Explore the jack-of-all-trades synth, loading it as an FX module in addition to its enormous sonic potential.
- [Instructor] The next synth that I want to talk about is called Absynth, and it's a synthesizer, it's a sampler, it's an effects unit. There is so much that we can do with Absynth. It's really a jack of all trades, and for that reason, a lot of people find it very intimidating. Either that or they see the color and they hear the name and they're like, oh this must be great for ambient sounds. Things that are a little bit softer, like easy listening. Which is true. All of that's true. It's somewhat difficult to program. It's great for soundscapes and things like that, but it's also great for really aggressive sounds.
You can do subtractive synthesis, frequency modulation, you can sample, you can stretch samples, you can create amazing, intense, spacial effects. It can actually work in surround sound if you need it to. It's sort of a power house, and there's a whole lot of cool stuff that you can do using this synthesizer, and I just want to take a look at some of the presets and just talk about navigating it a little bit because there's a lot here. Now, in absence, our navigation is up top. We have our browser and our attributes as we've seen before, and then we have all these different sections.
Perform is where we set up a lot of our mini controllers, for example. Patch is where the heavy lifting goes down. We've got an effects screen. There are a lot of different cool things that we can do. Let's start out just by listening to some sounds. I'm going to show you my very favorite Absynth sound. This isn't one I use all the time, but it's the first one I show people 'cause I think it's great. It's called Absynth beach, and I'm going to go ahead and double click, and I'm just going to hold down a key for you, and let's all sail away. (ocean sound effects) Feels like a commercial for a certain south of the boarder adult beverage.
If you know what I'm talking about. Let's just take a look at some of the stuff going on here. Here's the patch screen. We can see we've got three different synthesis methods happening here. We've got frequency modulation, we've got ring modulation, then we've got good old subtractive synthesis, some filters, some effects over here. We've got this thing called the pipe, which is quite cool. Then we have the envelope screen. This is where a lot of the stuff goes down, and you don't have to worry about this so much right now, but just look at how complex these different envelopes can be. These are all parameters that can be moving. It's kind of incredible, and if we look at these, as I hold down the key.
(ocean sound effects) It's kind of incredible. You can sort of start to see where the waves sound is coming from. You can start to hear where that seagull type sound is coming from. It's really interesting that this entire sound was made with no samples. Let's get back to our browser here. Let's look at a couple of other soundscapes, 'cause there's a whole lot of cool stuff going on here. They love Absynth in Hollywood.
And as you can see down below, I'm just holding down one key. Cross talk is pretty cool. Lots of really interesting futuristic type stuff. Let's just check out some, okay, so soundscapes, destructive, that sounds pretty cool. Electric sheep. (ominous electronic sounds) oh wow, lots of really interesting stuff here.
Let's check out some of the vocal sounds. For example, let's go to angels singing. (lighthearted music) I feel like Sinead O'Connor over here, it's amazing. Breathy choir, lots of fun. (electronic tune) Let's go ahead and check out something a little bit different.
Let's listen to some plucked strings. How about a koto type sound. You guys thought I was going to play Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds, didn't you? Don't know that one unfortunately. Then we've also got some interesting leads and pads and things like that. Some of the pads are really nice. Now, if you haven't heard the word pad before, other than in this course. What the word pad means is generally a sound that doesn't have a whole lot of rhythmic movement. It's typically used to fill out space between other sounds that are a little bit more percussive.
Maybe have a little bit more rhythmic presence, but they're really cool, and it's something that we can do a lot with synthesizers, and Absynth is great for it because it has really flexible envelopes and you can create really long sounds that take a while to develop. Oh but first I have to call one up. There we go. Analog universe. (electronic tune) How about arctic strings? And let's go to long evolving.
How about that? Let's get out of the A section. I feel like I've paid too much attention to the A section over here so lets keep moving. Sun dancing, how about that? (electronic tune) Oh that's cool, I like that very much. How about slow attack and long release as well? Emerge, what a good name for a sound. (electronic tune) What you're hearing is that we have these really cool sounds here, but on top of that, there's the ability to have the sort of mini compositions that are within these sounds, and that's what's so fun about Absynth is that things ar so expressive and so flexible and customizable.
Another thing I'd like to show is that this is also a great drum synthesizer. So if we go to an analog drum type sound, we have 808 claps. Bow bell, rim. You may be thinking, but Evan, how am I going to use that? Well if you use Ableton Live, you can always throw this in a drum rack, can't you? Bet you didn't think of that. All right, here we go. Here's some cool toms. (beating drums) A lot of people wonder where some of their favorite snare drum sounds came from.
Where some of their favorite kick drum sounds came from. You can make these sounds in a synthesizer. Let's check out the pitch snare. (pitch snare) How about the tune snare? (tune snare) And of course there's the kick drum section. 808 kicks and whatnot. That actually sounds pretty good. We're not trying to completely emulate things. Again, no one's running into the room going, oh my god, you got an 808, I can't believe it.
It really is just a matter of having something that's flexible because as you learn more about these different synthesizers, you're going to have the ability to create more and more customize sounds and to really tweak them to become something that's truly your own. I like that sound a lot too. Let's jump over to some of the lead sounds. We can go to a classic mono lead type sound. Acid machine saw. (electronic tune) Now that's a cool sound, but as you can hear, it doesn't really ring like a classic analog sound to me.
It's got something special to it, which is a lot of fun. I'm not saying that they're misscategorizing anything, What I'm saying is that it's got a nice twinge to it. It's got a fresh take on things, and I like that. I love using classic analog synthesizers and things like that. I think it's great, it's a lot of fun, but at the same time, plugin synthesizers, such as Absynth or Massive, it's a whole different sonic world. There's so much that you can do. There are so many interesting things that you can come up with that people have never heard before because of the fact that it's software and because there are these new synthesis methods that are so much fun.
So let's say we have a lead sound that we like, and always check out the mod wheel. And the pitch bend. Oh I like that. (electronic tune) Have fun with those. If we jump over to the effects section, we can just turn on some effects. Which is a lot of fun. We just have to click over on where it says effect if we're in the effect page. Now, the effects in here you probably haven't heard of.
Maybe you've heard of echos, or the multi comb, comb filters, things like that. Perhaps you've heard these words, but all of these have a particularly Absynth take on things. So I turn on the multi comb and we're not getting a ton of echo. So let's jump to the echos, 'cause I would actually prefer to hear something that repeats back. (electronic tune) Well that's kind of fun. The pitch jumps around. I like that a lot. (electronic tune) Lot of interesting stuff.
Here's the etherizer. (electronic tune) And there you go. There's a lot of fun stuff to play with in Absynth. Again, it's a fairly complex synth. So there's a lot of stuff under the hood that you can mess with, but we also have a couple of other things that we can touch that are right out in front of us. First of all we've got these fine tuning areas.
Which just have really simple words that are easy to understand. Such as distortion, resonance, bass, brightness. It's almost like a guitar amp, and I really like that. So we can add a little to the volume if we want. We can make it a little brighter. (electronic tune) More bass if we want, or less bass and more resonance. (electronic tune) And if we want more effects, we can get more effects. All right there we go. We maxed it out a little bi there.
We can also adjust the modulation depth and time. That means if things are changing, the sound is moving on its own. We can tweak that and have fun with it. This is really something worth checking out because it allows you to do a little bit of fine tuning and customization of the sound without going full on under the hood. Which is a good thing to start out with because it's important to keep having fun while you're learning to use all of these different things. I encourage you to get into programming and check out some of the things that are going on and some of the more complex parameters, but at the same time, you want to just get down to business and start exploring and using things, and I think that this is a great way to get started with a synthesizer that goes so deep.
- Core products
- New products and features
- Effects processors
- DAW and hardware integrations