[FAWMTRONICA] - One synth challenge

Skip to the bottom

  • @atitlan  Jan 25

    OK. One for fellow synth geeks ...

    Choose one simple synth (hardware or plugin) from your collection - no hybrid megasynths like Falcon, Zebra, Thor, Europa or Massive,

    Analog - something in the Minimoog, Jupiter 8, Prophet 5 mould

    Digital - Yamaha DX7, Casio CZ level

    The challenge is to do a complete track - including percussion if you use any - with just the one chosen synth. You can use as many copies of the plugin as you want - the only rule is that you must use the same synth for every track.

    Tag: #onesynth

  • @chasingandromeda  Jan 25


  • @atitlan  Jan 25

    Really trying to keep it as a basic analog or digital synth, so keeping it to a very limited oscillator set. Thor can mix analog, digital and wavetables, so is a hybrid. Wavetable synths cross all boundaries, so are effectively hybrids, too.

    Just trying to go back to basics so a simple analog or digital synth with a limited number of simple oscillators.

  • @w1n  Jan 25

    I'm in, I've already noted down something similar to this on my list of things I want to try this FAWM. Plan is to only use the Arturia MicroFreak. It recently got some new updates and sounds I want to dive into, also bought the vocoder microphone a while ago, but I haven't gotten around to actually using in a song yet.

  • @drivelmonk  Jan 25

    I won't post a link as I'm not attempting to self-promote, but I very nearly did this with a release I just had this week. All instrumentation was my Korg Minilogue...except the drums. I had to use samples from a Moog Sub-Phatty as the Minilogue just wasn't cutting it in the kick or snare departments.

  • @zecoop  Jan 25

    Ooh, this is a fun thing to do, although I don't do it enough! The last one I did was in 2016, so it is about time that I try to write one again.
    Here's the one I did back then, written completely on my Yamaha PSS-170.


    p.s. I want to hear it @drivelmonk 😀

  • @drivelmonk  Jan 25

    @zecoop Well, since you asked, here it is. It's a cover of a David Bowie song. If you find it a little long to listen to and just want some highlights, listen to the first minute and 3:30 to the end, which is all a synth solo outro. I'm pretty proud of the synth tone I got on the lead bit.


    And I'll check out yours now!

  • @aeye Jan 25

    I think a good synth to specify would be something like Monark. Pretty simple Reaktor synth. Or if everyone has reaktor, why not pick a specific reaktor ensemble from the user library ( like a juno 6 recreation or something) and issue that as the synth that has to be used in the challenge track? Just a thought

  • @candle  Jan 25

    I'm in. I've wanted to do a song with a single HG Fortune VSTi for a while (tho, I sort of did last FAWM with limited results). I'll have to push myself on this one.

    See You In The Shadows…

  • @drivelmonk  Jan 25


    That track was cool! I love that crystalline sound and couldn't get enough of that turn from 8 to 16 happens coinciding with that portamento bass drop. It just had that "coming home" kinda feel everytime it happened, you know? Like, sigh, there it is, haha. Thanks for sharing.

  • @atitlan  Jan 25

    @aeye - Yes, Monark is a good one - my understanding is that it's NI's MiniMoog equivalent. three analog oscilators + filters and LFOs.

    Trying not to be too specific. Most people should have a suitably simple synth plugin; often the stock synth from their DAW like Mai Tai in Studio One or Subtractor in Reason.

  • @gubna Jan 25

    I've wanted to do something like this since I heard of Benge. I have made a lot of music with synths - especially the Korg MS2000, which I no longer have... but nothing like fully tracked compositions. They were more like synth explorations which I comped and called an album.

    Benge's albums, if you're interested in hearing.

  • @cts  Jan 25

    This sounds pretty cool.

  • @radioovermoscow Jan 25

    Pretty sure Devo did this with the Fairlight CMI on their 'Shout' album, haha

  • @reklov  Jan 25

    Can this be a song or does it have to be an instrumental?

  • @itoarazi Jan 26

    Having done this already in the past, I'm down to do it again.

  • @cblack Jan 26

    I'll give it a go. FL Studio has plenty of "simple" synths to choose from. 😀

  • @cblack Jan 26

    Question: Can I use multiple presets within the 1 synth, or just 1 preset and then fiddle with parameters?

  • @burrsettles  Jan 26

    i am totally down for this.

    if you're looking for some inspiration, here's a video where 4 different youtubers did each did a different track, using only an arturia microfreak synth: https://youtu.be/Q1PRTg1DRbQ

    also, pittsburgh modular has a promo/ad video for their SV-1b semi-modular and the soundtrack is made entirely with sounds from that synth: https://youtu.be/1TzL3ZTgRRY

  • @chasingandromeda  Jan 26


  • @tjfafterdark Jan 26

    I'm down.

  • @elainedimasi  Jan 26

    The Cherry DCO-106 is a Juno-106 emulator, and in their demo tracks they do just this - new wave style songs all done with this simple, single-oscillator 80's synth : - )


  • @cblack Jan 26

    @postcardhelicopters Good to know!

  • @atitlan  Jan 26

    @cblack As many tracks as you want; as many different presets as you want - only rules are that the same synth should be used for every (non vocal) sound and that the synth/plugin should be a simple analog or digital design.

  • @cblack Jan 26

    @atitlan Gotcha. Will probably use PoiZone or GMS. Oh! Are we allowed to add other plugins such as EQ or reverb? Or do we need to do that in the main synth itself?

  • @atitlan  Jan 26

    @cblack Use your effects plugins as normal. This is just about the initial sound source and to maybe tempt people into a bit more preset tweaking/sound design than they'd normally do.

    Just want to say thanks for all the interest in this - got me really looking forward to FAWM kicking off.

  • @mdavisto  Jan 26

    I would have loved to participate in this challenge, but my synth of choice is currently Vital, which is a wavetable synth.

    Oh well.

    Have fun you guys.

  • @oddbod  Jan 26

    @mdavisto David, you just missed the KVR One Synth Contest using Vital - https://www.kvraudio.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=1&t=556809

    @elesimo I entered the Lokomotiv contest too. It was my first try at the KVR One Synth thing. I did it about 3 times after that too but not recently

  • @rollasoc  Jan 26

    I would be all over this, but having just tried this for a discord channel competition, after spending three days generating a hi-hat, bass drum and snare sound (no presets allowed), I gave up since it was too time consuming to program everything from scratch.

    Not in the mood to try this so soon. Especially with a DX7.

    @mdavisto just start a one synth wavetable thread. ha ha...

    To be honest, if I couldn't use Phase plant, (since I want to play with it more), I'd be upset.

  • @elesimo  Jan 26

    @mdavisto @oddbod I bought Vital and started playing with it, just trying out the presets... it's really cool, I'm hoping to put it to good use this FAWM.

  • @cairobraga  Jan 27

    does one synth mean one sound/timbre?

  • @mosley  Jan 27

    I’m totally gonna try this one (pun intended)

  • @shintai  Jan 28

    yeah, count me in! I was planning to to this either way this year 😀

  • @seemanski  Jan 28

    This sounds fun and worth a pop. I'm in.

  • @cairobraga  Jan 28

    @postcardhelicopters great! the official Korg M1 VST plugin qualifies, tho? I just freaking love it.

  • @frozenlonesome  Jan 28

    I’ll try to do a one synth track. I recently did a one-synth, one-patch drone track and had fun and was happy with the outcome. Going to try with my new OPSIX.

  • @headfirstonly  Jan 28

    Just the one? Really?

    I could make things *really* difficult for myself and dig out my old Moog Rogue from under the bed and use that, Wendy Carlos style: one note at a time per track. Yes, that's how they used to roll back in the day, kids.

    And @cairobraga I have a *real* M3-88 Xpanded sitting right behind me as I type this. Absolutely brilliant piece of kit.

  • @fourzeroes Jan 28

    Challenge accepted

  • @cairobraga  Jan 28

    hey @headfirstonly, wanna get married? 😝

  • @headfirstonly  Jan 29

    @cairobraga LOL
    (Also in the collection: ARP Odyssey (the original "whiteface" version), Juno 60, Juno 106, and a JX-3P.)

  • @cairobraga  Jan 29

    @headfirstonly I'm gonna read that little list as a "yes" to my question. hehehe

    (your name's gonna be on the paper but I'll really be marrying the synths)

  • @atitlan  Jan 29

    @fourzeroes The real thing or as a plugin? Colour me jealous if you've got the real thing.

  • @glasscrow Jan 30

    *strokes beard* Yes...I have been waiting for this challenge.

    Just kidding, I don't have a beard.

  • @fourzeroes Jan 30

    @atitlan my dad was in the right place at the right time in the 80s, when someone was upgrading... I should use it more. Used to use it to pretend to be the Chemical Brothers when I was 12

  • @cblack Feb 3


    One one-synth song done! Had a lot of fun with it, too. 😀

  • @zarmo Feb 3

    Sounds interesting, maybe I do some ambient drones with Doepfer Dark Energy.

  • @evolvemysound  Feb 3

    Nice challenge. Going to think on it and see what I can come up with! 😀

  • @cblack Feb 3

    I might do another one, this time with a very basic synth (few presets), so that I'm forced to tweak settings. Should be a good learning experience.

  • @itoarazi Feb 3

    Just did this. Apart from my distorted, autotuned voice, all of the sounds you hear (including the "kick" and "snare") were made with the Korg Volca Keys, with some effects thrown in. I just whipped the lyrics up on a whim.


  • @krayzie003  Feb 3

    I decided to give this one a go today. All of the sounds come from VacuumPro by AIR Music Technologies. https://fawm.org/songs/112618/

  • @atitlan  Feb 4

    I decided to do two tracks for the challenge - one analog and one digital.

    First track, 'Moog in Vogue' represents analog and uses Arturia's Mini V, a MiniMoog emulation - https://fawm.org/songs/112900/

    The second. 'She Said CZ' is the digital representative and uses Arturia's CZ V, a Casio CZ101 emulation - https://fawm.org/songs/112901/

  • @reklov  Feb 6

    I made a sentimental song only with my "Selena" Plugin which emulates the Solina Strings.

  • @zecoop  Feb 7

    One Synth song in... It is silly but fun. 😀
    All on my Yamaha PSS470

    Polar Bear Waltz

  • @kissinginpublic  Feb 7

    I just did a little 100% Minilogue noodle. I've not invested much time in the thing, but it's quite east to get sounds out of it. https://fawm.org/songs/114647/

  • @atitlan  Feb 7

    So, how are people doing? Don't know about you, but I found it quite liberating to not have to decide which plugin to use for which sound.

  • @kissinginpublic  Feb 7

    @atitlan really different for me the way I approached it as I don't normally perform parts start to finish - I tend to work in loops. Forcing myself to use my hardware was a good experience, too. Software synths are harder to use in some ways but a lot easier in others.

  • @elesimo  Feb 7

    Here's mine, just recorded: https://fawm.org/songs/114862/

  • @spirulence Feb 13

    Dreadbox Erebus in full swing here https://fawm.org/songs/117181/

  • @candle  Feb 13

    Casio SK-1 clone (Realistic Concertmate 500) on display in this little tune: https://fawm.org/songs/117459/

    See You In The Shadows…

  • @samplebandit  Feb 14

    > no hybrid megasynths like Falcon, Zebra, Thor, Europa or Massive

    sure i'll bang it out with a simple saw.

    a granulizer on the effect rack enters the ring!!

  • @kissinginpublic  Feb 14

    I might have another go at this. Question though - are drum machines allowed?

  • @rustyp Feb 14

    OK, I gave this a try.

    I used Cherry Audio's recreation of a Juno 106 called DCO106.

    Most of the sounds are stock except for some chorus on the bass and some eq and panning.

    My chief complaint is that I couldn't come up with a satisfying kick drum.


  • @krayzie003  Feb 18

    I was just looking at videos of the Beringer Neutron semi modular synth because I really want to purchase something modular or semi-modular to play with. I came across this cool video that goes right along with this challenge. Check it out... https://youtu.be/0X3tc-S_eB8

  • @leka Feb 19

    This was done with Microkorg. Since I had no drum sounds, I cheated a bit and ran the simple drum machine trough Microkorg’s vocoder.


  • @gubna Feb 21

    Here's mine.

  • @radioovermoscow Feb 21

    Here's mine! All the CZ V - a Casio emulator... https://fawm.org/songs/120429/

  • @johnnycashpoint Feb 21

    I did one, with a Casio VL Tone 1, but ran all the instrumental tracks through a Gristleizer. I had fun, but it's a bit odd lyrically. Da Da Dada! https://fawm.org/songs/120798/ j$

  • @bri4n  Feb 22

    My rambling -> https://fawm.org/songs/120925. A bit noisy as my mixer is debating dying (and currently what I'm recording is not what I'm hearing, so that can be a problem). Roland SE-02, plus external effects and a little filtering/EQ in Ableton. Great little synth, tho I must join the masses in complaining about the knob size. Still: delicious sounds, and three oscillators.

  • @mardeycranbleson Feb 23

    my entry: https://fawm.org/songs/121247/ . I used digits which is based on CZ casios.

  • @berni1954  Feb 23

    I am not really a keyboard player at all. I have a couple of ancient ones (cheap and nasties, but fun) but I decided to take up this challenge by using the on-board sounds of this 1993 "Keytar" Classic the Yamaha Dh 10. First time I have ever used the onboard sounds as I used it primarily as a MIDI controller.

    Anyway, here is a cheesy blues played on a cheesy keyboard and sung by a cheesy drag queen (my alter-ego) 😜


  • @berni1954  Feb 24

    I did another one, with the i-pad emulation of the Korg Wavestation. That was a keyboard I had lusted after back in the day, but I could not justify buying one to my partner, who knows I am barely a keyboard player.

    It comes with a Koss Pad (a fact only discovered this morning) that i had never used. But I soon began getting a feel for it - though I used it sparingly in the end.

    You can read more details of the process of composition (if your masochistic enough) on the song's web page.


  • @krayzie003  Feb 25

    I inadvertently created another one synth song. Didn't mean to but it happened. The only synth used is Softube Modular where I tweaked some presets and used a random grid sequencer to trigger the MIDI on 2 of the 3 tracks. Of course I soaked everything in reverb too.


  • @nilsjesper  Feb 26

    Squeaking in at the very end with a one-synth (and mostly one take) thing I did dusting off a Juno 60 and then creating some samples from the noise generator to make a few percussiony things. Was fun and it'd been way too long since I'd played with this (now kind of old and glitchy" thing!


Leave a Message. Log in to FAWM or sign up first...