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Gunship "Tech Noir" Breakdown

Gunship's song Tech Noir is considered by many to be one of the most emblematic songs of the synthwave scene, the song begins with a speech by writer John Carpenter about an imminent nuclear attack, which is the theme of the song's lyrics, this song comes from their self-titled album released in 2015 and since then they are one of the biggest references of the synthwave scene, so after wanting to make the tutorial of this song for quite awhile the time has come to teach you all the sound design behind this amazing song.

This article was possible because all of the presets from this breakdown came from our Darksynth Serum pack and it has have 20% off with the code: DS01.


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If you have read another of our breakdowns you know we always start with the bass and in this case, it's not the exception, so to make this preset we need a Basic Mg in oscillator "A" with two octaves down and a little frequency modulation coming from oscillator "B", now in oscillator "B" we have an ICanHaskick wavetable with one octave down and some sync, our envelope 1 is modulating the levels of all the oscillators and the cutoff of the filter and the final touch is some sidechain coming from LFO1 and to apply it you need to go to your Matrix tab and route it to the amp.

There is just something about this patch that gives life to the track, the way it complements the bassline with subtlety it's just mesmerizing, so to start to make this sound use a ICanHasKick in oscillator "A" and in oscillator "B" use a Basic Shape in its second position with a little frequency modulation coming from oscillator "A", now to make this patch feel ethereal and airy first you need to slowly open your filter we used envelope 2 to do this it has an attack time of 1.6 s after that drench it in reverb and delay and you should be good to go.

This synth melody comes as a prelude to the chorus we used a Sweep20 in oscillator "A" this waveform is what gives a shimmer to this patch and we use another ICanHasKick in oscillator "B", now the main characteristic of this sound is the frequency sweep with high resonance and to achieve this we need our envelope 2 to have a decay of around 1.2 s and route to the filter cutoff and to give it the final touch your resonance should be between 60 and 65 percent.

Now that we come to the chorus the first element that we will recreate is the dark sounding bass, first, you need a Sine wavetable in oscillator "A" with one octave down but the most important part is that you need to have frequency modulation coming from oscillator "B" at around 50%, in oscillator "B" use another ICanHasKick wavetable to give a little brightness to the sound and have envelope 2 with decay at around 3s being routed to the cutoff of the filter, add multiband compression and distortion in the FX Tab and that's it.

The chords synth in the chorus of the song is a relatively simple patch using but the main sound design element of this patch is how it is slightly detuned but first, you need PMW64 in oscillator "A" and a PMW DS in oscillator "B" there is no need for a filter in this sound since in the chorus, there are only 3 melodic elements removing the voice and two of them are basses which makes this element necessarily bright to create a contrast, now for the detuning part, you need to assign your LFO1 to the fine-tuning to both oscillators and then to the same with a second LFO just make sure the rate of both LFO are different as this will give a feeling of randomness to the detuning.