Ray Subject - Strange Dream

New track, all synths are from Obsidian, a little bit of FAC Transient, LUXE, Woot and on master FabFilter Pro-L2


  • @dendy great track! So you saying that 303 is also obsidian? Is that formant filter then? Very spacious and clean mix, always amazed by your mixes!;) structure is neat and I love your sound design!!! That voice sample is dope too;) big ups!

  • edited September 2020

    thanks mate ! Yeah TB is Obsidian too, standard LP12A filter - that "vocal alike" fx is bitcrusher - chceck this, example

  • Wow man! Love it. I agree about the mix. I have a lot to learn in that regard. And huge thanks for the secret to doing that vocal thing. Been trying to make something like that happen for awhile. Never would have thought of bit crusher for it.

  • @dendy Fantastic track....You really are the master of Obsidian. I guess I shouldn't be surprised that all of that is possible in Obsidian. I really need spend more time with it. It sounds amazing.

  • thanks thanks thanks :-) i'm glad you like it :-)

    @peanut_gallery yeah, Obsidian is capable of some stuff which many people even don't realise... of course there are limits and weak places but if you learn how to go around them, man. My most favourite synth i ever used. I just need force Matt to add possibility to upload custom wavetables, Ladder/TB filter model and at least 8x oversampling for FM oscillator and filters, and it will be perfect :-D

    Yeah, now i revealed my personal TOP NS2 feature requests :-)))

  • Amazing! I especially love the last bit, from about 2:25 - it was really pumping during that section (for me in my headphones) - is that a kind of 8th note sidechain compression thing? I would love to see a screenshot of how you are using automation( I assume) on the filters and stuff throughout the track. It sounds really organic and ever-changing.
    brilliant stuff, thanks for sharing it.

  • edited September 2020

    yeah i use lot of automation and long automation curves on main instruments (those which are most important un particular track section).. i use also lot of lfos for making sounds not that static (lfo>filter, lfo>pan often tempo synced but with different time signatures, also very subtle lfo>pitch modulation adds "analog" like life to sound)

    regarding sidechaining.. usually in my projects i use independent slate instance just for kick, then another one just for snare(s) and then rest drums in third slate.. then all slates are grouped into single "drums" group where i apply compression (in most cases FAC Transient) and equalisation to the taste..

    then all synths are grouped to 2 main groups - one non-sidechained and one sidechained (usually i don't want to sidechain everyhing - some synths is better to leave untouched, some wants breath heavily:))

    on sidechained group i use NS sidechain compressor triggered by kick, and often when main kick is not straight 4/4 but breakbeat (like in this track) then i use also second sidechain compressor (just lost more subtle, with less compression ration and not that radical treshold) which is triggered by snare track.

    Also on both groups (on sidechained before compressors) i use 36dB HP filter (NS build in filter fx) to cut everything bellow approx 130-150 hzto leave enough room for kick and bass... of course section where is kick/bacss not playing, i disable this filter to get more body to pads and other instruments playing there...

    Btw basically in except of colouring AUv3s like LUXE, Woott, or FAC Transient on drums (it's really magic) for majority of effects i use just build in Nanostudio stuff - it has all superb quality like other top AUv3 plugins just way much more CPU efficient :-))

    Very important thing is - layering. Often same melody is played by 2 or even 3 or 4 instances of Obsidian, every one with different sound, at different volume. Layering is key to rich sounding synths :-) I can afford this with Obsidian (my iPad Mini 5 can handle up to 100 instances of Obsidian so plethora space for layering :))

  • wow @dendy thank you SO MUCH for being so generous to take the typing time to share this information. It is exactly the kind of detail I am interested in. Having ideas like this to experiment with, and adapt to my own work is a real gift for my own learning process - THANK YOU!

    re: layering of synths, I am just getting into this idea and I can already see/hear the huge benefits this does for the soundscape. Do you have any tips, or can point me to any Youtube clips etc that would help with 'where to start' when layering synths? Like, if I compose a synth line that is quite nice, but I want to layer sounds on top of it (doubling etc), how do I choose which sounds to put with it, from the millions of possible sounds in Obsidian? I often feel a bit overwhelmed by the thought of scrolling through all the possibilities and trying them one at a time.... Or do you usually use the same presets to layer, or think about timbre-complementing etc? Many thanks if you have any advice. B)

  • edited September 2020

    layering is easy, just use your ears :-) what i usually do is

    • i create new obsidian instance
    • i GROUP together both obsidian instances - so i can apply global effect to all instances together in case i want (which i usually want, for example LUXE plugin adds nice color to almost every sound :))
    • i duplicate all clips from first obsidian track to second one

    and now i start searching sound for second track.. sometimes i just duplicate patch from first obsidian to second one (in patch browser, go to rigth hamburget menu a choose "copy", then switch to second obsidian and in same menu do "paste") - then i start tweak patch, for example transposing osillators down or up in octave, changin filter type, altering modulations - and so on .. until i'm satisfied :)

    for example when i'm lauering bass, i use first obsician strictly in mono (no chorus or other streo effects applied), and in second one i add a bud overdrive, a but more opened filter, but then i apply hipass filter on 150-300 hz so this second layer doesn't interfere with bass low end but it makes wide stereo feeling of bass without creating problems with subbass phasing ...

    Do not try to overthink it too much, just experiment, do random stuff .. everything what you need is to allow happy accidents to happen :)

  • Thanks for the summary @dendy. I do a lot of that but some I hadn’t thought of. Will be applying on my latest mixdown attempt!

  • edited September 2020

    Also good to mention that i don't use almost any mastering. I just put limiter on main mix (and adjust level of audio by gain plugin before limiter to the level where limiter doesn't squash signal too much).

    Thats all my mastering chain :-))) I'm always trying to fix everything by proper areangement and during mixing. In most cases i use NS build-in limiter, just in this track i used FabFilter Pro-L - only to have some internal excuse that i spend $100 on whole FabFilter bundle but i don't use it at all :-)))

  • Great tips here - I will be trying out these things - thanks everyone!

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