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  1. Music & Audio
  2. Sound Design
Music

Making Sounds With PolyIblit

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Difficulty:BeginnerLength:MediumLanguages:
Final product image
What You'll Be Creating

The Synth

PolyIblit is a polyphonic, virtual analogue synth in VSTi 32 bit format. It has a clean and punchy digital sound. The low pass filter is especially nice and you can create good leads, basses and pads with it.

To use it with 64 bit Ableton, you’ll need a wrapper such as jBridge.

The synth is a bit old and the original website is down, but you can download it from the vst4free website.

Features:

  • Freeware
  • Clean and compact user interface
  • Three oscillators per voice
  • Sine, triangle, sawtooth and pulse waveforms
  • White noise generator
  • Pulse Width/Slope Modulation
  • LP, BP, HP filters
  • Two DCAs
  • Four LFOs
  • Four ADSR envelope generators
  • MIDI automation and MIDI learn

The name of the synth comes from BLITs which is an algorithm called Band Limited Impulse Train. The developer of the synth is Andreas Ersson.

Project Settings

The settings used for this project are:

  • Tempo 120BPM
  • Time signature 4/4
  • C-minor scale
file
These are the basic settings for the project in the session view

Initial Preset

For each of the sounds I started with the first one called the SectionOne.

Workflow

Initially I had an idea for the bass melody, then I created the leads and pad sounds.

After that I moved to the fx hihat noise and percussion sounds then added a drumloop.

The song is written in C-minor.

The Song

This is the music we will create with the plugin.

Bass C2

This is a pulse sub layer of the bass section.

file
For the lower bass I use pulse wave at -12 semitones

Synth:

  • OSC1, pulse wave at -12 semitones
  • Noise generator on
  • Mixer, OSC1 and noise at maximum level
  • DCF1, cutoff at 33% with small Q

Fx: EQ Eight, LP at 3 kHz

Bass C3

This is the saw wave top part of the bass section.

file
The top bass has got a saw wave with a Flanger effect

Synth:

  • OSC1, saw wave at -12 semitones
  • Mixer, OSC1 at maximum level
  • DCF1, cutoff at 40% with small Q

Fx:

  • Flanger, high delay, high feedback, 25% amount, 0 phase
  • EQ Eight, high pass at 200 Hz, 4 dB bell boost at 1.45 kHz, 4 dB bell boost at 6.9 kHz and low pass at 11 kHz

Basses Group

I created a group for handling basses together with some effects including sidechain compression.

Fx:

  • Reverb, size at 1, stereo at 0, 389ms decay, 30% dry wet, 97ms predelay, high reflect, high diffuse
  • Compressor, 2:1 ratio, 2ms attack, auto release, sidechain to beat
  • EQ Eight, -4 dB bell cut at 260 Hz

Lead C3

This sound is playing the main melody of the song. I wrote this right after creating the bass.

file
A triangle wave is used for a simple lead melody

Synth:

  • OSC1, triangle wave at 0 semitones
  • mixer, OSC1 at maximum level
  • DCF1, cutoff at 100% with small Q
  • ENV1, 0 attack, 0 decay, maximum sustain, medium release

Fx:

  • Reverb, size at medium, stereo at 100, 2.7s decay, 44% dry wet, 13ms predelay, small reflect, small diffuse
  • EQ Eight, HP filter at 200 Hz

Lead2 C3C4

This sound is similar to the previous one, but I used a very small sized Reverb to give it a more metallic, harder character.

file
A secondary lead with medium Reverb

Synth:

  • OSC1, triangle wave at 0 semitones
  • mixer, OSC1 at maximum level
  • DCF1, cutoff at 100% with small Q
  • ENV1, 0 attack, 0 decay, maximum sustain, medium release

Fx:

  • Reverb, size at low, stereo at 100, 1.1s decay, 37% dry wet, 13ms predelay, small reflect, small diffuse
  • EQ Eight, HP filter at 200 Hz, LP filter at 5 kHz, bell cut at 260 Hz

Lead3 C4

This is a saw wave type short sound which got a very large Reverb decay and fills out the frequency spectrum during the beat.

file
The third lead sound got a very big Reverb and playing short notes

Synth:

  • OSC1, saw wave at 0 semitones
  • Mixer, OSC1 at maximum level
  • DCF1, cutoff at 50% with small Q
  • ENV1, 0 attack, 0 decay, maximum sustain, medium release

Fx:

  • Reverb, size at 100, stereo at 120, 9.8s decay, 48% dry wet, 26ms predelay
  • EQ Eight, HP filter at 200 Hz, LP filter at 5 kHz, bell cut at 260 Hz

Lead4 C3

This is a more exotic sound with Overdrive. The Phaser effect gives it a moving character.

There is also a Bit reduction for making it low fidelity. I used EQ Eight to remove low and high end, and also some midrange.

file
The fourth lead is a saw wave with more mixing effects then the others

Synth:

  • OSC1, saw wave at 0 semitones
  • Mixer, OSC1 at maximum level
  • DCF1, cutoff at 50% with small Q
  • ENV1, 0 attack, 0 decay, maximum sustain, medium release

Fx:

  • Overdrive, 2.3 kHz center, 2.03 width, 100% drive, 39% tone, 12% dry wet
  • Phaser, medium frequency and feedback, 22% amount, 0 phase, 4 poles
  • Reduction, downsample Hard 1 at 9 bits
  • EQ Eight, HP filter at 334 Hz, LP filter at 7.8 kHz, -11 dB bell cut at 1.9 kHz
  • Reverb, size at 0.7, stereo at 120, 850ms decay, 55% dry wet
  • Limiter, default settings

Pad C5

I programmed a pad sound to give the mid section a fuller character.

file
Simple pulsing pad sound with sidechain compression

Synth:

  • OSC1, pulse wave at 0 semitones
  • Mixer, OSC1 at maximum level
  • DCF1, cutoff at 33% with small Q
  • ENV1, slow attack, max decay, max sustain, slow release

Fx:

  • Reverb, size at max, stereo at max, 2.3s decay, 48% dry wet
  • Compressor, 2.5:1 ratio, 2ms attack, auto release, sidechain to beat
  • EQ Eight, HP filter at 351 Hz

Mids Group

The group channel has got an EQ Eight with 169 Hz HP filter cut, to remove unnecessary low end information.

Fx Hihat

This is an effect and hihat combination made from white noise. I removed the low and high end with EQ to give more space to the track.

file
The fx hihat is basically white noise

Synth:

  • noise generator on
  • mixer, noise at maximum level
  • DCF1, cutoff at 23% with small Q
  • ENV1, medium decay

Fx:

  • Simple Delay, sync for both, 3 left, 6 right, 24% feedback, 36% dry wet
  • EQ Eight, HP filter at 440 Hz, LP filter at 14 kHz
  • Limiter, default settings

Perc C5

This is a tuned, tiny sine wave percussion sound which is a popular feature in a couple of electronic music styles.

file
Sine wave used as percussion

Synth:

  • OSC1, sine wave at 0 semitones
  • Mixer, OSC1 at maximum level
  • DCF1, cutoff at 100% with small Q
  • ENV1, 0 attack, short decay, 0 sustain, 0 release

Fx: EQ Eight, HP filter at 261 Hz

Tops, Nsnare

I created the top rhythm part from a wav loop. I converted the audio file to MIDI then designed synth sounds for that.

For the snare part, I used white noise from the plugin.

Synth:

  • noise generator on
  • mixer, noise at maximum level
  • DCF1, cutoff at 75% with small Q
  • ENV1, medium decay

Fx:

  • Frequency shifter, 440 Hz, Ring mode, 24% mix
  • EQ Eight, HP filter at 261 Hz

Tops, Perc

I made a very high percussion note with a triangle and pulse combination. The triangle is playing at four octaves above the MIDI notes.

Synth:

  • OSC1 triangle at +48 semitones
  • OSC2 pulse, 0 semitones
  • Mixer, OSC1 and OSC2 maximum level
  • DCF1, cutoff at 20% with small Q
  • ENV1, 0 attack, 0 decay, max sustain, medium release

Fx: EQ Eight, HP filter at 1.24 Hz

Beat

I used a wav loop for the drumbeat and made a low pass filter to close the high end a bit, because it had a lot of hihat energy.

Drum Group

I removed 260 Hz with EQ Eight (-3 dB bell cut) from the drum channel to give space for the lead1 sound which is playing the main melody.

Master Channel

For the master section, I used an Ableton stock plugin, Limiter, with default settings. I can add more volume with the gain knob if needed.

The Utility before is used to create the final fade-out when the track ends.

file
Utility for fade-out and Limiter to catch the peaks

Conclusion

In this tutorial I showed you how to create sounds with Polyiblit. I created percussion, basses, leads, pads and fx sounds with this synth plugin.

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