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Sorry, I am a n00b and don't know anything about music theory. Are typical lead synthesizer notes in trance played as single notes or as chords?

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migrated from Aug 29 '11 at 16:17

This question came from our site for engineers, producers, editors, and enthusiasts spanning the fields of video, and media creation.

This post may be better off on the Musicians site. I flagged it to migrate it. – daviesgeek Aug 28 '11 at 6:44
@daviesgeek: if you mean, then nah, this is definitely a great question here. It's more about music creation than appreciation. – naught101 Sep 16 '12 at 4:57
@naught101 :-) I meant this site. Note the date of the comment, and the date of the migration... – daviesgeek Sep 16 '12 at 4:58
@daviesgeek: Ah! should have noticed that. What good judgement you have :D – naught101 Sep 16 '12 at 5:01
@naught101 Well...I did write the comment...:-D – daviesgeek Sep 16 '12 at 5:03

It depends! "Lead synth" typically connotes a single note sound ("mono", short for monophonic) but you'll also find lead synths sounds that are "poly", short for polyphonic, depending on the (sub)genre, the artist's style, what the artist had for breakfast that morning, etc.

The most common lead synth in trance is probably a mono synth constructed from two (or more) detuned saw waves with delay and reverb, but there are plenty of examples of poly sounds used as leads as well.

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Polyphonic synth leads don't necessarily imply chords - could just be overlapping single notes. Also, you make a good point about the combination of waves, but you can say that about any sound - just take the fourier series of the sound! (this is what happens in an MP3, basically). – naught101 Sep 16 '12 at 5:00
sorry for my ignorance of musical theory again... but if polyphonic notes could be overlapping identical notes rather than chords, wouldn't it just increase that single notes amplitude unless it's doing what @Rein said and has a delay or something – xster Sep 17 '12 at 14:03

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