Login / Register
 
Please help me break down the synths in this song
New Reply
Subscribe
DocOck
Thread Starter
#1
14th February 2013
Old 14th February 2013
  #1
Gear Head
 
Joined: Jan 2012
Posts: 54

Thread Starter
DocOck is offline
Please help me break down the synths in this song

I am still pretty new to synths in general, so I really hope you guys can help me trying to figure out what kind of synths and how many layers there are in this song. It would really help me a lot in getting better at making and understanding synths. Thanks!

The Saturdays - What About Us - YouTube

Intro/verse @ 0:00 - 0:30: What kind of synths are here? There's something that gives a bassy feel, but is it just one synth playing low octaves as well?

Chorus @ 0:38 - 0:54: How many synth layers do you think this is? Or is it a single synth with many oscillators? Is it saw waves?

Chorus pt. 2: 0:54 - 1:07: So this is the part I am most curious about. This part sounds very fat, crunchy and wide. How do they achieve that? What are the synths that are sidechaining here? There's obviously a bass, but what kind, and is it also contributing to the "crunchy" sound? Or is that mainly the synth(s) on top of the bass (that you can here alone @ 2:13)? And what kind of synth is that? Maybe there are more than this one synth on top of the bass in the chorus? Which synth gives the mid frequencies? And how do they get the whole thing to sound so crisp/crunchy without "stabbing" in your ears?

I have a really hard time creating a bass that sounds fat and crunchy, so when I heard the chorus in this song, I was like "wow, that's exactly what I am looking for". So I really want to know what kind of bass that is, and what's on top of it. Maybe it's not even the bass that gives the sound that I am looking for, but I can't tell where the bass "ends" and where the synths on top "begin", and how many layers there are.

Hope you guys can help me out.

Thanks a lot!
DocOck
Thread Starter
#2
15th February 2013
Old 15th February 2013
  #2
Gear Head
 
Joined: Jan 2012
Posts: 54

Thread Starter
DocOck is offline
Anyone?
#3
15th February 2013
Old 15th February 2013
  #3
Gear Guru
 
Yoozer's Avatar
 
Joined: May 2009
Location: yurp
Posts: 11,884

Yoozer is offline
Quote:
Originally Posted by DocOck View Post
Intro/verse @ 0:00 - 0:30: What kind of synths are here? There's something that gives a bassy feel, but is it just one synth playing low octaves as well?
0:00 / 0:17 is somewhat different (but not much) compared to 0:17 / 0:30. Single oscillator saw wave playing thirds. Filter envelope 0 80 0 0 with env > filter very low, not more than 10% resonance (depends on actual character of filter used).

The reason it sounds so bassy is because there's a single oscillator sinewave playing the root note of those thirds an octave lower at exactly the same time. Detuning will not make it sound more wide, so you have to find another trick for that, I'm guessing a little bit of stereo widening.

At 0:17 the sound is virtually identical to the Black Eyed Peas' "Dirty Bit" - again playing thirds, but with portamento. These are two separate melody lines playing the same patch, and again it's a very simple saw wave. Filter ADSR 0 25% 35% 0 (not all filter envelopes may do this correctly, but this basically opens up the filter quickly and then keeps it constant at a lower ratio).

At 0:30, a supersaw an octave higher is layered on top of that. It's not a complicated trick per se - look at any Swedish House Mafia member's "in the studio" video and you'll see that they often duplicate their melody lines, play the melodies with different plugins and leave out certain notes so you get a fully layered sound that's not completely in unison.

Quote:
Chorus @ 0:38 - 0:54: How many synth layers do you think this is? Or is it a single synth with many oscillators? Is it saw waves?
2.
Often you don't want to use a single synth because then your opportunities for careful EQing go out of the window.
By using separate instances or synths you don't push everything through the same filter, which may make the filter react differently (gain staging for oscillators).
JP6K is very suitable for this, even more easy than Sylenth1.

Quote:
Chorus pt. 2: 0:54 - 1:07: So this is the part I am most curious about. This part sounds very fat, crunchy and wide. How do they achieve that?
Width is not necessarily due to synths, it's due to mixing.

Quote:
What are the synths that are sidechaining here?
Everything is sidechained to the kick.

Quote:
There's obviously a bass, but what kind
Besides the supersaw on top, the thirds are played by a different patch; not that different from the one in the intro, only this time it's using square waves. Bass sounds like a filtered saw.

Here, watch and be enlightened.

__________________
For all the intelligence and knowledge that technology empowers us with, the lazy and stupid is amplified along with it (Staticstarter)
Threads to check out: Chord Generators & Tips | Pop Sound Sources - synthesis tutorials
DocOck
Thread Starter
#4
16th February 2013
Old 16th February 2013
  #4
Gear Head
 
Joined: Jan 2012
Posts: 54

Thread Starter
DocOck is offline
Thanks a lot for your reply!

Do you have a patch for Sylenth that sounds like the supersaw and the bass in the 'What About Us' chorus? Would be really amazing. What makes the bass sound so fat and crunchy? Is it the supersaw or the bass that fills the mid frequencies?

Is it the supersaw you can hear alone @2:13 (http://youtu.be/-6YLi0GNBTk)

Can you recommend any plugins for post-processing? Soft-synths in professional tracks don't sound as "digital" and "sterile" as the sounds that come directly out of Sylenth for example.
#5
16th February 2013
Old 16th February 2013
  #5
Gear Guru
 
Yoozer's Avatar
 
Joined: May 2009
Location: yurp
Posts: 11,884

Yoozer is offline
The sound at 2:13 is not a supersaw.

Supersaws in Sylenth are the easiest. Menu > Init patch. Set the number of voices of oscillator A1 to 7 and make sure the waveshape is a saw. Turn up the Detune knob of A1 halfway.

If you play the note repeatedly, you notice that it has a "pointy" attack. The JP8000 doesn't have this. To get rid of it, switch the "retrig" button off.

This is the basic, unfiltered sound used for so many sounds you hear in popular music. That's all there is to it. Now, compare this with the sound at 2:13 again - that sound is much more focused. More focus = less detune (and in this case, none, because the sound at 2:13 is virtually identical to that used in the intro from 0:00 to 0:17).

These oscillator combinations (in this case, 7 stacked and detuned saws) are what you have to learn by heart when you want to deconstruct sounds.
DocOck
Thread Starter
#6
24th February 2013
Old 24th February 2013
  #6
Gear Head
 
Joined: Jan 2012
Posts: 54

Thread Starter
DocOck is offline
Quote:
Originally Posted by Yoozer View Post
The sound at 2:13 is not a supersaw.
What sound is it then? And is it also playing in the chorus? Is it just the bass with a lot of low cut?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Yoozer View Post
Bass sounds like a filtered saw.
Is filter = cut off / hi cut? As said, I am a synth noob, so I really appreciate your help!

How do I make this kind of bass? It's really hard for me to hear where the bass ends and where the synth on top starts in the soundscape. Does the bass add nothing to the saw-ish feel in the chorus of What About Us? Is that mainly the supersaw?

Another example:
Flo Rida - Whistle (Instrumental) - YouTube

The bass from 0:28 - 0:37 and 0:55 - 1:04, is that only a bass or does it have a synth on top that gives that saw-ish sound? If it's only a bass, what kind of bass is it, and how do I make it?

Thanks man!
#7
25th February 2013
Old 25th February 2013
  #7
Gear Guru
 
Yoozer's Avatar
 
Joined: May 2009
Location: yurp
Posts: 11,884

Yoozer is offline
Quote:
Originally Posted by DocOck View Post
What sound is it then?
A single saw wave. You could add a slight bit of noise (LFO waveform) to modulate the pitch with to add some dirt to it.

Quote:
Is filter = cut off / hi cut? As said, I am a synth noob, so I really appreciate your help!
The default filter for any subtractive synthesizer is a lowpass filter; it's the most useful.

Think of a guitar string. When it's plucked, you get a bright sound with lots of overtones. As the string vibrates, it loses its energy because of resistance of the air surrounding it. The overtones are the first to go, until the string vibrates with its fundamental frequency - and then when that vibration diminishes as well, it just drops down in volume. That's the phenomenon that a lowpass filter can simulate.

Low pass == hi cut, but hi cut is as a term reserved for equalizers.

Quote:
How do I make this kind of bass? It's really hard for me to hear where the bass ends and where the synth on top starts in the soundscape.
Then put the song through an EQ and filter away everything that's not in the frequency range. With melodical parts that are too fast to follow, slow the song down with a wave editor.

The bass consists of two layers; the sub to give it more weight, and the saw-ish part that's low-mid.

Quote:
Another example:
Flo Rida - Whistle (Instrumental) - YouTube

The bass from 0:28 - 0:37 and 0:55 - 1:04, is that only a bass or does it have a synth on top that gives that saw-ish sound? If it's only a bass, what kind of bass is it, and how do I make it?

Thanks man!
That particular saw-like sound is achieved with a band-reject filter (the opposite of a bandpass). It's also referred to as a notch filter.
DocOck
Thread Starter
#8
25th February 2013
Old 25th February 2013
  #8
Gear Head
 
Joined: Jan 2012
Posts: 54

Thread Starter
DocOck is offline
So how many synths does the chorus consist of in What About Us (just the constant sidechaining ones)?

Do you think the sub-bass and the low-mid saw-bass are made out of 1 synth entity with more oscillators, or is it 2 individual synth tracks on top of each other?

Another example:
Carly Rae Jepsen - Tonight I'm Getting Over You - YouTube

The bass at 1:56. Is that 1 synth track or 2? I'm just trying to understand if a bass track can have that saw-ish top, or if it's 2 separate synth entities. Is it the same bass in the chorus (at 2:50), or does that have more low-freqs or layers to it?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Yoozer View Post
That particular saw-like sound is achieved with a band-reject filter (the opposite of a bandpass). It's also referred to as a notch filter.
But is it 1 synth that makes the entire bass (top and bottom), or is it a sub and a synth on top of it in the Flo Rida track (Whistle)? Do you know or have a preset that sounds like it, or can you make one? Would be awesome!
New Reply Submit Thread to Facebook Facebook  Submit Thread to Twitter Twitter  Submit Thread to LinkedIn LinkedIn  Submit Thread to Google+ Google+ 
 
Topic:
Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Similar Threads
Thread
Thread Starter / Forum
Replies
joelpatterson / Remote Possibilities in Acoustic Music & Location Recording
45
James Roper-Kum / Remote Possibilities in Acoustic Music & Location Recording
48
Remoteness / Remote Possibilities in Acoustic Music & Location Recording
31
cowboycurtis / Remote Possibilities in Acoustic Music & Location Recording
0
el cochino / Live Sound
0

Forum Jump

SEO by vBSEO ©2011, Crawlability, Inc.