"Trouble in the West" synth advice?

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#1
Hi guys,

dnb production is quite new to me and so far I have only written 2 liquid-style tracks that were using simple sine basslines and some real-instrument-like synths to play the melodies, e.g. a piano to lead the track. Now im going more into making the common synth sounds you hear in a dnb track, like a sawtooth lead or a reese bass, but I'm having a really hard time reproducing some of the great sounds I'm used to hear.

Basically I wanna write something that is quite similar to KOAN Sound's "Trouble in the West", but I really can't tell what the main part consists of (0:55 mins). What kind of synth does the lead melody use (for the first 5 seconds)? Am I correct with hearing lots of white noise on top of it? And what kind of bass plays below the lead (I don't mean the parts where the bass gets to solo wobble around)?

I would be very grateful if you could give me some explanations on how to get a similar sound (not the exact same synths of course).

Thanks in advance, a learning beginner :)
 
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#2
hi, like you i am new to making dnb, and i have a similar problem trying to find or create good synth sounds to fit my music. Its easy to get a good piano lead going but for the more powerful sounding dnb i want some nice synth sounds..I cant really help you achieve the sounds you want but id like to stick around and see if theres any good advice.
 

Dugg Funnie

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#3
yeah definitely sounds like there's a bit of noise, at least layered on top of the hi-hat hits. As for the melody, it really sounds like the same guitar sample used for the intro but with loads of distortion/processing on it. And the bass underneath sound like a sub-bass that has another layer of low-mid harmonics that give it a sense of fullness, along with something to widen those low-mid, but not quite sub-end harmonics through the stereo image.
 
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#4
Hey Dugg, thanks for the great answer. I think I'll try what you suggested for the lead, using a distorted guitar sample for the lead and some white noise that hits with the cymbals...still wondering about the bass though. What I'm looking for is the kind of layer between the sub and the mids (just like you said, the layer that gives harmonics and stereo dimensions to the bass).

Nice suggestions so far, thank you.

AlienWeapon, keep trying, I know it's damn hard but we will eventually figure it out :)

Greetings teenious
 
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#6
Well ok that's a good tip too, but what I'm looking for is the higher end of the bass at the edge to the mid sounds. As of now I have the sub bass which is just a sine wave that plays from like 25 Hz to something just below 50 Hz (lowest note B1, highest note G2). I've lowpassed it somewhere around 60-70 Hz to give the layer above more space. For that layer I did just like you said, just took a sine wave that plays one octave higher, additionally I've added 2 other slightly detuned sines to give it some movement (at least that's what I want to achieve). But that can't be all for the bass part..the higher sine peaks somewhere around 90 Hz, at 110 there's not much left of it, how am I supposed to fill up all the space up to where the guitar lead plays?

Thanks for all the help so far dude
 

miszt

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#7
A Basic multi Saw synth, which can be tweeked and modified easily:


Load up 3 Synths (or a Synth with 3 OSC's)

Set each synth (or OSC) to Saw

Detune Synths 2 and 3, number 2 @ 5ct, and number 3 @ 7ct, leaving the first one tuned at default

Route all three synths into a single channel (or group them if you are in ableton, if you have a multi-OSC synth you dont need to do anything here)

Switch on the Filter (if single Mutli-Osc Synth) or add a filter plugin if using multiple synths, put it on Low-Pass (try others once you have played around with a basic low-pass)

Now you can add your FX, a simple chain of..... [Chorus] > [Tube or OverDrive (5-10% mix)] > [Phaser] > [Distortion (mix to taste)] .....will get you going nicely


hook up the filter to a control on your midi controller, or draw on some Filter automation....play/draw some notes in

have fun!
 
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#8
Hey thanks miszt, I have now included a polysaw bass that sounds quite nice. Thanks for explaining...now I gotta fix the problem with missing movement and power in my own track, but I'm gonna try and do that myself.
 
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