Hardest Sounds to Synthesize?

Discussions about anything analog, digital, MIDI, synth technology, techniques, theories and more.
User avatar
piRoN
Active Member
Active Member
Posts: 541
Joined: Sun Dec 19, 2004 7:04 am
Gear: A fair bit.
Location: The crotch of The Lucky Country

Re: Hardest Sounds to Synthesize?

Post by piRoN » Tue Feb 15, 2011 2:58 am

rhino wrote:can nail the TIMBER
I applaud you, good sir.
Ensoniq EPS-m | Elby Designs ASM-2 | Yamaha TQ5 | Akai S3000XL | Akai X7000 | Novation KS-4 | SCI Prophet 2000 | Kawai K1m | Korg Monotribe | Korg Monotron | Roland S-50 | Roland D-10 | Roland MKS-7 | Yamaha RX11

User avatar
CS_TBL
Synth Explorer
Synth Explorer
Posts: 1677
Joined: Wed Jul 12, 2006 3:47 pm
Gear: All "In-The-Box"
Mainly FM8
Location: NL
Contact:

Re: Hardest Sounds to Synthesize?

Post by CS_TBL » Tue Feb 15, 2011 3:04 am

ooh.. pan flute.

That brings back childhood memories when I was growing up in a music shop in the early 80's. Next to our shop there was a cheese shop, but looking back to that era, I'd wonder who sold more cheesy c**p..

So, there were those big Eminent organs with had all these white, green and red square light emiting buttons directly above the keys, on those Grand Theater models, I"m sure you know which one.. with the white/orange push buttons everywhere. And just like 'Girl From Ipanema' there was this other evergreen that every potential customer had to endure.

I just hacked that together in less than an hour. Made completely with "you know what".. :P


http://infinitemsx.org/dump/panflutecheese.mp3

As for human voice, actually all these text 2 speech applications do a decent job, and Vocaloid isn't complete c**p either.
"You know I love you, CS, but this is bullshit." (Automatic Gainsay)
s: VSL/FM8/EWQL/LASS h: DX7/FS1r/VL70/SY77/SN2r/JD800/JD990/XV88/Emu6400/Poly61/Amek35:12:2/genelec1030 r: Violin/AltoSax/TinWhistle c: i7-4770/RAM32GB/SSD
FM8 vids

User avatar
CS_TBL
Synth Explorer
Synth Explorer
Posts: 1677
Joined: Wed Jul 12, 2006 3:47 pm
Gear: All "In-The-Box"
Mainly FM8
Location: NL
Contact:

Re: Hardest Sounds to Synthesize?

Post by CS_TBL » Tue Feb 15, 2011 3:06 am

Is there any logical reason why that player keeps 'Buffering'? :(
"You know I love you, CS, but this is bullshit." (Automatic Gainsay)
s: VSL/FM8/EWQL/LASS h: DX7/FS1r/VL70/SY77/SN2r/JD800/JD990/XV88/Emu6400/Poly61/Amek35:12:2/genelec1030 r: Violin/AltoSax/TinWhistle c: i7-4770/RAM32GB/SSD
FM8 vids

soundwave106
Newbie
Newbie
Posts: 28
Joined: Tue Aug 04, 2009 5:04 pm

Re: Hardest Sounds to Synthesize?

Post by soundwave106 » Tue Feb 15, 2011 3:58 am

Zamise wrote: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.
I can honestly think of no instrument that is difficult to reproduce in a sort-of manner on a synthesizer. Sample-based synthesis will take you a long way.

In terms of reproducing the nuances of a good performance, almost *any* acoustic instrument cannot be reproduced 100% on a synthesizer. Some can be reproduced better than others -- pipe organs are incredibly good these days, for instance. Most woodwinds, not hardly. Brass tends to be cringe-worthy, if you want it to be thought of as real sounding.

Since the main interaction with the synthesizer is a keyboard ala a piano or organ, this isn't surprising. You flat out cannot do some of the techniques you can do on string-based instruments, woodwinds, brass, etc. on the standard interface.

User avatar
rhino
Supporting Member!
Supporting Member!
Posts: 2611
Joined: Sat Aug 02, 2008 5:00 pm
Real name: bill
Gear: keepers:
Kurzweil K2500x
Ensoniq TS-12
Yamaha SY-99
Alesis QS-8
Roland JD-800
Roland JX-10
Akai AX-80
Ensoniq SQ-80
Korg DSS-1
Moog Mini
Fizmo
Location: kentucky hills

Re: Hardest Sounds to Synthesize?

Post by rhino » Tue Feb 15, 2011 5:33 am

piRoN wrote:
rhino wrote:can nail the TIMBER
I applaud you, good sir.
timber - (music) the distinctive property of a complex sound (a voice or noise or musical sound); "the timbre of her soprano was rich and lovely"; "the muffled tones of the broken bell summoned them to meet"
(from The Free Dictionary - by Farlex)

I stand corrected. The accuracy of things dug up on the web is a c**p-shoot.

corrected. thanks.
When the wise man points to the stars, the fool looks at the finger.
- Confucius

User avatar
Automatic Gainsay
Synth Explorer
Synth Explorer
Posts: 3962
Joined: Wed Feb 14, 2007 12:22 am
Real name: Marc Doty
Gear: Minimoog, 2600, CS-15, CS-50, MiniBrute, MicroBrute, S2, Korg MS-20 Mini, 3 Volcas, Pro 2, Leipzig, Pianet T, Wurli 7300, Wurli 145-A, ASR-10, e6400.
Band: Godfrey's Cordial
Location: Tacoma
Contact:

Re: Hardest Sounds to Synthesize?

Post by Automatic Gainsay » Tue Feb 15, 2011 5:41 am

rhino wrote:can nail the TIMBER
If you spell it that way, you're probably mispronouncing it. :/
‎"I am not able rightly to apprehend the kind of confusion of ideas that could provoke such a question." -Charles Babbage
"Unity and Mediocrity are forever in bed together." -Zane W.
http://www.youtube.com/automaticgainsay

User avatar
Distorted_Frequency
Newbie
Newbie
Posts: 58
Joined: Tue Oct 05, 2010 2:31 am
Real name: Rob
Gear: DSI Prophet 08, Univox MiniKorg K2, Roland Juno 106, TR-909. RIP Custom Guitars, Rocktron Prophesy Pre, VHT 2:90:2, Rocktron Midi Mate.
Band: ToxicDose

Re: Hardest Sounds to Synthesize?

Post by Distorted_Frequency » Tue Feb 15, 2011 7:39 am

Zamise wrote:
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?
The one that I am specifically attempting to recreate is Chromeo - Way Too Much. I overall enjoy any sound coming out of P-Thuggs Synths.

Another sound that I can't figure out is the vowel like sounds in this DEVO song @ 1:15



and this Chromeo song @ 1:05

Image
FAST, LOUD, RUDE!!!

User avatar
EmptySet
VSE Review Contributor
VSE Review Contributor
Posts: 474
Joined: Sun Jul 02, 2006 10:33 am
Gear: MS20, x0xb0x, JV-1080, JX-3P, JX-8P(PG800), Juno Stage, VFX-SD, VL-1, ARP Omni I, D-50, DW6000
Location: Illinois, USA

Re: Hardest Sounds to Synthesize?

Post by EmptySet » Tue Feb 15, 2011 7:54 am

I can't believe that no one has mentioned trying to synthesize the famous THX sound:

http://www.engadget.com/2005/05/27/musi ... thx-sound/

Also, despite being described to death (on VSE and elsewhere), it is quite challenging to synthesize a believable recreation of RUSH's Tom Sawyer synth sounds. I guess it has something to do with his precise collection of equipment that makes it so challenging to do with other gear.

User avatar
Pro5
Expert Member
Expert Member
Posts: 1002
Joined: Tue Oct 07, 2008 9:30 pm
Gear: OB-6 | SH-2 | JX-3P | JD-800 | Performer
Location: U.K

Re: Hardest Sounds to Synthesize?

Post by Pro5 » Tue Feb 15, 2011 9:09 am

Everyone knows it's the Bassoon!



@2:45 if you don't want to watch it all. :lol:


(and just in case anyone on here hasn't seen it before and is confused, it IS a comedy spoof and it WASN'T really made in the late 70s/early 80s)

User avatar
Powelly
Junior Member
Junior Member
Posts: 107
Joined: Thu Nov 18, 2010 4:10 am
Real name: Dom
Gear: Korg R3, Korg M1, Korg ESX1, Yamaha DX7
Location: In Silico

Re: Hardest Sounds to Synthesize?

Post by Powelly » Tue Feb 15, 2011 12:52 pm

Pro5 wrote:Everyone knows it's the Bassoon!



@2:45 if you don't want to watch it all. :lol:


(and just in case anyone on here hasn't seen it before and is confused, it IS a comedy spoof and it WASN'T really made in the late 70s/early 80s)
I actually laughed

cartesia
Expert Member
Expert Member
Posts: 1287
Joined: Sat Jun 02, 2007 7:55 am
Gear: Octatrack
Bass Station 2
Band: TBA

Re: Hardest Sounds to Synthesize?

Post by cartesia » Tue Feb 15, 2011 3:23 pm

CS_TBL wrote: As for human voice, actually all these text 2 speech applications do a decent job, and Vocaloid isn't complete c**p either.
As far as I'm aware the only ones that don't sound like robotic imitation humans are sample based sets (the most advanced having phonetic samples, or sometimes combinations of 2-3 sounds in a single sample)

I mean.. I know you can *understand* it.. but it's like.. a robotic sounding piano would not be accepted as a piano in this 'hardest sound to synthesise' thing

User avatar
Micke
Synth Explorer
Synth Explorer
Posts: 2329
Joined: Sat Sep 18, 2004 12:50 pm
Location: Sweden

Re: Hardest Sounds to Synthesize?

Post by Micke » Tue Feb 15, 2011 4:46 pm

As far as synthesized oboe and clainet sounds are concerned, Nyle Steiner's attempts on the Apocalypse Now soundtrack are
quite convincing I'd say:




Another very good example of an autenthic sounding Oboe/English horn, programmed on an analog synth, can be heard in track #5 of Trevor Jones' Mississipi Burning soundtrack (1988). Couldn't find any audio clip from this piece on youtube though. I was told by Dave Lawson (who played the synths on numerous Trevor Jones scores) that he used his Oberheim OB-1 for the sound and that
the filter was controlled with a foot pedal.
"The (Yamaha) CS-80 is a step ahead in keyboard control, and a generation behind in digital control" -- Dan Wyman, Jan 1979

User avatar
Micke
Synth Explorer
Synth Explorer
Posts: 2329
Joined: Sat Sep 18, 2004 12:50 pm
Location: Sweden

Re: Hardest Sounds to Synthesize?

Post by Micke » Tue Feb 15, 2011 4:56 pm

EmptySet wrote:I can't believe that no one has mentioned trying to synthesize the famous THX sound:

http://www.engadget.com/2005/05/27/musi ... thx-sound/

Well, electronic music pioneers Beaver & Krause already did it way back in 1969, and as far as I'm concerned
their analog version of the "deep note" sounds richer than the one you posted. You can hear it at the end of this clip:

"The (Yamaha) CS-80 is a step ahead in keyboard control, and a generation behind in digital control" -- Dan Wyman, Jan 1979

User avatar
nathanscribe
VSE Review Contributor
VSE Review Contributor
Posts: 2889
Joined: Fri Aug 11, 2006 1:03 pm
Location: The right side of the Pennines
Contact:

Re: Hardest Sounds to Synthesize?

Post by nathanscribe » Tue Feb 15, 2011 5:13 pm

There's a breathy pad used in the background of OMD's 'Statues' that I have never been able to get close to. My thoughts on what it is change each time I go back to it - probably some blend of organ (Farfisa?) and Prophet, but whatever it is, I can't copy it...

User avatar
garranimal
Synth Explorer
Synth Explorer
Posts: 1728
Joined: Mon Sep 27, 2004 8:57 pm
Location: USA
Contact:

Re: Hardest Sounds to Synthesize?

Post by garranimal » Tue Feb 15, 2011 6:31 pm

EmptySet wrote:I can't believe that no one has mentioned trying to synthesize the famous THX sound:
You just need a nice fat layered string patch w/ one octave apart on the oscillators, then dial in a generous amount of portamento. Throw down, say, a C-major chord in the upper and two C notes in the bass/lower. The initial mess will eventually converge in characteristic THX fashion.
cartesia wrote:Human voice
I was pre-occupied trying to emulate the VP-330 choir sound using a polysynth. Not yet successful, but to get in the ballpark it requires at least 3 or 4 instances of a bandpass filter set a specific formant frequencies w/ sawtooth oscillators set at an octave apart. If your synth doesn't get killed by polyphony, finding a suitable chorus effect to dress up the sound usually falls short of that beautiful Roland BBD quad-ensemble.

Post Reply