Designing Your Own Synth Patches (Hardware)
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Old 20-06-2017, 05:36 PM   #1
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Designing Your Own Synth Patches (Hardware)

Hello all,

I know I should probably be posting this in the Hardware forum, but I don't yet have enough posts to do so, since I'm new to the community. I was wondering if there was a guide to creating your own quality synth patches from scratch. I just bought a Novastation MiniNova synth a few weeks ago and while I have been able to get some interesting sounds by tweaking the presets, the patches on there don't lend themselves that well to the Ambient music I'm trying to create (perhaps I should have gone with a different synth for $500 or less, like the microKorg).

In addition to creating my own patches, is there a good resource (besides the manufacturer's website) for downloading other patches? I'd really like some different sounds on this MiniNova synth, as it seems more geared towards dubstep and stuff like that.

Anyway, thanks for anyone who can help!

Regards,
ambtconnoisseur

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Old 20-06-2017, 08:18 PM   #2
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Re: Designing Your Own Synth Patches (Hardware)

The MiniNova should be quite capable of making sounds for Ambient. ..I owend an UltraNova for some years which has the same sound engine and I used it often for pads and atmospheric patches. Any tutorials on subtractive synthesis should help. My tip for the MiniNova is use the LFOs a lot. I am pretty sure FX parameters are LFO destinations...I used to modulate delay and reverb settings w the LFOs often. Buying another synth isnt the answer here.

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Old 20-06-2017, 08:47 PM   #3
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Re: Designing Your Own Synth Patches (Hardware)

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The MiniNova should be quite capable of making sounds for Ambient. ..I owend an UltraNova for some years which has the same sound engine and I used it often for pads and atmospheric patches. Any tutorials on subtractive synthesis should help. My tip for the MiniNova is use the LFOs a lot. I am pretty sure FX parameters are LFO destinations...I used to modulate delay and reverb settings w the LFOs often. Buying another synth isnt the answer here.
Awesome, that's really encouraging to hear about the MiniNova and making Ambient patches. I wasn't looking to drop more money on another synth, so it's good to know there's plenty of tweaking I can do to get some good Ambient sounds. I'll for sure check out the LFOs in regards to effects and read about subtractive synthesis. Thanks for pointing me in the right direction.
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Old 20-06-2017, 09:05 PM   #4
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Re: Designing Your Own Synth Patches (Hardware)

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Originally Posted by ambtconnoisseur View Post
I was wondering if there was a guide to creating your own quality synth patches from scratch.
First start with this:


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Old 21-06-2017, 02:01 PM   #5
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Re: Designing Your Own Synth Patches (Hardware)

There's different schools of thought about how do you design patches, but below is usually my process...

- Start from the amp envelope, this will give you the right "shape" for your synth
- Filter next, to give you an idea of how "brilliant" the sound will be. When fiddling with the cutoff, take mental note of how it sounds when more open, this will give you something to aim for when you play around with the filter envelope
- Oscillators, the base of a sound, right now you have rough draft of your sound, now nail it! (Some people start from here and I see their point, to create a pot you need clay first)
- move the filter envelope, an invisible hand that shapes your sound in time, it opens/closes the filter for you. Related to this is the envelope amount, how much the invisible hand moves
- Lfos and extra modulation: does the sound you have in mind vibrate in pitch or volume? Lfo! Does the pitch change in time? Additional envelope!
- Effects and various here.

Save often, if you stumble upon something you like, name it, save it and move on!

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Old 21-06-2017, 04:32 PM   #6
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Re: Designing Your Own Synth Patches (Hardware)

Nice, excellent info. Thanks for the help guys!
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Old 22-06-2017, 12:00 AM   #7
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Re: Designing Your Own Synth Patches (Hardware)

Welch's Synthesizer Cookbook is good (and short)
Brian Shepard - Refining Sound is a good book as well.

Some YT Tutorials can be useful.

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Old 22-06-2017, 12:18 AM   #8
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Re: Designing Your Own Synth Patches (Hardware)

I think I've seen hardware synth presets for sale from some of the makers of sample packs. I'd take a google or go look at my preferred sample pack vendor to see if they have something for your synth.

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Also, check this out.

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Old 22-06-2017, 12:50 AM   #9
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Re: Designing Your Own Synth Patches (Hardware)

I was wondering if someone could share the parameters of a strings patch that is all done with oscillators and not sampled strings. Do you have three sine waves? I can figure out the envelope, but what about each oscillators tuning? Care to pull up a patch and type up the specs on it? :-) If I had that synth patch cookbook, it would be in there.
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Old 22-06-2017, 12:53 AM   #10
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Re: Designing Your Own Synth Patches (Hardware)

As old as that tutorial is, it's so damn awesome.

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Old 22-06-2017, 04:39 AM   #11
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Re: Designing Your Own Synth Patches (Hardware)

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Originally Posted by Stich View Post
I was wondering if someone could share the parameters of a strings patch that is all done with oscillators and not sampled strings. Do you have three sine waves? I can figure out the envelope, but what about each oscillators tuning? Care to pull up a patch and type up the specs on it? :-) If I had that synth patch cookbook, it would be in there.
If you want an ensemble, that's super easy. Once you have your envelopes and filters, you just do a lightly detuned supersaw. You can do it in charlattan (free synth) almost from default settings. Open the synth, get your saw in there, turn on unison 3 to 6 voices, take your detune to around 15-25%. Slow attack on your amp envelope, similar, lesser effect for the filter. Bonus if you drench the results in a concert hall reverb.

Edit: Seeing how this is hardware and you might not have unison handy, just the lightest detuning on your extra oscillators (a few cents) is all you need. You could get away with one osc if you have a chorus unit.

Solo string with good articulation could be much more challenging....

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Old 22-06-2017, 04:33 PM   #12
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Re: Designing Your Own Synth Patches (Hardware)

Interesting stuff guys. Thanks for the tips.
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Old 22-06-2017, 05:03 PM   #13
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Re: Designing Your Own Synth Patches (Hardware)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Stich View Post
I was wondering if someone could share the parameters of a strings patch that is all done with oscillators and not sampled strings. Do you have three sine waves? I can figure out the envelope, but what about each oscillators tuning? Care to pull up a patch and type up the specs on it? :-) If I had that synth patch cookbook, it would be in there.
You can also do a cool PWM square wave string sound. [Only registered and activated users can see links. Click here to register]

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