Many modern electronic music genres incorporate analog synth sounds. When compared to plainer digital, its character and warmth of sound are generally more pleasing to the ear. You’ll hear it a lot in Synth-Pop from the 1980s, as well as present Melodic House and Techno. In the following article, we’ll show you how to make your synths sound more analog with modern soft synths, which are getting better and better at reproducing analog sounds.

In order to make your synths sound more analog, we’ve created a short sequence in our SoundBridge: DAW that contains the majority of the full mix’s elements. Let`s listen.

This is a picture of my full mix taken before the making of the synth arp sequence.
~Full Mix – Without Synth Arp. Sequence

To begin, we’ll choose a soft synth that we like; Serum by Xfer. We’ll open it and check its interface after placing it on a newly generated MIDI channel in the SoundBridge: DAW. The oscillator A section can be found in the upper left corner of the interface. We can select a waveform from the dropdown menu. Then we can increase the number of unison voices and slightly detune it. So, let’s hear how our arp sequence sounds with base settings.

This is a picture of the Xfer Serum oscillator section 1. I have used it to generate the base of the synth arp sequence.
  ~Synth Arp. Sequence – Base Settings

After we’ve finished with the waveform section and detuning, we’ll go on to the envelop and filter sections. As shown in the image below, the envelope attack time has been slightly increased, while the decay and release times have been set to roughly 1 second. Secondly, we’ll set the envelope section to be modulated by the filter cutoff and temporarily decrease the cutoff value. We may add more analog flavor by activating the noise oscillator on the left side of the interface. We’ll select the BrightWhite noise setting and adjust the level and pitch values here. Let’s compare the difference to the default sound setting.

This is a picture of the Xfer Serum envelope, filter and noise oscillator sections. I used it to further sculpt the synth arp sequence.
~Synth Arp. Sequence – Envelope, Filter & Noise Oscillator Settings

Finally, we’ll go to the Serum FX section to finish up our sound. As you can see in the image below, we’ve used some distortion, EQ, delay, and reverb effects to help blend our sound into the overall mix.

This is a picture of the Xfer Serum FX section which I have used to finalize the sound of the synth arp sequence.
~Synth Arp. Sequence – Final

Finally, we’ll automate the cutoff parameter of our synth arp. sequence and listen how it sounds in the context of the entire mix.

~Full Mix – With Synth Arp. Sequence