Norns: synth sounds


Was wondering if there was a “beefy” synth in the same vein as Minus 3 - YouTube in the library?
Looked a bit but didn’t find.

Thanks a lot!

If you didn’t find it in the library then I guess that there isn’t one. As far as I know all the currently available scripts are in the library.

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Sounds like a slightly distorted sine wave to me.

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You could probably get close with FM7

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You might be able to find an Organelle patch that is similar and use Mother?


Ok thanks for your answers :slight_smile:

one mans beef tea is another mans chamomile…

@rxvi Always up for a bit of Broadcast - very fondly remembered here.


I do like the way it sounds, just don’t think it’s very complicated. No?

Also, it might be just a matter of how the sound is processed. The sound in the track does sound a bit FM to me (but I could be wrong, I’m notoriously bad at this), but it has a certain smeared, saturated, “analogue” (quotes on purpose) feel to it.

Yeah, this is V nice sounding. It does sound FM based, with the slight sine wave effected one. There also seems to be a third sine wave as a potential sub base? So either a polyphonic representation of the two, or a third operator tuned down. FM7 should handle this. But! There’s also always needs for new synth engines! If you’re skilled at Pure Data and Lua (which, lord knows I’m not!) you could make one for all us non-programming plebes!

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Sounds like a Fender Rhodes to me. I know Broadcast used one.

? passersby ? could handle this sound well ?


love broadcast. i remember reading an interview with them where they mentioned all the synth sounds on tender buttons came from QuadraSID which was a powerful 8-bit synth vst plug in that i believe is no loner available.

like others have said, i think you could easily achieve this sound with norns using fm7 or passerby. it does sound like a sine or triangle wave with slight saturation and or distortion.

as a side note, i think that one important thing here are the notes themselves. the notes pair nicely with the sound here and were probably written with both sound and melody in mind. i feel this is a detail that is often overlooked when i see people looking to re create sounds. perhaps loop a bit of this song and get a feel for the scale by playing on top? bet that will get you 80% there


20 characters of fond memories…

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did you try PolySub? MollyThePoly?

PolySub is sine plus bandlimited selectable classic waveforms, plus filtering, plus chorusing

Molly is FM-based

both are good starts and easily customized with a very tiny bit of supercollider…


Never realized Molly is FM! That’s good to know. I have used norns mostly for Softcut and midi/crow puts. I should explore more with the included synth engines. Thanks for that tip about the FM.

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these lines show the signal flow for Molly.

FM is implemented as PM here, as is normal

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I think an underappreciated aspect of this sound is the semi-dissonant quality of the two-note sequence. Because the bass note keeps a consistent pitch while the treble note wanders around we hear evolving harmonics from relatively simple waves.


that video sounds not unlike Passersby to my ear

You can make any synth you like in Automatonism and play on Norns via Norns mother. The FM synths are particularly good and you can just layer them up and add effects / wave shaping. Also there’s the Organelle library to choose a synth from.
On the Norns side I really like the bass synth on Lissadron it’s quite gritty and beefy.