Circle Tutorial 10: Making A Synced Arpeggiated Lead Sound.

What is Covered?
An intermediate to advanced level tutorial on creating a synced arpeggiated lead sound
Introduces the use of the arpeggiator, glide, mouth filter and how to use anlogue sync to add agression to the sound.


Ok, so we have taken a look at using multiple, cross modulations and higher oscillator counts, now lets delve into some of the features of Circle we haven't used yet. In this tutorial we will be creating a lead sound with synced oscillators that utilises the glide function, the mouth filter and the arpeggiator.

This sound is a little more challenging to program but should be accessible to most users in this step by step format. You will notice that as we progress and take advantage of more of Circle's features the sounds generally become more interesting and unique. It certainly pays off to get to know Circle inside out.

Step 1 - Choosing the oscillators

As we have done in the previous tutorials we will first choose our oscillators. As most of this sounds identity will come from modulators and effects I have opted for 3 pretty straight forward analogue waveforms. One saw tooth and two square waves to be exact.

The thing to notice here is that the sync feature is engaged on two of the oscillators, giving the sound a harsher more aggressive edge. The effect of the sync function can sound almost metallic at time. Try experimenting with the de-tune parameter on each waveform to alter the effect intensity.

The synced waves are also backed up by some subtle noise and feedback from the last two oscillators.

The synced oscillators.

The oscillators are all then mixed to taste in Circles main mixer section.

The mixer section.

The raw oscillators.

Step 2 - The envelopes and filter.

Next we'll set up two envelopes and a modulated filter. The two envelopes follow the same pattern as we have been using in previous tutorials, with the first controlling the amplitude and the second the filter. Of course these can control anything you like and you don't always have to use this set up. In future tutorials we will be looking at how to mix things up here.

The two envelopes.

The filter has been set to a band pass model, giving a sharp band of boost at one point in the frequency range. A good amount of resonance is then added. This sort of filter tends to sound better when it is swept so that the boost can be heard clearly effecting different frequencies.

The band pass filter.

To get the sweeping filter effect we are after a LFO has been used to modulate the cut off frequency. The speed if of the LFO is pretty slow to create a nice undulating effect and the clock has been synced, this is mainly so that all the other modulators remain in time but it will also sync to your DAWs clock if needed.

The LFO used to modulate the band pass filter.

The patch with a modulated band pass filter.

Step 3 - Adding glide.

Adding glide to a sound in Circle is really easy. Simply navigate to the keyboard tab in the lower part of the interface and you should see the two glide controls.

To achieve the glide effect you can hear in this patch I used a moderate setting using the first glide knob. This creates a classic portamento effect and works really well with leads and strings.

The glide parameter.

The patch with some glide added.

Step 4 - The mouth filter.

The mouth filter is a component of Circle that we haven't used in any of the previous tutorials. It's a pretty unusual filter with a very distinctive sound. You can choose between three different vocal sounds and slide between them using the main fader. Classic talkbox effects can be generated pretty easily using this filter.

The mouth filter.

Here I have only used the mouth filter at a low mix level so the effect is pretty subtle but we will look at more upfront effects that this filter can produce in future tutorials.

The main filter control is modulated by a second sine wave based LFO to introduce some movement and ensure that all of the filters settings are heard in the final patch.

The second LFO.

Mouth filter added.

Step 5 - Adding some delay.

A ping pong delay is now added to give the sound some space. The timings are synced and differ in each side of the stereo field. When the patch is complete and the arpeggiator is engaged this effect will add pace and create new melodies.

Ping pong delay.

Step 6 - The arpeggiator

Circles arpeggiator is relatively straight forward to use and can be programmed by just about any level of user. There are only a few parameters, most of which are self explanatory.

In this case I have used an up and down pattern, quite a long note length and a shift value of one octave. This means that we will hear notes form the octave above, as well as the notes we play. No swing was used in this patch as I wanted to keep the timing tight.

Circle's arpeggiator.

Now when multiple notes are played the arpeggiator fires up and we can hear our new patch in all its glory. The glide, arpeggiator and delay really work well together and this patch could be used as a top line in a wide variety of musical styles..

The final patch.

The final arpeggiated sound.

Download Tutorial 10 Files

Tutorial 10: Making A Synced Arpeggiated Lead Sound.
Download the tutorial in plain text format, the associated audio files and the completed Circle sound/patch.