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difficult analog sounds

Posted: Sun Apr 06, 2008 7:28 pm
by severen
difficult sounds in subtractive synthesis(VA and real analog)
it's my list.

1. metallic brass
but modular style warm brass is not difficult.

2. airy pad
I like airy sounds. but it's difficult

3. choir
:?

4. tubular bell
but I don't like dx7 tubular. it's too thin.

5. orchestra hits
sampler is best way. but sometimes I want synth orch hits.


what do you say? what is your difficult sounds?

Posted: Sun Apr 06, 2008 8:01 pm
by AstroDan
Some of those I don't think would be feasable on a typical subtractive synth. I'm sure they could be done, but an orchestral hit in the familiar sense would best be left to PCM or a synth with really flexible sound shaping abilities.

That said, I cannot do a snare.

choir

Posted: Sun Apr 06, 2008 8:16 pm
by saltmiser
I was actually going to ask how to get a choir sound; I guess I'm not the only one having a problem...

Posted: Sun Apr 06, 2008 9:16 pm
by theplateauxofmirror
I think choir sounds are difficult too, subtractively. I'd love to be able to do them though.

Posted: Sun Apr 06, 2008 9:42 pm
by braincandy
Why would you want to get a choir, orchestral hit, or breathy sound using an analog or a VA?

That's like taking an FM synth and trying to do a bunch of analog emulations. You may get some remote approximation of those sounds with a c**p-load of work, but why aren't you just using your stuff for what it really does best? It's admirable that you're willing to get the most out of your instruments and give it a go, but sometimes you'll just be limited from achieving certain sounds by the synth's capabilities (agree with AstroDan here). I've achieved "voice-like" sounds on an AN1x by sheer accident but I couldn't get one from scratch and the tweak I did wasn't very realistic.

This is why it's good to have a little variety in your setup. I've got a couple of romplers and 2 VAs (and could get by with just 1 of each) and that covers most of what I want or need.

For me, the impossible challenge is getting decent acoustic or electro-acoustic piano sounds on romplers. The piano presets are never really satisfying in that regard and my tweaks never really accomplish what I want in that area. I think the only piano patches I've ever been relatively happy with were a couple of presets--the CP-70 sounds from the E-mu Vintage Keys and the infamously muddy "Arrakis Grand" from the K2VXs.

Posted: Sun Apr 06, 2008 10:27 pm
by Yoozer
braincandy wrote:Why would you want to get a choir, orchestral hit, or breathy sound using an analog or a VA?
Because it's awesome, that's why. A sample-based machine doesn't give you the freedom to deviate again from that particular sound while a VA or analog will.

Posted: Sun Apr 06, 2008 10:50 pm
by theplateauxofmirror
yeah, i'd actually like choir sounds that don't sound real. if you use them right, i think they are eerie as h**l.

Posted: Sun Apr 06, 2008 10:55 pm
by steveman
Yoozer wrote:
braincandy wrote:Why would you want to get a choir, orchestral hit, or breathy sound using an analog or a VA?
Because it's awesome, that's why. A sample-based machine doesn't give you the freedom to deviate again from that particular sound while a VA or analog will.
Huh?

Don't really get this, Of course a sample based machine can get let you deviate from that sound using granular stuff, filters, FM, mods etc etc.

Surely to 'deviate' from a sound you need to be able to create it first, otherwise you're not actually deviating from it, more like creating something different.
Analog or VA may be able to create something that resembles the sound but that's it really.

Quite why anyone would want to recreat the 'Orchestral hit' is beyond me :) talk about a one use sound...

Posted: Sun Apr 06, 2008 11:14 pm
by Yoozer
steveman wrote:Don't really get this, Of course a sample based machine can get let you deviate from that sound using granular stuff, filters, FM, mods etc etc.
Yeah, it's just too bad that not many samplers offer FM, right?
Surely to 'deviate' from a sound you need to be able to create it first, otherwise you're not actually deviating from it, more like creating something different.
You take a synthesizer. You painstakingly construct a recreation of an orchestral hit. In doing so you have stumbled on several near-orchestral hits that are not quite it.

When you have a sample, that's it. FM, modulation, filters - all of that is editing afterwards. With a recreation, you still have full control over all the parts.
Quite why anyone would want to recreat the 'Orchestral hit' is beyond me :) talk about a one use sound...
Try it. You'll see how difficult and non-obvious it is to mimic something you take for granted in every $10 Casio :).

Re: difficult analog sounds

Posted: Sun Apr 06, 2008 11:44 pm
by i_watch_stars
severen wrote:difficult sounds in subtractive synthesis(VA and real analog)
it's my list.
1. metallic brass
I'm not sure I know what this is...
2. airy pad
Yeah, somewhat difficult. It is an excercise in layering...basically take any pad, remove the high freqs, and add a complex non-harmonic noisy sound with a lot of very high freqs. Noise can work, but you really have to work at it to develope more complexity.
3. choir
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.
4. tubular bell
Ringmod or FM, of course. But you have to have the 2nd osc tuned right...like a 5th or 7th above or something. Also you have to have a "tin". This can be the 2nd osc but the bell won't be as realistic sounding.
5. orchestra hits
Hahah...thats funny. If you are serious, just synthesize orchestra sounds, plus timpani (colored noise), detune and layer. But....why? lol

choir sounds

Posted: Mon Apr 07, 2008 1:10 am
by saltmiser
i_watch_stars wrote:
severen wrote:3. choir
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?

Posted: Mon Apr 07, 2008 2:07 am
by crufty
Don't forget to add reverb to your choir patch! Night and day. Nobody will mistake it for the tabernacle choir, but you should be able to coax a nice synthy 'ahh thats a choir patch but not a real choir' sound.

Posted: Mon Apr 07, 2008 2:09 am
by theplateauxofmirror
bandpass.

Posted: Mon Apr 07, 2008 2:09 am
by crufty
And, as an addendum, I can't do a clap. *shrug*

Re: choir sounds

Posted: Mon Apr 07, 2008 2:16 am
by i_watch_stars
saltmiser wrote:
i_watch_stars wrote:
severen wrote:3. choir
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.

To get each of the vowel formants, you have to play around with the seperation of the two filters, and the resonance. Each formant ("e", "o", "a", "i") has a specific setting with the two bandpass filters' seperation and resonances. You have to experiment with the settings but once you get it, you'll know how to do it forever.