Need help with reverse engineering 2 sounds

Talk about music gear for noise music

Moderator: xome

User avatar
DiMMaX
Posts: 7
Joined: Thu Aug 18, 2016 2:17 am
Location: Belgium

Need help with reverse engineering 2 sounds

Post by DiMMaX » Wed Jan 31, 2018 6:04 am

Hi,

I'm looking for a little help on this issue. It's about creating 2 typical industrial sounds I've been struggling with. Since I don't seem to be able to create these sounds by myself, I'm hoping to get some advice. The sounds are commonly used in analog industrial music. And basically I'm after 2 things specifically 1) the possible source (wave-form, noise, drummachine) and 2) the chain of FX used (preferably in the right order)

Below you'll find a example of each one of them. I took them from another artist purely as an example. Who and what song it's from is irrelevant here. But what is more important is that both sounds are 100% sure created with analog synths. (And there's a very high chance these examples are created with the MS20 as a source).

The first sound is a percussion kind of sound. It might be even a processed drummachine-sound. The end result almost sounds like a processed bell but I'm pretty sure it's not.



So what could be the source of this typical industrial percussion sounding kind of thing? And what could be the FX used?
It sounds a bit nasal so I highly suspect this sound has gone through a Low and/or High Pass Filter.
I also hear some delay/reverb but I'm no sure which is which or in what order and amounts used.



The second sound is a sort of circular saw cutting through metal kind of sound. Very commonly used in industrial. Again, this is an analog sound. But what's the source and what is making it scream like this? Mind you about this sample, it contains two sounds. One clearly the screaming saw I'm talking about and there's a pulsating synth, more in the background. I'm not interested in the latter.

(careful when using headphones, this is a sharp/loud screaming sound)



So there you have it. I seem unable to create these two typical and commonly used sounds. Can anyone of you put me at least in the right direction?

Many thanks in advance!

User avatar
Bipolar Fucking Joe
Posts: 5215
Joined: Wed Apr 01, 2009 11:55 am

Re: Need help with reverse engineering 2 sounds

Post by Bipolar Fucking Joe » Wed Jan 31, 2018 10:30 am

Before I get into the post, you should read up on "Critical listening." It'll go a long way and you don't have to wait on someone else to reply. Also, by loading sounds into software and zooming in, you can see the waveform and get a good idea of what the original source is. Also a spectrum analyser will give you a lot of information. If you don't know what to look for, now is a good time to learn.

The first one is likely some sheet metal that was recorded, then slowed down a bit.

Second one has two notes to it (Not the pulsing synth), a couple of steps apart. It's likely a synth of some sort. It sounds like noise has been mixed into the signal to modulate something, maybe a filter, not too sure. Do like I said in the first paragraph and zoom right into the waveform and use a spectrum analyser, you can see it very clearly.

User avatar
¼ dead
Posts: 1051
Joined: Fri Mar 01, 2013 10:23 pm

Re: Need help with reverse engineering 2 sounds

Post by ¼ dead » Wed Jan 31, 2018 12:15 pm

As Joe mentioned, the first one is very clearly some kind of percussed metal object. I suggest you invest in a large metal dumpster. If you've ever slid the side doors on one of those, or slammed the top hatch of one, you will understand.

This was obviously just a midday-drunk shitpost, but I am really stoked on the idea of a dumpster reverb tank now!

User avatar
melkobukva
Posts: 223
Joined: Thu Jan 04, 2018 6:35 pm

Re: Need help with reverse engineering 2 sounds

Post by melkobukva » Wed Jan 31, 2018 12:41 pm

OK, here's my super-lazy 15 minute attempt at replicating the sounds in question. If that's close enough for you, I can tell you how it was done.

https://clyp.it/crgpehg2

User avatar
Bipolar Fucking Joe
Posts: 5215
Joined: Wed Apr 01, 2009 11:55 am

Re: Need help with reverse engineering 2 sounds

Post by Bipolar Fucking Joe » Wed Jan 31, 2018 9:05 pm

Sounds pretty accurate.

User avatar
DiMMaX
Posts: 7
Joined: Thu Aug 18, 2016 2:17 am
Location: Belgium

Re: Need help with reverse engineering 2 sounds

Post by DiMMaX » Thu Feb 01, 2018 3:36 am

Thanks for the replies so far!

For the first sound (percussion alike) I'm pretty sure it's not a piece of metal that is slammed on. It's created with a synth and FX.
The source of the sound is one thing, but the FX is also a part I'm interested in. It sounds like delay and/or reverb. It might even be just that (as FX that is) but I don't seem to get close to this kind of delay/reverb. I always end up with a sound that sounds much further away from the listening position than the sample does. In fact I have that issue with basically all my sounds. the soon I apply reverb/delay, the sound moves to the back in the mix and that's not always what I want.
In the sample001 you clearly hear the hit/sound and then it 'reflects' but yet the sound is still right in your face, even though it echoes (but it doesn't repeat)


For the second one the screaming part is probably from a filter, pushed to the extremes. But there it's the source that remains a mystery mostly.

@Melkobukva: I'm very curious how you've done those sounds. Do you mind explaining them to me please? I must admit it's not really the sound I'm looking for but it's very close! If I understand how you've done that, I might build further on that approach.
For you it might be a 15 minutes exercise but for me it's a new world opening it's doors. So yeah, very much appreciated what you did there!

@Joe: I'm looking into what you said. I'm reading up on 'critical listening'. I'm a noob on that subject I must admit (as you already knew) So it will take some time before I can use those principles towards reverse engineering sounds :)
Meantime I've loaded the sounds in software and zoomed in on the waveform. The first sound very much looks like a sine wave while the second sound looks like a saw-tooth. But that's as far as I can see with my untrained eye. I fail to understand how this info can be used in this context. I guess I have to read more about the critical listening subject...

User avatar
melkobukva
Posts: 223
Joined: Thu Jan 04, 2018 6:35 pm

Re: Need help with reverse engineering 2 sounds

Post by melkobukva » Thu Feb 01, 2018 7:10 am

DiMMaX,

Sound001. I'm pretty sure it's a timestretched and processed cymbal from a cheapo drum machine. Here's your sound x10 faster: https://clyp.it/npnmldwg
So what you hear on my record is just that, a bunch of timestretched crappy cymbal samples.

Sound002. A rather simple substractive synth patch through an amp sim. There are two ways to go about that, one with oscillator sync, another with ring mod.

Image

Image

In the record I used the first one, but maybe the secound one would have been better, I just found it later. I kind of cheated, because both sounds are stock patches of the respective VSTs. However, you can do the same thing with more or less any subtractive synth and a multieffect unit. I'd try it with an MS-20 Mini, but unfortunately I don't have the time right now.

User avatar
crochambeau
Posts: 2802
Joined: Sat Nov 19, 2005 12:48 pm
Location: earth.
Contact:

Re: Need help with reverse engineering 2 sounds

Post by crochambeau » Thu Feb 01, 2018 7:23 am

Can I assume you are working "inside the box" and are therefore able to reconfigure effects?

If so, add a clean blend to your delay/reverb and set that volume somewhere in the 80-100% level, then adjust the affected level to taste. If you want to move that part away from you, lower the clean volume.

I have produced very similar percussive sounds with struck metal (be it cymbal or sheet) samples tuned down. For that particular sound I would seek first to strike the edge of the material direct, honestly the ring out will probably produce enough reverb on its own, but adding more to taste wouldn't hurt.

I'd employ a ring mod with terrible carrier rejection being fed white noise for the second, full wet and high frequency.

User avatar
Bipolar Fucking Joe
Posts: 5215
Joined: Wed Apr 01, 2009 11:55 am

Re: Need help with reverse engineering 2 sounds

Post by Bipolar Fucking Joe » Thu Feb 01, 2018 7:32 am

Welp, I just wrote a long and detailed post on how to figure this shit out for yourself while yous two were posting. Never mind.

User avatar
crochambeau
Posts: 2802
Joined: Sat Nov 19, 2005 12:48 pm
Location: earth.
Contact:

Re: Need help with reverse engineering 2 sounds

Post by crochambeau » Thu Feb 01, 2018 9:43 am

Bipolar Fucking Joe wrote:
Thu Feb 01, 2018 7:32 am
Welp, I just wrote a long and detailed post on how to figure this shit out for yourself while yous two were posting. Never mind.
Sorry, in the end you are right.

Teach a person to fish and all that.

I consider this the one boost over the fence into the junkyard that may pave the way to better living. Critical listening is important, but it also comes naturally with time I think... not something I think I could have forced without falling into many, many pitfalls.

User avatar
Bipolar Fucking Joe
Posts: 5215
Joined: Wed Apr 01, 2009 11:55 am

Re: Need help with reverse engineering 2 sounds

Post by Bipolar Fucking Joe » Thu Feb 01, 2018 11:32 am

I was the opposite. I avoided it because it was too hard (Read: I was lazy). In the end I buckled down and started examining waveforms and a spectrograph and came out the other end able to put together what I imagine in my headbrain. It really makes life easier when I'm trying to come up with something.

I ended up making a sound exactly like the second clip by modulating a saw with noise, then adding in some more.

User avatar
DiMMaX
Posts: 7
Joined: Thu Aug 18, 2016 2:17 am
Location: Belgium

Re: Need help with reverse engineering 2 sounds

Post by DiMMaX » Thu Feb 01, 2018 12:49 pm

melkobukva wrote:
Thu Feb 01, 2018 7:10 am
DiMMaX,

Sound001. I'm pretty sure it's a timestretched and processed cymbal from a cheapo drum machine. So what you hear on my record is just that, a bunch of timestretched crappy cymbal samples.
That was my first thought as well. In fact, I'm pretty sure the source is not really a drum machine but a time-stretched cymbal sound from a MS20. (Which can be seen as 'sort of the same' as a drummachine anyway)
melkobukva wrote:
Thu Feb 01, 2018 7:10 am
Here's your sound x10 faster: https://clyp.it/npnmldwg
Well, for some reason I don't hear anything when I play that sample. But I assume it's the original cymbal sound you have posted. The one you time-stretched 10x slower. Is it just me or did something go wrong with the sample post on that site? I'm curious which cymbal you used as the source :)

--
melkobukva wrote:
Thu Feb 01, 2018 7:10 am
Sound002. A rather simple substractive synth patch through an amp sim. There are two ways to go about that, one with oscillator sync, another with ring mod. However, you can do the same thing with more or less any subtractive synth and a multieffect unit.
Interesting! I'm going to try out these patches on my analog synths and direct them through an amp-sim.
And what about the amp-sim you used? What settings are pushed there to make it scream the way you did? I assume you're using the amp-sim for distortion purposes, am I right? What was the thing you were looking for when selecting this approach?
melkobukva wrote:
Thu Feb 01, 2018 7:10 am
I'd try it with an MS-20 Mini, but unfortunately I don't have the time right now.
Well, I do and I also have a MS20 Mini :) So if you find the time to type what you would do on your MS20 then I can try those things out myself. And save you the time. It would also help me understanding the process of creating these kind of sounds instead of just repeating others their work.
I use my MS20 mini as the source for my drumsounds anyway. I know how to make a cymbal sound and such. But how would you create this specific sound/timbre, starting from there on a MS20? I really appreciate the time you already put in this subject! Thanks!

--
crochambeau wrote:
Thu Feb 01, 2018 7:23 am
Can I assume you are working "inside the box" and are therefore able to reconfigure effects?
Indeed I am :)
Partly anyway, I work with analog synths/drummachines but the whole mixing/tracking/FX happens "inside the box"
crochambeau wrote:
Thu Feb 01, 2018 7:23 am
If so, add a clean blend to your delay/reverb and set that volume somewhere in the 80-100% level, then adjust the affected level to taste. If you want to move that part away from you, lower the clean volume.
Makes sense indeed! So what I'll do is this: I double the track, keeping one of them clean, set at 80-100% level (as a start) The second of the doubled channel goes to a Return track having the delay on 100% wet.
Whereas I used to only choose how wet I want to have my signal, using my send knob, I now also have to mix in the desired dry signal on top of that (I should rather say "next to it") to keep the sound in front enough.
crochambeau wrote:
Thu Feb 01, 2018 7:23 am
I have produced very similar percussive sounds with struck metal (be it cymbal or sheet) samples tuned down.
Yeah that goes with what Melkobukva was saying, a cymbal sound as the source. I guess that's the direction where I should be looking :)

--
crochambeau wrote:
Thu Feb 01, 2018 7:23 am
I'd employ a ring mod with terrible carrier rejection being fed white noise for the second, full wet and high frequency.
Cool, now we're getting somewhere concrete here! If you don't mind, would you be so kind to detail this? How would you go about that precisely?
Thanks for your help so far, I've learned new things and that's always a plus! ;)

--
Bipolar Fucking Joe wrote:
Thu Feb 01, 2018 7:32 am
Welp, I just wrote a long and detailed post on how to figure this shit out for yourself while you two were posting. Never mind.
Hey man, don't trow that knowledge away! I'm interested in what you have to say. I'd love to learn how to figure this shit out myself. If you're willing to type long detailed posts about that, then I'm sitting in the first row to learn from it. So yeah, bring it on :)
Bipolar Fucking Joe wrote:
Thu Feb 01, 2018 11:32 am
I ended up making a sound exactly like the second clip by modulating a saw with noise, then adding in some more.
You see, that's what I mean, I'd love to learn how you approached this. You said you ended up with exactly that sound and you did it using your knowledge. I can only dream to do this that easy at this point in time. I'm curious and I want to learn. I already learned one thing from you: you knew to start from a saw-tooth wave by looking at the wave form zoomed in. I saw the saw-tooth.
So if you're willing to teach, then I'm all ears :)
How did you modulate the saw with noise exactly? What did you use to do so?

--

On a side note: I also believe in the 'learning a man to fish' principle. That's why I'm looking for advice in the first place. I also like to get to a workable result rather fast and then take it from there. So the replies on my initial posts are just perfect. There's info on getting to a result pretty fast and there's also the needed background theory. What else could one wish for :)

Also, I used these samples only as an example. It's an end-product from someone else I used as an example which sounds similar to the sound I'm really after (but that one is in my head still).
So yeah, I'd love to get to a real understanding on how these sounds are created. Because they use the same sources and FX's of the ones I have in my head.
This will allow me to free my mind of the ones jumping around in my head and get them into existence :)

So thanks so far, I've come a few steps closer to my goal ;)

User avatar
Bipolar Fucking Joe
Posts: 5215
Joined: Wed Apr 01, 2009 11:55 am

Re: Need help with reverse engineering 2 sounds

Post by Bipolar Fucking Joe » Thu Feb 01, 2018 6:47 pm

I can't remember what I wrote, but we'll pretend it was brilliant.

Anyways, the two tools you'll want is some way to view the waveform, and a spectrograph. Have a quick look on youtube about what one of them does first.

I used an FM synth, mostly because that's my go-to for sound design. I modulated the pitch of a saw with noise, how you manage that depends on your synth. You have an MS-20, which I don't, so probably putting the noise generator into the osc. 1 and changing the amount will give you something close. There's usually a handful of ways to make the same sound, we all managed it in different ways.

User avatar
melkobukva
Posts: 223
Joined: Thu Jan 04, 2018 6:35 pm

Re: Need help with reverse engineering 2 sounds

Post by melkobukva » Sat Feb 03, 2018 4:48 pm

DiMMaX wrote:
Thu Feb 01, 2018 12:49 pm
But I assume it's the original cymbal sound you have posted. The one you time-stretched 10x slower.
Nope. This is the original sound you posted I time-stretched 10x faster. Try it yourself, it will help you figure out what type of cymbal you'll need to replicate this sound.

Link to another host: https://instaud.io/1JF0
DiMMaX wrote:
Thu Feb 01, 2018 12:49 pm
Interesting! I'm going to try out these patches on my analog synths and direct them through an amp-sim.
And what about the amp-sim you used? What settings are pushed there to make it scream the way you did? I assume you're using the amp-sim for distortion purposes, am I right? What was the thing you were looking for when selecting this approach?
This really does not matter. I gave literally zero thought to what I was doing. Simply slapped an effect onto a track and clicked through factory presets until it felt right. But yeah, the reason to do that was to add some distortion and, more importantly, a cab sim to make the lame VST synth with all its aliasing and other digital crap sound more "organic". The VST used was Audified ampLion, but I neither recommend nor even like it at all. I never use it when making "serious" tracks. Really, don't overthink it, any guitar multi-FX would do.
DiMMaX wrote:
Thu Feb 01, 2018 12:49 pm
But how would you create this specific sound/timbre, starting from there on a MS20?
Finally sat down and tried to make the sound. Started with a PoiZone patch posted above. Turns out, I was wrong about everything. Disregard all I posted before :D

The main part of sound002 is MS20's overdriven high pass filter, plus a common technique to plug "phones out" into "external signal in". This is pretty much all there is to it.

Here's what I ended up with:
http://20patch.constructingtowers.com/patch/10464

This is what it sounds like:
https://instaud.io/1JEX

User avatar
DiMMaX
Posts: 7
Joined: Thu Aug 18, 2016 2:17 am
Location: Belgium

Re: Need help with reverse engineering 2 sounds

Post by DiMMaX » Sun Feb 04, 2018 1:29 pm

Bipolar Fucking Joe wrote:
Thu Feb 01, 2018 6:47 pm
I can't remember what I wrote, but we'll pretend it was brilliant.
Sure :wink:
Too bad though..
Bipolar Fucking Joe wrote:
Thu Feb 01, 2018 6:47 pm
Anyways, the two tools you'll want is some way to view the waveform, and a spectrograph. Have a quick look on youtube about what one of them does first.
I kind of know what to use to see the waveform and I do kind of know what a spectrograph does as well in the context of audio. But What I don't know is what to look for. I can recognise the different waveform (sine, square, etc) but that's where it ends. I guess your 'brilliant' post you typed, erased and forgot about, explained what I have to look for? :D
Bipolar Fucking Joe wrote:
Thu Feb 01, 2018 6:47 pm
I used an FM synth, mostly because that's my go-to for sound design. I modulated the pitch of a saw with noise, how you manage that depends on your synth. You have an MS-20, which I don't, so probably putting the noise generator into the osc. 1 and changing the amount will give you something close.
Well, osc1 is a noise generator by itself as well but I guess you're not talking about that. I'll look into how to modulate the pitch of osc2 with noise from the noise generator on the patch-panel. (the MS20 has both white and pink noise)
Bipolar Fucking Joe wrote:
Thu Feb 01, 2018 6:47 pm
There's usually a handful of ways to make the same sound, we all managed it in different ways.
Well, even though that might sound as a good thing, I see it different. It tells me I'm a m*r*n since there's so many ways of getting there and I couldn't find even one of them :oops:

----
melkobukva wrote:
Sat Feb 03, 2018 4:48 pm
Nope. This is the original sound you posted I time-stretched 10x faster.
Cool! Thanks! Sometimes it's that simple...
melkobukva wrote:
Sat Feb 03, 2018 4:48 pm
Try it yourself, it will help you figure out what type of cymbal you'll need to replicate this sound.
I certainly will. Thanks to you I now know where to look for this kind of sound and create my own version of it.
But that brings me to another question: is there any way to time-stretch (or maybe not literally) live? I mean, I can time-stretch on recorded samples, but how do I do this 'on-the-fly'? I'll explain why I'm asking:
The sample I used in my initial post (the one you used to time-stretch faster) is taken from a track which has been produced reel-to-reel on analogue equipment. (and 99% sure it was a MS20 that produced the cymbal sound that came up when time-stretching back) So that means this kind of time-stretched sound must be achievable to produce at will (most probably on a MS20) versus sampling it first and use a time-stretched version of that sample in the production.
That being said, creating a cymbal sound on a MS20 is very easy to do. In the end it's filtered and modulated noise anyway. But 'time-stretching' this is then maybe not what's going on here? I mean, I don't see a way to 'time-stretch' in a reel-to-reel situation. Or I might just be plain ignorant about that :)
So in other words, let's say you only have a MS20 to go from (since you clearly have a good understanding of the synth) and you had to produce that sound 'live' (without sampling). How would you proceed? Do you see this feasible?

---
melkobukva wrote:
Sat Feb 03, 2018 4:48 pm
This amp-sim really does not matter ... don't overthink it...
Well, I think you nailed it right there :) I'm realising I'm overthinking things,.. But still, if I would only get on the right track..
melkobukva wrote:
Sat Feb 03, 2018 4:48 pm
Finally sat down and tried to make the sound. Started with a PoiZone patch posted above. Turns out, I was wrong about everything. Disregard all I posted before :D
Hahaha :D Ok then :chin:
melkobukva wrote:
Sat Feb 03, 2018 4:48 pm
The main part of sound002 is MS20's overdriven high pass filter, plus a common technique to plug "phones out" into "external signal in". This is pretty much all there is to it.
YES! I knew it, it was the MS20!
I'm so glad you took the time to figure it out using your knowledge of the MS20. It had to be the MS20. (just as with sound001) Now I know how. And the beauty is that it's an overdriven filter, something which can be done on another synth as well. And now I understand why it's such a commonly used sound in this specific style of music. The technique with the phones-out is purely for feedback, right?
melkobukva wrote:
Sat Feb 03, 2018 4:48 pm
Here's what I ended up with:
http://20patch.constructingtowers.com/patch/10464
Man, you have no idea how much I appreciate the effort and time/energy you're putting into this! This truly is the reason why boards as this exist; online collaboration, I love it!

I also want to fully understand the patch so I can approach it myself versus copy/paste.
So the phones-out is going to the ESP-in and is fed back into the total chain. I find it interesting you took the signal after the ESP-amp instead of taking it after the ESP-filter. I always intend to take the signal after the filter so I can shape the sound even more. But then again, overthinking might be playing here :)
Anyway, I understand that part of the patch. But for the rest of the patch, would you mind to enlighten me a bit? It's only for me to fully understand why things are done the way you've done them. This way I can detect why I couldn't come up with this myself for all this time. Can you tell me how the following things contribute to the sound?

- I see you used the pink noise as input for the sample/hold. But I also see osc1 is set to noise and fully open in the mixer. And even more, osc2 is set to ring-modulation with the pitch 2 semi-tones up. How is this related to the end-result?

- The sample and hold clock is driven by the pulse-wave which is on it's turn modulated by the mod-generator. The result of that is then modulating the HP filter. Right? Can you elaborate please?

If you can add something useful to the explanation about this patch, please don't hold back. The more info you're willing to share, the happier I am :)

Like I said and I can't stretch it enough: I really, really appreciate your effort! Thanks a lot for opening my eyes and enriching my knowledge.

Post Reply

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 7 guests