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Digital Subscriptions > MusicTech > Aug 2019 > 10 Tips To Make Extreme Sounds

10 Tips To Make Extreme Sounds

We live in a world of endless, pristine synth presets. As brilliant as they are, don’t you sometimes want to smash out of the preset bunker and really make sounds that stand out from the crowd, or that just sound, frankly, weird? Follow these 10 tips for an extreme sound makeover…

1.Get to know one sonic weapon

Getting to know the tools of your trade is key to any aspect of working life, but particularly sound design. You’ll need to pick one synth – preferably one that has a wide range of sounds – and get to know it section by section. Explore the very fundamentals of its sound – the oscillators and waveforms – and find out exactly what impact they have. Then it’s the filter types, the modulation and so on. Get to know your synth like it’s your sonic sister.

2.Don’t be scared to (ab)use presets

Ah, presets. To use, or not to use? Well, how about using them, but only as a starting point? Most synths have been programmed by experts to show off every side of the synth, so why not tap into this expertise? Choose one of the more dynamic sounds and push it to its extremes. Flip filter types, modulation destinations and waveform types – see the next tips for more on this. But the main thing is that someone has done the hard graft for you and with a bit of tweaking, you can get weird and extreme – fast. As a starting point, try loading up a preset you know and love and with a simple filter and resonance adjustment, make it your own.

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