Making a sound from scratch
These days, it seems that using previously made presets found within numerous VST synthesizers is always an easy task. However, to create your own sound from a scratch is a totally different story. The one who is truly interested in advancing in music production should not be afraid to experiment. Although it is true that this is a time-consuming process, you must remember that once you get into it, every new step will be more fun. Having this in mind, in this tutorial I will try to explain and demonstrate how a simple sawtooth wave, which sounds flat and boring at the beginning, can be turned into something that sounds massive. Using Unison to create this will be my main focus in this blog.
To put it simply, the effect of unison means multiplying the signal which is being produced by the oscillator. In most cases, it is possible to detune each signal against the other. This helps create a much bigger sound. The common number of signal multiplication in a unison effect can be 2,4 or 8 voices. Nowadays, we have synthesizers that are allowing us to go much further, and in this example, I will use one of them called Serum by Xfer.
Let`s start by adding a new instance of Serum to the clean project in SoundBridge. The first thing to do afterward will be to hit that ‘Init Preset’ tab in the menu section.
After making a melody, I think you would agree that the initial sounding preset sounds pretty flat and lifeless.
~Melody with Initial Preset
Nevertheless, in the oscillator section, you will see a number of parameters. Let’s start by increasing unison up to a maximum of 16 voices. Now we can clearly hear that the sound has gained some stereo width in comparison to the previous audio example.
~Melody with Increased Unison Voices
Moving forward with sound designing
Subsequently, I will turn up the next parameter in line which is ”detune”. Detune will slightly change the fine tuning for every of the 16 multiplied voices and amplify the unison effect to the maximum. In addition, Serum has a nice graphical representation of the voices multiplying, which you can see in the picture below.
~Melody with Increased Unison Voice + Detune
To polish the sound further I will process it with a reverb and a bit of compression. In conclusion, you can now hear how easy it was to make a big sounding lead in just a few simple steps we went thru.
~Full Processed Sound
Download the patch here.