psytrance lead sounds


Junior Members

as a relative beginner, i have got to a level which has me a bit stumped..

i can get a funky ass bass and drum patterns going, with a nice bit of structure. but whenever i write a lead melody it sound like cheesy trance music :Sad:

i imagine this is primarily down to timbre of my lead voices rather than anything else, they dont seem to be PSY at all, i know this is a huge subject to ask on, but doesn anyone have any tips for turning a patch PSY ?

:Smile3: please be gentle.....


hey, fromem ory here logged in under triskele :P
for leads i use imposcar, discovery and my current favorite albino 2
oddity is also a good one, and vanguard a VERY common psy-lead synth
tron likes the albino as well, v-station, legacy collection etc...
just keep on playing with them oscilators and try to build up a good understanding and knowledge of your synths (rrrr these swiss keyboards are annoying). also play with effects like delay (preferabbly in tempo with the bpm) and experiment with other fx, both before and after the delay. filters are the key to psytrance, band pass (bp) filters are really strong. play with envelopes (AttackDecaySustainRelease). if you turn the release right down and the decay right up, try writing in 64th notes for a nice electronic touch. i personally couldnt work with automation, but my knowledge of which only extends to cubase.
anyways, that should be helpful for a start, is a basic guideline on psy leads. now its up 2 u to make it happen...


obviously there's no rules to it - a lot can be found with experiementation. i'd say that though fx are damn useful (and i'd alway apply some to every lead), they aren't going to change a cheesy trance sound into a twisted psytrance lead - with a decent synth you should be able to create good psy lead noises without too many fx.

if you haven't already, try playing around with high pass and band pass filters, and experiement with filter envelopes, pitch envelopes and lfos in particular...

as for what synths to use, i'm not sure about what software synths to use - my flatmate rantici uses the discovery dsp quite a lot to make some truely twisted noises. i use hardware for most of my synth noises - i've got a roland jp8080 which is very good for lead noises and fx. i also use a novation ks5 which can also make some good lead noises. if you can afford one, you cant go wrong with a virus either - they bang out some mad evil lead sounds...


Junior Members
I've asked this question before, and if I could go back and answer myself I would say something like:

"Self, here's what you need to do.

1) Check out Cosmosis' site, and grab the albino packs.
2) Play around and find a few favorite leads.
3) Completely reverse-engineer those favorites. No Alex, don't just use them in your song as they are. UNDERSTAND them. You will get a lot more out of it by knowing them well.

Oh, and invest everything in Yahoo."

Or something to that effect...

The more you reverse-engineer, the more you will understand them. I think you will find that on a lot of 'psy' leads, there are certain common qualities/aspects, and then there are certain uncommon aspects. The first tends to make a lead 'psy' while the second makes it unique and different. That will empower you to turn any patch 'psy'.


Junior Members
Hello JPonter,

if you have either a Virus B or Albino go here:

and download the patches.

Once you have got them, open them up and de-construct the ones that you like the sound of, so that you can figure out how I made them and therefore how to make those sounds for yourself. This is time well spent. (Note fuzzikitten's advice above.)

A number of these are patches that I've used in released tracks, on my last album in particular -Trancendance.

Keep in mind that these are basic timbres, the raw material as it were, and as such will need tweaking into your particular track with the envelopes and cutoff(s) and effected as you see fit.

Incidentally, the default patches that you find in a lot of synths are designed to show off that synths' capabilities and sound great by themselves but often are way to "big" to fit into a mix containing some other elements.

Cheers and enjoy,

EDIT - sorry fuzzikitten, I just re-read this thread and realized that I said pretty much what you had already posted :Smile3:


Throb Farmer
Red five said:
does this work with with soft synths?

cos me being a luddite bastard i'm beggining to want to cry what with not being able to do erm...anything vaguely good.

even the art of basslines escpaes me.

Soft synths, hard synths, all the same

Its all about eqing each sound to make it fit with the others - a patch that sounds totally amazing and phat and huge and exciting in isolation will usually overwhelm and dominate a mix, and not in a good way.

See me after school for some extra tuition :Smile3:


Junior Members

thanks again for the help, deconstructing the cosmosis patches will help me to understand what i am hearing and hopefully let me create some of my own twisted patches.

and of course i will continue to play with my synths...


edit: just spent all evening playing with the cosmosis patches , tweaking here and there and trying to get a grip on how they work. this was exactly the type of help i was looking for when i started this thread, so again thanks to everyone that commented and helped steer me in the right directions...



Junior Members
If you got the Z3 cranking I could take you step by step into making some absolute killer sounds!

I havent found a singel synth yet to top this handy piece of work, I strongly suggest getting this synth if you do I can help you make any sound you want and all you have to do is follow some instructions....Although you patches have to be the same cuase every Z3 I have used has always had different patches and I cant for the life of me understand why?

But get it any way.....The korg legacy is so over my head I just took one look at the 3 different synths in it and the fact you can patch vertual cables and stuff like in reason and just went what the hell?

The virsyn tera and cube have unreal psy sounds but everytime you change you presets all your nobs move around and stuff it shits me up the wall!

But yeah the Zedder all the way mate plenty of sounds in there....Very important thing with anything that has a modulation mattrix (ie: albino and Z3) learn it...Alot of times if something isnt doing what you think it should be doing check the matrix