lead sounds: recording, automation and midi patterns.

  • Hello,

    I was hoping that people could offer advice/tips to a newbie on prefered ways of working to record a lead over a pre-created track (I'm working on psytrance). At the moment I'm drawing in or recording a basic pattern (using Cubase 5) and then trying to write the automation on the fly afterwards by playing the same loop over till I get somewhere near what I'm looking for. The thing is I can't really get the accuracy and control that I think I need to get it to sound good. Perhaps there is an easier way to do this that I'm missing, short of opening up all the relevant automation parameteres and tweaking them individually ... would an XY controller help, creative use of the arp...or creating/sourcing a collection of midi patterns to audition in my track ... Any help much appreciated.



  • hello Ionis, yeah that was a bit vauge ... what I'm asking is for the best way or good ways to manipulate and control a lead sound to get a sense of movement in the lead.

  • What I like to do is write the lead and then play it back while tweaking the elements that need it. It I want a Trance vibe I will add some hefty Filter Envelope on Filter 1 and set it to Lowpass. If you want to bring that sound in start with a you Filter cutoff at 0 and fadeit into about 45 over a period of 1 phrase. Work with it like that and occasionally tweak the filter cutoff level subtlety until you come to the break down where you take the filter instantly down to 0 and fade it in to 127 where it is full on when you drop your bass and drums back in.

    I hope this helps.

  • Hi

    you could also try using a none standard wav (i think 10 - 60) for LFO1 or 2 with a long rate 8/1 or 16/1. assign the LFO to something like FREQ SHIFT set to a medium amount. you could use the chorus even the distortion FX. This method will give you movment in your lead sound.

    all the best

    Andy R

  • Hey, Maybe I can help,

    (Quick Intro) I am a Trance/Tech Trance Artist, Chances are you probably haven't heard of me because I only have a few releases out on the market, I'm most well known for my remix "Avenger - First Sight (SJR's Driving Tech Remix)" and my music has been supported by Armin van Buuren, Paul van Dyk, Simon Patterson and more..... Anyway, enough shameless plugging :P

    The first thing i do for all my leads (and rolling basslines commonly used in psytrance) is set up the filter envelope and filter settings and get it to how i want it to sound like, but i THEN go into the Mod Matrix and set the [SOURCE as: Velocity On - DESTINATION as: Filter1 Cutoff - AMOUNT as: +5-10 (this is down to you though and all depends on the sound, for some sounds you may want to go into the minus numbers)] This is a great way to add slight amounts of movement to your sound if you make use of the Velocity parameter when programming in midi notes or recording a lead in live.

    The Velocity On in the modmatrix is possibly my most used source of modulation and i apply it to many different parameters such as OSC Waveform Index, Comb Filter Frequency, OSC Pitch etc etc I'm sure you get the picture!

    Anyway, try that out and see how that sounds for starters, and just experiment with the modmatrix, it will teach you so much about sound design, i still have lots to learn!! :)

    Also if i want to get in and get my hands dirty, i will zoom in and draw in my automation in the automation lanes instead of trying to record it in live.

    SJR :)