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Cloud Synthesizers and Resonated Chording

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  • Cloud Synthesizers and Resonated Chording

    Hey, all! I was wondering if any of you every played with the concept of cloud synthesizers.

    (for those of you who don't really know clouds on a first-name basis)
    A cloud synthesizer is the juxtaposition of 16 or more oscillators, each oscillator representing an element of a chord, harmony, or movement.

    "the term 'cloud oscillator' was first used by ambient musician robert rich when he was recording his 'bestiary' cd. he wanted to define a new type of "buzzing, swarming cloud of sine waves" and after some experimentation, was able to create such a timbre using 24 individual motm modules."

    After 13 years the concept of cloud synthesis remains rather untouched and these days is all but an extinct practice in the ambient community.

    I have gotten myself some good results by using cloud synthesis along with various raw waves with upper harmonics. Because of this I felt that it represented an ample opportunity to express a good and custom line of effects chains I'd been producing. and as a result I made a couple of rather interesting textures and timbres.

    (Example 1: Metallic build 6, upper timbre resonation.)
    (included: Accommodated lower frequency stereo separation (120*-240* phasing texture)
    (included: Customized Pulse-Hybrid Oscillator: harmonics=1,3,5,7,9,11,13,19,21,29)

    (Example 2: City of Lights build 17, mid timbre resonation and subbass phasing)
    (included: mid-midlow range phasing negation and mid-midlow resonant chording)
    (included: Custom bit-phased S-Tosc build (negate distorted harmonics)

    (Example 3: TES-series feedback resonation and stereo field manipulation via lower phase)
    (included: Metallic build 2, phasing mid-timbre, resonated +6kHz)
    (included: Metallic build 3, stereo echo phase via 9th harmonic - 17th harmonic (ex 13th))
    Last edited by Kyoga; 02-09-2014, 05:16 AM.

  • #2
    "the synthesis technology e340 contains 8 sine and sawtooth vcos with unique modulation capabilities. the term 'cloud oscillator' was first used by ambient musician robert rich when he was recording his 'bestiary' cd. he wanted to define a new type of "buzzing, swarming cloud of sine waves" and after some experimentation, was able to create such a timbre using 24 individual motm modules. now, 8 years later, the technology is available to have this new range of sounds in a 14hp wide euro module."

    the modular world hasn't forgotten (though that one is 16 waves and not 24). When I was toying with the idea of a small eurorack modular, that oscillator module was on my list. They call it the "cloud generator."

    Of the files posted I liked the second the best. As I recall you've built some Reaktor ensembles for this stuff, yeah?

    There's an iOS app called Could Synth (uses Sound Cloud as a sort of sample pool) that makes this sort of thing... trying... to look up on Google -_-

    I've sort of done this on my OP-1, but it is a very slow and tedious process layering one sine after the other onto the Tape


    • #3
      Yeah, I use Reaktor to make my cloud synths, though the process is a little slower than i'd like. Unfortunately when it comes to researching this kind of thing there's not much to go on. Still, though. There's a lot to work with regarding the concept of layering oscillators in a manner that actually works harmonically.

      It's a damn fun thing to practice, though. :D


      • #4
        Interesting work and beautiful results!
        Only dead fish go with the flow.


        • #5
          thanks. :D
          I just love the results that come from building specific synthetic sequences particularly tailored for a specific soundscape. Having lots of oscillators makes my job a lot easier, though more time consuming. XD


          • #6
            Bumping this because my Patchblocks arrived, and I've been building oscillator arrays in the editor (it crashed and I lost half of them though lol...). Some people over there have already build drone clouds of 8 sines and a single block seems to handle it fine; I want to push the little bastards and see what they can really handle :D

            Looking like 8-12 oscillators plus all the other blocks to make things work together are about all they can handle. Not bad for building a cloud, not so good for FM poly synths lol.

            But there's a reason I got 8 of them >.>
            Last edited by KrisM; 07-04-2014, 06:53 PM.


            • #7
              I've always been a software kinda guy since they're a good bit more malleable, but some people can really make hardware work for them. :D
              I'm just not that kind of guy.


              • #8
                The Patchblocks are sort of the ultimate hybrid for me. I can use the editor to make them do whatever I want (within their CPU and hardware limitations)

                Ironically enough they have me working in Pure Data more than I ever have in the past, and I'm really, really enjoying it especially for walls of waveforms. copy+paste ftw :D

                I may even end up selling Reaktor, but don't want to be too hasty especially since I got it for a song.


                • #9
                  Isn't this a kind of additive synthesis?
                  I should give this a go with the Nord Modular.
                  Makrotulpa - SKON - Blog - Soundcloud


                  • #10
                    Kind of. It's more like lots of detuned sine waves around one pitch, where in additive you're building harmonics/overtones with the partials based off a fundamental. And you have a lot more control over each partial/harmonic with additive in general.

                    Despite the hellishness to program, I do miss my K5000S sometimes, despite it being a huge beast.


                    • #11
                      Very very interesting... love the city of lights. Is that the chords to "Time" I hear?


                      • #12
                        It's a different chord progression, so no. XD