There are many ways to make a riser, but we will look at using Alchemy since it comes out of the box. We’ll also use automation, which is nice because it’s reusable. Many soft synths, allow you to adjust the patch, and when you change the patch, you lose the settings.
Start by launching Alchemy and select the “Tight Synth Chord” preset. (If you have no experience with Alchemy then check out our Intro to Alchemy Tutorial.)
Next add an empty region, drag it over for 4 bars, and draw in a note on G for 4 bars. Select the automation button, which is after the Edit, Functions, and View drop downs. The button is in blue below.
The region tint of the region will now change. When you draw in here it no longer affects the notes on the region, but an automation parameter. Next to the Read drop down, you’ll see a drop down that says Volume. The default automation parameter is Volume, but we want to change that to an effect inside Alchemy.
Click the drop down and select Alchemy, Source A, Basic, Tune Coarse Control. This will affect the tuning of our first Oscillator.
We want to have the oscillator “rise” up two octaves over the course of the 4 bars. To do this, draw a diagonal line over the length of the region. You can click on each side to create points, and then adjust the points until they look similar to the picture below.
The patch should now sound like this.
Next we’ll adjust the jitter to make it a little more dramatic, but we want the effect more towards the end or climax of the rise. Go back into the drop down next to the Read dropdown, and select Smart Controls, Controls, Jitter. This not replaces the automation curve with an empty jitter automation region.
Just like before, draw in an automation curve by clicking on two points and adjusting them so they look similar to below.
Now do the same for Cutoff under Smart Controls and draw in something like this.
Now we’ll automate the X pad in the Morph control. Go back to the drop down and select Alchemy, Morph, Morph All X.
This time create an inverse curve that falls, like in the image below.
The nice thing with doing this as automation is that you can swap out the patches. Just scroll through Alchemy, demoing each patch until you find one you like. The automation will still work.
The patch “Almost Piano Arpeggio” sounds like it has potential. The attack and volume need to be adjusted, but the effect toward the end of the riser sounds cool.
Classic Arp Echoes has potential as well.
As you develop your song, you’ll probably find that the patch doesn’t work well as you add in elements. By using automation for the riser, you can easily swap patches to try and find something that works better in the mix. If you have Massive, then check out this article on how to do risers in Massive.
Leave comments if you have questions, or would like to see this tutorial expanded.