Computer Music – SYNTH SOUND DESIGN – Issue 227, March 2016

Get this issue now on:

Includes Vault download for all formats.

Subscribe and save up to 40%!

Never miss an issue with a CM subscription, print or digital!

Synth Sound Design

Whether you're a modular master or still learning the ins and outs of oscillators, you'll instantly improve your skills with this essential guide. Learn how to build inspirational synth sounds from scratch as we advise and inspire you on bass, pads, leads and FX design.

Over 16 pages with 12 videos, you'll discover…

  • How to make heavyweight house, techno & DnB basses
  • Reaktor 6's new Blocks, perfect for expressive, analogue-style patches
  • No-nonsense recipes for trap and hip-hop leads
  • Perfect waveform selection for dreamy pads
  • Instant FX creation with this issue's amazing FREE synth, Enkl CM
  • Unmissable pro tips from Geek Technique's Owen Palmer

PLUS! Computer Music magazine comes with a powerful set of VST/AU synths that you can download today - you get 10 essential classics (see and a totally brand new creation, Enkl CM (see below).

Get all this and more in this epic how-to cover feature. To get a little taste, check out the below video…


It wouldn't be a CM synth special without a brand new addition to our CM Plugins collection of free instruments and effects! This compact monosynth with a big, big sound was made especially for Computer Music by the artisan codesmiths at Klevgränd. Set up Enkl CM's oscillator, modulate it with the onboard combined LFO/envelope, set up filtering, arpeggios or portamento, and dial in delay, EQ and width to finish off your patch!

Check out Enkl CM in the video below, and have a look at its full spec on the Enkl CM page.

915 FREE SAMPLES - Off The Grid

Our DAWs let us achieve perfect timing, giving us that almost-irresistible grid and its accompanying 'snap'. But that's not what it's all about! With this huge pack of loops and hits, get ready to shake loose those rigid rhythms with an injection of swagger, funk, and all-out wonkiness. All the samples in this giveaway are royalty-free, so you can use them in your tunes as you see fit.

Ultimate Arpeggiators

Stuck for a musical idea? In this deep tutorial, you'll learn how to conjure up melodies, chordal riffs and even drum beats using arpeggiators, giving you an extra shot of intricacy and complexity that can bring much-needed musicality to your tunes.

And the biggest secret? You don't need to spend a penny to make it all happen, as we'll show you how to do it all using the powerful arpeggiators, synths and other instruments included with the magazine! So get your arps into gear, and start programming like a pro!


Native Instruments' Reaktor-based synth is a gem of a modern instrument, with the novel approach of using additive synthesis techniques for almost every feature. The result is a unique-sounding synth that can offer anything from crystal-clear notes to dissonant, shifting tones. Getting your head around it all can be tough, though, so how about a guide to all its got to offer?

In this tutorial, we'll take you on a tour of Razor, showing you how it works and why it's so special. In this feature's nine videos, you'll go from the basics of patch management right through to manipulating the additive filters and Spectral Clip function. Start crafting cutting-edge sounds with our latest issue, and hear some of the action beforehand in the below video.


Find out how this classically trained pianist made the move to production in this issue's interview and in-studio video masterclass. See first-hand how Hannah works to put together a complete track, from the initial chords and bass, through beats and effects processing, all the way to vocals, as she breaks down her production work on Andreya Triana's Branches of Life.

Check out part 1 of the video below, and get the rest with any print or digital issue of this month's Computer Music magazine.


  • Designer Sounds: Break synthesises percussive topline hats, claps and woodblocks using nowt but Synapse Audio's Dune 2 synth.
  • Geek Technique: Our mixdown scientist Owen Palmer zooms way in to show you the secret sauce that can pep up transient attack sounds
  • Music Theory: What if a single melody just won't cut it? You need a harmony! Dave Clews makes two-part harmony quick and easy with this month's music theory tutorial.
  • Dr Beat: Authentic conga and bongo lines are just a few clicks away with expert percussionist Ronan Macdonald's guidance


  • A-Trak: The DMC wunderkind talks about how his music-making setup has changed alongside his diverse career
  • LiquidSonics: Discover what developer Matthew Hill's new 'Fusion-IR' convolution technology is all about, as the new Reverberate 2 is released
  • Mike Hawkins: The man behind Soldiers reveals the music software that tops the pile in his studio


  • iZotope Ozone 7
  • MeldaProduction MXXX
  • UVI Falcon
  • Soundtoys Soundtoys 5
  • LSR Audio VLB 902 De-esser
  • kiloHearts Multipass
  • LiquidSonics Reverberate 2
  • XLN Audio DS-10 Drum Shaper

Get this issue now on:

Includes Vault download for all formats.

Subscribe and save up to 40%!

Never miss an issue with a CM subscription, print or digital!

cm227 is on sale now in the UK, Apple Newsstand and Zinio. Overseas dates for print edition are roughly: USA + 4 weeks after UK / Australia +8 weeks / Europe +2 weeks / South Africa +6 weeks / Canada +4 weeks

See more issues in our cmbackissueslist

Computer Music

Computer Music magazine is the world’s best selling publication dedicated solely to making great music with your Mac or PC computer. Each issue it brings its lucky readers the best in cutting-edge tutorials, need-to-know, expert software reviews and even all the tools you actually need to make great music today, courtesy of our legendary CM Plugin Suite.