I was recently commissioned to design 3 sets of sound effects for a Software as a Service application. These sounds needed to be consistent with one another, intuitive and easily remembered. They also needed to be abstract and non-vocal, so the obvious way to design them was by using synthesizers.
So I fired up Ableton Live and a host of VST synths and started layering notes, stabs and chords. Once I had a decent amount of these exported (about 50 or so) I opened them up in Adobe Audition and started cropping them according to my needs. I ended up with 3 sets of 11 sounds, mastered and normalized to about -15 dB. I then submit them for testing, and I had to make a few rounds of revisions before they were perfect. So, in case you’re wondering what came out of this, here they are: