Synthesizer Sound Design Tip: Use Randomization

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Synthesizer Sound Design Tip Use Randomization

When you wan’t to create your own sounds and presets with your favourite VST synth, but don’t know where to start, FL Studio offers one very handy function for making your creativity to work: Randomize.


Randomize is a function in Fruity Wrapper (Fruity Wrapper is a software interface/layer between instrument/effect plugins and FL Studio) that will give random values to the plugin parameters everytime it’s selected. It’s like ‘throwing a dice’ with all the synth controllers. Eventually, you’ll end up with some really interesting sounds.

I use randomization when I’m out of sound design ideas. It’ll mess up the settings nicely to give a fresh start for something completely new. Then I’ll jus tweak the parameteres a bit further though sometimes the Randomize will bring results that will work as is.

Randomize is ESPECIALLY useful for creating some weird fx.

Here’s a couple of sound examples that are made with Fruity Wasp XT and Randomize function. Only a very little further tweaking is implemented after the randomization (btw, Wasp XT is actually a quite versatile synth so you might want to play around with it a bit):

[audio:http://howtomakeelectronicmusic.com/wp-content/uploads/audio/Sound-Design-By-Randomization.mp3]

Ok. Here’s how you use the randomization: just right click on the arrow icons at the right upper corner of the plugin and choose Randomize from the plugin presets menu (click the image to see it bigger):

Randomize Plugin Parameters

If you’re not happy with the results, Randomize again.. and again.. and again.. and when you find something you’re almost happy with, fine tune it by tweaking the paramaters a bit further.

Hopefully this’ll kickstart your journey into sound design!

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10 Comments

  1. Ahhh so that’s what the randomize preset thing does!!

    I always figured it had something to do with the preset display or something……..LOL!

    Thanks a lot Petri πŸ™‚ This should keep me busy for awhile!

    • No problem Jon! Be cautious though: sometimes ‘throwing a dice’ with the synth parameters may cause very loud noises so keep your volume in moderate level to protect your ears πŸ™‚

  2. Skyhunter on

    Woah, you have totally inspired me to mess around with Wasp. I was a 3xosc fanboy but this is great too

  3. last_name_left on

    Ha! good advice.

    When I get tweaking I’m always careering towards grey goo. I stop sometimes and go, ‘that’s just not music anymore…..sounds broken” hehe

    Just to throw-in some more ideas for more tuts……..arps; main synth controls/features; quantising (and other such fiddling in PR and PL, grooves, splitting…); the various trancey drum patterns (the gallop, and whatever they’re all called). I’m greedy? They’re such good tutorials though πŸ˜‰

    Like I said earlier, I am working through them, so if it’s already been covered I should find it. ta

    • yeah, though almost anykind of sound is acceptable in modern electronic music if used with good taste πŸ™‚

      Good ideas (even though I’m not actually taking requests – time/knowledge issue). Some of them I have already covered such as the arp though I’m not sure if that’s what youre looking for.

      Keep it up mate and keep an close eye on this site for more tricks coming soon! πŸ™‚

      • last_name_left on

        Y, thanks, I found that Arp thing. “Set tempo to something Trancey”….lol

        My production has already improved considerably, so thanks very much for the tuts. Biggest help so far has been importing drum-loops into slicex: no more fiddling with tempo in the playlist to get em to loop right. That was going to be one of my suggestions for a tutorial! aligning and tempo setting samples in playlist. Eg drop a drumloop into playlist…will it loop cleanly? have to adjust project tempo to find right tempo. Likewise with samples dropped in a sample channel – hit the keyboard and they just play faster or slower….can’t I preserve duration? FL seems to handle all this a bit oddly. But no matter – just a suggestion. Off to slicex some beats….. πŸ˜‰

          • last_name_left on

            Yes thanks, that helps a lot.

            What I’d missed was that selecting Pro-Transient *along with* adjusting the time knob made FL automatically fit the loops to the tempo in playlist. That’s what it’s doing, yes? (using protransient as algorithm…..)

            That’s (part of) exactly what I had been looking for, and I have been through all those tabs, clicking and tweaking and……getting chipmunks. I never found that combo, at least not consistently. doh!

            One issue though – when I try to play it as an instrument on MIDI keyboard, pitch changes don’t happen. I can’t get pitch changes whilst maintaining length/time/tempo in realtime?

            I’m wondering about the relative quality of the methods. I’d imagine slicing would be better for more extreme shifts, and pitchshifting for more subtle effects. But I guess they’re essentially the same thing, at bottom…..and “suck it and see” is the best advice?

            I had great fun with the granuliser and automation btw. Grey goo is always threatening there ha. Very interesting.

          • Well, It’s kinda yes and no…. if the sample/loop doesnt originally have loop points defined, you need to tweak the Time -knob by hand to first stretch the sample to make it fit to tempo, though it will ‘snap’ to closest grid automatically. However, after that, replacing the sample with another will stretch it automatically (using the stretching method you choose) to grid which is closest to the end point of the sample lenght. HOW the stretching will sound is defined by the stretching method you’re choosing. Pro-Transient is the smoothest method, but others will work too though you’ll get different sounding end results. Resample -method will make your samples/loops go chipmunk.

            If you’ve been tweaking the Time -knob (regardless of the stretching method), then yeah, the pitch changes wont happen when played with MIDI keyb, Piano Roll etc so you cant change it in real time. Utilising the Time stretching will ‘force’ you to use Pitch -knob for changing the pitch.

            About the quality of the methods: yea, I would say testing different methods for different sampels is actually the best advice πŸ™‚

            Glad youre enjoying the tuts – keep it up!

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