Sylenth1 has been around for a while now, yet still remains to be one of the most popular virtual synths on the market. Known for its fat, warm and confident sound, this nice 4-oscillator synth has recently been updated to version 3, bringing some needed under-the-hood improvements, 64bit compatibility and a bunch of lovely new skins.

Another equally popular trend lately has been a music genre known as "Tropical House". Distinguished by its slow and percussive beats, this hot summer genre is known for its airy synths and pianos, sidechained pads and atmospheric plucks. We will create one such tropical pluck today with Sylenth1.

1) Open an instance of Sylenth, go to the display's Menu and choose the “Clear” preset. This will load the initial patch we will use as our starting point.


2) Now put the overall polyphony to 8 voices and then go to the Oscillator A1. Choose the “Half Pulse” wave and set the “stereo” knob to zero.

Do the same for the second oscillator, but select 4 voices instead and switch on its “INV” mode to activate the PWM.

Then put the “Phase” knob to the value of 145.20 degrees to choose a particular pulse-wave colour and then switch off the “RETRIG” button to add some stereo randomness.



3) We will now adjust the LFO2 to control the phase and add some movement to our sound.

Go to the MISC 1 modulation table and choose the LFO 2 as a the source and the “Phase A and B” as destination. Now increase the amount knob to the value of 5.000.

Then go to the LFO2, increase the Gain to the max and put the Rate to 1 bar (1/1).


4) Our flat waveform has started to “move” a bit, so to take things further and make it move some more, go to the first oscillator and adjust the small “FINE” knob a tiny bit to the left (to the value of -0.053). Now go to the second oscillator and adjust the “Detune” knob to the value of 4.067.


At this point, our flat pulse wave sounds like this

5) Now go to the PART B tab to set the oscillators B1 and B2.

For the oscillator B1, choose 1 voice and shift it one octave down. Now put its volume to 7.433 and set the “FINE” knob to 0.167.

For the last oscillator (B2), choose the “Noise” wave, put the volume to 1.700, set the phase to 140.40 and switch off the “RETRIG”.


6) Our raw waveform now sounds a bit dirtier, so it's time to set the filter and the envelopes.

Switch back to the “Part A” tab and set the AMP ENV A as follows:

A: 0
D: 6.500
S: 0
R: 3.645


Now go the the Part B envelope and set it as follows:

A: 0
D: 2.318
S: 0
R: 2.055


Our patch is now approaching its real shape and should sound like this... 

7) Now switch back to the Part A tab and set the Filter A as follows:

Input: A
Type: Lowpass
Cutoff: 3.233
Resonance: 0.633
Drive: 0.967

Then choose the MOD ENV 1 to control the “Cutoff A” and set the amount knob to 4.200.
Proceed to set the envelope as follows:

A: 0
D: 3.636
S: 0
R: 5.682


8) Now go to the Part B and set the second filter with these values:

Input: B
Type: Bandpass
Cutoff: 4.300
Resonance: 1.533
Drive: 3.633


9) The layer B is a bit loud at this point, so go to the MIXER and decrease its volume to 3.727.

Also, our patch could use some more stereo width now as well, so switch to the Part A tab and put the “stereo” knob of the second oscillator to 6.367.


Our patch now sounds like a typical synth pluck and it should sound like this...

10) Now let's adjust both filters at once with the Filter Control Module. Go there, and set it as follows:

Cutoff: 3.267
Resonance: 2.000
Key Track: 5.367


11) This lovely-sounding patch now needs some some lush, spacious effects, so first go to the Delay module, switch it on and set these parameters:

Delay L: 1/4T
Delay R: 1/2T
Low Cut: 52.81
High Cut: 5378.50
Smear: 2.233
Width: 67.67
Dry/Wet: 50%


12) Then set the Reverb like this:

Size: 8.333
Predelay: 87.33
Width: 100%
Damp: 1.367
Dry/Wet: 42.67%


13) And finally, adjust the Compressor to these values:

Ratio: 100:000:1
Threshold: -18.700
Attack: 24.09
Release: 144.05


Our patch now sounds nice, lush and dreamy, which is required for the tropical genre and should sound like this...

14) For the end, we'll set the modulation wheel to control the cutoff for both filters. Go to the MISC 2 table and choose the Mod Wheel as a first source. Put Cutoff AB as the destination 1, and Phase A as destination 2. Then set the amount knob for the Cutoff to 3.267 and for Phase to the max.

Now choose the Velocity as the next source and put Cutoff A as the destination.
Set the amount to 3.733


15) Finally, go to the Filter Control module again and lower the cutoff down a bit to 1.767


Tip: For a warmer sound, turn on the “warm drive” button.

Your modulation wheel should now respond and sweep the filter's cutoff.

Our patch is now ready and should sound like this, with the modulation wheel tweaked in realtime

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