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The 'help me make this sound!' thread

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Postby futures_untold » Wed Jun 03, 2009 8:52 pm

This thread is to help each other deconstruct how sounds are made.

Maybe you've heard the phattest bassline ever, but are unsure how the original producer achieved the sound?

If you hear a sound you like, and would like to know how it was made, post an example here and we will deconstruct it for you.

Please post links to examples of the sound you would like to recreate. Also state at what point in the sound appears in your reference material.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------

Here's a real example:

I would like to know how to make the filthy bass sound in John B - Pressure. The sound I am refering to drops at 1m 54 seconds. (The hoover)

Link to reference audio: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-Hn-Hnzh ... re=related

Any thoughts or advice?

--------------------------------------------------------------------------

Post your questions below with examples of sounds you would like to deconstruct and learn how to make. :)
Last edited by futures_untold on Thu Jun 04, 2009 1:16 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby lowpass » Wed Jun 03, 2009 10:07 pm

lol is this so you can punish the fans of midrange bass without having to click into seperate threads?

8)

edit: on a serious note this idea is best
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Postby DZA » Wed Jun 03, 2009 10:09 pm

Good idea, but i can see this going to shit pretty fast
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Postby futures_untold » Wed Jun 03, 2009 10:47 pm

Eops wrote:i LOVE THE IDEA OF THIS THREAD - :D

This might seem simple but we got to start somewhere - I want to make bassline a bit like this for some more off beat stuff - I have found the odd thind close but advice would be great
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GwD8aS8ZtkU

- the other sound I loved like this was windpower by thomas dolby
as a kid that was my first real encounter with electronic bass :o


Ok lets start by deconstructing the sound.

Firstly, we'll leave the most obvious part till last (the wobble), so don't worry about that too much.

Next up, we need to make the basic raw sound to work with. This sound is kind of gritty. It also sound fuller than a sine wave, but not as hollow or smooth as a square wave. It doesn't sound like a sample was used, nor does it sound like a complex waveform. (Complex waveforms genrally produce cack sounding bassline btw ;)) that leaves us with one waveform left, the saw wave!

Layer two oscillators together, both set to 'saw'. Set the second oscillator to play one octave below the first oscillator. This gives you the growly part of the sound. I think this works as a result of phase distortion between the two harmonically related frequencies, although it may be frequency modulation...? (Macc, Terekete?)

Now for the hardest elements to deconstruct. Notice that the sound has a slightly airy attack? Notice that the attack is slightly slow in coming in...? This indicates we need to reach for our amplitude ADSR. Use a medium fast attack on our amplitude ADSR so the sound doesn't come in immediately. (Adjust to taste).

The sound also 'opens up' after the attack portion. This is clearly a low pass filter aslo tied to an ADSR. You can tell because the attack portion isn't as bright as the main portion, and the wobble also gives the game away.

Route the audio through your synths filters. Choose a lowpass filter, and set the filter frequency cutoff to about 75%. By tieing another ADSR to the filter cutoff with the same slow attack as the amplitude envelope, we can emphsis the attack portion of our sound.

So far so good, but it doesn't sound quite right yet does it? Listening to the higher notes of the bassline gives us a clue as to what effects have been used on the sound. Like I mentioned, there is n 'airy', or 'wide' feel to the attack portion of the sound. 'Airy' & 'wide' are the tell tale signs of a chorus effect, discernable by the wider 'multiple voices' nature of the higher notes. Route your audio through a chorus effect, but make sure this comes after the filter.

We need a fairly full chorus, so set the chorus delay time to a longish setting. setting the chorus delay time to a slow setting will give us phasey sounds, and that's not what we're after. Set the chorus dry/wet control to 50% so the effect doesn't drown out the original raw signal. With a dry/wet setting of 50%, lower notes to come through with that gritty edge, but the higher notes come through sounding smoother. (Adjust the actual chorussing amount & dry/wet to taste).

Finally, tie the filter frequency cut-off to an LFO and automate the LFO times for the wobble! :)

Hope that helps!
Last edited by futures_untold on Wed Jun 03, 2009 11:09 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Postby higgzbozon » Wed Jun 03, 2009 11:02 pm

Nice thread!

I have one well.. several.. I'm a big fan of reso and always wondered how the fuck he makes those robot-apacalypse sounds

As an example check the sound at precisely 1:11 in this vid:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Pk5SyY9o5R0&feature=PlayList&p=5754164D3275A782&index=3

Help me crack this :lol:
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Postby spire » Wed Jun 03, 2009 11:52 pm

futures_untold wrote:Link to reference audio: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-Hn-Hnzh ... re=related


man, i heard that song a couple years back and NOW i know what it is, THANK YOU! haha.
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Postby shig » Thu Jun 04, 2009 1:17 am

HiggzBozon wrote:Nice thread!

I have one well.. several.. I'm a big fan of reso and always wondered how the fuck he makes those robot-apacalypse sounds

As an example check the sound at precisely 1:11 in this vid:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Pk5SyY9o5R0&feature=PlayList&p=5754164D3275A782&index=3

Help me crack this :lol:


sounds like a reese to me

you want to open up your synth of choice (preferably one with more than 2 oscillators) and set every oscillator to a sawtooth, then detune each saw wave to a different point using the 'centi' dial or fader. This gives you the basis of the reese bass, and it's all processing from here, which is where it starts to get difficult :p
distortion is standard fare, modulated comb filters work nicely, a tiny bit of chorus... just throw every effect you have at it in various orders until you get something that comes out nicely.

reeses need to have their own individual flare imo, cause it's a sound that's been rinsed since the 90s.
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Postby pengwavs » Thu Jun 04, 2009 1:39 am

HiggzBozon wrote:Nice thread!

I have one well.. several.. I'm a big fan of reso and always wondered how the fuck he makes those robot-apacalypse sounds

As an example check the sound at precisely 1:11 in this vid:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Pk5SyY9o5R0&feature=PlayList&p=5754164D3275A782&index=3

Help me US crack this :lol:
:D i would allso like to know how this sound is achieved, am i right in saying it kinda has something to do with with frequency modulation ? or more so a combination of several things ?
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Postby sticky feet » Thu Jun 04, 2009 1:56 am

HO DO I MAK DIS SOUND?
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xUMJMyuxq0w
I LFO CUTOFF BUT.. -e-
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Postby karmacazee » Thu Jun 04, 2009 1:59 am

Yaaaaaay @ this thread!

Right, one sound I would love to achieve is that awesome crash cymbal sound I've been hearing lately. It sounds like many crash cymbals pulling and pushing against each other, and they sound very smooth, almost as if they all have separate sidechain compression acting upon them.

Trying to think of examples....

the cymbals in the (beautiful) break at the end of 'Kids with guns', Gorillaz.

and a better example here : http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Tp7YqM51hZc about 1:49 in.

....err... ngaargh, can't think of any other flippin' examples of it right now, there's oe tune that does it really well and I can't remember it ... Bah!
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Postby j-sh » Thu Jun 04, 2009 2:04 am

Futures have you had some sort of religious experience in the last couple of weeks or something? ive just noticed that every post you've made has been so helpful!
much respect to you my friend, i wouldnt have the patience
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Postby futures_untold » Thu Jun 04, 2009 2:32 am

pengwavs wrote:
HiggzBozon wrote:Nice thread!

I have one well.. several.. I'm a big fan of reso and always wondered how the fuck he makes those robot-apacalypse sounds

As an example check the sound at precisely 1:11 in this vid:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Pk5SyY9o5R0&feature=PlayList&p=5754164D3275A782&index=3

Help me US crack this :lol:
:D i would allso like to know how this sound is achieved, am i right in saying it kinda has something to do with with frequency modulation ? or more so a combination of several things ?


Pengwavs is on to it here by mentioning frequency modulation (FM). So to make this sound you need a synth capable of frequency modulation routing amongst its oscillators.

(For FM synthesis tutorials, click here ---> http://www.google.co.uk/search?hl=en&q= ... +synthesis)

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Breaking down this sound:

1> It sounds metalic, like a 'clank'-ey sort of sound
2> It has an odd timbre to it, and doesn't perfectly match any key exactly.
3> It has distortion on it.
4> It has a tight reverby kind of feel to it.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Ok, first up, fire up you FM capable synth and set two oscillators to sine. Using sine waves is a good start, other waveform contains too much frequency content to be controllable. As you turn up the amount of frequency modulation between two sine waves, one quickly finds the tone 'metalic' & 'clanky'.

We don't want to much of our operator (oscillator 2) modulating our carrier (oscillator 1), otherwise it sounds harsh with to much high end frequency. Adjust the FM amount, perhaps to about 15% - 30% depending on your taste. (Less is more in this case).

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------

This part is the crucial bit, and the part that is easily over-looked. The fact that the sound doesn't match one note exactly on the keyboard means that more than one note is being played. Thus, we need to find which other notes are playing at the same time as our root note.

With a bit of A/B listening between the original and my own synth, I found the root note to be C1, and the second note to be G3, a perfect 7th up. (I think haha, not to sure on my scales). Set oscillator two to play two octave and seven semi tones up (31 notes up on your keyboard).

You should now have a fairly metalic starter sound that has that wierd 'alien/robot/machine' style vibe to it.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------

We need to get the slight tail that this sound has. We'll do this in two ways.

The first way is to set your amplitude ADSR so that you have fast attack, max decay & sustain and a medium short release. The medium short release is what gives the sound the slight tail. Setting the release to long will make the sound fade out to slowly, thus giving the sound more of a pad type feel. Setting the release to short means the sound will cut out to abruptly.

The second way is to use a reverb tail. When 'small' reverb sizes/algorithms are used, reverbs make things sound metalic. Route your audio through a reverb effect. We don't need much reverb to make this effect sound good, so keep the dry wet fairly dry. (Maybe 30% dry, 50% being half wet/half dry)

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------

The final part of creating this sound is distortion. The distortion is fairly consistant but light. It doesn't have any high pitched squeals to it, ruling out feedback distortion (like the sound of a mic causing feedback on a PA). It also doesn't sound glitchy or digital, thus that rules out bit distruction. The distortion is also to soft to be hard clipping. The sound doesn't sound compressed, so tape distortion wasn't used.

I experimented with different distortion types, and found that overdrive distortion matched the sound of the original reference material best. As the sound isn't heavily distorted, I opted to use my distortion unit as a send effect. This gave me easy dry/wet balance controls using the send & return knobs on my mixer. Send around 15% - 25% dry signal to the distortion unit and return 100% wet. If that is too little or too much, adjust to taste!

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------

You should have a fairly similar sound by now, certainly enough to get you tweaking. Finally, worth mentioning is the fact that the sound changes as the track prgresses. You will need to automate your changes according to your own aims and tastes.

I hope that helps! :)
Last edited by futures_untold on Thu Jun 04, 2009 3:01 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Postby futures_untold » Thu Jun 04, 2009 2:36 am

J-sh wrote:Futures have you had some sort of religious experience in the last couple of weeks or something? ive just noticed that every post you've made has been so helpful!
much respect to you my friend, i wouldnt have the patience


It's called unemployment + boredom + being called a :q: by certain unnamed members of the forum. :o

I ask questions about things I'm unsure of on KVR and other highly secretive forums too ;)
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Postby futures_untold » Thu Jun 04, 2009 3:13 am

Sticky Feet wrote:HO DO I MAK DIS SOUND?
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xUMJMyuxq0w
I LFO CUTOFF BUT.. -e-


This tutorial will help you. ---> http://dubstepforum.com/viewtopic.php?t ... highlight=

Also essential reading is this thread. ---> http://dubstepforum.com/viewtopic.php?t=45366&start=0

This sound is officially outlawed by Section 1 of the United Nations Convention on Shit Bass Sounds! :!:

I refuse to answer this one as it is against my religious beliefs.
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Postby futures_untold » Thu Jun 04, 2009 3:31 am

Karmacazee wrote:Yaaaaaay @ this thread!

Right, one sound I would love to achieve is that awesome crash cymbal sound I've been hearing lately. It sounds like many crash cymbals pulling and pushing against each other, and they sound very smooth, almost as if they all have separate sidechain compression acting upon them.

Trying to think of examples....

the cymbals in the (beautiful) break at the end of 'Kids with guns', Gorillaz.

and a better example here : http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Tp7YqM51hZc about 1:49 in.

....err... ngaargh, can't think of any other flippin' examples of it right now, there's oe tune that does it really well and I can't remember it ... Bah!


There are two parts to this effect. The first part involves creating the 'second' 'echoed' version of the sound. The second part is to achieve that lovely 'diffused' sound.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------

For step one, simply create a delay unit as a send effect. Set the dry/wet to 100% wet so that you get a full volume duplicate of the original cymbal sound. You will need to set the delay time according to your song tempo and general tastes.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------

The next step is to achieve the 'diffused' sound. Pass the delay through a reverb so you can achieve that 'spread' sound on the delayed version of the cymbal. I'd set the dry/wet on the reverb fairly low, but experiment to find that sweet spot.

Program your delay with a large reverb size, high amount of diffusion and very short decay time. You may want some damping on this, so use a lowpass filter (or the reverb units damping controls) to filter out some of the highest frequencies from the reverb sound.

If your reverb has a 'reverse' algorthm, use it. I'd say that this sound relies heavily on a reversed copy of the original cymbal creating that 'sucking up'/'swooshing out' sound.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------

Other tips to try out:

Pass you cymbals through an overall reverb, and maybe some light chorussing effect too.

Make a copy of your cymbal sample and reverse it in an audio editor. Program it so the end of the reversed sample falls at the same time as the start of the normal sample.

Mess with the velocity of your reversed sample.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------

Hiope that helps! :)
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Postby futures_untold » Thu Jun 04, 2009 3:34 am

Lowpass wrote:lol is this so you can punish the fans of midrange bass without having to click into seperate threads?

8)



:lol:

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The faster people learn to program their own sounds, the sooner the Bastard Electro sound will disappear!!! Image :mrgreen:
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Postby DZA » Thu Jun 04, 2009 3:46 am

futures_untold wrote:It's called unemployment + boredom + being called a :q: by certain unnamed members of the forum. :o


Youve just described me but im still a tnuc :c:
jackmaster wrote:you went in with this mix.
.onelove. wrote:There needs to be a DZA app on iPhone just for id'ing old Grime tracks.

https://soundcloud.com/slevarance/core-civil-war-ft-jamakabi-slevarance-remix-2012-lost-project-file
http://soundcloud.com/keepitgully http://www.mixcloud.com/slevarance/
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