Touching on many of the basic features, this Absynth snare drum synthesis tutorial is a good one to watch for those who are not yet comfortable with the synth. It is also a great lesson in how to use the envelope system to control and modulate very precise parameters settings to get the sounds you want. Absynth can be quite a daunting synth at first, but once you get a handle on how it works together and begin developing solid workflows, it just gets easier and easier. It combines most known forms of synthesis in one program, so there really is not much that you cannot do with it! In time it may very well become your go-to synth, even for small sound design tasks such as this one.
This Absynth snare drum sound starts out with a Single Triangle wave loaded into the Oscillator A module. The Amp Envelope is sued to shape the delivery time of the sound. It is also worth noting here that you can allow more or less of the transient through by adjusting the attack parameter of the amp envelope. This is an essential key to a snare drum sound that can cut through a mix and retain it’s punch and character. Then a Pitch Envelope is set up to control the actual development of sound.
The secondary sound heard in a snare drum is the snare (spring) action. To add this layer of sound to our Absynth snare drum we need to set up a second oscillator. A Single Noise 1 waveform is loaded into the Oscillator B module, which is set to run in FM (Frequency Modulation) mode. Now the Amp Envelope is set up to shape the delivery of this second sound. Keep in mind that it needs to match up well with the first sound you designed. It is much easier to turn off the first sound, so you can concentrate on designing the second sound to the best of your abilities. You can begin by using the first envelope as a visual guide. You will probably find that this secondary sound can use a much longer release setting, as in a real world snare drum, it is the snares (springs) that ring out when the drum is hit.
As an optional step, you can add a third oscillator to provide the tonality that many real snare drums have. In this case, our Absynth snare drum is finished off with a Single Sine waveform loaded into the Oscillator C module. You can use the same basic shape of the first set of envelopes to get the Amp Envelope and Pitch Envelope of this sound started. This is easily accomplished with the copy/paste function. The rest of the tuning and shaping of this drum sound is up to you and the needs of your project.
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