Yeah, I apologise. I managed to get superbusy and in turn never updated this godforsaken blog as promised.
With that said, here’s another post for you to ponder upon.
Quickie 2: Hearing beyond the sound.
Ok, so in my last Quickie tutorial I talked about utilising Live’s warpengine and follow actions to create percussion sounds for further audio processing, but what if you want to get more indepth with soundlayering and design? Layering sounds takes time and practice and is not generally associated with a quick way of getting a prototype up and running.
Unless ofcourse you know what you are looking for, which is what we will talk about today; Hearing what’s beyond the sound. As you may well know, all sounds can easily be separated and processed via multiband processing and all of that magic, but how in the heck do you know what to do and how in the heck do you know what you are looking for?
Personally, when I start to look for a sample to manipulate I don’t pay much attention to what the sample is at all; I pay attention to the other details, things such as the rhythm, the texture, transients and so on.
Let’s take this shitty break underneath here for example; bland, boring and completely normal. It sounds just like everything else and it generally pretty uninteresting (rightclick, save as..)
However I do like the rhytm off it, but the actual sample sounds like shit IMO.
So what do we do with it then?
Well, the first would be to apply a bit of an eq curve to get that fancy lo-fi feel to it, like so (and add an limiter to stop the occasional peaks for now):
Sounds better already, although it’s pretty much the same still.
So that rhythm I was talking about, those are the attacks on the percussion hits; I like those, so let’s apply a little gate to taste:
Yeah, got rid of some excess crap, but now it sounds even worse. Fear not, for there is a plan with all this.
What we have now is just the rhythm of the sample and some of the texture (eq’d to taste), so now we have picked out the two most important parts of this particular sample that we liked. Now it’s time to get down to the actual processing stage.
For this particular sample we want some grit, so we make an audio rack with two chains; one dry chain, and one chain with a reverb followed by an overdrive, and finally a compressor after that (click for fullview)
Slowly getting there, yes?
Let’s move on. The second chain of that reverb rack, let’s place a pingpong and a compressor in there instead and make the delay really really short, for a metallic feedback sound instead, then automate that a bit shall we?
This sounds as follows: http://nwrecords.com/storage/route_it/quickies/hearing_beyond_the_sound/break_delay_chain.wav
Did you see what I did there (or hear, as it is heh)?
We now have almost like a synth-sound based upon that rhythm. Infact this is what we were going for the whole time, since the thing that was most interesting for us was the rhythm and the percussive texture. So, let’s add another audiotrack, copy the beat over with the Eq-curve intact and edit that beat a bit, and we end up with this here:
Of course this is way to similar to the original, but we now have a very solid foundation to work on based entirely upon that rhythm, which inturn set the entire feel of the track. But, hey it’s me, and I’m not done yet
Here’s a particular sample that seems to provide a good basis for the next part; take a good listen to its texture: http://nwrecords.com/storage/route_it/quickies/hearing_beyond_the_sound/stupid_melody.wav Reversing it, pitching it up 7 semitones and setting the warpmode to transients (with segments to off) at about 40-ish envelope and the loop to 4 bars results in this fancy little noodle here:
Now. If we add a redux to the drumtrack we edited a bit earlier (the one with only the Eq-curve applied to it), add a flanger, one utility to sum to mono and a gate like this:
We end up with something sounding like this (with all tracks played back): http://nwrecords.com/storage/route_it/quickies/hearing_beyond_the_sound/hearing_beyond_1.wav
Mhm. Definitively getting there.
Adding some more percussion, and a couple of more layers and some other stuff and you could easily end up here:
See, that wasn’t so hard at all was it?
You just need to know what to look for/listen for.
Have a nice day and keep turning them knobs to see what happens! – gbsr.