THE ULTIMATE RAWSTYLE SCREECH TUTORIAL | How to Make a Hardstyle Screech in FL Studio with Sylenth1

In this mini course, you will discover how to easily make epic rawstyle or hardstyle screeches with Sylenth1. Now, you DON’T “need” Sylenth1. You can use any synthesizer you wish. I simply like using Sylenth1.

Let’s go step by step through the settings. Instead of copying them, try to understand what they do and why I used them in this way.

Start your rawstyle screech with the oscillators

Start your sound design process at the oscillators’ area. This is where the audio signal is “generated” and modified to give it a certain shape.

Detune

If you want to make a detuned screech, use multiple voices and give them a good amount of detune. The sweet spot for detune is around the middle. For screeches, often a little bit more. For leads, usually a little bit less.

Multiple oscillators

You can use multiple oscillators and give them (slightly) different settings. This may create a fuller sound or more interesting panorama.

Stereo separation

Use the other parameters to widen the sound. You can do that with the stereo function, but also with the combination of the panning and phase settings. In many cases, I don’t even use the phase and panning settings.

Volume envelope

For screeches, tight volume envelope settings often work best. This means using a fast attack, constant sustain and quick release.

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Shape your rawstyle screech with filters

Giving your sound a bandpass (BP) filter, often works well in combination with distortion and filter effects. Thereby, the cutoff controls the targeted frequencies. The resonance controls the amount of targeted frequencies. Play around with both parameters.

Shape your rawstyle screech with envelopes & LFOs

A pitch envelope can help the screech to go up and/or down in tone. This is useful to get a more screaming or tearing sound.

LFOs

LFOs generate vibrations (oscillations) in the sound. For the screech in the video, there’s a pitch LFO and filter cutoff LFO.

Pitch LFOs can help to add screaming and falsity to the sound. A quick rate gives a more detuned effect. A slow rate gives a more spooky/wobbly effect.

Using a filter LFO can add to the screaming and identity of the sound. Typically, a slower rate works best here.

Do it your way

How you make your screeches simply depends what YOU prefer and what your goal is. Just learn your synthesizer and do it your way.

Shape your rawstyle screech with effects

For the screech in the video, only two internal Sylenth1 effects are enabled: distortion & chorus.

Distortion

For these types of screeches, a good amount of distortion is often required. It needs to turn the weak signal into a powerful sound.

Watch out for using too much distortion. In some cases, it can make your screech sound messy and flat.

Chorus

The chorus can be used to add more detune, vibration and depth to your sound. Also, it can add to the stereo panorama.

You DON’T “need” a chorus. You can just use it as a tool to achieve a certain goal. Similar goals can also be achieved with different tools, like adding more detune or pitch LFO.

Boost your rawstyle screech by using mixer effects

The synthesizer settings are the first important part of sound design. The second part is adding additional mixer effects to shape the sound more and making it ready for the mix.

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Equalizing

How you equalize your screech depends on how it sounds. Each screech requires a (slightly) different approach.

The act of adding reverb and saturation naturally adds some mid/low frequencies to the sound. So, adding in some extra higher frequencies may be beneficial.

However, the ultra-high frequencies sound hissy and dusty. Removing them can help to get a tighter feel.

Also, removing the lower frequencies can help your mix. It’s the space the kick has to occupy. However, the frequency reduction point may vary from screech to screech.

Furthermore, reducing mid frequencies is another way to get more high frequencies. It’s simply a game of frequency balance.

Reverb (and/or delay)

Using reverb and/or delay is mandatory for hardstyle or basically any EDM genre.

The reverb settings are always based on taste. You have to find the reverb shape you like for your screech. Just play around with the settings.

Generally, a “long enough” duration is preferable. Also, removing some high and low frequencies often works best.

Saturation

Finally, the waveshaper can add some volume and saturation. In the video, it doesn’t really change the screech. You don’t necessarily have to use it.

TIP

Recalibrate your ears from time to time to remove yourself from the repeating stimulation of a sound.

Find what works for you

In the end, you have to find your own tools and preferences. There’s no right or wrong. I could as well have used the Sylenth1 EQ or reverb to spice up the screech.

Look beyond these particular settings and try to see the bigger picture. Focus on the WHY, not so much on the WHAT and HOW.

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