Making an Abstract Absynth Pluck Pad
This unique approach to really stretching out or extending a simple sound like a pluck has been used in a few different music genres and is a popular technique used in the world of foley. The idea is rather simple, actually. And this Absynth pluck pad shows off the different steps in a way that you can easily apply the same ideas to some of your own sounds to further experiment with it. It is also a wonderful way to transform minimalist sounds into deep environmental and atmospheric soundscapes. Basically, all you need to do is introduce the right types and amounts of filters and feedback in the right places and you can end up with sounds that people will be hard pressed to figure out. It’s not reverb…and it’s not a delay or echo…it’s unique. People tend not to think of this type feedback use outside of guitars and this can play in your favor!
This Absynth pluck pad starts out with setting up three different oscillator modules. Oscillator A is running in Ringmod mode with a Fifth waveform loaded. It is being modulated by a Bass 1 waveform, which has been transposed down quite a bit. And the Unison Voices have been increased to three, with a small amount of detuning and Randomization added for interest. This sound is then run through a Lowpass filter and a Cloud filter. Oscillator B is running in FM mode, is loaded with a Fifth waveform and has been transposed up four octaves. The FM Index has been set to 7.0000 and is being modulated by a Smooth Sawtooth waveform. The Unison Voices have been increased to three and some detuning and randomization have been added as well. This sound is then passed through a Lowpass filter. Finally Oscillator C is set up to run in Ringmod mode, loaded with a Big Chord waveform and transposed up one octave. It is being modulated by an Inharmonic 3 waveform, which is transposed down to a value of -7.0000. This sound is also run through a lowpass filter.
Next, all of our sounds that make up this Absynth pluck pad at this point meet in the main output strip where they are passed through a Waveshaper running an Inharmonic 2 waveform, running in Waveshape mode. After this, the sound passes through a Bandpass filter and is finally sent on to an Aetherizer effect. But before we set that up, it’s probably best to shape our sound a bit by setting up some envelopes. At this point in the video, it is probably best to pause it and copy down the envelope settings. There are soem Master Envelope controls at the top left pf the Envelope Window that will allow you to tweak all the envelopes at the same time once you do have them set up. A nice way to add some interesting changes on-the-fly!
The last big step in making this Absynth pluck pad is to set up the Aetherizer in the Effect window. This is where the bulk of the magic happens for this sound. This effect is being applied to the entire sound as it comes out of the master output strip in the Patch window. You can also experiment with applying it to the individual oscillator modules in varying amounts for some cool results. The Feedback and Grain Duration parameters are two of the most important settings for extending the sound dramatically, while the Filter is keeping the frequencies quantized within a 5th chord so the audio tail created by the feedback does not get out of hand.
Have A Question Or Comment About This Tutorial?
Want to ask a question about this tutorial or perhaps you have something to add ?
Click through to our forum post about this tutorial and join the conversation!