EQ boosting might seem like the right approach if your mix lacks treble content. However, when exaggerated, this can generate an unpleasant sound. On the other hand, multiband distortion can boost top-end brightness, but the original signal’s character will most certainly be affected. One of the most natural-sounding ways to enhance the top end of your instruments is to use a simple noise layer. We will demonstrate this in the following tutorial.

As usual, we prepared a short sequence in our SoundBridge: DAW. It includes most of the major elements of a full mix. Let’s hear it.

This is screenshot of my project in SoundBridge: DAW and its channels.
~Full Mix – Without Synth Lead

We’ve used Serum by Xfer to create a lead synth. Here is how that sounds.

This is screenshot of my project in SoundBridge: DAW and synth lead sequence written in the MIDI editor.
~Synth Lead Solo (Unprocessed)

Processing your synth leads with noise

This synth lead sounds a bit artificial and could be enriched. Let’s take a look at the Serum user interface and navigate to the left. Here, we can see the noise generator, which we will turn on by pressing the square icon next to “NOISE”.

From the drop-down menu below, several samples for our noise layer become available. We can control the phase and randomization, enable pitch tracking for the noise oscillator, and adjust the overall volume level using additional parameters.

Let’s hear how our synth lead sounds after we set the parameters for our noise oscillator and select an appropriate noise sample.

This is screenshot of my SoundBridge: DAW project with close-up of Serum by Xfer with highlighted noise oscillator section.
~Synth Lead Solo (Noise Layer)

Lastly, we’ll add some reverb and a delay effect to give the lead some depth. Let’s take a listen to it solo and then with the other elements of the full mix.

~Synth Lead Solo (Noise Layer + Effects)
~Full Mix – Synth Lead Processed

If you liked this article on synth processing, here are some more on the same subject: