A form of House music called Acid House became widely popular in the mid-80`s. The style was defined primarily by the “squelching” sounds and deep basslines of the Roland TB-303 electronic synthesizer-sequencer. From that time on-wards, the famous acid sound never left the electronic music scene. Lots of variations of the well-known sound emerged, but the essence stayed the same. So for the sake of this tutorial, we have decided to show you how to make a modern acid style sequence, in the form most popular in the Psy-Trance music genre. However, since building this sound from scratch requires quite some effort, we will divide this tutorial into a few parts.


Let’s start


Let’s get started as usual by opening a new project within our SoundBridge: DAW. We have chosen to make the acid sequence in VST synth called Spire by Reveal sound, but you can get the same results by using a variety of other VST synths available on the market. After adding a new instance of Spire on the MIDI channel in the SoundBridge: DAW, let’s write a short sequence in the MIDI editor and hear how it sounds with initial preset.


~Sequence Init


Oscillator 1


To generate our sequence, we will first turn to set up the oscillator 1 within Spire. From the offered choices of oscillator types, let’s select the HardFM and move the ctrl-a and ctrl-b parameters a bit to get more rough sound. In the end, we can choose a pre-recorded waveform called Piano A from the box below to get the sound even noisier. Let’s hear how all that sounds now.


~Sequence Spire – Osc 1


Oscillator 2


Since our sequence is still sounding a bit thin, we can fix that by adding some width and punch. This will be done in the section next to the oscillator by increasing the unison voices from one to two and increasing the wide parameter by half. All this we will top with a bit of increasing the X-comp which is an excellent sounding built-in the compressor in Spire which adds punch and body to just about any sound. Time to hear the progress again.


~Sequence Spire – Osc 1 + width and X-comp


Add some resonance


A proper acid sound is nothing without a filter with a crazy amount of resonance. Therefore we will move to the filter section to set it right for our sequence. From the selected filter types we have a convenient “Acid” one, set on Low-Pass, which we will use, coupled with the second filter set to High-Pass which will be mixed with the first one. Let’s hear it.


~Sequence Spire – Osc 1 + width and X-comp + Filter


Add some distortion


A friend of any decent acid sound is distortion. Therefore we will add some. On top of that, we will add a bit of Reverb and Delay for full effect. Here is how it sounds so far.


~Sequence Spire – Osc 1 + width and X-comp + Filter + Effects 


To conclude, we will hear how our acid sequence sounds in context with the Psy-Trance beat.


~Full Mix


Download the project here.