Nasty sounding like synths

Hi everyone !

I am kind of new in the world of producers and I was wondering, what are your tips to make your sounds nastiest. What I mean by that is how do you process or make your presets in order to get people look you with a weird face. I want to reproduce sounds like “WOW” of tiesto or “Butterfly” of Andrew Belize.

I am aware that you need to stack the layers and all of that but you can’t tell me that they just choose a preset and slam camelcrusher on it and et voila right ??

Thanks in advance for all your tips !

I found that even when I want something really “dirty” less is more with distortion and things like bit crushing. Also, find the frequencies that make the distortion pop out of the mix and only distort that especially if you are going for an overall a pop-ish mix. Otherwise you are just adding a lot of mud to the mix. I can’t say for sure, but someone at Tietso’s level is also likely receiving help with the mix achieving a final product like that might be difficult in a beginner home studio.


I don’t do layers or anything. Actually, my sound design is super basic, straight out of the 80s most of the time. What really helps push my stuff is that I do multiple stages of trying to make it “pop”.

So first, there’s the sound design, where I set the filter, the resonance, maybe the filter tracking, the envelope, and maybe even the LFO on the filter to get the filter to emphasize the harmonics I want subtly. Then, first thing on every mix channel is a distortion. Again, this is light, subtle stuff, just to give it flavor and push those harmonics I want a bit more. Then I do all my normal mixing. After that, if I want to get dirty, then I do another distortion and go nuts with it. Or you can use a nasty compressor. Or both. IMO, distortion really takes some exploration to figure out what can give you the sound you want.

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[quote=“Blanco, post:1, topic:2803”]
your nastiest methods to weird face butterflies

Experiment with various high pass/low pass filter combinations is generally where I begin to at least create a foundation to build on by incorporating elements from other areas including but not limiting to the structuring of your synth (adjusting volume envelopes, the numerous modulation parameters, twiddle the fuck out of your LFO(s) as well as any FX/Noise generators that are from the synth itself. Various combinations of FX chains that you tether to your synth channel can as it often does yields very good and unexpected results.


Getting better at signal processing is probably the best place to start, which can begin with built-in instruments and can typically expand into your native effects. Rather than downloading the coolest distortion unit that somebody is using (not the camel crusher!), taking the time to craft your sounds with what’s already available inside of your DAW can be the best learning experience of all.

If you already have Serum or VCV rack though, you already have an insane powerhouse at your fingertips that you’re not tapping into.


Use your soft synth somewhat as a sampler… by selecting small snippets of different samples to use as custom wave forms in you soft synth’s osc and then FM modulate it play with the tuning of the different oscillators, apply envelopes or automation and if you want add effects according to taste…resampling is just applying various forms of digital signal processing (i.e. adding fx…timestretch…granular…spectral morphing…etc…)

Also combining dry(no fx)/ wet(with fx) signals via eqing

Also Waveshaper distortion is very versatile.


if you’re really dedicated get one of these

also just wild digital distortions, i never got as into them but stuff like foldback distortion and waveshapers can net you some well and truly fucked tones

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Alright guys ! Thanks a lot for the tips I am going to try these !

It is sure that since I am only beginning a lot of your methods sounds like Chinese to me but with my friend google I am sure that I am going to be able to unscramble all of that !

I do have serum and I am using all presets for the moment since I have no freaking clue how sound design works but I’ll get some knowledge on that !

Also I am using camelcrusher, ott and waveshaper but I think waveshaper is not the best tool I can get for that, I heard that the sausage fattener was pretty decent, anyone of y’all using that? Should I get it?

Thanks again for your quick answers !

Waveshaper is really good, but you have to really know a lot about how distortion works to get the most out of it.

EDIT: I knew I had a post about how it worked somewhere

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the trick is to combine eq’ing(filtering)/ with distortion

just eq, distort, eq, again, distort…etc… in any order you desire…

or frequency band split by using sends and filtering with eq until desired frequencies, one mixer channel would be the low frequency band, the other would be the mid frequency band, and the last would be the high frequency band, and apply different fx to each frequency band…or just play around by using sends and with an eq create a weird filter for each send…

Don’t repeat my mistake. Stop making music! May you have a life. :smile::smile::smile::smile::smile:


i don’t use sausage but i understand it’s good if you want to just squash something down, more akin to an overdrive than a distortion or a fuzz in guitar terms.

best way to learn is, study types of distortion, read a bit about how amplifiers work and the history of distortion in rock music, read manuals for things you use, and just experiment with your tools. even if you’re not doing rock it’s a good way to understand what distortion is vs overdrive vs other kinds of things like just wtf a waveshaper is even doing or what fuzz means or why the plasma pedal i posted is even a big deal.

i keep trying to remember the good old distortions everyone on here used to pimp, i think ohmicide?