Kanthos

How to make this synth sound

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I spent over two hours last night trying to copy

(the synth playing melody right at the start of the video) and I couldn't get close enough to be happy with it. I have a Moog Sub 37 and Cory Henry's playing a Moog Little Phatty, so they're not identical, but pretty close, and the Sub 37 can do everything the Phatty can do plus a lot more.

 

My attempts were less "buzzy" than the recording. I was using a saw wave, and sometimes turning on oscillator 2 with either a second saw slightly detuned or a saw/square mix, and playing around with the resonance, filter envelope, and filter key tracking, but everything I came up with was either a bit too dull (if there was less resonance), or the resonance made it just a bit too "squelchy". I played around with the filter slope too, but just remembered now that the Little Phatty only has a 24 dB filter.

 

I'm still fairly new to synth programming; I know the theory of what all the controls do, but putting them together to get the sounds I want is still a challenge. Any idea what else I might try, or if I was likely on the right track and just didn't dial in the right combination of filter cutoff/resonance/envelope/env amount/oscillator type?

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Keep in mind you're hearing the synth sound through a mic which colors things and changes the frequency balance, 'roominess' of the sound etc. Is there a studio recording of this?

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There's no studio recording. One of the things Snarky Puppy does is randomly quote some other song. In this case, "Give Up the Funk (Tear the Roof off the Sucker)" by Parliament, and then they transition into one of their own songs partway through the video. They tend to change up the gear they have to use often (based on what they can get in a particular city and what they bring with them), so there's no guarantee that anything will sound exactly the same from show to show.

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Yeah, I'm gonna say the buzz is a result of the phone mic. You could probably recreate that effect with a bit of reverb and then some distortion, which, while the wrong way around, is essentially what's happening here.

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There's no tricks on a standard subtractive synth to get that kind of buzz? I might be adding a distortion of some sort to my pedalboard, but that wouldn't be for a while so I can't depend on that now. Not the end of the world anyway, since I'm just setting up a bank of lead sounds on my Moog right now to use where appropriate, as opposed to trying to dial in the perfect sound for a specific song, but still, the mic colours the sound that much?

 

(If so, then I guess I'm probably closer to the sound as programmed, and also not as inept as I thought!)

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I don't think it's the phone mic at all; I think it's probably the saturation of the live sound system (speakers, or whatever's going on in that venue).

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I don't think it's the phone mic at all; I think it's probably the saturation of the live sound system (speakers, or whatever's going on in that venue).

 

Gonna have to disagree, as a live sound engineer with over 10 years of experience in many different venues. That high clipping distortion is unlikely to have come from the PA system--I'd expect a more midrangey, saturated distortion if the venue's speakers were the culprit. Plus, if you listen to the rest of the video, that clipping is consistent with the way the rest of the sound gets recorded and distorted. :)

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I agree with Flexstyle on this; while there may be a bit of colouring from the house system, where the person is in the room, etc, I think it's mostly the phone. I've seen these guys 4 times live, in three different venues, I own every one of their recordings, and I've heard a number of other bootlegs. Compare the first video to

, the "studio" one (they record their albums for a live audience in studio-quality settings, so it captures the energy of a live show but doesn't sound as bad as a typical live show).

 

I left my amp at my band's drummer's house last week (we rehearse there), so I can't hear the sound in open air, but I'm pretty happy with where I ended up on it tonight. Not what I hear on the youtube video, but it sounds like I won't get there without distortion anyway.

 

So, thanks guys!

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