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Techno - Darker Sound
Old 16th October 2013
  #1
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Anadrolic's Avatar
 

Techno - Darker Sound

Greetings!

Question: Adam Beyer, Joseph Capriatti, Nicole Moudaber, Cari Lakebusch and basically the Drumcode artists. They all have those deep dark synth sounds which I basically can't find anywhere!

I got the drums down, mixed nicely everything is in place and sounding good. Bassline is almost there(missing some thickness and proper side chaining), but the synths are the main problem!

Anybody got some synths recommended to check out? I got Massive(hate it), Minimonsta(which is pretty good for bass and some other stuff), Omnisphere(didn't install it yet), G-force(ImpOSCar2) and the Arturia(CS80 and ARP2600 some suggested to try the minimoog vst) but nothing sounds right. They all sound pretty thin and like the sounds have been taken out of some 80's music(no disrespect but not what i'm looking for). Even after tweaking and tweaking I really can't find anything that even resembles the good sounds of top artists today and especially the drumcode sound which I'm after.

This is not another "how do i sound like XXX" thread, I'm looking for an overall fantastic sounding synth BUT it's should be pretty dark(creating techno and deep house). Dark AND Clean, I hate the dirty gritty sound it doesn't fit to my style of production which is pretty clean.

So what do you guys have to offer? I've probably listened to maybe 20-30 synth samples and nothing sounds good...all the VST stuff pretty much sounds the same with some minor changes. The only two that i actually use right now is the Minimonsta and soon will use the Omnishpere.

Looking forward to some suggestions!

BTW:
Here are 2 tracks of mine for an example(they are about 70% done - missing synths good synths!)


Another sketch:

Tracks with synth sounds that I like:





HELP OUT!! Looking for these amazing sounds, weird dark and massive!
Old 16th October 2013
  #2
Lives for gear
 

tal uno lx and bassline 101
Old 16th October 2013
  #3
Gear Head
 

Lots of 'bass' sounds in these tracks comes from toms and it sounds like there's quite a lot of chamber reverb going on.

Synth wise D16s excellent Lush-101 would do the job, although I'm surprised you think the ARP2600 is not suitable. Even Sylenth doesn't do a bad job, it's just all about the programming. Oh and definitely install Omnisphere, for those weird background techno pads with lots of movement it's probably the best virtual instrument out there.
Old 16th October 2013
  #4
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tsutek's Avatar
 

You already seem to have everything you need to get the sounds you want? Just dig in deeper (and install that omnisphere for chrissakes!)

A lot of the vibe you're seeking lies in the processing of the synth tracks ie. mixing..
Old 16th October 2013
  #5
Gear Addict
for dark synth sounds like these it not so much what synth you use, but what key and a few other basics.

if you haven't you should read over music foundation. I find the music foundation videos from sonic academy great, cause it focus on how that theory applies to dance music.

so for creating those sounds

1) first you should use these scales which are pretty dark (modes, you can look em up online)
Phrygian
Dorian
Locrian

2) second find a synth digital, VA, or analog, that has a detune and cant tune to cents. usually if i adjust detune/cents to the above scales it gets pretty dark and distant sounding.

3) lastly this guys that you list are masters of making tacks so this will take time. once you get some cool sounds with the above methods try experimenting by placing a note out of place from the above scales. use some extreme setting on detune/cents.just keep playing with it till you get some sounds your after.be prepared to spend many hours, the more you practice the faster/better you will become.

make sure you save patches along the way that way you can build a good collections of sounds you like.
Old 16th October 2013
  #6
Wildfunk
Guest
Quote:
Originally Posted by Anadrolic View Post
I've probably listened to maybe 20-30 synth samples and nothing sounds good...all the VST stuff pretty much sounds the same with some minor changes.
Maybe Minimonsta & co. are just the wrong synths for dark/disharmonious/cold techno.

What about this:
Attached Files

Dark.mp3 (3.16 MB, 5967 views)

Old 16th October 2013
  #7
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Der Laborant's Avatar
 

Drown your stuff in (chamber) reverb, diffussion and eq has to be taken in consideration as well as pre-delay and size ofc

delay is important too (rythmic delay as 'played notes')

sometimes different reverbs with different settings (and extreme, like super small, probably as insert not send) are used

low passed sounds to make a deeper sound

for more 90's rooted techno I'd strongly advice fm synths, fm in general for techno is quite spread I think

thanks to the one who mentioned the modes, I totally forgot about them but as I do darker techno myself it could be nice to dive into them again now
Old 16th October 2013
  #8
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Guns N Dope's Avatar
Sounds like you're wanting to keep it ITB but if you ever want to go out the Elektron Analog 4 was pretty much made for this. The osc and filter tone are perfectly suited for darker techno and Carpenter style synth sounds.
Old 16th October 2013
  #9
Lives for gear
 

wow nobody's insisted you have to use analog synths yet. Might be a GS record.

All of the above suggestions are great. You could also get there with analog synths.

and a ton of filtered/EQ'd reverb, don't forget. Also the cold post-imperial ennui of northern europe; a dash of that will help immensely.

edit: please enjoy this DJ set of mine, featuring lots of Drumcode tracks.

Old 16th October 2013
  #10
Gear Addict
 
Der Laborant's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by controlvoltage View Post
Also the cold post-imperial ennui of northern europe; a dash of that will help immensely.
agree, feel like northern sphere of europe is visual techno heh
Old 16th October 2013
  #11
Lives for gear
old samplers (are what they used)
Old 16th October 2013
  #12
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Anadrolic's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Der Laborant View Post
Drown your stuff in (chamber) reverb, diffussion and eq has to be taken in consideration as well as pre-delay and size ofc

delay is important too (rythmic delay as 'played notes')

sometimes different reverbs with different settings (and extreme, like super small, probably as insert not send) are used

low passed sounds to make a deeper sound

for more 90's rooted techno I'd strongly advice fm synths, fm in general for techno is quite spread I think

thanks to the one who mentioned the modes, I totally forgot about them but as I do darker techno myself it could be nice to dive into them again now
Danke!
Not sure about diffussion, I'm only using Ableton's built in effects and stuff.
You've mentioned Reverb Insert not send, which is a term I'm not familiar with I usually just find a reverb that I like tweak it and place it as an effect on specific channel.
Old 16th October 2013
  #13
Gear Addict
 
Der Laborant's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Anadrolic View Post
Not sure about diffussion, I'm only using Ableton's built in effects and stuff.
You've mentioned Reverb Insert not send, which is a term I'm not familiar with I usually just find a reverb that I like tweak it and place it as an effect on specific channel.
That's what i meant with the insert, there soem extreme reverb settings on some sounds, can get freaky when you suddenly have a hihat that is in an xtreme small room with crazy settings whilst other main sounds are reverbed with a send

Send is when you put a 100% wet reverb on a send channel, and send with the a,b,c,d knobs beneath the channels, you set how much of the sound in volume is sent to the reverb in the sendchan., its like you have an audiochannel which only has a reverbed sound from all the channels you sent sounds to the send reverb channel
I'm in a hurry sorry for a maybe bad and broken english explanation

basically you can put sounds in one reverb setting which is also wet amount controlled by the send knobs a,b,c,d (depends on your number of sendchannels) etc. more consist soundpicture which can then be extended with special insert sounds
Old 16th October 2013
  #14
Lives for gear
 

Adam Beyer & Cari Lekebusch did a lot of sounds for the Reason factory content. Their drum samples are rather splendid.
Old 16th October 2013
  #15
I second the FM suggestion, FM8 is very cool for techno. But really all that modern Drumcode sound is pretty run of the mill stuff, and can probably all be done with Operator and a few sample packs...

To really get dark start exploring ambiances, found sounds, re-sampling, long reverbs, subtle distortion. ITB or OTB it doesn't matter, experimentation is key.


.
Old 16th October 2013
  #16
Gear Nut
 

Imo, most of "darkness" in these tracks comes from EQ and Reverb/delay. Many sounds in rhythm patterns are processed samples, not synths. It is much simpler way to create dark textures by effects rather to synthesize them from scratch.
By the way, source synth lines are quite 80-sh
Old 16th October 2013
  #17
Gear Addict
 
Anadrolic's Avatar
 

I have to check some of the stuff mentioned here.
Any suggested plugins as well? Tape simulators, whatever...I need more character to my sounds.
Old 16th October 2013
  #18
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Anadrolic's Avatar
 

By the way, I forgot to ask...I do prefer to stay all digital with barely any hardware(I own maschine and gonna buy a midi keyboard) but what about a good hardware synth. Like a Virus TI? Or there are other better(and hopefully cheaper) options?
Old 17th October 2013
  #19
Quote:
Originally Posted by Anadrolic View Post
I have to check some of the stuff mentioned here.
Any suggested plugins as well? Tape simulators, whatever...I need more character to my sounds.

U-he Satin is the best tape sim I've used period. And Sonic Charge Permut8
Old 17th October 2013
  #20
Gear Addict
 
Der Laborant's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Anadrolic View Post
what about a good hardware synth. Like a Virus TI? Or there are other better(and hopefully cheaper) options?
Well depends on what you want but as I said, FM synthesis, you can get a yamaha for cheap but need an external midi editor to programm it, but I can ensure you that you well get some great techno chords out of it, if you want more detroit rooted stuff, but can also get creepy and mysterious
Old 17th October 2013
  #21
Lives for gear
Quote:
Originally Posted by Anadrolic View Post
By the way, I forgot to ask...I do prefer to stay all digital with barely any hardware(I own maschine and gonna buy a midi keyboard) but what about a good hardware synth. Like a Virus TI? Or there are other better(and hopefully cheaper) options?
As previously suggested get an Elektron A4. It's perfect for your needs. The sound is quite contemporary minimal in slant.
Old 17th October 2013
  #22
Lives for gear
To my ears the A4 is about as far from the drumcode sound as I can imagine, except for maybe a sidstation. It's a swedish synth tho, so perhaps it's better for swedish techno than I can fathom from the sound.
Old 17th October 2013
  #23
Lives for gear
Quote:
Originally Posted by bluegreengold View Post
To my ears the A4 is about as far from the drumcode sound as I can imagine, except for maybe a sidstation. It's a swedish synth tho, so perhaps it's better for swedish techno than I can fathom from the sound.
I think the OP refers to the "new" Drumcode sound as he also says that he hates "the dirty gritty sound" which pretty much describes the sound of old Adam Beyer / Drumcode and Cari Lekebusch (@Hybrid) records
Old 17th October 2013
  #24
Lives for gear
Quote:
Originally Posted by coffee View Post
I think the OP refers to the "new" Drumcode sound as he also says that he hates "the dirty gritty sound" which pretty much describes the sound of old Adam Beyer / Drumcode and Cari Lekebusch (@Hybrid) records
Turn your ear for a second and the times change. lol
Old 17th October 2013
  #25
I'm a fan of mid-late 80's deep house. They didn't have polyphonic synths, so they would take a sample of a dissonant chord, and then play a melody or just occasional stabs and it made for a kind of mysterious type sound.
Old 17th October 2013
  #26
Lives for gear
There's an awful lot of bollocks being talked here!

Very amusing.
Old 17th October 2013
  #27
Gear Guru
A4 is my suggestion. That reverb in there is perfect for this.. and the oscillator overdrive is nice for getting it tough but not too dirty..
Old 17th October 2013
  #28
Gear Guru
 
Karloff70's Avatar
 

A4 can certainly do techno. Check out Barfunkel hammering out turbo creation techno numbers in minutes each with nothing but an A4 and a Boss mixer:

https://www.gearslutz.com/board/post-...ur-tracks.html

Old 18th October 2013
  #29
Gear Addict
 
Anadrolic's Avatar
 

Here is another example, there is a stab going through most of the track and it's just massive thick and heavy...I can't find any similar synths that can produce this.

I'll check all the suggestions here, the Elektron thing looks nice but it's pretty expensive for what it delivers.



Old 18th October 2013
  #30
Lives for gear
Quote:
Originally Posted by Anadrolic View Post
Here is another example, there is a stab going through most of the track and it's just massive thick and heavy...I can't find any similar synths that can produce this.

I'll check all the suggestions here, the Elektron thing looks nice but it's pretty expensive for what it delivers.



Sounds like it could be produced on an elektron 4.

The elektron is really cheap for 4 mono synths, a sequencer built in, effects built in, oh and it can sequence CV gear too.

The price has recently gone up though.

Only thing I can criticize it for is not more audio outs.

It's a great bit of kit for what you need, particularly so owing to the bang for buck value and I've recommended it to anyone who will listen.

And those who won't
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