Key Secrets: Listening tips for Sound Design

Keyboard insider tips from David Battino
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Don’t touch that dial—yet. When designing sounds, start by making them with your mouth and recording your vocal as a reference. Think about the sound’s components: What samples or waveforms could you layer to get close? What envelopes would you use to shape it over time? One trick is to pan the original sound to the left, the target synth to the right, and listen through headphones. That’s especially helpful for matching envelopes, because our ears are so sensitive to delays. (It’s a big part of how we locate oncoming danger.) I used that technique to emulate a favorite sound from my Korg Kaossilator Pro on my Novation Bass Station II so I could play it from a keyboard.