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Sound Design
Sound Design Tutorial

Synthwave Sound Design Explained®

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20 Videos | Length: 2hr 3min 32sec
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Chapter 1 : Synthwave Bass Design

  • Outrun Bass Pt. 1 9:45

    Outrun Bass Pt. 1

    This video introduces the course and shows how to make a common found synthwave bass stab patch using Serum.

  • Outrun Bass Pt. 2 5:33

    Outrun Bass Pt. 2

    This videos continues where part one left off, and also shows how to make Serum sound similar to a vintage synthesizer though some creative modulation.

  • Juno Stab Bass Pt. 1 7:31

    Juno Stab Bass Pt. 1

    Thomas shows how to make a multi-layered resonant bass using the TAL-U-No-LX plugin, which models a Juno 106 synthesizer. By splitting the patch into multiple layers it gives you additional control over the mix and end result of the bass.

  • Juno Stab Bass Pt. 2 5:03

    Juno Stab Bass Pt. 2

    Thomas picks up where he left off in the last video with the Juno Stab Bass.

Chapter 2 : Synthwave Chord Design

  • Brass Stab Chords Pt. 1 6:01

    Brass Stab Chords Pt. 1

    In this video, see how to use the u-he Re-Pro5 synthesizer to create a bright chord stab perfect for a synthwave track.

  • Brass Stab Chords Pt. 2 6:48

    Brass Stab Chords Pt. 2

    Thomas continues creating the brass stab chord and shows how to use the Tweaks Tab on the plug-in to create fine tuning adjustments to give the synth a more classic sound.

  • Juno 106 Chords Pt. 1 5:13

    Juno 106 Chords Pt. 1

    Watch how to uses the TAL-U-No-LX plug-in to create a lush sounding synthwave chord patch.

  • Juno 106 Chords Pt. 2 4:48

    Juno 106 Chords Pt. 2

    Thomas picks up where he left off while creating the Juno 106 chords and shows how the subtle modulation controls on the synth can be used to create interesting sounding chord layers.

  • Lush Pad Pt. 1 5:45

    Lush Pad Pt. 1

    While vintage emulations of classic synthesizers are great for synthwave, Serum is also very capable when it comes to synthwave sound design.

  • Lush Pad Pt. 2 7:16

    Lush Pad Pt. 2

    Learn how the Oscillator Unison controls can be used to create a simple but lush sounding pad for your synthwave tracks.

  • DX7 Saw Keys Pt. 1 7:55

    DX7 Saw Keys Pt. 1

    The legendary Yamaha DX7 synthesizer is found in many 80's and modern synthwave tracks. In this tutorial learn how the Arturia DX7 V plug-in can be used to create a classic textured saw wave chord patch, perfect for the synth wave genre.

  • DX7 Saw Keys Pt. 2 5:48

    DX7 Saw Keys Pt. 2

    Thomas continues creating a classic textured saw wave chord patch.

  • Modulated Pad Pt. 1 6:55

    Modulated Pad Pt. 1

    See how a simple pad sound created with u-he's Diva can be transformed by creative use of frequency modulation, which produces a nostalgic sound that has an interesting texture.

  • Modulated Pad Pt. 2 3:52

    Modulated Pad Pt. 2

    We continue creating a modulated pad with u-he's Diva.

Chapter 3 : Synthwave Lead Design

  • Vibrato Lead Pt. 1 7:33

    Vibrato Lead Pt. 1

    Explore how to create an 80's inspired lead sound with Serum that utilizes modulation to create a swirling vibrato effect that adds that signature 80's flavor found in a lot of synthwave tracks.

  • Vibrato Lead Pt. 2 5:17

    Vibrato Lead Pt. 2

    Thomas continues creating a vibrato lead using Serum.

  • Juno Arp Pt. 1 5:21

    Juno Arp Pt. 1

    Arpeggios are a key element found in synthwave tracks and here you'll watch how to make a Juno 106 inspired arp patch using the lovely TAL-U-No-LX.

  • Juno Arp Pt. 2 4:32

    Juno Arp Pt. 2

    Thomas picks up where he left off creating a Juno 106 inspired arp patch using the lovely TAL-U-No-LX.

  • Outrun Arp Pt. 1 7:35

    Outrun Arp Pt. 1

    Last but not least, Thomas shows you how to use Serum to create a way cool 80's sounding arpeggio patch that uses pulse width modulation to add in an undulating phasing tone usually found on vintage synthesizers.

  • Outrun Arp Pt. 2 5:01

    Outrun Arp Pt. 2

    In this final video, Thomas continues working in Serum to create an 80's sounding arpeggio patch that uses pulse width modulation.

Product Overview

Synthesizer pro Thomas Cochran brings you synthwave sound design video tutorials! See step by step how to make sounds from scratch that define this hugely popular genre. In these videos Thomas uses some of the best 3rd party virtual instruments available, which are the go-to's for creating these sounds, and are used by many of today's serious synthwave sound designers and producers. This series is for those who have a basic understanding of synth sound design and want to focus on understanding and creating the sounds found in synthwave music.

The virtual instruments and effects used throughout the videos are:

Xfer Records Serum

TAL Software TAL-U-NO-LX

u-he Diva

u-he Repro 5

Arturia DX7 V

Ableton Live Built-In Effects

Fab Filter Pro-Q 2

Fab Filter Pro-R

Waves H-Delay

Fab Filter Saturn

The final patches made for their respective synths in the videos are also included via the course extras download link.

Starting off Thomas welcomes you and introduces the course and discusses the genre and the sounds that define it. He then shows you how to make staple synthwave bass sounds such as an Outrun Bass preset using Serum, and a Juno Stab Bass patch using TAL-U-No-LX. You also get tips like how to make Serum sound similar to a vintage synthesizer though the use of creative modulation.

Next it's onto the chord sounds found in synthwave, and Thomas demonstrates how to craft a powerful Brass Stab Chords preset, an instantly recognizable Juno-106 Chords patch, Lush and Modulated Pad presets, and a DX7 Saw Keys patch that will teleport you right back to the '80s.

Lead sounds are up next and you'll see the steps to make a way cool Vibrato Lead patch, a classic Juno Arp preset, and last but not least, an Outrun Arp preset that has the '80s written all over it. Throughout the video tutorials you'll also get great tips and tricks for designing sounds, and much of the info can be applied to any synth, real or virtual.

To see what these in-depth synthwave sound design tutorials show you, and how they'll take your sound back to the '80s, see the individual synthwave sound design video tutorial descriptions on this page. Learn to understand how these types of sounds are made, and then you can create your own killer synthwave tracks... Watch "Synthwave Sound Design Explained®" today.

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