difficult analog sounds

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theplateauxofmirror
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Post by theplateauxofmirror » Mon Apr 07, 2008 3:56 am

thanks a lot for that, it's something i've been wondering about for a while. haven't messed around with filters in parallel much.

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Post by thestreets » Mon Apr 07, 2008 5:32 am

I still can't make a choir sound and i have like 3 synths with formant waveforms. I just use the preset on the microkorg. :wink:

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Post by V301H » Mon Apr 07, 2008 7:33 am

Something with several filter modes like the Alesis Ion/Micron, Doepfer, or Xpander/Matrix 12 should be capable of most of these sounds. In addition to resonant LP, HP, and BP filters you might try experimenting with Phase, Comb, Notch filters, etc. or combinations of these.
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Post by Automatic Gainsay » Mon Apr 07, 2008 9:42 am

I'm going to have to go with the 'why would you want to?' camp.

Sure, it's fun to approximate those things with something which simply cannot actually do them... but what purpose does it serve imitating a sound poorly? If you want to create something that sounds like strings, use something that actually sounds like strings, otherwise what you have is something that approximates strings... and in the world of synthesis, something that 'approximates' really is just a different sound... and if you're looking for a different sound, you're not looking for a specific sound.
Analog synthesis is terrible for emulating acoustic sounds... it is a simple fact of life. Certainly, with supreme effort and very powerful synthesizers, it can be done... but again, what's the point? The cheapest sampler in the world will be better at giving you those sounds than a fantastic analog synth.
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Post by THM » Mon Apr 07, 2008 9:45 am

Imho tubular bells are not difficult. :?
Definitely not with an analog modular system. Like said the RM is the most important piece; it gives the typical tubular detuned clang sound.
With a modular system you can not only mix two sounds by the ring modulator, but later in the setup you can still slightly mix a low sound to beefen it up. And if you want a very clanging sound (hurting your ears) you can still use a BPF or HPF for the clang parts.

The other mentioned sounds are true...
About e.g. an acoustic piano: I only heard once an acceptable acoustic piano sound (and still you heard it was not a real piano...) and that was a piano patch from Kenneth Elhardt (and I can assure he's a real sound genious) made with the software MOOG Modular V...
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Re: difficult analog sounds

Post by cornutt » Mon Apr 07, 2008 4:35 pm

i_watch_stars wrote:
5. orchestra hits
Hahah...thats funny. If you are serious, just synthesize orchestra sounds, plus timpani (colored noise), detune and layer. But....why? lol
Actually, if you take a typical CS80-ish brass patch, put a sharp envelope on it, and layer in something like a kick or tom sound to enhance the attack further, you can get pretty close.
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Post by V301H » Mon Apr 07, 2008 5:25 pm

One reason to pursue imitative synthesis is that though no one is going to mistake it for the real thing you can sometimes come up with a new class of usable sounds. Most samplers/ROMplers include Synth Strings and Brass sounds along with samples of the real thing, for example.

Some synths seem to excel at imitative synthesis more than others. Before digital pianos became commonplace I used a Jupiter 6 for Grand Piano sounds which it did amazingly well for an analog. It was good at imitating other difficult sounds with a clarity and detail which Oberheims, Memorymoogs, and other analogs of the time, though they were great synths, couldn't do near as well.

Of course, many of the amazing things Tomita, Wendy Carlos, and Larry Fast did used imitative synthesis as a starting point.
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Post by severen » Mon Apr 07, 2008 7:31 pm

thank you guys. I will try.
I don't want realistic sound.
I just want synthetic sound.
it's funny and mechanical timbre

normal choir is not difficult.
but emulating formant is difficult

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Re: choir sounds

Post by saltmiser » Mon Apr 07, 2008 10:35 pm

i_watch_stars wrote:
saltmiser wrote:
i_watch_stars wrote: This is easy. Take at least two BP filters in parallel and use square waves and add noise on top of that. Add chorus to taste. You have to seperate the filters' freqs appropriately, as well as the resonance to get the correct formant. Each vowel formant has a different seperation. The resonance should be around 60%, somewhat high.
I just tried this; I think the way you said; and it sounds like a not-very realistic "ooh" choir. what if you want the nice "ahhh" choir? what do you mean by BP filters?
BP is bandpass filters. To do a good choir sound (its possible to attempt one with just one lowpass but it won't sound very good, and you can only get the "o" formant, I think), you have to have two bandpass filters routed parallel, not serial. Not all synths have these. Some synths that do are the Virus, SuperNova, RADIAS. You can also try working with low and highpass filters (in parallel), but it won't sound as good.
Sorry, but what do you mean by in parallel? I'm assuming that means you have two filters that are at the same exact settings..but what is the point in that? Btw I have an Alesis Micron...

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Post by Villi » Mon Apr 07, 2008 11:46 pm

I *might* be wrong, but I'd imagine it is like this:

Parallel:

Code: Select all

           FILTER 1
         /         \
INPUT  -<           >- OUTPUT
         \         /
           FILTER 2 
Serial:

Code: Select all

INPUT -> FILTER 1 -> FILTER 2 -> OUTPUT

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Post by theplateauxofmirror » Tue Apr 08, 2008 12:30 am

yeah. on synths like the ion, or modulars obviously, you can divide it even further by having one oscillator go solely to each filter, creating two completely different signal paths going to the amp. or you could have one osc going mostly to one filter but a little to the other, and vice versa.

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Post by i_watch_stars » Tue Apr 08, 2008 2:03 am

V301H wrote:One reason to pursue imitative synthesis is that though no one is going to mistake it for the real thing you can sometimes come up with a new class of usable sounds[...]


[...] Of course, many of the amazing things Tomita, Wendy Carlos, and Larry Fast did used imitative synthesis as a starting point.
Exactly.

I really don't understand the "why bother" camp. Its not like its a mutual exclusive thing, i.e. you either can emulate real sounds OR synthesize completely new sounds, not both. Why can't you do both? Why would you want to disregard an entire area of synthesis?

Personally, when I think of this issue, I think of Plato's theory of forms. For me, and maybe for anyone who has an undying passion for electronic music, the synthesizer actually does a better job and capturing the essence, or the ideal form, of some sounds better than the actual instrument.

For instance, I believe the DX bass captured the ideal form of a funky slappy bass BETTER than what it was trying to imitate, if that makes sense. And I know I'm going to catch flak for this one, but I believe that the synthesizer does a better job as strings than actual strings, especially the SUPERSAW.

Also imitating "real life" is the first step in many art forms. First you imitate, and then you can grasp intuitively what makes certain things beautiful. Once you have that intuitive, yet abstract mastery, you are free to explore that concept beyond the bounderies of what was originally there.

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eh whatever

Post by saltmiser » Tue Apr 08, 2008 2:38 am

@i_watch_stars: word

I got the parallel bp filtering with the square waves to work; it kinda resembles a really dull choir though. Like they're opening their mouths for "ahh" to have the doctor examine their mouth or something. Noise and FM helped though; any more suggestions?

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Re: eh whatever

Post by Keith Phillips » Wed Apr 09, 2008 11:10 pm

saltmiser wrote:@i_watch_stars: word

I got the parallel bp filtering with the square waves to work; it kinda resembles a really dull choir though. Like they're opening their mouths for "ahh" to have the doctor examine their mouth or something. Noise and FM helped though; any more suggestions?

This is a site I've found useful in the past.

http://www.marksmart.net/sounddesign/ch ... ounds.html

It has a good starting point for certain frequency peaks that help achieve a certain vowel sound. One important thing is that the bandpass filters do not track the keyboard. The peaks remain fixed at certain frequencies for a specific sound. The site has a really great frequency list and also breaks it down to keyboard notes so you can tune a resonant filter to that specific note if your synth (like many) has some arbitrary value like 0-100 or 0-127 for things like filter cutoff.

Using a good chorus effect (and usually some good reverb) is generally very important for a convincing "choir" sound. The more formants you can nail with resonant bandpass filters, the better. Usually 3 as a minimum is the rule; at least when working with basic waveforms (like a pulse wave) and not some wavetable-based oscillator.

I totally love analog synth choir sounds; probably one of my favorite sounds ever.

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Wendy

Post by naphini » Wed Apr 09, 2008 11:36 pm

As to recreating choir sounds, you could always use a vocoder (as Wendy Carlos on Beethoven's 9th... think Clockwork Orange. Even she gave up on trying to recreate a good vocal sound with analogue synthesis). And speaking of Wendy, I'd recommend her Secrets of Synthesis album, which you can get on CD now. She discusses all of this, and she is the master! (er- mistress?)
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