It seems to me that there are numerous creative ways one could use to make an impressive Synth Lead. Just consider using different oscillator types rather than classical oscillators that offer sawtooth, square, triangle and sine waveforms. For instance, in this article, I will try to describe and demonstrate AM Sync or Amplitude modulation synthesis. You can find it in some of the latest VST synthesizers.
Discovering AM Synthesis
AM Synthesis is a type of sound synthesis in which the gain of one signal is controlled, or modulated, by the gain of another signal. The signal whose gain is being modulated is called the ‘carrier’, and the signal responsible for the modulation is called the ‘modulator’. Another point to remember is that in classical AM Synthesis, both the modulator and the carrier are oscillators. However, the carrier can also be a different type of signal, such as an instrument or a vocal input. In addition, Tremolo is Amplitude Modulation which uses a very low-frequency modulator. On the other hand, Ring Modulation uses one audio signal to Amplitude Modulate another one.
To begin with the demonstration, in this tutorial I will use Spire by Reveal sound, a synthesizer which I find simple and easy to use. In addition, I will choose AM Sync among few other types of oscillators available in the menu. Let us hear the sound after composing a simple sequence with default settings of the chosen oscillator for the AM sync in SoundBrige.
~AM Sync with Default settings
Secrets of an Evolving Synth Lead
As you can hear for yourself, our synth lead practically sounds like a simple sawtooth waveform. Let’s try changing that. I will tweak the parameters on the selected AM Sync oscillator. The important thing to remember is that ‘ctrlB’ is the main parameter that requires our considerable attention. By moving it to the right from its default value, you can hear the AM effect in its clearest form. As a result of moving the mentioned parameter to the right, the frequency is squeezing and becomes dense.
After making a short introduction where I have automated the mentioned parameter and spiced it up with a bit of a delay effect before the drop, this is how our end result sounds like:
~Full Mix with Automation
Download the patch here.