Hardest Sounds to Synthesize?

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Hardest Sounds to Synthesize?

Post by Zamise » Mon Feb 14, 2011 9:25 pm

What are they and why are they so hard?
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Re: Hardest Sounds to Synthesize?

Post by smoothcriminal » Mon Feb 14, 2011 9:28 pm

acoustic piano! i tried to follow the SOS piano tutorial and it took hours, and i still haven't nailed down all the velocity-vs-EGspeed routing they do. I'm not sure if my microQ can even do that, if so I haven't figured it out yet.

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Re: Hardest Sounds to Synthesize?

Post by Alex E » Mon Feb 14, 2011 9:42 pm

dubstep wobbles
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Re: Hardest Sounds to Synthesize?

Post by smoothcriminal » Mon Feb 14, 2011 9:45 pm

"hardest sounds to synthesize," Alex E, not "most fun sounds."

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Re: Hardest Sounds to Synthesize?

Post by Automatic Gainsay » Mon Feb 14, 2011 9:46 pm

Definitely strummed guitar chords. :::shudders:::

Pedant Proviso:
With the onset of affordable sampling coupled with incredible advancements in storage space, there is no need for anyone to use a synthesizer to try to simulate acoustic sounds ever again (except for fun, of course!). Synthesis is a terrible way to try to simulate acoustic sounds- that's why relatively common sounds are hard to recreate with a synthesizer. It was purely a delightful marketing scheme that led to the horrible notion that synthesizers are meant to duplicate acoustic sounds anyway. Icky.
Also, this usage of the word "synthesize" makes it seem synonymous with "create (and especially "artificially create)," and while that usage has become common through misuse, I still shudder at it.
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Re: Hardest Sounds to Synthesize?

Post by smoothcriminal » Mon Feb 14, 2011 9:50 pm

Sitar!!!!! I still haven't sat down and really tried to nail that sound yet. The real challenge (maybe impossible) is the harmonic/sympathetic resonance between strings. No idea how to even approach that.

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Re: Hardest Sounds to Synthesize?

Post by GuyaGuy » Mon Feb 14, 2011 11:10 pm

Automatic Gainsay wrote:Definitely strummed guitar chords. :::shudders:::

Pedant Proviso:
With the onset of affordable sampling coupled with incredible advancements in storage space, there is no need for anyone to use a synthesizer to try to simulate acoustic sounds ever again (except for fun, of course!). Synthesis is a terrible way to try to simulate acoustic sounds- that's why relatively common sounds are hard to recreate with a synthesizer. It was purely a delightful marketing scheme that led to the horrible notion that synthesizers are meant to duplicate acoustic sounds anyway. Icky.
Also, this usage of the word "synthesize" makes it seem synonymous with "create (and especially "artificially create)," and while that usage has become common through misuse, I still shudder at it.
+1 on both accounts.
I only think of acoustic or electric instruments in terms of analogy.
Like "I want a sound like a church organ that Darth Vader would play on the Death Star."
Or "I want a wet glass sound but more like whale-size glass than pixie bells."

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Re: Hardest Sounds to Synthesize?

Post by Sir Nose » Mon Feb 14, 2011 11:17 pm

smoothcriminal wrote:Sitar!!!!! I still haven't sat down and really tried to nail that sound yet. The real challenge (maybe impossible) is the harmonic/sympathetic resonance between strings. No idea how to even approach that.
There was a thread on the Moog board about it with some ideas. http://www.moogmusic.com/forum/viewtopi ... tic#p74240
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Re: Hardest Sounds to Synthesize?

Post by smoothcriminal » Mon Feb 14, 2011 11:29 pm

interesting! they are discussing doing this with analogs which makes it even more complex.
Off Topic
One of the ways that resonance is simulated is with very short delay times
with moderate feedback. The delay time determines the resonant frequency.
So it might be interesting to see if you could accurately get the delay times to
track. One cool benefit of delay resonance is that it will automatically respond
to frequencies that are whole-number multiples of the fundamental frequency.
This sounds like what a 'comb' filter does. I actually made a plucked string sound using a keytrack'd comb filter the other day, I should experiment more with that.
Off Topic
you could make a sympathetic oscillator by "doubling" your raw signal. One goes to the mixer, the other one into a bandpass filter which passes only one very small frequency band. The filtered signal goes into an envelope follower. the resulting envelope cv must be processed by a lag processor and is then needed to control the volume of your sympathetic oscillator, which has to be tuned to the same frequency as the bandpass filter.
Synth -> BPF -> Env. Follower -> Lag-Processor -> VCA (which attached fixed-frequency oscillator)
the analog-ness here is throwing me off, i don't get the "envelope cv - lag processor" part.

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Re: Hardest Sounds to Synthesize?

Post by CS_TBL » Mon Feb 14, 2011 11:32 pm

Acoustic piano. CP70'ish stuff is usually peanuts to do.

Also, for FM: oboes, English horns and bass oboes. And that's because the carrier has a higher radio than the modulator, meaning that as soon as you apply modulator scaling or modulator velocity to make the modulator output weaker, you're not making the sound less bright, no, you're actually exposing the higher ratio of the carrier instead.
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Re: Hardest Sounds to Synthesize?

Post by Distorted_Frequency » Mon Feb 14, 2011 11:46 pm

The hollow, woody, pan pipe sound. It's not so simple as Square Wave and Noise. I have been trying for a total of six hours and its still sounds dissociated, like two sounds ontop of each other, not one smooth "whoot" sound. It's killing me lol

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Re: Hardest Sounds to Synthesize?

Post by Zamise » Tue Feb 15, 2011 12:52 am

Pianos and Guitar strumming isn't that hard in my opinion. Pianos are just sort of a variation of making a string sound, and so is guitar which the strumming effect is probly hard to do on an analog alone, but if you've got a programmable LFO with like at least 16 steps then I can usually replicate that effect pretty closely just by assigning to the amp with some zero velocities and various other stepped velocities. Not easy, but I think I can do it sufficiently enough on some synths.

I understand that those sounds are kind of hard to get down as a perfect replication or emulation, but what I'm talking about are fundamentally hard sounds to even come close to doing on a synthesizer. Something like the human voice is pretty hard, but it has been synthesized quite well and have dedicated stuff just for doing that and nothing else, it would be really hard to do on most any regular old synth I think though, but there has got to be a lot of other kinds of sounds that are hard to do on synths I can't think of, that maybe I can get some more ideas for some from you guys?

My interest in this is that yeah it might be fun to try to replicate some of them or try to disect them to understand why they'd be hard to do, they don't have to be an acoustic instrument either, maybe something like light saber sounds that hum and kind of sound like an over loaded electrical box, or more natural sounds like maybe glass breaking, stuff like that.

Got more?
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Re: Hardest Sounds to Synthesize?

Post by Zamise » Tue Feb 15, 2011 1:07 am

Distorted_Frequency wrote:The hollow, woody, pan pipe sound. It's not so simple as Square Wave and Noise. I have been trying for a total of six hours and its still sounds dissociated, like two sounds ontop of each other, not one smooth "whoot" sound. It's killing me lol

Rob
This might be a good one I've not tried to do before and might give a go at it too...

Got a soundclip of a good one to use for comparisons?
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Re: Hardest Sounds to Synthesize?

Post by rhino » Tue Feb 15, 2011 1:45 am

Sax and brass. Any ROMpler in the last 8-10 years can nail the TIMBRE, but the nuances of a live player on a real instrument take beaucoup time and playing skill to get passable.
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Re: Hardest Sounds to Synthesize?

Post by cartesia » Tue Feb 15, 2011 2:00 am

Human voice

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