I've been trying to design a synth with the characters of the synth that occurs right at the beginning of this song. I get close, but there's something missing and I'm not sure what it is. I know that the are doing some post-processing to get the tape stop effect, I don't really care about that aspect since I need to use this synth in a live context.

Method 1: I've tried using a couple of sawtooth waves where they are slightly detuned (like a super saw).

Method 2: I modified a Hoover Bass in Logic Pro X, which is basically 2 Sawtooth and 1 rectangle/pulse wave.

Any ideas?

4 Answers 4


First things, first.. The original song (I heard the synth in) is much, much different than the link you shared. FYI - it is NSFW!-- https://youtu.be/oXfMoXIWfcI .

I guess it would be helpful to know exactly which AU or VST synth you are using in trying to attempt that particular sound. In my experience I have found that although you can tune a synth to perfection, there are just certain sounds some will achieve more than others in the realm of software synths of course.

I would spend some time with the attack and release times as well as envelopes - especially if you've already gotten a synth to sound nearly tuned as heard in the song. I personally don't hear a tape-stop effect on that synth, however, I definitely do feel there's some peaks and valleys on that synth track with regard to possible flange, slight distortion / overdrive, etc.

Try to work on it within a different synth and see what you may come up with. For me, that helps a lot if I get stuck on something similar.

Which software synth did you get it close to how you wanted it to sound like the song?

  • I just checked the link, that's the instrument for the song "Miss Independent" by Ne-yo...I'm not sure what you're referring to when you say that the original song is much different. Anyway, I'm using Logic and I'm using a synth called Alchemy.
    – 02fentym
    Jul 26, 2017 at 12:53
  • I mainly use Logic Pro as well for my main DAW too and Alchemy is awesome. It can be quite tricky to tune though - as you know it's huge and quite deep. Amazing software synth. Definitely do some slopes as well as adjustments on your attack and release if you've already got it pretty close and you'll nail it. I fixed the link, not sure what happened there. (edited) - I found that Stargate ( en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stargate_(music_producers) ) were the producers on that track, you may want to look into finding out what DAW he/she utilizes the most.
    – blvkoblsk
    Jul 26, 2017 at 13:19
  • "attack and release times as well as envelopes" Attack and release times are the envelope (as well as hold, decay, etc). Not saying you don't know that, just that the sentence grammatically leads me to think you are talking about two separate/disparate things. Maybe an edit may be in order. That's up to you though.
    – user22688
    Aug 25, 2017 at 22:20

The sound is created by a low pass filter sweeping up very quickly on the sound, creating a subtle, but distinct attack profile.

Start with the detuned saw you were working on (this part is correct).

You need to have an ADSR envelope modulating a low pass filter.

The sustain should be set to 100% (this makes the decay setting irrelevant).

The increase the attack time from zero, till you find the sweet spot. Based on the sound, after the sweep takes place, there is still significant filtering going on. It seems like it sweep from like 500hz to about 12000hz, but never opens up all the way to past 15000hz.

You will want to focus on a few parameters

-the ADSR envelope attack speed -the low pass filter cutoff -the low pass filter resonance -the amount of effect the envelope has on the filter (this settings is called all sorts of different things in different synths, but it should always be there).


Definitely do some adjustments on your attack and release - grab a free synth such as [Helm] (http://tytel.org/helm/), so you can adjust the settings a bit easier in a smaller synth so to speak.


For the tape stop effect you could easily use Glitch 2 vst (free). I'm not affiliated with the developers but used it a lot back in the day. Plus you get a lot more effects and a effect sequencer.

Downloadable here https://illformed.com/

The other way would be to recreate te effect by time-streching or resampling cuts of your synth line.

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