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4. Syn­the­sis­ing an old-school rave pad us­ing Ar­turia DX7 V

Computer Music - - Make Music Now -

1 The com­plex na­ture of FM syn­the­sis makes it a win­ner for cre­at­ing dense, rich sounds, such as a clas­sic rave-es­que pad. Let’s see how it’s done us­ing Ar­turia’s DX7 V, a faith­ful soft­ware re­cre­ation of the clas­sic Yamaha DX7. Start by im­port­ing the

Tu­to­rial Files into a blank 160bpm project, then add DX7 V to the Rave Pad MIDI track.

2 Re­set DX7 V to its de­fault set­tings by open­ing the Pre­set menu (top left) and se­lect­ing Init from the Tem­plate folder. Change the wave­form of Op­er­a­tor 1 to

Rounded Saw to in­tro­duce ex­tra har­mon­ics com­pared to the de­fault sine wave. Turn­ing up Op­er­a­tor 2’s Out­put level to 80 adds a sine wave to the sound, in­creas­ing its com­plex­ity.

3 Set­ting Op­er­a­tor 2’s Coarse Tun­ing to

2 pitches it up an oc­tave, help­ing to fill the higher fre­quen­cies; while chang­ing the wave­form to Ad­di­tive 3 gives the sound a less shrill, more gritty tone. We also change the Fil­ter type to Band­pass with Cut­off at around 2-3kHz and 20% res­o­nance – we can mod­u­late this later on to add in­ter­est.

4 We can use Op­er­a­tor 1’s DADSR en­ve­lope to give our pad a more au­then­tic sound. Click the En­velopes tab (top cen­tre), and push the At­tack amount to around 2 to give it a slower at­tack. Set­ting the Peak level to roughly 0.7 will em­bel­lish this fur­ther, and in­creas­ing the

Re­lease will make the chords merge into one an­other.

5 DX7 V’s Mod Ma­trix is ideal for adding tex­ture. Set Amount 1’ s source to

LFO1 and des­ti­na­tion to Op 2 De­tune, then Amount 2 to Op 2 Cut­off. Ad­just the mod­u­la­tion amounts to -0.10 and +0.10 re­spec­tively – the LFO now mod­u­lates Op­er­a­tor 2’s de­tun­ing and band-pass fil­ter. LFO1’s Speed and De­lay di­als of­fer ex­tra con­trol over the mod­u­la­tion speed.

6 To give the pad a less abra­sive sound, let’s mod­u­late Op­er­a­tor 1’s Fil­ter. Start by fully as­sign­ing Mod Env 1 to Op 1

Fil­ter in the Mod Ma­trix, then pull Op­er­a­tor 1’s Fil­ter Cut­off down to 3kHz. Now, open Mod Env 1 in the DADSR, and dial in a long At­tack and medium Sus­tain, so that the fil­ter grad­u­ally opens out dur­ing each chord.

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