Thorn Tutorial

Thorn Explained®

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21 Videos | Length: 2hr 11min 1sec
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  • image description 6:30

    Basic Architecture & Interface

    In this video, we discuss Spectral Synthesis which is the synthesis method on which Thorn is based. Furthermore, we outline the various areas of the interface, so moving forward we understand the basics of the synth from the start.

  • image description 10:47

    Oscillator Common Controls

    Larry demonstrates the common controls for each oscillator including pitch options, unison mode and the really powerful OSC FX knob. Additionally learn how the Position knob allows you to create an evolving sound via Thorn's spectrum tables.

  • image description 6:11

    Real Time Oscillator Effects

    Explore FM, RM, Sync, W-Sync and PWM modulation options that are found within the OscFX knob, and how to assign an LFO to further change the timbre of the sound over time.

  • image description 3:14

    The Noise Oscillator

    In this video, we investigate our noise options including loading our own noise samples, altering pitch and loop parameters, pan, level and filter routing.

  • image description 6:24

    Harmonic Editing Pt. 1

    Learn ways you can draw in different spectrum tables using key and morph frames, including drawing odd, even and organ harmonics. Larry then explains how to alter the phase of individual harmonics, and load in different spectrum table presets.

  • image description 6:28

    Harmonic Editing Pt. 2

    In this video, we look into the various options available in the Commands Menu, which allow us to further manipulate the harmonic content that is generated for each oscillator.

  • image description 4:15

    Importing You Own WAV Files

    Larry now explains the Wav file import feature, its limitations, and how to import samples into single frames and all frames, to create custom waveforms.

  • image description 4:42

    The Harmonic Filter

    In this video, we outline the main features of the Harmonic Filter and its theoretical principle. We demonstrate the shape knob, balance knob and also using and editing Harmonic Filter presets.

  • image description 2:12

    Importing WAV Files into the Harmonic Filter

    Larry now shows you how to import a Wav file, analyze the special content, and use it to apply to the Oscillators using the harmonic filter.

  • image description 12:17

    The Filters Pt. 1

    In this video, we cover the setting up of Series and Parallel Modes for the filters, as well as our available filter modes, Cutoff, Resonance and Drive.

  • image description 4:52

    The Filters Pt. 2

    Explore the remaining Filter parameters including the envelope knob and the settings for different volume Contours, Velocity and Key Tracking and the Link option.

  • image description 5:11

    The Envelopes

    In this video, we go through the different envelope parameters and also how to route the modulators to different parameters on Thorn.

  • image description 8:46

    The LFOs

    Larry now covers the LFOs, explaining the Speed, Shape, Phase and Phase Modes, as well as the Biploar functionality, Fade In and the dedicated Vibrato LFO.

  • image description 7:08

    The Multi-Stage Envelopes

    In this video learn all about the Step and Curve Modes of the Multi-Stage Envelopes, and how to create interesting rhythmic patters that can be assigned as custom modulation sources.

  • image description 7:46

    The Glitch Sequencer

    Discover the amazing power of the Glitch Sequencer which allows you to create rhythmic FX utilizing a Repeater, Low Pass / High Pass Filter, Bit & Sample Rate Reduction, and Gating. Larry also shows you how to randomize these settings for some happy accidents!

  • image description 6:43

    The Arpeggiator

    In this video, see how you can use the Arpeggiator to generate MIDI patterns that are exciting and interesting, especially when combined with the Glitch Sequencer.

  • image description 5:02

    The Effects Section

    Explore ways in which you can route Thorn's effects to create different signal paths, as well as ways to bring a sound to life with a custom FX chain.

  • image description 3:00

    The Mod Matrix

    Larry now explains the way in which we can manage Modulation Routing using the Mod Matrix, and also ways in which we can use a controller to give an extra layer of control over the modulation.

  • image description 4:13

    The Top Bar & Output Section

    In this video, Larry covers the parameters located on the Top Menu Bar and Settings Menu, and then discusses the Output section and built-in Limiter.

  • image description 7:04

    Thorn Sound Design: Bass Patch

    See how to create a snappy bass patch using FM, filtering and a custom effects chain.

  • image description 8:16

    Thorn Sound Design: Ambient Pad

    Wrapping it up, Larry shows you how to create an evolving ambient pad sound using Thorn?s 3 Oscillators, Position Modulation, and a liberal application of effects.

Product Overview


Larry Holcombe delivers detailed DS Audio Thorn videos! Learn Thorn from the ground up, all of its features and functions, including how to create patches from scratch. These Thorn tutorials are designed for those who are new to the Thorn virtual synth, as well as intermediate Thorn users.

Larry starts the series off with a detailed look at Thorn's basic architecture and interface, including Spectral Synthesis theory, which is the synthesis method on which Thorn is based. Next, Larry covers Thorn's oscillators, real-time oscillator effects, harmonic editing by drawing in spectrum tables, and how to import your own Wav files to create custom waveforms.

Moving on, Larry reveals Thorn's amazing Filters, Envelopes and LFOs and how to use and route them for incredible sonic results. Then it's on to Thorn's powerful Glitch Sequencer and Arpeggiator which are capable of producing truly wild and unique sounds. Throughout the rest of the videos Larry explains and explores Thorn's effect section, Mod Matrix, menu items, output section and Limiter, ending with cool sound design videos where you'll see how to make killer Bass and Pad patches from scratch!

To see what these DS Audio Thorn videos teach you and how they'll help you to understand and use Thorn and its features, see the individual Thorn tutorial descriptions on this page. If you own Thorn or are wondering if it's right for you, this series of Thorn videos will show you the answers... Watch “Thorn Explained®" today.


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1. When did you start dabbling in music?

I learnt the trumpet and piano around age 12 and then guitar a couple of years later. I played in a few indie bands for a few years until I discovered the turntables and Dj'ing. I then swapped the guitar for the synthesizer and the stage for the Dj booth and the rest is history!

2. What training have you had?

I completed a diploma in sound engineering and music technology from islington Music Workshop in London. I am also level 1 certified in Logic. The most important training I have received though is sitting for hours on end at my studio making music!

3. When did you get into recording?

Recording demos for the indie bands I mentioned earlier. Then recording vocals for my tracks as DEF inc. and laterally Rebel Sonix. I also worked in London studio Rollover in around 2005.

4. People you have worked with/for?

I've remixed Coldplay, Kylie, Roots Manuva and John B. Labels I have released on include Parlaphone, EMI, Fingerlickin, Eight Fx, Quantum, Botchit and Scarper amongst others. I have composed music for Sony Playstation games, Sky tv, J&B Whiskey, Lexus cars and the BBC to name a few. I have produced online tutorial videos and have had a 1 hour production video in Music Techs magazines cover DVD. I have also Dj'ed at events such as Glastonbury festival and Miami WMC and touring extensively all over the world.

5. Why are you so good at training people?

Well hopefully I have a clear and concise training method mixed with a serious passion for making music. I have previously worked for Apple teaching Logic and also regularly lecture on Logic and electronic music production. I also teach the Ministry of Sound DJ academy in London which involves teaching an introduction to Djing as well as in depth seminars on using NI's Traktor and also Serato Scratch Live. As a producer making cutting edge electronic music, I have to remain at the forefront of new sounds and production techniques. I mix my time between different areas of the music industry - production, remixing, DJing and also teaching which allows me to develop all those skills simultaneously - so I can improve my teaching ability whilst also continuing to develop as a producer (something which you never stop doing!)

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