Acoustic modular sounds

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Monobass
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Post by Monobass » Sat Sep 18, 2010 6:22 pm

here's another great one, this time from dougcl...

[video][/video]

I did lots of stuff similar to that with the original Nord Modular spectral oscillators.. I really wish I hadn't sold my NM....

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Post by mattrobertson » Sat Sep 18, 2010 6:46 pm

wow that video from dougci is amazing. So beyond me..... ;)

Babaluma

Post by Babaluma » Sun Sep 19, 2010 4:06 am

that's really beautiful, haven't managed to coax anything that organic/acoustic sounding out of my modular ever!

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Post by richard » Sun Sep 19, 2010 5:14 am

this topic should be in general modular really...

I am surprised nobody mentioned the plague bearer yet - it has some unique ways of mimicking pipe resonances and the like. In general I think pairs of bandpass filters are useful in recreating the sounds of resonating objects - the ones in the Blippoo box are my favorite and can mimic aspects trombone/french horn quite well - especially using feedback instead of a VCO.

emulative synthesis is a funny subject and that is almost what we are talking about here. Something like the yamaha VL70 physical modeling is a fascinating prospect but sonically disappointing. I think Buchla really got something right in this regard - making acoustic-like tools not really intended for actual emulation.

But perhaps some digital modeling in modular form - where you could build a virtual instrument changing the length of pipe/size of cavity etc could be interesting additions? They'd be very tricky to both design and use though!

also, listen to Tomita's early records with the Moog Modular. Musically it may not be of interest (not to me anyway) but its imitative aspect is technically quite remarkable.

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Navs
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Post by Navs » Sun Sep 19, 2010 5:27 am

Monobass wrote:here's another great one, this time from dougcl...


:tu: A classic!

That reminds me, the RES-4 is another great tool for modeling acoustic instruments ('oriental' clip):

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

... you've just got to watch the Q, so it doesn't become phaser-like ;)

Monobass wrote: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.
That's the key, I guess. You want several controllers to provide subtle modulation to the sound e.g. key CV to filter tracking or wavefolder intensity and envelope decay to make higher notes shorter and brighter etc. Vibrato, mild pitch bend and keyed slew can also help.

I had to play some acoustic guitar on a track yesterday (badly!) - the sound of moving one's fingers from one fret to the next as well as the additional ringing of non-played notes is what sets it apart from virtual/ sampled instruments. You could emulate this characteristic by patching an auxiliary 'scratch/ noise' voice that is triggered on release of the main note.

Judicious use of reverb or modulated delay can transform a sound and help fool/ confuse the ear. And, of course, you need to play your instrument sympathetically: even the best emulation of a harp will sound mechanical if it's playing a relentless 16th-note riff!

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swiv
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Post by swiv » Sun Sep 19, 2010 7:42 am

Great thread, really interested in these sorts of sounds. I find that not just varying the glide time for portamento helps, but to also delay the glide, so that the pitch starts to bend at the tail end of a note, rather than at the start when the vactrol opens. I had a patch going the other day that did it nicely, forget the details, but it used Ch1 and Ch4 of Maths to offset/delay the s&h/glide vs opening the vactrol. Some randomness on the delay (was Rise/EOR I think) made for some really natural variations. Sounded very close to sloppy guitar playing ;) Keen to try layering the scratch/noise type sound exactly when the glide happens - I just need a noise source first! I have also found that layering a short reverb for the instrument's body, as well as a longer one for room reverb helps sell the acoustic sound.

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Post by slow_riot » Sun Sep 19, 2010 9:41 am

From my point of view, i think there is some danger in going all the way and trying to make modular sound like an acoustic instrument. These machines are alien technology from the future, and thru some glitch in the fabric of reality they have made their way into our grubby hands.

But, also there is definitely a level that approaching these instruments from an "acoustic" point of view can be extremely valid.

I think some amount of minimalism can be useful, and we have an opporunity to approach electronic machines like spontaneous phyiscal instruments of the past, which should be taken advantage of fully.

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dykesh
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Which module would help the most?

Post by dykesh » Wed Sep 22, 2010 8:10 am

I've got an AO, Uncle, Envelator, Maths, QMMG and some filters. If I'm wanting to do more of the Karplus Strong stuff which module would help the most, a TWF or a BBD? I'm assuming the Doefper 188-1 as a 256 or 512 stage would be better than the longer stages but is there anything out there better for BBD? And would the TWF work as well without a true delay? Give me all your knowledge quick cause there's a 10% off sale this week at AH!!!

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Post by ndkent » Wed Sep 22, 2010 8:44 am

Tell you the truth it's all sort of subjective with an occasional possible placebo effect happening. That said vactrols do make it easy to get sounds that dampen in time like acoustic sounds and certainly bandpass filters with some resonance take you more toward acoustic sounds. Certainly what makes a lot of digital sounds become unpleasant and not acoustic are large amounts of high volume high frequencies

One thought not mentioned, convolution type reverbs can add quite a bit by putting the sound at some distance in what sounds a lot closer to an actual space. Well you could mic a cabinet too, though sometimes that sounds too much like you are doing that.

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dykesh
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Post by dykesh » Wed Sep 22, 2010 8:55 am

Yeah, I hear you. I've got a Borg1 and Borg2 and the QMMG so I'm good for the vactrols. I'm trying to sort of cheat and do this kind of stuff with my MATHS but I'm still new to all this. I also don't really know what the sound quality of the Doepfer is compared to my Malekko stuff.

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Post by ex_dead_teenager » Wed Sep 22, 2010 10:17 am

If you want to do real Karplus Strong Synthesis you need a delay and the tightest analogue delays I know of in euroland are the Doepfer BBD's I'd go for the 512 because you can get some shorter repeats on it as well as great flanging effects and Karplus I used to have a 256 but it was a pain trying to coax any real delay out of it. still untill someone comes out with a really well rounded digital delay that can do the tight metallic sounds and the long echoey ones too you're going to either have to make room for more delay or compromise I wish the Tyme Sefari could do Karplus if it could I might not have sold mine. but them's the breaks.

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dykesh
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Post by dykesh » Wed Sep 22, 2010 11:16 am

Thanks so much about the 512 stage delay. I was still unsure which to get.

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Post by ex_dead_teenager » Wed Sep 22, 2010 11:17 am

no problem I just got mine a little while ago and am quite satisfied with it.

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Post by MrDys » Wed Sep 22, 2010 11:59 am

I've gotten convincing clarinet/sax sounds by having a saw VCO being reset by another saw VCO and going into a low pass gate:

http://share.ovi.com/media/MrDys.public/MrDys.10011

I also think that the other key is having not necessarily the most accurate modeling, but rather the most accurate expressive playing. Having a VCA with a longer envelope over top of a VCA with a short envelope will do wonders for creating vibrato/trills/etc.
darenager wrote:I wonder how many people with Maths don't know it can file a tax return, or that Plague Bearer can indeed give bears the plague
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Post by worker8 » Wed Sep 22, 2010 12:52 pm

en. wrote:...i want more kinds of noise than a-118 can do, where are they?...
Digital Noise : A-117, Noisering, A-143-9 ?

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Post by johnnywoods » Wed Sep 22, 2010 12:59 pm

worker8 wrote:
en. wrote:...i want more kinds of noise than a-118 can do, where are they?...
Digital Noise : A-117, Noisering, A-143-9 ?
+ zorlon cannon :twisted:

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Post by Klopfgeist » Wed Sep 22, 2010 1:23 pm

richard wrote: But perhaps some digital modeling in modular form - where you could build a virtual instrument changing the length of pipe/size of cavity etc could be interesting additions? They'd be very tricky to both design and use though!
This is what physical modeling synthesis is. Creating and solving an equation by defining various physical properties of a "string" (the string is the vibrating object) and then defining the position, type, and intenisty of various objects that impede the vibration of the string. Physical modelling would be awesome as a module, but the interface would probably be too complex to fit in a 3u or 5u format.

Check out Sculpture in Logic, or at least read the manual. The sounds you can create with it are amazing.

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dougcl
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Post by dougcl » Wed Sep 22, 2010 1:37 pm

Holy cow I had no idea the finite element method (and finite differences) were being applied to sound synthesis.

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Klopfgeist
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Post by Klopfgeist » Wed Sep 22, 2010 1:46 pm

Sculpture also has vector envelopes, where you can change the material of the string from, say "wood" to "steel" in a non-linear fashion. Vector envelopes could be done with CV recorder modules, something the euro format is in need of.

Oh, and Sculpture has "Jitter" moulation sources, which act as a subtle random modulation which is neccessary in emulating acoustic sounds.

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Post by Monobass » Wed Sep 22, 2010 1:55 pm

dougcl wrote:Holy cow I had no idea the finite element method (and finite differences) were being applied to sound synthesis.
me neither.. I wish I'd take more notice of the dissertation I wrote on it for my engineering degree... I was too busy making techno, smoking weed and playing Mario Kart on the SNES :sb:
Last edited by Monobass on Wed Sep 22, 2010 5:47 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Post by synthguru » Wed Sep 22, 2010 2:02 pm

Imitative synthesis is a very good exercise for any modular synthesist.
I teach Modular Synth classes here in Scottsdale and I've found that teaching students how to emulate familiar sounds is an important step in learning to create desired sounds of all types - familiar and unfamiliar sounds we haven't heard yet.
The key point of imitative synthesis for me and my students is learning how to create specific sounds - which is what I would think any modular synthesist would want to do.
"Found" sounds are wonderful, but as Tomita has shown, it is a very powerful musical skill to have the ability to create any sound you want on your synthesizer.

Zon
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en.
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Post by en. » Wed Sep 22, 2010 2:11 pm

johnnywoods wrote:
worker8 wrote:
en. wrote:...i want more kinds of noise than a-118 can do, where are they?...
Digital Noise : A-117, Noisering, A-143-9 ?
+ zorlon cannon :twisted:
thanks guys, i knew them but
noisering, zorlon cannon: i was not convinced at first, i'll give a listen to demos again...
a-117, a-143-9: any demo somewhere?

i think i have to try to work a bit more on the noise source (filtering etc.) or use some external craps (old radio, something broken...) or prerecorded files...

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AndreasKrebs
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Post by AndreasKrebs » Wed Sep 22, 2010 2:57 pm

Here's a track with an A-188-2 and an A-188-1X (128 stages) BBD, both used (partially) as sound sources:
http://www.andreaskrebs.de/assets/media ... 00912a.mp3
More details here:
http://blog.andreaskrebs.de/2010/09/13/ ... -riverrun/

Two cross-modulated A-143-9s (and both BBDs again, as well as A-117, A-118, etc.):
http://www.andreaskrebs.de/assets/media ... 00919a.mp3
Details about the patch used:
http://blog.andreaskrebs.de/2010/09/20/ ... ood-karma/

(Ok, these are no "pure" sound demos, but usage of some modules discussed here in a musical context.)
Everything played without overdubs.
Andreas

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en.
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Post by en. » Wed Sep 22, 2010 5:42 pm

thank you andreas for your very detailed and nice old school demos!
somewhere, in the first track mostly, it seems you are playing objects more than acoustic instruments, that is interesting anyhow

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Scaff
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Post by Scaff » Wed Sep 22, 2010 6:09 pm

yesterday i made a recording that sounds like a mixture of marimba and contra bass with my digital vcos and the qmmg

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