Modern effects and synthesizers are getting better at mimicking the natural vibrato produced by, say, a violinist playing their instrument. In the next tutorial, we will show you how to spice up your synth leads with vibrato.
As usual, we prepared a short sequence in our SoundBridge: DAW. It includes most of the major elements of a full mix. Let’s take a listen to it.
Our synth lead could benefit from some movement since it sounds a little flat and boring. Let’s take a listen to it solo.
Plug-in effects for vibrato
Many modern VST synthesizers can produce vibrato effects with simple pitch modulation, but what do we do when we have an audio file? In this case, we can use dedicated audio effects that can do the same thing on any incoming signal. For this, we have chosen MVibrato by MeldaProductions. Let’s add a new instance of it to our synth lead effect rack.
The interface of this effect is divided into three major sections. The first one displays control parameters such as depth, width, tremolo, and tremolo phase, among others. We can enable or disable sync in the middle of the interface. Disabling it will have an effect on the rate parameter in the upper part of the interface, and the vibrato speed can then be manually adjusted. The bottom section displays the modulation’s shape, offering standard waveform shapes such as sine, saw, triangle, and so on. To mimic natural vibrato, we recommend using the effect lightly and in small amounts. Going over the top will result in a completely plastic and unnatural sound that generally should be avoided.
As you can see in the image above, we have set the depth of the vibrato effect to 10%, the width to 52%, and the sync to 1/16 beats. The sine, in our opinion, is the most natural-sounding vibrato shape, so we chose it. Let’s now compare the unprocessed and processed version of our synth lead.
Finally, let’s hear it in the context of the full mix.
If you liked this article on sound processing, here are some more on the same subject: