How to make human/organic like patches?


#1

How does one go about making patches that sound organic? I mean in that their texture is intricate without an obvious looping noise in the oscillator.

Something like this:

Is something like this possible in software?


#2

Well first, a serious sound design VST synth has way more under the hood than most hardware synths. I don’t know what synths you are using but there shouldn’t be a “looping noise.” You need to modulate or automate parameters to get something “organic” IMO. Also slightly detuning the oscillators is pretty essential in making things sound less machine like. It is also possible you may need to layer several synth patches to get what you are looking for.

I’m really not hearing anything special in that track, but its defo more than one synth patch.


#3

I guess when I mean looping noise, I mean most patches I play around with on the synths I have (Sytrus, Harmor, Sylenth, Morphine, 3xOsc) have this really artificial sound to them and kills the ambience i’m trying to go for.

Even the ones I make seem to sound really artificial and lifeless. I mean I can make bass and pluck patches ok but really struggle with ambient drone like patches to work. I made something similar to the above with 3xOsc but I can only get it to sound organic when it’s put through a convolver reverb, but it sounds too far away and not as direct as in Stone in Focus.


#4

A couple things. 3xOSC is super basic. And doesn’t have any good modulation options, you’d have to automate parameters instead. And of course reverb will make it sound natural, we don’t hear any sounds in real life that don’t have “reverb” on them. If it sounds too far away its the wrong reverb settings, you want a short reverb time and decay. As for presets a “short hall” “small room” or “small plate” might be more what you are looking for. You could also just try adjusting the wet/dry values.

But read the rest of what I posted above, it isn’t about the synth you are using so much. Modulating parameters is key.

Sylenth is really popular, I’m sure you can find tutorials on making all kinds of sounds with that one. It sounds like you just might need to learn more about synthesis?

Also, again, in that track I think there are probably a couple different patches layered together–like if you had 3 different 3xOSCs loaded up with a different patch on each one and different FX.


#5

Pads are an art form of their own, IMO. Getting the modulation right (not too little / not too much) and making ambient tracks seem like they’re actually going somewhere takes a lot of work and patience. Oh, and layering.

Have you tried using something like Serum for pads? A fun trick that I like to use to make things more improvised is to just hook up an oscillator to a filter in VCV rack or Oscillot and just start playing with the parameters in real time with the record button armed. You never know what you can use to resample in the future, and it’s definitely got that ‘human’ feel to it.


#6

I don’t own Serum. I’ve been mostly trying to make my own with what I have in FL Studio.

I’m trying to re-orchestrate some piano music for synths but find everything too overwhelming.

This is what I want to try orchestrating (3:12 mark)

The piano here is very quiet yet firm sounding, and you can clearly hear each line. I want to get the same level of clarity with synthesizers that also can expressively shape some of the phrases. Some pads do feel nice when I try using them, but the ASDR envelopes are too janky for these kind of notes.


#7

Sample the waveform of some field recordings small clipping ie milliseconds and load that sample as a custom waveform into the osc…

Lately I’ve been trying to play around with fundamental tones i.e. setting an osc at like 440 hz for example then having the fundamental osc FM mod a sine wave…but with this I’ve found that I have duplicate the patch and set a different tuning for the fundamental osc for different notes…

But mainly Messed up phases of the waveform and fm and tuning osc so that you use them as lfos in conjuction with modding it by something simple like a sine wave… filter out frequencies with an eq then delay/reverb or convoluted reverb using a weird impulse…

High attack some sustain high realease…little decay…

Also an arpeggio that has a filter envelope applied to it…reverbed distorted and filtered…

You also could do the paulstretch…spectral morphing thing…really so many ways to make it…I’ve covered the synthesis part for the least as for the resampling part your gonna have to use your Imagination…i.e. FM mod…granular resample…then resample the granular back into FM to FM mod it and then filter and reverb…or vocodex it and mix dry wet signals…


#8

With the tools you are using (I use FL studio, but I don’t currently use any of the native synths) you might find you need an additional envelope and filter after the fact to get the kind of control of the sound you are looking for. Love Philter could help you with this.

And asking a synthesizer to feel like a piano is a tall order. That’s why people still pay really good money for finely articulate, sample based piano software instruments in their DAW.

It is kind of a tall order, that Aphex song sounds like a lot long notes, droning notes which is one kind of envelope and a soft, but firm note like with a piano is going to have a different kind of ADSR setting. Are you trying to make pad sounds also sound like a short, soft piano note?


#9

How about trying Vcv rack (it’s free) and look up some tutorials on drones, then take it from there and see where it leads you.
Or
Open the vst synth you know best
Play a single note you like, hold it down forever.
Now add a second oscillator, start detuning it a bit to get the waveforms ‘pulsating’ with each other
Automate with an lfo
Now play with the filter
Add effects and so forth


#10

I’ll show you guys what I’m talking about because I think it’s better explained with examples.

So I have this hear drone pad that I made with 2 Sylenths and convolver.

And hear it is used in the fugue:

Mind you to make the above I needed to clone my patch 3 times and use 3x FL Keyboard Controller to create my own keyswitch layer just so I could have different articulations of the same synth (which is a pain in the ass and why is there no vst or plugin out there that does this already?)

The long atk makes it sound great on the whole notes and half notes. But using shorter ADSR settings kills the sound entirely. But if I don’t use shorter ADSR you can’t hear anything smaller than a half note.

Here is third attempt:

A little better, but still an absolute pain the ass to set all this up (3 sylenth + 3 keyboard controller * 4 voices) - if I want to add more articulations I have to add more keyboard controllers and sylenth clones and it quickly can explode to like 24 copies of Sylenth just to have each voice have its own unique articulations. I just don’t understand why this has to be so frustrating to do.


#11

You could try an FM synth with DX7-like controls, like Dexed. It’s free.

Because 6 env generators per patch. 6 complex envelope generators per patch, which means very capable of complex evolving sounds. It has 6 envelopes because it has 6 operators which can be…shit, I’m rambling. Just check it out. Once your learn how to program FM sounds a whole new palette of sounds becomes available to you.