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Help Creating Dark Synth Sounds in Logic Pro?

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Help Creating Dark Synth Sounds in Logic Pro?

Postby instantdeath999 » Sat Aug 25, 2018 3:22 am

Hey guys. I'm a long time musician, but totally new music producer. A friend and I have decided we would like to make dream pop music, and as I've always had an interest in the production side of things, that part of the job has fallen to me. So I'm trying to learn all I can.

For the sound I'm going for, big influences would be a newer band called Cigarettes After Sex, as well as classics like The Cure and The Smiths. I'd also like to incorporate a bit of shoegaze influence, the kind you hear from bands like Slowdive, M83, My Bloody Valentine, etc. Right now, I'm looking for a good, atmospheric synthesizer sound, yet Logic throws so much at you that it's difficult for me to narrow down what I need to be using.

I'm gonna post some examples of what I'm going for, and I'd greatly, greatly appreciate it if anyone has tips on how to get a synth with a similar emotional feel.

I'm a big fan of that opening synth. It's simple, yet haunting. I can't seem to get anything with the same kind of elegance in Logic. I've been mainly messing with the Pad options, and I tend to end up with sounds that are too much on the big, atmospheric side, less on the melodic.

Another example of the kind of synth I'd love to make would be the stuff The Cure were doing on Disintegration. I know they were using a cheap Roland for that record, so I've been messing around with the Retro Synth plugin.

Any and all help would be appreciated.
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Re: Help Creating Dark Synth Sounds in Logic Pro?

Postby blinddrew » Sat Aug 25, 2018 12:41 pm

I'm not familiar with logic so not sure what options you've got, but I am familiar with being completely new to using any kind of synthesiser. :)
My approach is to try a bunch of presets until I find something the right ball-parl and then tweak things from there, or start layering other options on top.
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Re: Help Creating Dark Synth Sounds in Logic Pro?

Postby Wonks » Sat Aug 25, 2018 1:55 pm

You're looking at a at least a couple of sounds in the CAS song intro, one a stringy pad and the other a choir doing gentle aaaaaaaaaaah sounds. I'm not a Logic person but its standard sample player should have a selection of choir sounds you can try out.

Don't be afraid to use EQ or high and low pass filters to tame big sounding pads and choir sounds. You could take the top off the strings and the bottom off the choir sounds so they don't overlap sonically.
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Re: Help Creating Dark Synth Sounds in Logic Pro?

Postby Badstone » Sat Aug 25, 2018 9:06 pm

I'm a big fan of those kind of pad sounds & a Logic user too. I struggled to find those sort of sounds with Logic's stock synths to be honest and ended up buying some Arturia stuff. I find that their software synths have a lot more presence than the Logic ones, which feel a little one dimensional. Obviously you might not want to splash out but I would recommend looking at their demos of the CS80 and Jupiter 8 synths for string sounds. Their Solina might do those sort of dream pop sounds too. Also some modulated reverb might be a thing to consider.
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Re: Help Creating Dark Synth Sounds in Logic Pro?

Postby G-Doubleyou » Fri Aug 31, 2018 6:44 pm

If you REALLY want to learn the Logic instruments there is technical reference book text book
entitled Using Logic Pro's Synthesizers, by Kevin Anker.

I have the 2012 edition, hopefully it's still being updated.
At the time I purchased the book it was required for my advanced Logic pro course.

All of the instruments are totally programmable, presets are only a starting point, tweaking opens up new possibilities.

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Re: Help Creating Dark Synth Sounds in Logic Pro?

Postby Uncle Freddie » Fri Aug 31, 2018 11:11 pm

@instantdeath999, Logic comes with a synth called Alchemy. It will make the sounds you're looking for and probably much more. Be sure to download the additional sounds for Alchemy:

Logic Pro X -> Sound Library -> Open Sound Library Manager

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Re: Help Creating Dark Synth Sounds in Logic Pro?

Postby My Own Silence » Tue Sep 11, 2018 8:44 am

Look at using logics Overdrive and distortion plugins. I use them all over my sounds. It also has a filter on these. Sometimes just a little can go a long way. Also if it's too crunched bring the signal down in volume - for example in the synth before hitting the overdrive.

Other cool stuff to check out. I certainly recommend getting Valhalla's shimmer reverb.

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