Powerful Punchy Synth


Nobody can deny that synth leads play a huge role in today’s electronic music. Ranging from Dubstep, Psytrance and all the way to ever popular EDM, bass synth leads are in the main focus of almost every track. Consequently, music production techniques used to achieve such a sound vary from one producer to another. For instance, one way is to compress the hell out of it. In the next tutorial, I will try to show you a different, let’s say a more natural way, to get that punchy synth lead. The basic idea is to layer a click, or shall we say a sound or sample, with a very short attack time to the main synth lead sound. Having said that, let’s move to the practical examples.


Use Layers


Firstly, let’s add a new MIDI track in SoundBridge and drag and drop an instance of Serum into it. I have chosen Serum since it possesses a really good noise oscillator with a big palette of different noise types and other short decay samples and impulses. Furthermore, I already made a somewhat simple synth lead sound in Serum. Let us hear how it sounds, firstly solo and then accompanied with rhythm and bass.




~ Clean synth lead solo


~ Clean synth lead with bass & rhythm


Experiment With Noise Oscillators


Next, I am going to open Serum and turn the noise oscillator on. As I said before, there are many noise samples and impulses you can choose, so feel free to experiment. In this case, I have chosen a kind of a white noise sample. As you can see in the picture below I have pointed a few options which are:


  1. One shot mode for the noise oscillator. This is useful if you load a sound which you would like to play in non-looping mode.
  2. Tracking for noise oscillator. This is usually not needed because noise in a traditional sense is not pitched to follow notes.


Next, I’ll do is to modulate the second envelope section in Serum by dragging and dropping the cursor icon to the level of the noise generator. This is because I need to control the decay of the noise generator, which is, in this case very short. This means that it will be heard only at the very beginning of the sound when I play it accompanied with the sound made from other oscillators.

So let us hear firstly how just the noise generator sounds. Then, let’s check out how the noise generator sounds with other oscillators. In the end, let’s hear the final result together with bass and rhythm in the full mix. In addition to this, I have added a bit of reverb offered as an effect inside of Serum to get some more space for the synth lead, as well as a compressor to glue everything together.



Noise generator solo


~ Noise generator with other two oscillators


~ Full mix


Download the patch here.