Designing a Powerful Lead Trance Synth in FM8

If you produce Trance music, then you will probably agree that sound design is one of the more crucial elements to this genre, and a good lead is worth every second it takes to make!

As you will see in the video, this particular sound being designed produces many, many great sounds throughout the process and I would recommend keeping some notes about where some of these pop up so you can go back and watch them being made again. Sometimes building a great sound means the you encounter a lot of unexpected bonus sounds along the way! If you aren’t a big fan of Trance, don’t run away just yet. This tutorial has something for everyone!

This one starts simple enough, with Operator A running a sawtooth wave, feeding back into itself some to generate some grit and then moves through a filter and some noise via Operator Z and X respectively. before making its way to the main output. This is now repeated several times while setting up Operators B-F, each with it’s pitch ratio and offset values slightly detuned to create a nice phase, which works with the noise and filter to build into a classic trance supersaw synth effect. Each oscillator’s envelope is shaped to deliver a sharp attack, a downward sloping decay and a long release.

Now that we have our core sound being generated by the FM Matrix, we can move to the Master window. Here we turn up the Unisono voicing to a value fo five, and detune the entire sound by about half. Once this is done it is on to the Effects window. Adding some Chorus/Delay provides depth and movement that was missing from the sound. After this all that is left to do is some fine tuning and tweaking of the filters, etc to get the synth to sound and behave exactly as you want.

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Category: FM8 Tutorials