Play chords and pads with your monophonic synth
There has been a massive resurgence in analog synthesizers lately, with a large portion of the market being the monophonic synth.
The nature of the design of monophonic synthesizers means that they are only able to trigger a single voice at a time. This reduces the sound palette to leads, basses and other typically monophonic sounds. There are a few clever workarounds I have seen before, using samplers and other time-consuming operations, however the following technique is intriguing because it requires very little setup and the result is almost instantaneous.
The concept is to use an arpeggiator to trigger a series of notes in fast succession, and then use effects like delays or reverbs to blend the resulting series of notes into chords or pads. This opens a whole new world of possibilities, turning what may have been a rather limited piece of gear into a powerhouse.
The truly intriguing part about the technique is you don’t need the expensive modular effects like we see in the video, it can be done using effects plugins in your favourite DAW. A great example is the use of something like VCV Rack, which is free modular emulation software.
I’m already itching to hit the studio and try this technique!
I love discovering new ways of breathing life into my productions and I can see this becoming a staple in my box of tricks, not only for out-of-the-box sources – it can also be a great way to discover new sounds in-the-box.
If you don’t have access to a monophonic synth, check out the VCV Rack software as mentioned above and featured in the video. It’s a great free platform for creating synth sounds, it comes with a host of monophonic oscillators, sequencers and effects to plays with (most notably is a software emulation of Mutable Instrument’s highly sought-after but now discontinued Clouds module)
Check out this video we found online as well at Loopop.