EMC² - Deconstructing Major Lazer - Get Free Pt2 Synth Sound

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Artist Name: 
Ski Oakenfull
Video Date: 
March, 2013
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This is the fifth in a series of tutorials from Ski Oakenfull covering a variety of aspects of electronic music composition. Point Blank want you to get involved in this series, so if you can think of well known track for Ski to deconstruct musically in the next tutorial then hit us up on twitter with:
#emcrequest @point_blank + your suggested track title.

In this video Ski introduces the brand new EMC2 course.
He shows you how to recreate the lead synth sound of Major Lazer's huge 'Get Free'. Download the FREE synth rack from this video by clicking on this link :: http://ow.ly/jdAKL 

One of the things that really struck me about this track by Major Lazer was the combination of an authentic laid back reggae feel with modern electronic production. One sound that caught my ear was the fat pulsing synth lead that moves underneath the vocal and also provides a musical tag after the chorus sections.

When I set about trying to program this sound in Ableton, I initially turned to the arpeggiator to recreate the pulsing effect, but after experimenting I realised that assigning the LFO to modulate the cutoff frequency allowed much more control. The characteristic ‘chopping’ effect is a result of using a Saw wave to create that distinctive sharp attack.

Ableton’s Analog device is deceptively powerful, allowing you to dial in sub oscillators and use Unison mode to create some really fat lead sounds, as well as creating phasing effects with the Detune function.

I think that one of the best ways to learn to program devices, is to try recreating patches you love so you can get a feel for how all the parameters affect the sound. Why don’t you start playing around with the LFO waveform on this Major Lazer Lead sound to see how you can make it your own?