NanoStudio tour: “TranceSAWS” patch

I thought I’d give a detailed tour of one of the patches that I’ve started to use a lot more and also makes its video debut in this week’s #songrequests: “TranceSAWS”. Here’s a video demo of the patch by itself:

It begins with the foundation of a very similar patch that ships with the NanoStudio iPad app: SweepTeeth. The main synthesizer sound is actually a very sharp strings loop:

Here’s a screenshot of the main synth panel:


But what makes it special is how LFO3 and LFO4 are used: they are “saw down” (or a “ramp down”) waveforms hooked up to amplitude and filter cutoff, respectively. And they oscillate on a 16th note.


What that means is the filter ceiling is at max and the amplitude at full volume at the beginning of every 16th note and in the duration of this note it gets quieter and the filter cuts off to the lowest frequency. If I hold down a key it creates a set of repeating 16th notes without doing any work!

But there’s more: to make a mono synth bassline sound the “1-Glide” setting is used. This lets me hold down on the main bass note (usually the tonic) and then hit any other key to have that other note instantly played. That means a lot less work—in the video I’m rolling between all of the notes only out of habit.

And, yet there’s more. In order to made the typical evolving cutoff that goes from soft to razaor sharp the left X/Y pad controls the filter resonance/Q and main filter cutoff. The LFO4 filter modulation’s range is small because the LFO4 Amount is turned way down, and it turns out that value added to the the X/Y pad position is enough to vary the cutoff.


Though this tour uses NanoStudio you can make this same patch with probably any synth which has a couple of oscillators that can be hooked up to built-in filters.