Designing a Killer Electro Didgeridoo Lead Synth with FM8
This sweet tutorial will show you how to design your own electro didgeridoo lead synth with FM8 to spice up your music and add something that will catch the attention of your fans.
We are all on the hunt for original and unique sounds that we can use in our music productions. This lesson is aimed at breaking away from the normal approach to designing a lead synth with FM8 and showing you how to take advantage of some of the features FM8 offers to bring out some characteristics that otherwise go unnoticed. I have shared how to make some pretty crazy sounds in the past, and this one may rank up near the top of synths that you will work around to make it fit. The didgeridoo has long been used in countless genres of music to add an ethnic or even surreal element to songs ranging from ambient to heavy club bangers. Let’s jump into the tutorial and see how to do it!
First, we begin with the FM Matrix. As you can see in the image below, it is a combination of both clever routing and pitch programming that help us achieve the harmonics and resonance needed to pull this sound off.
I have also used the Expert Env window’s Link feature to make sure all of the envelopes are shaped exactly the same. This way, the sound is delivered and develops the same way from each of the operators.
The next step is to set up the Master window. Here the number of voices is increased to a total of six. This allows us to take advantage of the Detune, Pan, Analog and Digital paramaters. Each of these add more character to the sounds while bringing out elements that were unheard before.
Now a visit to the Easy/Morph window. This is the step that really adds the didgeridoo sound to the synth. Every last little adjustment made to each of the paramaters affects the sound, so if you are wanting to recreate the sound I have exactly, pay close attention to each of the settings in the image below.
Now to add a total of four effects to the mix. The Shelving EQ is used to accent both highs and lows in the sound. The Peak EQ is used to removed some of the resonance that was unpleasant. The Reverb and Chorus/Delay provide more space and depth to the sound.
The last part to this process is using the Arpeggiator to automate a sequence. I simply used a preset for this example to help speed things up a bit. As you can see in the image below I chose “Let The Frog ROT!”. You can obviously just program your own midi or arpeggiated sequence and find plenty of cool ways to make this sound work for you. The audio sample below is the synth playing alongside some drums so you can get an idea of how it may work in a mix. No processing has been done outside of what was shown here in the walkthrough while making this lead synth with FM8.
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