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How to make pitched percussive sound effect like Thom Brennan

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  • How to make pitched percussive sound effect like Thom Brennan

    I really like the gentle percussive background effect in Afterglow by Thom Brennan:



    Here is another example of this sound from the Korg soundbank:

    http://www.synthmania.com/Korg%20N36...rst%20Snow.mp3

    Does anyone know how to achieve this? I have heard this in many an ambient song.

    Thanks,

    JT
    Last edited by JohnTimm; 10-23-2014, 02:29 PM.
    http://www.soundcloud.com/johntimm

  • #2
    I made a little bit of progress trying to replicate this sound using sample-and-hold and a noise oscillator running through a formant filter. If anyone has any other ideas, I'd love to hear them.

    Thanks,

    JT
    http://www.soundcloud.com/johntimm

    Comment


    • #3
      I can't believe there aren't any takers on this. I did receive some suggestions from Robb at Patch-a-day that involves using a couple of LFOs. The first a slope waveform with a slow rate on the oscillator pitch to get a falling tone. The second a square wave with a higher rate on filter frequency. This seems to get reasonably close but I think there are still some features of the sound that I need to figure out. Maybe Ambient Online should have a sound design competition where folks come up with creative ways to emulate interesting sounds.

      Thanks,

      JT
      http://www.soundcloud.com/johntimm

      Comment


      • #4
        Here is what I came up with (thanks to Robb at Patch-a-Day for his help/suggestions):

        1. create an instance of Thor
        2. reset the device
        3. set the oscillator waveform to triangle
        4. set LFO1 waveform to slope (down)
        5. set LFO1 rate to lowest setting
        6. turn LFO1 key sync ON
        7. set LFO2 waveform to slope (down)
        8. set LFO2 rate to 22.4Hz
        9. set up modulation matrix:
        a) set LFO1 to control OSC1 pitch at 50%
        b) set LFO2 to control Filter 1 frequency at 100%
        10. set Filter 1 frequency to 175Hz
        11. create an instance of RV7000 in the Thor's channel insert effects
        12. reset the device
        13. set wet/dry to 20
        14. set decay to 106

        Raise the amp envelope decay time.

        Screen Shot 2014-10-23 at 4.12.58 PM.jpg

        NOTE: The lower the Filter 1 frequency the more percussive the sound is. Originally I was looking at using a square wave to control the filter frequency but the slope (down) waveform makes it sound more percussive. Another enhancement (suggested by Robb) might be to assign the mod wheel to the LFO2 frequency. I did this with Thor but obviously it could be done on most VST synths that have flexible modulation options.
        Last edited by JohnTimm; 10-23-2014, 02:48 PM.
        http://www.soundcloud.com/johntimm

        Comment


        • #5
          Hate to see people talking to themselves so I'll pitch in.

          I did actually have a quick play with U-He Tyrell N6 and but didn't get anything particularly close. Due to how I normally work, I'd probably come at this from the other direction; start with a simple synth sound then either create the effect manually on the piano roll or maybe use a delay with pitch shift capabilities. Then dump reverb all over it.

          Though your solution is definitely more elegant, inspired me to have another go tonight (do you just use Reason?)
          Latest release: never to be repeated

          Hearthis | Soundcloud

          Comment


          • #6
            Good to see other people on this thread...

            Yes, I use Reason as my primary production tool. You could say that I'm a holdover from the days of tracking programs (e.g. FT2), ReBirth RB-338 and hardware synthesizer workstations. I have spent some time with Native Instruments products (Reaktor and Maschine) but ultimately I came back to Reason. I like to virtually patch things together in the rack. Someday I will look into Ableton Live but haven't gotten around to it just yet.
            Last edited by JohnTimm; 10-24-2014, 09:17 AM.
            http://www.soundcloud.com/johntimm

            Comment


            • #7
              Here are a few chords with the sound effect added:

              https://soundcloud.com/johntimm/falling-snow
              http://www.soundcloud.com/johntimm

              Comment


              • #8
                That sounds good, pretty much spot on.

                I'll bow to your superior synth skills; even following that guide I couldn't really get near it with Tyrell...

                For a giggle I tried a very simple Charlatan patch (pretty much a blip) through Valhalla's FreqEcho (delay with a freq shifter) and a touch of the Floodverb Reaktor ensemble...

                https://soundcloud.com/lighthugger/pitchedperc


                Bit brittle but kind of in the right ballpark. Maybe. ;)
                Last edited by GaryG; 10-24-2014, 12:28 PM.
                Latest release: never to be repeated

                Hearthis | Soundcloud

                Comment


                • #9
                  Ah, Thom Brennan. I love his work too, particularly Afterglow.
                  I myself have not yet made any effects like that, though my idea would be as follows: My best starting point I think would be a recording of some birdsong, put it through a delay loop, speed it up, apply a descending pitch, and then experiment to fine tune the sound I want, adding any other spacey effects as necessary. That's the way I would attempt it at least, because I don't have any synthesizers. If I ever do try to make this sound, I will inform you of the results. I'm usually more interested in making my own sounds though rather than emulating what other people have used.
                  Hope that has provided some insight.
                  https://thegreatschizm.bandcamp.com

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    GaryG,

                    Very good. I like the idea of using a pitched delay effect. The trickiest part of the patch for me was trying to make the sound more percussive.

                    JT
                    Last edited by JohnTimm; 10-27-2014, 09:16 AM.
                    http://www.soundcloud.com/johntimm

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Cloud Hunter View Post
                      Ah, Thom Brennan. I love his work too, particularly Afterglow.
                      I myself have not yet made any effects like that, though my idea would be as follows: My best starting point I think would be a recording of some birdsong, put it through a delay loop, speed it up, apply a descending pitch, and then experiment to fine tune the sound I want, adding any other spacey effects as necessary. That's the way I would attempt it at least, because I don't have any synthesizers. If I ever do try to make this sound, I will inform you of the results. I'm usually more interested in making my own sounds though rather than emulating what other people have used.
                      Hope that has provided some insight.

                      Very creative. Using a sample of nature as a starting point is a very interesting prospect. I am also usually more interested in making my own sounds but the point of this particular post was to stimulate creativity in using the tools to emulate a particular sound. Both GaryG and yourself have come up with some stellar ideas. The nice thing about aiming to emulate existing sounds once in awhile is that it can help you master your tools and ultimately may make you a better sound designer. Also, a lot of times in experimenting (even with this simple patch) you end up with some really great original sounds in the process.

                      JT
                      http://www.soundcloud.com/johntimm

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by JohnTimm View Post
                        Very good. I like the idea of using a pitched delay effect. The trickiest part of the patch for me was trying to make the sound more percussive.
                        Thanks. The tricky bit for me was the reverb. A regular one like Valhalla VintageVerb had too much of that 'noise' percussive sounds seem to introduce. I guess I should practice that side of things. Floodverb just worked, nice and shimmery with no obvious 'attack artifacts'.

                        Originally posted by JohnTimm View Post
                        The nice thing about aiming to emulate existing sounds once in awhile is that it can help you master your tools and ultimately may make you a better sound designer. Also, a lot of times in experimenting (even with this simple patch) you end up with some really great original sounds in the process.
                        Couldn't agree more with both those sentiments.

                        Also interesting to see how others approach the problem.
                        Latest release: never to be repeated

                        Hearthis | Soundcloud

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Excellent. I do agree with you though. In the quest to emulate something, you improve your skills even more, and may even discover something else along the way.
                          https://thegreatschizm.bandcamp.com

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