Page 1 of 1

Hard sync and evelope help

Posted: Sat Mar 13, 2021 12:55 pm
by psgambe

I am relatively new to synthesis and have been working my way around a Sub 25 for a couple of months now. I am mostly learning by trying to recreate synth sounds from various songs. I am currently working on getting a classic hard sync lead sound found on songs like "Let's Go" by The Cars and "Just a Girl" by No Doubt.

My oscillators are set correctly and I have "Hard Sync" engaged so I can get the raw sound, but I can’t get the “owow” part that makes it so iconic.... mine just sounds flat and boring. I asked another forum and they were able to tell me WHAT I needed to do but none of the commenters actually owned a Sub 25 so they couldn't tell me HOW to do it. I've been searching through tutorial videos and the manual with no luck. I'm beginning to think it's just not possible on a Sub 25. Hopefully someone here can help!

Some things the other forum mentioned:
Apparently I need "an envelope modulating the pitch of Oscillator two."
Also, the "sync needs to be automated."
I could also try "using the envelope to sweep down in frequency."

Could anyone walk me through how to do any of these things? Or just tell me it's not possible on a Sub 25? I'm beginning to go a little crazy.

Here are links to the songs I mentioned.

Thank you so much in advance!

Re: Hard sync and evelope help

Posted: Sun Mar 14, 2021 5:49 pm
by stiiiiiiive
HI and welcome!

That's how you've been told.
Here is a way for you to undestand it.

Set up the synth as you did previsouly, and play with oscillator 2 frequency knob (you can try various octaves settings).
This is when frequency is modultated that you get that sound.

Now, in order to have the frequency "automatically" modulated, you can use an envelope. On the Subsequent 25, you can achieve that through the MODULATION section:
- select FILT EG as source
- set PITCH AMT to something positive and the other two AMT settings to zero
- enable the PITCH AMT OSC 2 ONLY button so that the moulation occurs on oscillator 2 only.
Now, edit the FILTER envelope as follows as a start, then adjust:
- Attack : minimum
- Decay : start at noon
- Sustain: minimum
- Release: similar to the amp envelope release.

Of oscillatrors waveforms, I think a square/pulse will get you really close to that Just a girl lead.
And keep us updated ;)

Re: Hard sync and evelope help

Posted: Mon Mar 15, 2021 3:44 pm
by psgambe
Your post was a tremendous help! Thank you so much!

The “Modulation” section of the synth has been most confusing part for me but it’s finally starting to make some sense. The sound is starting to take shape!

Another question: what do you suggest the “EG Amount” knob in the filter section be set to? That’s another knob that confuses me. I can really only hear the effect if I close the filter cutoff almost completely. Is that how it’s supposed to work?

Thank you in advance for your help!

Re: Hard sync and evelope help

Posted: Mon Mar 15, 2021 5:50 pm
by stiiiiiiive
I'm glad it helped :)

Before answering about that mysterious EG AMT knob, let me try something to unveil the modulation sections secrets to you.
In a nutshell, a sound is defined by a pitch (i.e. the note), a timbre (i.e. the character of it) and an amplitude (i.e. the volume).
In a nutshell, your favorite substractive synth implements this principle: the oscillators are raw timbre generators that the filter can tame to achieve softer timbres. The pitch is determined by the key you press and some octave/oscillators frequency settings. The amplitude is determined by a (voltage controlled) amplifier.
Things can ge boring quite quick with just that. They becomes much more interesting, expressive when all those parameters are modified in real time, e.g. by playing with the knobs. But you need your hands for playing the keys... so only one hand remains for all those knobs!

That's where modulation enters: modulation is like a bunch of hands moving the knobs for you, that is: modifying the parameters for you.
The LFO, for example, is like a hand moving some knobs periodically, with a given pattern and at a given rate.
The envelopes control the parameters in 4 phases: an attack time for going from zeo to the max level, a decay phase for going from there to a sustain level, and then a release phase that starts when you release the key, for going from the sustain level to zero. "Level" of what, should you say? Level of whatever you route this envelope to. The amp envelope is routed to the amplifier, hence controlling the volume of your sound. The filter envelope is routed to the filter cut off frequency.

EG AMT stands for Envelope Generator Amount: this knob allows you to decide how "deep" the envelope would "turn" the knob for you, and in what direction, that is: the modulation amount of the filter cut off frequency by the envelope. This modulation "circuit" is permanent, i.e. you will always be able to control the cut off frequency with the filter envelope.
In the Modulation section, on the contrary, you can connect various sources (= supplementary hands) to various destinations (= parameters whose knobs you xant to move) and decide the amount of modulation (= how much the hands will tunr the knobs for you). That's called: configuring a modulation bus. Also, the modulation wheel is always controlling the global amount of aaaaallll that.
Hopes this make sense :)

Consequently, in the situation we discussed before, if you set this EG AMT knob to anything different from zero, the filter envelope will modulate the filter cut off frequency accordingly. Remember that you previoulsy routed the filter envelope to the oscillator 2 pitch; so it means that this envelope will modulate both paramters, that's all :)

To get familiar with modulation, try to set up the modulation bus to modulate the oscillators pitch: that's the most obvious parameter to hear the effect of various sources.

Bon voyage! ;)