Producing unique and original sounds can be demanding and sometimes you can feel as if you’re stuck in a rut going round and round in circles. Creativity is lacking and you keep asking yourself, how do I recreate that real-world sound? The options can be bewildering from using synths to one-shot samples to sample-based instruments. You have probably tried to think outside the box so many times that there is no box left. Never give up though, here we are going to take a look at some unique sound designs used by professionals.
Ever thought of just using sounds and distortion? Then why not take a distortion synthesis approach and try and create new timbres and tones using only the most basic sounds and distortion. Input gain can be varied using volume modulation, or a tremolo, to create a different waveform shift. If a pure sine wave is pushed into distortion, then the waveform can be squared off. You will find an amazing array of distortion on which to base your sounds.
Bear with me on this one, because white noise is often one of the most overlooked tools available as most people solely relate it to adding energy in drops. When added to an otherwise dull sound it can add character, liveliness, and a sense of depth. These qualities can all lead to a more enlivened synth patch.
Separating the two arts of sound design and composition can lead to heightened productivity in both fields. Spend one day a week simply creating different tones, timbres, or textures and you will richen your library. If you are lost for ideas you can speak to experts at Samplified who can help professionals improve their mix techniques and, therefore, sample library. Furthermore, keep everything well organized and you can then use those sounds at the right moment.
This sounds counterproductive because why else would the synth have its built-in effects? Sure there may well be occasions where those effects can be an integral part of the desired sound, but if you remove the effects and use, for example, the third-party reverbs, choruses, delays, or distortions, you will give yourself an enormous amount of extra control. It is common knowledge that nine times out of ten you will achieve better results with a third party plugin than with your Synth’s effects, so turn them off!
This is thinking outside the box. As with general life, sometimes the mistakes we make can lead to unexpected gains or results. What happens when you plug a cable into the wrong port? It creates a buzz or hum, so use it! If you’re using a turntable, pull the needle off the record to make scratches or pops. If you want amplified system noise then simply turn up an empty mixer channel’s preamp gain. All these ideas are traditional mistakes, yet they can lead to some truly unique sounds being created.
What is wrong with real instruments? These days, everyone is obsessed with synths to the point that they don’t see what is right in front of them. Get that guitar or bass out, record your voice, or a friend’s vocals. Percussion works great as well, find those long-forgotten castanets or the xylophone from your school days. You will be left with something utterly unique and different from what the normal producers create, who go down the organic route. You never know, you may even make a niche for yourself!
Of course, you can’t make music without your ears, right? Wrong. You’ve been staring at those waveforms for years, so why not use them by eye to create music? Turn of the synth’s initialized patch and speakers and then make an entire patch without listening to it. You could even go really mad and hook up random parameters. Who knows what it will sound like, but it will certainly be unique and something different if you are struggling for ideas!
Sound designs are an almost endless opportunity to create different music. Of course, synths can be used in the manner they are meant to be, but by doing something slightly different you can create very different and very unique sounds. When you are stuck for ideas, try doing the very thing you are not supposed to do, you might surprise yourself. Something as simple as white noise can be utilized to your advantage to create a livelier synth patch and instruments you never thought of can be used to create wonderfully unique sound designs.