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Fattening up hardware synths.
Old 28th July 2005
  #1
Gear Maniac
 
impact studios's Avatar
 

Fattening up hardware synths.

Hi

I notice that commercial dance music has very fat sounds that i have tried to emulate myself with no real luck....

Any ideas how this is done...?

I have tried setting the synths in unison mode, adding harmonizer effects from my TC M3000, and adding delay....But it just doesn't sound as fat...

The synths i have in the studio are
Roland Jupiter 6
Access Virus C
Waldorf Microwave XT
Novation Supernova

Paul
Old 29th July 2005
  #2
Lives for gear
 
max cooper's Avatar
 

What's your system? A/D, D/A, monitors, recording chain, etc...?

I do like to put a single repeat (if it's a lead synth) and play with the panning and delay time; can't do too much of that, and I don't like it too wide, either, but it can help.

Have you tried hardware compression? Depending on the patch, I can think of cases where it worked wonders. I had really good results with a Nord Modular and a Summit TLA 100. Very PHATT!

I think a good D.I. can work wonders too, and/or running the synth through an amp/speaker and micing it.

Lastly, I totally dig the API 525 in 'off' mode (which runs through the circuit with no gain reduction.) Nisssse!


BTW, might be a good idea to post a file of the sound you're making. could probably get a lot of good input!
Old 29th July 2005
  #3
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cdog's Avatar
EL FATSO
Old 29th July 2005
  #4
Gear Maniac
 
impact studios's Avatar
 

Thanks for the help so far...
I have an Avalon 737 and a Purple Audio MC77.....
I'll try running the audio through those....

Any other ideas...?

Paul
Old 29th July 2005
  #5
Lives for gear
 
Sharp11's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by impact studios
Hi

I notice that commercial dance music has very fat sounds that i have tried to emulate myself with no real luck....

Any ideas how this is done...?

I have tried setting the synths in unison mode, adding harmonizer effects from my TC M3000, and adding delay....But it just doesn't sound as fat...

The synths i have in the studio are
Roland Jupiter 6
Access Virus C
Waldorf Microwave XT
Novation Supernova

Paul
I don't know what the problem could be, I've got at least two of those synths listed (the Virus and the Supernova) and both sound seriously "fat" right out of the box.

My hardware synths are plugged directly into a digidesign 96I i/o, they come up in PT as inputs. I often use plugs at this point, most often Soundtoys stuff (Pitchblender , Filter Freak, etc), but half the time I'm eq-ing out some of the fatness to make the synths sit better in an overall mix.

It may be your monitoring is not giving you an accurate picture of what's really being recorded?

Ed
Old 29th July 2005
  #6
Lives for gear
 

I do dance music for a living, and own the keyboards that you mention. They are totally fat machines out of the box. Stuff like the Virus and Supernova are very full sounding machines. In dance/club music, alot of people are just doubling up sounds. I know alot of guys do layers and layers of synths to build up an ultra thick sound. Also, lots of filtering etc ... panning different synth patches playing the same line etc ... What direct box are you using to record into your computer?

Contact me if you want to talk further via PM.

Ian
Old 29th July 2005
  #7
Gear Nut
 

STOMP BOXES

distortion, fuzz, tube sat, dirty chorus, and any other beautiful analog goo. lots of really good electronica sounds are a combination of many pieces of gear, not just a nice synth nicely captured. i have a few analog stomp boxes hooked up to a patchbay along with my synth outputs and console inputs, makes it easy to try out different effects chains.
Old 29th July 2005
  #8
Lives for gear
 

You have some great synths! The JP6 and Supernova are two of my favorites. Could there be a problem with your arrangements or instrumentation? Also, make sure you don't record too hot. You should post some examples and maybe we can help more.
Old 29th July 2005
  #9
Lives for gear
 

Also, running them through a Pod is good for some applications (Sans amp and Amplitube as well). Definitely experiment w/ running them thru you Avalon and Purple.
Old 29th July 2005
  #10
I would reprogram those synths before plugging them into compressors and stuff, I have the waldorf, the virus c and I've had a novation, you can get a lot out of those synths before you need to use any outboard gear ...
Old 29th July 2005
  #11
Lives for gear
 

What kind of sounds are you going for? Are there any examples of commercial tracks that you could give us with the fat sounds you're after? A lot of it is just in layering, EQing and programming...
Old 7th August 2005
  #12
Gear Nut
It's layering and mixing ,thats all but not easy.


visit www.airbase.nu he is using only reason software no external hardware synth and hardware dynamics and he is mixing with headphones only .
or visit http://www.mennodejong.nl/main.html look at his studio then after listen their sound. It's acceptable for trance genre .
Old 7th August 2005
  #13
Lives for gear
 
DirkB's Avatar
I've had good luck driving the input gain on my TG2 to get some distortion and back of the output, really makes string pads gell better in a rock mix, also works great with "digital" Hammonds.

Good luck,
Dirk
Old 7th August 2005
  #14
Lives for gear
 
octatonic's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by impact studios
Hi

I notice that commercial dance music has very fat sounds that i have tried to emulate myself with no real luck....

Any ideas how this is done...?

Roland Jupiter 6
Access Virus C
Waldorf Microwave XT
Novation Supernova
I'm here using Logic software with Digidesign Hardware (so running the ESB and DAE together.

I tend to double and accent parts a lot - ie a NORD Bass might be doubled with the a Quaisimidi Bass and then accented with something else lik, er, maybe Trilogy.
I might send all of them through a single Bus in Logic and compress them together so the levels dont go too crazy.

I've been using multiband compressed on drum busses a lot lately as well as crane song phoenix (tdm plugin) and Trans X Multi from Waves.
They all sound pretty cool.

I learnt a while back that I have to get any soft synths away from the native mixer in Logic and drop them into the TDM mixer as soon as possible- the TDM mixer sounds vastly better to my ears when you start stacking tracks up.
Same goes for Core Audio.

JR
Old 7th August 2005
  #15
Lives for gear
 
six_wax's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by impact studios
Hi

I notice that commercial dance music has very fat sounds that i have tried to emulate myself with no real luck....
'Fat' is relative to 'Thin'. It's all about proportion and perspective. There are some good ways to color your signal --both hardware (DIs, pres, compressors) and software (amp/tape modelling, etc.)-- but ultimately you've got too have other things thinner in the mix to make something sound big and 'fat' when it's loud. I've found it ends up being more about how focused and precise you can get the rest of your sound pallette to make those synth sounds feel like they're huge in proportion...

'Fat' is 30% timbre and 70% proportion. Maybe you should focus more on the proprotion? Just a thought...

I've got a Virus, and ime, the issue is usually more about slimming it down... Rather than try to get everything else to stack up against it...

(fwiw, I find that decent analog chains kind of naturally color and focus sounds, making it easier to maneuver this proportional slight-of-hand game... but there's plenty of tools to get there ITB if your ears know where you're supposed to go...)

And just in case it hasn't been said out loud lately, mixing is really, really hard. I think many programmer/producer types forget this...
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