Adding Bite in Synapse DUNE

Adding Spice in DUNE

Article by Lance Emmerich

(If you wouldn’t know yet what is DUNE from Synapse Audio.)

Did I say Spice? I meant Bite for now, hehe. 😛

DUNE’s oscillators are free running by default. It’s a feature which use to provide more organic, nautral and varied character, but sometimes for some types of sound it can be unwanted. For example for hard attacking snappy sounds Osc phase reset may be needed. At the Modulation Matrix reset the desired oscillators. Source: Const – Amount: 0 – Destination: Osc 1 Phase / Osc 2 Phase / Osc 3 Phase as required, depending on which oscillators are in use on that patch and how many of them you want without free running.

If that wouldn’t be enough for your design goal, you can go further. DUNE has Spice! Err, I mean Spike! And two types, Soft Spike and Hard Spike. Many times I find enough hard even the ‘Soft’ one. They are destinations at the Modulation Matrix. For a constant value, with “Const” Source set the Amount off from 0 as you wish (+ or -, it doesn’t matter in such MM routing).

Additionally you can shape the envelopes too by putting the specific Envelope as Source ahead of its envelope parameter as Destination. This way you can change the default curves of the envelope stages. For example you can make a pianoish release by a negative value.

I made a simple ‘snappy and biting’ preset from the Init sound, took a screenshot on the Modulation Matrix. See on the image below. Then I made a quick audio demo, how it sounds. It isn’t a maximum bite from DUNE, but the maximum would be annoyingly and – with higher volume levels – ear-hurtingly too biting. Take care with your ears! 🙂

You can listen and/or download the audio demo from my Box here (I recommend the download, as it is high quality at 320 kbps, the Box player isn’t). I spiced the sound up with a DUNE phaser and with a bit of delay. I automated a couple of parameters to make the snippet less boring. It wasn’t made to be a musical masterpiece, but it can show; DUNE can bite!


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DUNE Panning Tips

Article by Dave Goodwin

Using these setting gives you a wide sound (handy for basslines as it leaves the centre open for the kick).
You need to use 2 voices and in the MM set each one to L/R by using constant -100/100 (solo each voice to hear how it sounds).

This one gives you a very simple ‘autopan’ effect, using the LFO to push the sound left and right. Adjust LFO speed to suit, and MM amount. You can get a clean L/R pan by using the square wave in the LFO. Spread must be set to zero for this.

This one uses the Mod Env to get a ‘sway’effect. Basically, when you press a key, the sound start on the left, swings to the right, then back to the left and stays there…play with Mod Env setting to vary this effect.

The ARP can also be used to pan the sound.  Using the velocity you can pan a sound L/R. 1 is full Left, 64 is Centre, 128 is full Right. The ARP is in Modulation mode, so only the vel is affecting the pan, the note is note following the notes in the ARP (ie it is not retiggered).

Set the ARP in the MM like this….

Again, play with amounts to vary the effect.

Another simple way is to use the Random source..Random>100>Pan…..




You can find my DUNE soundbanks and audio demos here.

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DUNE Dual Voice Tips

Article by Dave Goodwin

Here is a really simple example of a dual voice/layer sound.

In the audio example below you can hear a short low bass, and a slow attack sound with more filter.

This is made by simple changing the ADSR (filter and amp) settings in the MM for voice2 and increasing the cut off for voice2. There is also a delay effect on voice 1 (with other minor changes to levels).

You can download the prest (.fxp) here:

You can find my DUNE soundbanks and audio demos here.

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Article by Dave Goodwin

Pulse Width Modulation can be done is several ways in Dune. The easiest is probalby manually using the Mod Wheel. Set the Pulse Width knob on the GUi to around 5%, and in the MM follow the settihng in the image. Moving the MW will change the width.

Using an LFO is also simple, but much smoother. Set LFO1 to a sine wave, speed to around 1/4 or 1/8 (fade in to taste). In the MM (Mod Matrix) follow settings in image.

You can also combine the MW and LFO…by using LFO!*MW as the source, the MW controls the AMOUNT the LFO affects the PWM.

You can also use the Mod Env for PWM. Set the PW to around 90%, and use setting in the image below. Adjust the Mod Env setting to vary the effect.

You can use 2 unison voices and two LFO’s at diff rates for a thicker PWM sound. Set LFO1 to 1/4 and LFO2 to 1/8, then pitch up voice 2 an octave to really hear the difference. (solo each voice to find a speed that suits) Also, when using an LFO, it sometimes sounds better if the effect slowly fades in, rather thatn being there from ‘note on’.

You can do a simpler similar version by using constant values to keep each voice at a set PW.

You can find my DUNE soundbanks and demos here.

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DUNE Wave Sequencing Tips

Article by Dave Goodwin

This tutorial will show you how to do some very simple wave sequencing using the LFO’s in Dune. Basically the LFO will sweep thru the waveforms giving an evolving sound. This works best when the LFO is set at a very slow speed, as the transition is much smoother, and therefore this type of modulation is best suited to pad/texture type sounds.

First, load a init patch, and set osc1 to wave15. Then copy MM setting in image below.

When you press play you can hear the sound changing. The LFO is sweeping up and down thru a set scale (+5/-5 of selected wavform) so 11 waveforms are heard.


Next we will add osc2, set it to wave30, and LFO amount to 10 (this will sweep up and down 10 wavforms). Turn osc mix full to 2 to hear the effect.

Next we want to sweep between the two osccillators, so we use LFO2 to do this. Turn osc mix full to left/osc1, and copy setting in MM as below (3rd image).


Now all you have to do is sculpt the sound using the filters and envelopes, and add FX to suit. 🙂

You can download the basic preset here.

A more complex, polished version of that basic example is here.

Study the MM to see additional modulations ive applied.

You can find my DUNE soundbanks and demos here.

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