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"Chillstep" Soft Synths

Postby Ledger » Wed Dec 04, 2013 1:00 am

Alright. I'm working on a "chillstep" track, obviously, and have a nice flow going on, BUT I can't get a good lead. I've spent the last hour using simple waveforms in Thor (Reason 6.5) and using different distortions from Scream 4, phaser, unison, reverb, etc. but I can't get anything soft and gentle sounding like in Blackmill's "Miracle" (in the intro). So far, every lead that I've come up with sounds harsh, not gentle, soft, and "chill". Any help would be greatly appreciated.

The lead starts at 1:25. I can hear the obvious reverb and what appears to be a delay, or a possible echo reverb, but I can't understand how he got the gentleness of the synth other than ADSR.
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Postby Musick » Wed Dec 04, 2013 1:20 am

It's his signature sound. Don't know much about Thor but it definitely sounds like a tube distortion to me. Scream filter, resonance around halfway, and A LOT of EQing. Oh and a wave shaper towards a parabolic form.


One of those electric/hybrid wave tables.
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Postby shakas » Wed Dec 04, 2013 6:08 pm

I hear what sounds a lot like an electric guitar playing high notes with distortion and bending some of the notes. It also kinda sounds like a square wave(possibly with a saw too)...and like it's definitely running through an amp/cabinet simulator like guitar rig or abletons 'amp'... not sure if the squarewave is layered with an actual electric guitar...or if only the synth was designed to sound like a guitar....

it doesnt seem like a soft or gentle sound to me...but maybe its just the warmth of saturation and guitar amp tone you're hearing...or your perception of the sound in context with the chillness of the backing music.
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Postby H_2 » Sun Jan 05, 2014 1:19 pm

in my 20 years of playing guitar i can assure you he recorded a guitar, he did not design that in a synth
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Postby Dub_Fiend » Mon Jan 20, 2014 4:14 pm

My first thought was "that is almost certainly a synth..." but upon reflection I don't know, it's definitely a guitar with offset attack in the breakdown though so I don't know whether that's also a guitar but to my ears it sounds a bit too clean to be a guitar to me... either way, it sounds like that it's something that's fairly easily reproducible with a mildly-distorted square wave drenched in reverb ;)
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Postby Coolschmid » Wed Jan 22, 2014 6:02 am

If what you are getting is too harsh, try lowpass filters and less distortion, best bet is something that can be subtle like saturation, even better if you have multiband and can have it running on as many bands as possible. Alot of people don't know this for some reason, but when you have the same distortion settings individually affecting several bands across the whole frequency spectrum, it sounds much different than that same distortion setting affecting the whole frequency spectrum. Its much cleaner, gives the "solidness" that you are looking to add with much less junk.

If it is a guitar you won't get it exactly but getting a sound like that is pretty easy. You can start with any basic wave but the saw wave sounded the closest to me. You just lowpass it with about 50% cutoff and 30% resonance as a starting point, then you distort it. That shiz sounds like an electric guitar. Mess with the cutoff, resonance, and distortion type and amount (you don't need alot) and maybe run it through an amp plugin with really low wet %. If you add a small amount of reverb before the distortion it adds in the little crackles. If the sound is too harsh, instead of taking down distortion you can also try lowpassing it again or eqing it.

good luch breh
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Postby Coolschmid » Wed Jan 22, 2014 6:02 am

Fuck is with all these double posts and no delete option?
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