Quick production tip: Organise your synth patches first

Like every producer out there, I know how easy it is to get stuck in the weeds looking for that ‘perfect’ synth patch that’s going to add fairy dust to your track, or somehow achieve that impossible sweet-spot between sounding totally 80s and completely modern at the same time.

I know, you only came here to lay down a quick idea, now it’s 2:00am and you still haven’t found the sound. I know.


They say the first step is acknowledging your problem. So, once we’ve acknowledged it, why not embrace it?

Screenshot showing a list of synth patches grouped by type

That’s what I did, in the case of the screenshot above. It’s a Logic Pro session for not just a track but a whole live album that was captured in one session; now it’s my job to break it out into separate songs, and to overdub/add guitars, synths, bass etc., to complete the album.

I started out the same way anyone would, looking for one sound for one particular song. But then I started organising.

As I found a sound I generally liked, I kept it by duplicating the track, then using the next instance of the track to keep browsing through sounds (I’m mostly using Logic’s built-in presets at the moment).


As I went through and kept sounds, I was also able to start organising them by ‘type’ – Leads, Brass/Pads, Bells, Basses. I grouped them into these categories using Logic’s handy Track Stacks feature (which since a recent update also now allows you to have stacks within stacks – handy for those multi-part patches).

Now, for most of the rest of the album production, I shouldn’t need to spend any time hunting around for patches that might work, because I spent this time up front gathering a healthy list of sounds that I knew would already be in the right ballpark for the album. Time: saved!

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