To celebrate our August interview with Giorgio Moroder, we asked readers to submit their favorite retro-style synth tips for the chance to win one of Novation’s limited-edition MoroderNova synths, and the next thing we knew, our inbox was inundated with a mountain of awesome production tricks. Our favorite submission comes from Chris Catalina, who shares a great technique for creating killer drum patterns; Chris wins a 37-key MoroderSynth instrument featuring 51 “Moroder-approved” custom patches and a sleek, one-of-a-kind design. Congratulations!
Chris’ favorite retro-sounding synth production trick:
1. Take an LFO CV out (modular, synth with CV, etc..) and turn the LFO knob all the way to the left (essentially “zero”).
2. Hook it up to a CV splitter (like the 4-way multiple on the Moog CP-251, or even a splitter cable).
3. Hook up one CV output from the splitter (or 4-way multiple) to your synth’s filter cv input.
4. Hook up the second CV output from the splitter (or 4-way multiple) to your synth’s pitch CV input.
5. Take an old drum machine like a TR- 606 and hook up one of the trigger outputs from the toms (H or L) to the gate input of your synth.
6. Create a Tom pattern (whatever tom is triggering the gate). Play the pattern on the drum machine. Hold a note down on the synth.
7. Turn the LFO knob slightly to the right increasing its speed very slow...you’ll hear a filtered syncopated melodic rhythm triggered by the tom hits from the drum machine, and the more LFO juice you give it, the higher the pitch goes, and the more open the filter sounds.
It’s a massive sound for only hooking up a few cables and creating a simple drum pattern! It sounds thick and delicious.
A dedicated reader and synth enthusiast, Chris Catalina