Virtual synths are great. You get tons of sounds, amazing amounts of flexibility, and you can carry them all around in a laptop. Gone are the days of shlepping around stacks of keyboards and spending hours syncing them up with MIDI. Unfortunately the only complaint is that they can sound rather thin and cold. This tends to be the issue with everything digital, thankfully we have tons of great plugins that are available to solve this problem. Below is a list of some of the techniques I use to make my soft synths sound warmer and fatter. Make sure to check the video to see them in action.
Sounds Toys Decapitator – This plugin works wonders on everything. If you need a little more gritt or warmth this guys got tons of it. The drive let’s you adjust the amount of distortion and you can adjust the tone with a high cut, low cut and “tone” knob that changes the sound from dark to bright.
UAD Fatso Jr. – The Fatso recreates recording tape, tubes and class A transformers. It can give your synths a thickness and warmth that the decapitator can’t. Just remember with this guy a little can go a long way.
UAD Roland Dimension D – The Dimension D is one of my favorite plugs. I use it on vocals, guitars and synths. It’s a chorus effect, but much more then that it’s great for adding spatial and stereo widening effects. It’s also super easy to use. It only has four buttons to choose from. Make sure to try out using it with all four buttons pressed in at once.
Reverb & Delay- Adding just the right amount of verb, delay or slap delay can also do the trick for making your synths sound wider. Try different variation’s to see what works best.
Make sure to check out the video for more detailed examples and hit me up if you have any questions.