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Tips on making percussion sounds with synths

edited May 2019 in Off-topic

When not simply recording real drums, I've long been prone to sampling things for drums & percussion. And almost always sought things that were unpitched.

But lately I've been inspired by Ruismaker Noir and Icegears several synths with pitched noise as dynamic semi-tuned percussion elements.

So what are the synthesis techniques you use to muddle the sense of pitch with your typical subtractive or wavetable synths? Ones that velocity or keytracking to be nicely dynamic?

I'd be especially interested in doing this with Novation Circuit. Really enjoying it combined with iPad in a workflow sense and it has a few tools that I've already been able to make a few nice patches with. e.g.
-routing velocity to noise levels, filter frequencies, decay.
-bit crushing
-ye olde env to pitch

Comments

  • @Multicellular said:

    So what are the synthesis techniques you use to muddle the sense of pitch with your typical subtractive or wavetable synths? Ones that velocity or keytracking to be nicely dynamic?

    >

    LFO at high rate to pitch, (or fm freq if available). Use velocity or mod env to modulate depth. Keytrack > env rate or intensity.

    Sound on Sounds Synth Secrets articles on synthesizing percussion are well worth reading:

    Try synthesizing the examples of standard perc sounds - it's very useful to understand the methods to synthesize these - then experiment!

  • edited May 2019

    @ElectroHead said:

    @Multicellular said:

    So what are the synthesis techniques you use to muddle the sense of pitch with your typical subtractive or wavetable synths? Ones that velocity or keytracking to be nicely dynamic?

    >

    LFO at high rate to pitch, (or fm freq if available). Use velocity or mod env to modulate depth. Keytrack > env rate or intensity.

    Sound on Sounds Synth Secrets articles on synthesizing percussion are well worth reading:

    Try synthesizing the examples of standard perc sounds - it's very useful to understand the methods to synthesize these - then experiment!

    Many thanks. Already read one article and it gave me a cool patch idea Ive dialed in.

  • So I just had a quick look at the specs of the Circuit's synth engine. On the face of it, with two oscillators, two lfos, no fm it appears limited - e.g. 909 kick drum uses four sound sources (essentially oscillators) Two (almost) triangle's, click and noise. The hats in the TR-606 have 6 oscillators. On the other hand, the mod matrix is deep; there are delays on the lfos, and being digital, the envelopes should be fast and snappy. If you can sequence changes to oscillator type, you should be able to whip up some perc lines with lots of variation.

  • Many thanks. Already read one article and it gave me a cool patch idea Ive dialed in.

    Ace!

  • @ElectroHead said:
    So I just had a quick look at the specs of the Circuit's synth engine. On the face of it, with two oscillators, two lfos, no fm it appears limited - e.g. 909 kick drum uses four sound sources (essentially oscillators) Two (almost) triangle's, click and noise. The hats in the TR-606 have 6 oscillators. On the other hand, the mod matrix is deep; there are delays on the lfos, and being digital, the envelopes should be fast and snappy. If you can sequence changes to oscillator type, you should be able to whip up some perc lines with lots of variation.

    Yes granted, I originally got the unit for the sample load and easy peasy manipulation. What I hope to do merely with the synth percussion is to make each synth a dynamically and pitch controlled single type drum or perc, mimicking if you will, a drum or cymbals ability to be played in different spots for subtle to larger variations. Combined with the samples and iPad Ruismaker, etc. for more regular eDrum sounds, it becomes a huge pallet of drums and percussion.

    Ive already got 5 sweet un or barely pitched patches, but i just want to push the options.

  • edited May 2019

    is there a pitch envelope?
    does the filter do self oscillation?
    try sweeping down with short decay envelope
    or inverted saw lfo set to trigger mode as replacement for envelope
    ...
    get a click out of square wave ...

    apply ring modulation for inharmonic sounds ...

    a very simple version of a hh is just noise with highpassfilter
    a closed hh is an open hh with short decay ...

    use velocity to control filter & vca ...

    resample & layer ...

    layer samples ...

    use distortion ...

    modulate decay ...

    a clave is just a very short sine wave at about 5 to 10 khz

    toms are just pulse waves with drummy envelopes and lowpassfilter, sine or oscillating filter works too adjust to taste

    sample a few seconds of white noise so you can pitch it up and down in the sampler (pitched noise) ...

    use dramatic eq settings after synth to further shape the sound as part of the synthesis (create more resonances or frequency dips or both) ...

    that should keep you busy for a while

  • edited May 2019

    Thanks. Those are helpful. As noted, new area of synthesis for me. Having lots of oh right of course! Moments. Appreciate it.

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