Acoustic modular sounds

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Monobass
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Acoustic modular sounds

Post by Monobass » Sat Sep 18, 2010 5:37 am

I like those modular sounds that tread that edge between sounding electronic and sounding somehow acoustic in nature.

The ringing of vactrol filters is a good example, also the MOTM e350 with its smooth morphs can often be pushed into a territory that sounds like plucked strings.

Be interested to hear what other modules and techniques people use for these kinds of sounds.. I used to like messing with Karplus-Strong stuff on my Nord Mod G2... anyone doing stuff like that with Eurorack?

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en.
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Post by en. » Sat Sep 18, 2010 5:50 am

Watch this topic for replies :popcorn:

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Post by Monobass » Sat Sep 18, 2010 6:05 am

what's your point of view en. ?

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Umcorps
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Re: Acoustic modular sounds

Post by Umcorps » Sat Sep 18, 2010 6:52 am

Monobass wrote: Be interested to hear what other modules and techniques people use for these kinds of sounds.. I used to like messing with Karplus-Strong stuff on my Nord Mod G2... anyone doing stuff like that with Eurorack?
Oldie but goodie

http://soundcloud.com/umcorps/prlude-la ... -dun-faune

Karplus-Strong with Doepfer BBD plus a vactrol based filter in the feedback line. Filter is tracking the pitch but the variable vactrol response causes those little note on slurs that make the whole thing sound more organic somehow.

Norman_Phay

Re: Acoustic modular sounds

Post by Norman_Phay » Sat Sep 18, 2010 7:06 am

Monobass wrote:Be interested to hear what other modules and techniques people use for these kinds of sounds.. I used to like messing with Karplus-Strong stuff on my Nord Mod G2... anyone doing stuff like that with Eurorack?
Making this question specific to eurorack modules seems weird to me.

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Post by Cat-A-Tonic » Sat Sep 18, 2010 7:06 am

The Wiard/Malekko Anti-Oscillator is an easy one to pull acoustic-electronic tones out of.
The Borg 2 has some of this magic too.

Analogue Systems RS360 is useful for shaping formants that can get you into that sort of territory.

Doepfer A-188-1 (512 stage) BBD is good for metallic resonator sounds.

BugBrand BugCrusher can add some metallic harmonics to a sound that (when used subtly) are much more natural sounding than a digital bit-crusher/sample-rate reducer.
You should be able to patch up a similar effect with a sample & hold clocked at audio rate, and smoothed out a little bit with a slew or low-pass filter.
Toppobrillo Sport Modulator looks like it would be an ideal Euro module for this, but I don't have one.

Low Pass Gates are a must.
My pair is BugBrand.

Just an idea, but if you want to mimic the shape of an acoustic sound with a more complex envelope it would be handy to have a triggerable sample player and an envelope follower like that new ADDAC wave player.
Then you could construct the timbre as you please, but with a more preconceived envelope.

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en.
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Post by en. » Sat Sep 18, 2010 7:15 am

Monobass wrote:what's your point of view en. ?
i'm always trying to obtain organic and/or acoustic sounds from my modular
not only strings but also leathers and metals and
i thought it was just a combination of pure waveforms with different colors of noise (i want more kinds of noise than a-118 can do, where are they?), resonances and fm for harmonics, but it is more than that
then, just some weeks ago, i discovered vactrol sound (borg1), lovely, but it's more than that
so i'm here watching this topic for replies, waitin to learn.

thanks for starting this

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en.
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Re: Acoustic modular sounds

Post by en. » Sat Sep 18, 2010 7:25 am

ooh wow! BBD! thank you umcorps!

btw, 51st post! :party: i can finally sell all my inorganic and inacoustic setup and buy a piano

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Post by mattrobertson » Sat Sep 18, 2010 8:05 am

wow - love this umcorps!

really up my street. sounds totally alive

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Post by boramx » Sat Sep 18, 2010 8:14 am

Cat-A-Tonic wrote:The Wiard/Malekko Anti-Oscillator is an easy one to pull acoustic-electronic tones out of.
The Borg 2 has some of this magic too.

.
it's appalingly easy to get koto/kayagum licks out of this combo and no other modules.

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Post by baboo » Sat Sep 18, 2010 8:58 am

The Anti-oscillator often and easily sounds like a violin, of course any FM'd triangle wave oscillator put through a tripple wavefolder + some Fm on the filter can do that.

+1 on the noise sources- every acoustic intrument has it's intrinsic noise and many people seem to omit that (especially starter setups packed with all the cool stuff lack noise sources). I read somewhere that human ear and brain subconsciously finds tones without noise "static" or artificial.

I'd add the Tyme Sefari- It doesn't just scream, in fact it changes sound so it is easy to achieve glassy or bell like sounds with it.

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Post by dougcl » Sat Sep 18, 2010 9:38 am

A lot of natural sounds have a high harmonic content that then attenuates to a sine as the sound dissipates. Have a look at this video when they run the guitar through the o-scope


Look for modules that help you do this. The Plan B M10 with its ramp output is particularly well suited. Look for sound sources that feature some kind of "morphing" or cross fading.

You can use an envelope to vary the FM index in an FM patch to get a similar effect. There are many ways of doing this.

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Post by ex_dead_teenager » Sat Sep 18, 2010 9:56 am

I like the combination of the Doepfer BBD 512 stage and Noisering for crazy guitar sounds.

edit: also an AFG Sawtooth sub osc wave going into the Metasonix R52 on Bandpass mode can give you a very realistic trumpet sound.

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Post by daverj » Sat Sep 18, 2010 10:10 am

dougcl wrote:A lot of natural sounds have a high harmonic content that then attenuates to a sine as the sound dissipates. Have a look at this video when they run the guitar through the o-scope


Look for modules that help you do this.
Any ramp/sawtooth oscillator into any VC lowpass filter will give you the transition from high harmonic content to sine wave. Then add an envelope generator and VCA to shape the amplitude.

The same envelope used on both the filter and VCA would probably work for a lot of instruments, but some might need a separate envelope for each.

The shape of the envelope is the key between different types of instruments

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Post by dougcl » Sat Sep 18, 2010 10:18 am

daverj wrote: Any ramp/sawtooth oscillator into any VC lowpass filter will give you the transition from high harmonic content to sine wave. Then add an envelope generator and VCA to shape the amplitude.

The same envelope used on both the filter and VCA would probably work for a lot of instruments, but some might need a separate envelope for each.

The shape of the envelope is the key between different types of instruments
Not really. Filter is not necessary or even desirable. This is just the East Coast way of doing things.

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Post by wavecircle » Sat Sep 18, 2010 10:38 am

I remember being able to get a really good banjo out of the Doepfer subharmonic generator.

:hyper:

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Post by en. » Sat Sep 18, 2010 11:13 am

but the goal is not to emulate a specific instrument sound (that is however very funny to do...) but to reach the dynamics the power(?) the warmth the i-dont-know-what of acoustic instruments in new unheard timbres, isn't it?

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Re: Acoustic modular sounds

Post by frijitz » Sat Sep 18, 2010 11:22 am

Monobass wrote:I like those modular sounds that tread that edge between sounding electronic and sounding somehow acoustic in nature.
Not sure exactly what you are looking for, but I did a lot of stuff like this at one time:
http://home.comcast.net/~ijfritz/sf_sc1.mp3
http://home.comcast.net/~ijfritz/sf_sc1.mp3

:grin:

Ian

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Post by wavecircle » Sat Sep 18, 2010 11:50 am

You mention plucked strings and karplus strong techniques, is it specifically string type sounds that you are trying to create? Bells, pipes, strings and bars all have different vibrational modes and thus sound very different. Materials are important too.

If vactrols have that nice ringing twang you like, have you tried different feedback paths through vactrols?

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Post by boramx » Sat Sep 18, 2010 1:38 pm

again, i think the borg has a lot of sort strings, sheet metal, pipes etc in it.

a fast transient CV is often used in LPGs or filters, but used as attack in an osc's expo input definitely helps to make the attack of a drum/wood block/prepared piano.

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Post by Navs » Sat Sep 18, 2010 2:08 pm

The Toppobrillo TWF is my favourite for plucked string sounds:

http://navsmodularlab.blogspot.com/2010 ... -beat.html

http://navsmodularlab.blogspot.com/2010 ... pdate.html
(double bass + evolve recordings)

The VCO-2RM is also very good. Hard sync the oscillators, add some FM, alter the PW manually (e.g. master 50%, slave narrower) and mix them both in a clean filter like the MMF-1.

I agree, the nose of a sound is important. Either some deep & sharp exponential pitch bend or a sharp FM noise burst can work wonders.

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Post by Johnisfaster » Sat Sep 18, 2010 2:11 pm

en. wrote:i want more kinds of noise than a-118 can do, where are they?
117 or noisering + filters distortions and and and?
JensenJohn.bandcamp.com

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Post by slow_riot » Sat Sep 18, 2010 2:30 pm

for me, modular feels like 'acoustic' electronic music.

I stopped using computer, and also stopped pissing around with effects. I now just control sources in direct ways. Buchla has taken this idea to interesting heights/depths. very natural ways to include human gestures into the machinary.

also
Delay by being funny with repeating envelopes. LPG is infinitely greater than reverb. Tubes, oscillators. Plague Bearer can provide interesting vocals or atmoshpehrics.

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Post by johnnywoods » Sat Sep 18, 2010 3:36 pm

+1 to navs
With a triangle going into the twf, you can use envelopes to decrease harmonic content as a tone decays. This gives a really beautiful acoustic effect, and it sounds a lot more natural than filtering out harmonics.
Using two or three separate envelopes into the twf gives really organic results, and adding a little randomness to the decay makes it even better.

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Post by Monobass » Sat Sep 18, 2010 6:21 pm

thanks everyone.. I started this thread then left the house for the day, to come home to this is a pleasure :tu:
en. wrote:but the goal is not to emulate a specific instrument sound (that is however very funny to do...) but to reach the dynamics the power(?) the warmth the i-dont-know-what of acoustic instruments in new unheard timbres, isn't it?
yes, for me this is the goal. It's about essentially providing just enough of those important cues to give the sound that extra level of ... I dunno what to call it ... structural validity ? In vulgar terms, enough to fool the brain into accepting the sound as having some kind of acoustic source and then exploiting it. Quite subversive in a way... a sonic trojan, It's really powerful and enabling.
slow_riot wrote:for me, modular feels like 'acoustic' electronic music.
Yes, it's hard to describe adequately but I know what you mean. It's also the closest I've ever come to the feeling of concentration I get from playing acoustic guitar, much more so than a keyboard based synth for some reason I find.
Last edited by Monobass on Sat Sep 18, 2010 6:24 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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