Sugar Bytes Obscurium is fast becoming a go-to synth for me. When I first saw it, I thought it looked and sounded a bit mental but once you get the hang of it, it shows itself to be a very intuitive and fun way to come up with new musical ideas.
In this quick tip I’ll show you how to create a simple arpeggiated lead line.
Step 1 - Initialize
The ‘INIT’ patch is found in the user presets. It is however not really totally ‘initialized’. Here you can see all the sequencer lanes with 32 steps and each with its own color.
For Obscurium to be really initialized you need to bottom out the following parameters as in their current state they have quite a big impact on your patch. They are as follows: Arp, Pitch, Chord, Poly and Noise.
This will give you a single note sequence that isn’t offset from the keyboard. The patch will look like this.
Step 2 - Basic Setup
First off, set up the Amp Env to be triggered by the arpeggiator by pushing the slider to the left to the top. This ensures the envelope is triggered every step.
Set the scale to Chromatic in the pitch tab so the notes aren’t quantized to a scale.
You're then free to select the Pitch lane and start drawing in a melodic line. The pitches are marked in the main window and there’s two octaves to play with.
Sugar Bytes Obscurium pitching it up.
I’ve made my pattern 16 steps by dragging the length bars under the main window. Here’s what I have.
Step 3 - Go Crazy!!
This is the best part of Obscurium. Once you have a melodic structure you can then go into the other parameters and just start painting! There’s a few parameters to play with like the FM settings, filter, sync tuning, osc mix and so on.
Using the random brush is a great way to just try a bunch of stuff out and when you have something close you can fine tune with the pen tool.
Painting in steps in Sugar Bytes Obscurium.
Here’s what I have so far.
Step 4 - Use the Mod Lane
The Mod lane can be used to control various parameters in the tabs. One of these is the Amp Envelope. Here I’ve used it to adjust the Hold and Release time to accentuate some notes. Just activate the white dots to assign the Mod lane.
The Mod lane in Sugar Bytes Obscurium.
Take a listen.
Step 5 - Offset the Lanes
So here’s my final result. I’ve added some delay and verb and triggered the whole thing an octave up.
Now the cool thing with Obscurium is that you can offset all your sequence data up and down between lanes using the slider on the right. This can yield all kinds of weird and wonderful results giving you more variation. Here’s the whole thing displaced by one lane.
Offsetting lanes can result in fantastic variations.
This is literally the tip of the iceberg with what Obscurium can do. Once you get into using the chords and the Superobscurium feature things get very interesting. You’ll find yourself as I did coming up with patch after patch of cool melodic and chordal passages that spark off a whole new track. Never mind the possibilities of the VST synth integration!! :)
Check it out!