Trying to replicate this techno chord that you hear in this track below starting at 2:04.

It's a very common sort of sound in techno, however I cannot seem to set it to sound like that. It sounds very good where the resonance picks up that lush underbelly while also keeping a very dark tone. It seems as though it has some slapback delay associated to it. This chord has variations throughout the track.

I am basically trying to use different waveforms but it's such a low end rumble that I can't pick it up. I'm pretty sure it's a saw, but not sure if that even matters much. What I'm doing is having two saw waves with the cutoff about halfway, with the envelope filter moving backwards toward the lows to about 8 o clock or so. My resonance is about 45% up. The envelope for the filter is a short attack with an exponential slope to get that really fast rise with medium to high sustain and a short release. I've added some nice distortion to fatten it up with one of the oscillators an octave higher than the other, with two voices each. Image of serum program below:

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I've also tried this on my prophet 6 to no avail. I get a similar sort of sound but nowhere near the powerfulness you get from the track above. It would be good to add this sort of technique to my arsenal in a way that I can make it sound however I wanted to.

  • It does sound like a sine wave and some quick filtering applied to it, yet another aproach to recreate a sound, besides synthesis, can be to resample - I'm sure this type of analogue stabs can be found quite easly
    – Dalv Olan
    Apr 5, 2016 at 9:23
  • using a sine, sort of has the same effect and gives it a different timbre, however I would say that it loses the direction of where the sound is going
    – Dom
    Apr 6, 2016 at 2:16

2 Answers 2


It has a big spacial feature, most likely created with a fast chorus effect.

Amplitude envelope: No attack, fast decay, no sustain.
Filter: Try different low frequency band-pass filter settings, rather than low-pass, see if it sounds any better.
Modulation envelope: Decay sweep, no attack, not as fast as the amplitude decay.
Also, try a bit of detune.

The note seems to repeat, this could be, as you say, slap-back delay with a high-pass filter applied. At the end of the song, you can hear that this delay has a longer feedback than is perceivable earlier and the high pass continues increasing, which is a feature of most delay units. You can hear that the delay is not in smooth 1/32 notes, but is rhythmical. Some form of triplets. Maybe it has some kind of modulation too. This rhythm causes the initial 'slap-back' sound.

I think reverb has a big influence too, widening and brightening the sound quickly after the attack.

I think the key to this is the three effects; Chorus, delay and reverb. This could be what you're missing.

This would most probably sound a lot different without these effects.

  • Thanks AAAALOOT BRO. Took some fiddling around with decay times and the enveolope filters. I used my prophet 6 for this. Saw plus Pulse wave syned. I mixed in a high pas to cutt off some lows. But decay on amp is about 1 o clock on envelope is about 10-11 o clock. Cutooff at 10 o clock and env amount opening up to about 12-1. Res up to 2 o clock. The chorus def beefed it up a bit and the hall rev helps too. Its not exact but def in ballpark Below is a link of me playin with it somewhat: drive.google.com/file/d/0Bz7u6sri5SdsVlFwSF9IanBLaGs/…
    – Dom
    Apr 8, 2016 at 1:02

You are on the right track. You need to have an ADSR envelope sweeping a low pass filter. Keep tweaking with the cutoff position, envelope decay, and enveloping routing percentage to filter.

With plucks like this I always use 0 attack time. I would try that.

Also I think this is a square and a saw wave. I also use a square when doing tehcno pluck sound, and I think it is the same here.

I don't have a lot of expensive software synths, but I have found that tyrelln6 freeware synth has a filter that makes plucks better than anything I have heard. In addition, other synths I have tried can just plain hold suck at this kind of sound. It is all about the low pass filter sound.

So maybe try a different synth.....like TyrellN6.

EDIT: Another awesome freeware synth that I just discovered is Charlatan 2.0. It has awesome envelopes and filter sounds, and make great plucks!!

  • 1
    using a 0 attack time would be good for a pluck where the envelope for the filter was going in the positive direction. However this doesnt really get you the same sound Im going for. Im starting to think the sound's lushness is due to using FM synthesis with multiple oscillators. I could be wrong tho, If you could post a similar patch would be helpful
    – Dom
    Apr 6, 2016 at 2:18
  • Ok yes, if you are using the envelope backwards.... But properly you would have an attack time of zero a shortish decay time and 0 sustain and 0 delay.
    – Scorb
    Apr 6, 2016 at 2:34

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