In this tutorial I will show you how to create a nice and shiny saw wave lead pad by layering two units of 3xOsc’s together. But first, here’s an audio preview of what I’m talking about:
Ok. This is how you re-create the sound.
1. Load 3xOsc and program it like this:
- Choose Saw as the oscillator shape for Osc 1 & Osc 2 and Noise for Osc 3
- Set Osc 1 & Osc 2 Coarse Tune to 0 Semitones and Osc 3 to -24 semitones
- Set Osc 1 Fine Tune to -10 Cents and Osc 2 Fine Tune to +12 Cents
- Set Osc 3 (Noise) Mix Level to 10%
- Set Osc 1 Stereo Detune (SD) to +5 cents
With settings like this, we’ll get a basic detuned saw lead sound.
The Noise is there to make it sound a bit more “gritty” and organic. Keep the noise mix level fairly low though because if there’s too much of it, it just sounds bad.
Stereo Detune widens the stereo image nicely.
2. Head to the Instrument Properties (INS) -tab and from there to VOL, enable the envelope by clicking the button and edit the envelope like this:
Short Attack time and slower Release time shapes the sound to a lead -style with a pad -like feel.
Next, we’ll add another instance of 3xOsc to layer two more oscillators for more richer timbre. Its best to use cloning as we are going to use the exact same envelope settings as with the first instance of 3xOsc and cloning retains the instrument type of the original, as well as all of its settings (including envelope settings).
3. Clone the first instance of 3xOsc and that is done by right clicking on the 3xOsc Channel -box (in the Step Sequencer) and choose ‘Clone’ from the menu.
Open the 3xOsc #2 and program it like this:
- Rounded Saw as the shape for Osc 1 & Osc 2
- Osc 1 Coarse Tune to 0 Semitones
- Osc 2 Coarse Tune to -12 Semitones
- Osc 3 Mix level to 0 (we don’t need the third oscillator for this exact sound example)
Next, we’ll layer these two units of 3xOsc’s together and for that we use Layer Channel.
4. Add a Layer Channel to the project and set the two units of 3xOsc as “Children”. That is done by first opening the Layer Channel and then right-clicking the channel selectors (in the Step Sequencer) of 3xOsc & 3xOsc #2 so that they turn green and then click on ‘Set children’ in the Layer Channel.
Now you can play both 3xOsc units at once using the Layer channel, like a single instrument.
Next, adjust the Channel volume level of 3xOsc #2 to -10dB (59%) to make it blend nicely with the other 3xOsc synth.
(Basically, with layering you can chain unlimited amounts of 3xOsc’s together (or anything in that matter) and when you use different oscillator shapes and tuning settings you can create very rich sounding leads and pads. For example, if you want more bottom end to the pad, try layering and additional 3xOsc with a Sinewave and set the Coarse Tune to something like -12 or -24 Semitones).
Ok. Next, couple of effects for some color.
5. Assign both units of 3xOsc’s to a free mixer track and drop a following set of effects to its effect slot: Fruity Flanger, Fruity Reeverb, Fruity Filter, Fruity Delay 2 and Fruity Parametric EQ 2.
First, set the Fruity Flanger like this:
This kind of flanger adds more depth & color to the sound… its like vibration.
Next, Fruity Reeverb for some sense of space.
Fruity Filter is needed for filter sweeps. Set it like this and tweak/automate the Cutoff freq -knob for the sweeps:
Next, Fruity Delay 2 for even more added stereo depth and “dense”:
And finally, PEQ2 for boosting the highs for some sparkle. I also used low shelf filter to cut the low frequencies, though in this particular sound there’s not much “life” below 100Hz, but it comes useful if you layer more oscillators (especially sine waves) and play low notes as it may start to interfere with your bassline…
For boosting highs I’m using High Shelf Filter.
Alright, that’s about it. Feel free to experiment with the 3xOsc and/or effect settings for even more interesting leads/pads.
I hope you found this sound useful!
Watch the video below and download the FL Studio project file: