhman