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Positif Synth School Vol. 12: Prodigy’s “Girls” with a Roland Juno-106

The Prodigy’s “Girls” features some very cool samples. My favourite one is the re-sampling of D-Train’s “You’re the one for me”. I just love this line so much, great melody and great synth programming.

The re-sampled lick sounds cooler, -more synthy and less “plucky guitar rompler”- in The Prodigy’s production, and this is the one we’ve decided to recreate.

In order to do this sound I’m usig a mix of square waves (pwm set to manual and with the pulse width of the square wave set in the “middle”), saw waves, and SUB (mixed about half way). The filter is set this way: Frequency is about 40% on the fader and resonance is high (about 75%).

Theres also some envelope and lfo modulation into the filter and some lfo modulation to the pitch. Also, it’s necessary to apply some delay to the lfo vibrato. If your synth doesnt have this, just use the modwheel.

Last but not least the vca is set to a “gate” envelope and the filter envelope has a fast attack, fast decay, medium sustain and low release (although with the gate envelope on the vca the release doesn’t matter much.) The onboard chorus is set to “1” setting.

After this we passed the juno sound through a SPL Transient Designer to empasize the attack a bit, and put some very mild overdrive and some reverb via plugs.

The sound we’ve achieved with the 106 is probably more analog sounding and “retro” than the original. For even more accurate results it would be wise to use a digital synth and maybe resample it and pitch it up like Prodigy did. This is as close as we could get with the 106.

It’s probably much easier just to sample D-Trains record but, that wouldnt be fun, would it??


18 preset pack for new OP1 DSynth Engine

Teenage Engineering has release a new version of the OS for the OP-1 synthesizer.
This update includes:

  • NEW DSynth synthesizer engine
  • NEW Sketch sequencer
  • Master tune
  • M1 and M2 now works together

The multi-envelope DSynth shares its heritage with OP-1′s DBox drum synth, tweaked for melody making. It features an interface with dual oscillators, multiple crossfadable synthesis methods, attach/decay/filter controls and a nice waveform visualizer.

We love it!

But the update comes without presets…
No problem! We have created our preset pack for you!



Positif Synth School Vol.11: Siriusmo’s Dr. Beak on a Moog Little Phatty

This sort of “fake pizzicato” synth sound is a disco classic, many others before Siriusmo have used it. Most notably, Massara’s Margherita (later covered by Boney M.) makes thorough use of this sound, and many of Perrey and Kinsgsley’s songs also feature it (by the way, Siriusmo himself has sampled Perrey a few times).

It’s a simple sound to get “in the ball park”, but to make it sound great the details are important. It has obviously a short attack in both filter and vca envelopes, and a short release. Play with your adsr controls to get it right.

To get the best results send a generous amount of envelope modulation to the filter, and use two vcos sync’d selecting the pulse waveforms. The key is to get a very narrow square wave (moving the pulse width controls) and playing with the pitches of the sync’d oscillators to get the right high frequency content.

Last but not least, to achieve the trademark Siriusmo sound it’s advisable to use plugin-style brickwall limiters, some reverb and a highpass filter before hitting the limiter.

Positif Synth School Vol.10: Recreating the sound of Akai S-950

I’ve been longing for an s950 ever since I heard it in this very nice sampler shootout:

I specially love de 25Khz sampling setting of the s950, it reminds me of early Oizo tracks, a sound that i think is very, very classy.

Funds are tight so I tried to emulate it to convince me that I don’t need yet another piece of gear. In order to emulate it I took the original files from the sampler shootout and used a long forgotten plug that I had in my arsenal (…itex-stx-1260/) to give it some textured lofiness.

The key to achieve this sound is finding the right cutoff points of the high roll off and low roll off filters in the “tone” section. Here i cut everything below around 50 hz and everything above about 8k. Theres also a little bump in the filters (read peak resonance), that gives it perceived fulness/presence at the cutoff frequencies to conteract the cuts. This is a similar technique as the one used by the Voice of God from Little Labs, wich we studied previously here: Positifpositif – Positif-synth-school-vol-7.

So now you know why people like the sound of vintage samplers. Whats really happening is that the sound is being filtered by these in order to tame the aliasing artifacts caused by the low sample rate. These in return gives sometimes a pleasant punch to drums due to the resonance bumps of these anti aliasing-filters.

Of course, you don’t even need the Sonitex plug to achieve this. You can use a lowpass and a hipass resonant filter (bundled with most daws) plus a little bit of saturation and compression from your favourite plugs. All you really need is a bit of patience and ear training to achieve similar results without much effort.

Also it’s interesting to note that not only this is cheaper than buying a hardware sampler. It’s also much more convenient and less time consuming than loading a sample to one of these old beasts, and it also let’s you apply these treatments to much longer recordings that the original samplers.

All in all, worth the effort in my opinion.