“Understand the Basics”
The most difficult in sound synthesis is the same for the writer it’s the blank page syndrome. And when you start: you listen to the raw sound, click on all the page, watch the number of features in your arsenal! Ok, ok, that’s good, but what do we start with? Damn it’s overwhelming
So my first advise and it is more important if you are beginners, if it’s not always easy to have an idea in mind of the sound you would like create at least, sit in front of your synth with a idea of the sound family you will try to shape. (Drum, Bass, Brass, Pluck, Lead, Pad, Stab, or whatever…)
Each of this family had characteristics and you need to understand on your synth how to use its tools to shape and sculpt your RAW sound to mimic those characteristics. Subtractive synthesis is like pottery or modeling clay, you start with a block of material and we will do something by removing, refining, infusing movement, brought color, varnish it … and something fundamental: giving expressivity.
Why i say that it’s because you will put yourself and your synth in a pitch range to start with.
Also short sounds are generally more easy to understand, I don’t say it’s more easy to do because it’s the precision of a watchmaker here that will make the difference
“Important Step in LOWEND Sound Synthesis”
If you can always design sounds through a limiter in between of its outputs and your monitors, headphone, your hears. (you can use your computer, a digital mixer…) If you can’t… Act yourself as the Limiter and Limit yourself : I warn you sound design can go crazy with resonance and other things you can seriously damage your ears ! So protect it the most you can!
We place our synth in the range of the instrument that we want to create, if it’s a Bass you can Tune your OSC one or two octave lower (-12 or -24) or you can transpose your keys and design 2 octave lower without to Tune your OSC. I do not have recommendations here as far as i can tell it’s subjective from Sound Designer to Sound Designer.
We use Waveforms Types, Mixing those, Adding a Sub or not and other shaping tool on the Analog Four to get as close to a matching tone
We use Amp Envelope to shape the sound according to its characteristics if it’s a Bass like a plucky Bass we probably set our ADSR to Attack : 0, Decay : Middle, Sustain : 0, Release : 30% - Don’t forget on the Analog Four you have 12 different Envelope Shapes. (consisting of six basic shapes each with two different trigging behaviors.)
At this point, of course your sound is a Bass, but maybe not FAT enough, probably don’t very interesting or sexy as well. Now it’s time make your Bass more interesting, it’s shaping the sound and giving it character. (Filter Envelope or LFO, Filter Types, ADSR, PWM, AM, FM, Bend, Pitch Envelope, Feedback, Legato, Unison, Glide… gives to your sound a Character and also will make your Bass more FAT)
Then you will probably want to put some mouvement in the sound (if it’s a Bass maybe you won’t… it’s depend) Again Envelope and LFO… Filter Cutoff modulation, PWM and you can go crazy also etc… Arpeggiator can be useful, as well as FX. (But as I said if it’s a Bass there’s probably less to do here opposed to a Evolving Pad or Atmosphere)
This last point if kind of the Mouvement part but I would like to insist here. You need to think to your sound played by a keyboard… you don’t want to make a Static sound right? why? you ask me why? ok, I think because it’s boring! And trust me, you must put a lot of effort, particularly in Electronic Music to get as far as you can about all the boring aspect of this music. That’s EXPRESSIVITY and you have few things for that (other than performance macro where you make things more interesting Live but it’s more modulations… than expressivity or playability) Think how part of your sound must react to the different sweet spot according to Velocity, Pressure, Mod Wheel, Pitch Wheel… Aftertouch… and program them
Of course, you can reply to me hey your Sneak Peak is a bit Static and you’ll be right, because expressivity and playability are not programmed for now.