THE ART OF SOUND DESIGN
The original analog modular synth was a quirky beast to master, but Arturia have tamed the beast with awesome new functionality, and a crack-team of amazing sound designers to give you the best, most diverse sounds possible.
Paul Schilling is a musician, sound designer and computer programmer. He became enamored with synthesizers at an early age and has created presets and demos for Arturia, Deckard's Dream and others.
I've spent much time with the original VCS3 and it is simply one of the most beautiful synths, in every way. I am completely amazed at how well Arturia has managed to emulate the Synthi... I've A/B'd it with my VCS3 recordings and even very complex, quirky feedback-, FM- and ring-mod-based sounds are authentically reproduced. The warmth-fuzzy fatness, and all of the little quirks, it's all there...plus many well-considered additions. An absolute dream.
Once I discovered how closely the Synthi V emulates the hardware Synthi, I went about trying various tricks I'd learned on the VCS3. Feedback patches, using ring mod in unconventional ways, overdriving the filter and VCAs, etc., and the best trick of all: Randomly adding pins to the matrix! To me the Synthi is pure "joy of synthesis", and that's what I wanted to express in my presets, keeping a balance between musical and SFX patches.
The keyboard controls the trapezoid envelope‘s Decay length, so higher notes get faster bell repeats. And it is polyphonic - you can have up to four bells going at different speeds and pitches. Arturia’s new / updated reverb sounds fantastic. It makes the whole thing sound real. I also added a bit of chorus - sound of bells in the distance is usually naturally chorused by the time it reaches your ears - and stereo delay.
This patch is quite simple but I think it showcases how faithfully the Synthi V emulates the original Synthi's unique character, for example the soft distortion.
"Bird Patch" is a patch I have done before on the VCS3. No oscillators are used, the sound is coming from the self-resonating filter. This patch shows how good Synthi V is at reproducing sounds and sound patterns heard in nature - central to this is the trapezoid envelope...its contours change in natural ways as its four time values are changed. The changes you hear in the sound are simply me adjusting trapezoid Decay using the mod wheel, and playing different notes on the keyboard to raise/lower the pitch. Another key in this patch is the ring mod, which is one of Synthi V's secret weapons - it can be used in several different ways. In this case it is being used to "invert" the contour of the trapezoid before it modulates the frequency of the self-resonating filter.
I love the patch bay.
Thibault Morel comes from an acoustic environment, he plays guitar, trumpet, drums, piano, clarinet. Eclectic, he performs solo and in groups, in various styles. He started to play live under the nickname Mr Woofer, a reggae/dub project. Today he's got several new live projects, ranging from techno to electronica, a duo with a singer, and a solo piano project.
I think this matrix is the principal strength of Synthi V. I used to work with modular synths and it looked really familiar to me. Of course, the sound of the oscillators are really, really fat. You can easily reproduce every kind of sound, from classic bass and lead sounds to some of the weirdest noise and effects I’ve ever heard.
When I first opened Synthi V, I instantly wanted to create drones and sound effects. After using it for a while, I discovered it was also capable of really nice leads, basses, and old-school arpeggios. I always started by creating a sequence using the integrated 4 step sequencer, then I created my sound. Sometimes “sample and hold” did it for me. Functions are an incredible tool too, I loved playing around with the modular ADSR, and here it really adds another dimension to the classic Synthi sound!
It's fat and clear at the same time with lots of harmonics, and this joystick that slowly detunes OSC2 and opens the VCF is just amazing to twist! For me, you could almost use this patch to create an entire track!
Simon Gallifet is a Music Producer and sound designer who has been involved in many projects
in close cooperation with ARTURIA.
As a multi-instrumentalist he has been playing drums since the age of 5 and learned classical music theory at university. He has been actively involved in sound design and electronic music production for 12 years.
I was delighted to work on a such iconic synth. Synthi V is perfect to create heavy basses and weird SFX. I had the opportunity to play on the real one and I'm stunned by the filter emulation quality and the fidelity of the harmonic distortion. I really appreciate working with all the advanced functions that expand the sonic possibilities.
While creating my preset bank I tried to experiment as much as I can with the advanced features such as the functions generators and the joystick path controller without adding too much FXs in order to keep the original sound of the Synthi. To me a good presets is mainly a strong idea that kindle inspiration, I hope my will open up possibilities for the users.
Sense Of Wonder
Sense Of Wonder is a polyphonic preset that uses the functions as sequencers, playing octaves and quantized notes in a different way for each oscillator. You could make this preset on the original instrument.
Maxime Dangles is an electronic music producer from Valence in the south of France. Starting his professional music journey a decade ago with a KOMPAKT release, and working with techno label SRYPTÖM today, Maxime is also involved in several creative projects, including Möd3rn, DNGLS, and a solo live modular electronica act. Although hardware is his main love, he's been an avid follow of Arturia's V Collection since version 3.
For me, the main strength of Synthi V is having up to four voices of polyphony. It’s just something that you’ll never get to hear in real life. I was amazed by the whole sound quality, but I think that the coolness of the original units is faithfully recreated here. I had great time using the osc-sync function, which is only available as a mod on the real Synthi.
I never had a Synthi before, so I really discovered it through the process of sound design. The matrix approach can be disturbing at the beginning, but it’s a very powerful way to create sounds. I was really helped out by Arturia adding functions that let me go further and faster in terms of sound exploration. I was not looking for a specific type of sounds, just wiggling knobs until it sounded great.
The EMS Synthi is a very rare synthesizer, and you’d be very lucky if you ever got to own one. It's nearly impossible to play multiples at the same time! Fortunately, Arturia solved this problem with the polyphonic function. This is the feature I wanted to show off with this preset: the function generators are also a major asset to go further in the sonic exploration, and I used one to modulate OSC2 sawtooth volume in this patch.
Jean-Baptiste Arthus has been a resident Arturia sound designer since 2014, in charge of creating factory presets and soundbanks for all the Arturia instruments. On top of his relentless creativity at Arturia HQ, he also performs live under the guide 55h22 using exclusively modular systems.
What excited me the most about Synthi V was the raw oscillator sound. It was rich, and just droning with the three oscillators - even without modulation - was already a lot of fun. The precision of Arturia’s function generators really helped me to shape the sound exactly how I wanted to be. Synthi V is a very good device if you’re into feedback, giving you the ability to replace pins by VCAs so you truly control the feedback, letting you use it in a production context.
My main goal while creating presets for Synthi V was to show two aspect of the emulation, first I wanted to make patches that reflect the authenticity of it, so I was not using too many of the advanced features and focusing instead on the original module, its oscillators and filter. Then I wanted to push Synthi V as far as I could, so I cranked up the polyphony and used intermodulation between every component of the advanced panel to create full rhythms and soundscapes.
This is a simple saw bass but surrounded by a never-repeating ring mod sequence that resets each time a key is pressed.