Looking to build a smash hit? Program a simple, slow drum beat. Leave out the bassline and replace it with an occasional low rumble. Finally add a kazoo-like lead synth sound that’s nothing more than a preset called ‘U-Lead 1’, currently residing in Rob Papen’s Albino 3 soft synth.
Listen: Usher - Yeah
How to get the sound
Although Albino has a quality all of its own, this patch is simple to mimic. In your favourite soft synth, use one sawtooth oscillator and one square wave oscillator with a small amount of pulse width modulation, both set to the same pitch without detune. Open your low pass filter to almost completely open.
Here’s the clever bit - modulate the frequency of the sawtooth oscillator with a slow, gentle LFO. This introduces a nice cyclical detune effect. The masterstroke is then to patch an envelope generator to modulate the pitch of the oscillator with a quick (30-50ms) sweep down for each new note pressed. This gives the sound that distinctive kazoo-like character.