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detuned dronelike guitars and human voices
MUFF WIGGLER Forum Index -> Synth Noise  
Author detuned dronelike guitars and human voices
Sonic Youth. My Bloody Valentine. Beat Happening. Animal Collective (esp Campfire Songs).

How do you make synths do this stuff? I've been trying for like 5 years with not too much joy.

You can get dense formant textures in deep drone sounds. E.g. FM of Metasonix r52, Plague Bearer.

A trick I used to use to get a sound a bit like tremelo bar was putting thick sound into delay and changing delay time to get big pitch movement.

Proper natural voice like sounds seems problematic. Same goes with the sound of open tunings on guitars, acoustic or electric. Synths just kinda phase annoyingly of you tune oscillators right next to each other.

Maybe FM is worth looking into? I don't find it excellent for those in between open tuning drone textures. It seems to me like it's good for proper whole number ratio tunings, or just off. But in between is just too rough, and not that nice thick beautiful tonal dissonance.

Maybe you just gotta accept that a synth is a synth, and find meaningful sonics on their own terms?
A clean (and not fat) bass or lead with no quick decay and some sustain and release added. The more you can get a natural non effect driven guitar feel, not tone, the better. But synthy tone is also good. Tweak those values to your liking. The rest is a combination of delays/reverbs. I like to add a dash of fuzz or distortion. I like to assign my modulation wheels to things that effect the ADSR envelope along with the pitch wheel. When playing I lightly scroll those with my left hand while playing with my right. That is my basic formula but I do that all the time. I know what sound you are going for. That shoe gazing, post punk, garage guitar tone you can drown in. Still a bit of a holy grail to me but I have achieved some success using a synth instead of a guitar. The key is light experimentation with each part until you get what you desire. Just a straight up synth lead through guitar effects is going to get dirty and not in a good way either.
Wiard Oscillator is really great for this. You can affect 1out and 2out differently, which gives you massive amounts of harmonic variation when combined with external processing such as Plague Bearer etc etc.

Definitely I've found sounds that I like with synth components.

But it's so funny, I took an old nearly broken electric guitar out of my attic, used some simple fuzz distortion. Tuned the strings till they sounded about right. And boom, in like 1minute I had made sounds that I had not found in 5 years fulltime synth exploration. Same goes with human voice, just move some vocal chords, catch the waves with a mic, and you;re there.

But synths is my thing, and I guess I just need to work at it. I'm thinking about Metasonix r53, whic I hadn't thought about before, which I think will be able to get some intersting dissonance.
i went thru 1 million different delay and reverb settings in the past, but now I'm going 'naked' (aka 100% dry). It's possible with tubes and esoteric FSU modules, FM etc to get really interesting tones without needing delay or reverb, and with those modules they can even sound spacious. You can alter tones with envelopes etc to get fluidity like natural spaces, as well. (bit of a tangent there)
I didn't even use tube gear. In fact one of the best effects I have is a Yamaha Magicstomp with some third party patch called LiveDist or something like that. Seems to be more of a fuzzy flanger in a long drawn out space echo.

I really didn't think the tubes made much of a difference compared to some of my DSP effects when I was using synths for this and not guitars. (hides) But the Metasonix R-51/54 combo I used as a guitar pre/overdrive solution. Despite the yellow it was a rather clean signal that worked great for delay/verb/flang doused guitars.
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