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Synth Sound Design

Daniel Petras

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Hi Everyone,

Since I started getting into sound design maybe less than a year ago, I always thought the coolest sounds were the ones heard in a sci-fi based setting - sounds that would never exist in real life. Things like weapons or force fields from Star Craft (espcially in the trailers) or the weapon sounds you might hear in the Halo series. I'm only now starting to get a hang on creating these sorts of sounds and I created a video to show the sound which I used in my most recent cue. It has a lot of flexibility in what you can do with it:


If anyone has their own sounds or resources that are similar in nature, feel free to share your ideas. Also, not too long ago when I was looking to create weapon sounds, I found this site which gave a lot of good information on getting a cool sci-fi weapon sound:

https://www.asoundeffect.com/supreme-scifi-weapon-sound-effects/

Thanks!
 

AdamAlake

Music Person
Hi Everyone,

Since I started getting into sound design maybe less than a year ago, I always thought the coolest sounds were the ones heard in a sci-fi based setting - sounds that would never exist in real life. Things like weapons or force fields from Star Craft (espcially in the trailers) or the weapon sounds you might hear in the Halo series. I'm only now starting to get a hang on creating these sorts of sounds and I created a video to show the sound which I used in my most recent cue. It has a lot of flexibility in what you can do with it:


If anyone has their own sounds or resources that are similar in nature, feel free to share your ideas. Also, not too long ago when I was looking to create weapon sounds, I found this site which gave a lot of good information on getting a cool sci-fi weapon sound:

https://www.asoundeffect.com/supreme-scifi-weapon-sound-effects/

Thanks!

Nice work, Massive is extremely powerful and you are making good use of it. What is funny though, you could easily use that in one of those dubstep/trap or whatever genre they call it now songs.
 
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Daniel Petras

Daniel Petras

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Nice work, Massive is extremely powerful and you are making good use of it. What is funny though, you could easily use that in one of those dubstep/trap or whatever genre they call it now songs.
Yes, it would seem most are using synths such as massive, serum, etc. for that sort of thing. I suppose it's all sort of related as all the sounds come start from the same place - a wave table. I would like to find more ideas where people are using these sounds in a video game or film setting to create sound effects.
 

AdamAlake

Music Person
Yes, it would seem most are using synths such as massive, serum, etc. for that sort of thing. I suppose it's all sort of related as all the sounds come start from the same place - a wave table. I would like to find more ideas where people are using these sounds in a video game or film setting to create sound effects.

I sometimes get comissioned to create sound effects and unless I am making something that has to be acoustic in nature, I use synthesizers, like these :



Surprisingly, creating short effects can consume as much time as composing sometimes.
 
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Daniel Petras

Daniel Petras

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I sometimes get comissioned to create sound effects and unless I am making something that has to be acoustic in nature, I use synthesizers, like these :



Surprisingly, creating short effects can consume as much time as composing sometimes.
Yup, those sounds are awesome! I'm very curious to know how you created them.

Also, checked out your music which is great. I love the space in your music and stereo imaging. Do record a lot of stuff acoustically? I don't have a lot of experience with this, and it seems to me that it can result in a very clear and precise sound that's hard to achieve using samples.
 

AdamAlake

Music Person
Yup, those sounds are awesome! I'm very curious to know how you created them.

Also, checked out your music which is great. I love the space in your music and stereo imaging. Do record a lot of stuff acoustically? I don't have a lot of experience with this, and it seems to me that it can result in a very clear and precise sound that's hard to achieve using samples.

Thank you, that means a lot to me.

The first sound was made in FORM which can take any sample and turn it into something completely different through FM and granular synthesis, so it was done through tweaking modulation of those parameters.

The second one was made in Serum which is pretty much the same as Massive, I picked two nice wavetables and worked with manually turning the wavetable position knobs until I found a nice effect, then drew an envelope that recreated it and then just tweaked the filter until the sound was finished.

I actually very rarely record anything myself because my studio is very poorly equipped for that kind of thing, the last thing I remember recording was a guitar solo for Apocalypse.

The clean and spacious sound is most likely due to the fact that I mix and listen to anything on my studio headphones which make it really obvious how much reverb I should be using and where everything is panned.

A lot of people advise against mixing on headphones but I pretty much swear by it because it takes the room out of the equation, and for anything they cannot accurately tell you, the DAW can show you visually (like the sub 100 hz frequencies).

Hope this was helpful, and thanks again!
 
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Daniel Petras

Daniel Petras

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The first sound was made in FORM
Wow, I didn't know about this synth - it looks cool.
A lot of people advise against mixing on headphones but I pretty much swear by it because it takes the room out of the equation, and for anything they cannot accurately tell you, the DAW can show you visually (like the sub 100 hz frequencies).
That's an interesting way to look at that - might give it a try. What kind of headphones do you use, and do you calibrate them?
 

AdamAlake

Music Person
Wow, I didn't know about this synth - it looks cool.

That's an interesting way to look at that - might give it a try. What kind of headphones do you use, and do you calibrate them?

I use the good old Sony MDR-7506s, they always get great reviews and they really deserve to. I use no form of calibration, there is software for that, but I did had more important things to purchase so I just got used to their frequency response instead - I listen to absolutely everything on them so I know what things should ideally sound like in my mixes.
 
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Daniel Petras

Daniel Petras

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I use no form of calibration, there is software for that, but I did had more important things to purchase so I just got used to their frequency response instead
Ok, I use the Sonarworks Reference 3 for my monitors, but I'm not sure how the calibration software would work for headphones since there is no room in the equation. Why not just have them properly calibrated from the beginning...
 

AdamAlake

Music Person
Ok, I use the Sonarworks Reference 3 for my monitors, but I'm not sure how the calibration software would work for headphones since there is no room in the equation. Why not just have them properly calibrated from the beginning...

Well, the hardware components they use decide the calibration curve of the headphones so it is most likely a result of compromises. But the Sonarworks software definitely can be used to calibrate them, because it even has a special preset for my exact model which I tried via their trial and it worked pretty neatly, it made the bass stand out more and such, creating a more balanced signal - instead of evening out the frequency response of the room, it evens out the response of the headphones themselves.
 
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Daniel Petras

Daniel Petras

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Hey guys,

Here's another cool sci-fi sound (riser) that I created and am demonstrating in Massive. I included the Massive patch as well as the raw WAV file in the Youtube description.

 
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Daniel Petras

Daniel Petras

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Hi guys, check out this video on how to make the classic sine-square downer with a bit of a twist in Native Instruments: Massive. If you don't have 3 minutes and 35 seconds, I've included the the Massive patch as well as the raw WAV file in the description. Thanks!

 

mouse

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Hi guys, check out this video on how to make the classic sine-square downer with a bit of a twist in Native Instruments: Massive. If you don't have 3 minutes and 35 seconds, I've included the the Massive patch as well as the raw WAV file in the description. Thanks!


These are cool tutorials thanks. Kind of suprised at what you could do within Massive. I've had it for years but always kind of thought of it as a dubstep / EDM style synth
 
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Daniel Petras

Daniel Petras

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These are cool tutorials thanks. Kind of suprised at what you could do within Massive. I've had it for years but always kind of thought of it as a dubstep / EDM style synth

Thanks. Yes, when I started out I was frustrated because everyone was making synth tutorials for electronic music, but not really focusing on the SFX or hybrid type of sound design. You hear that stuff in the amazing trailers that are made or in really cool video games, but very few people actually share how to make that sort of stuff.
 
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Daniel Petras

Daniel Petras

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Yes, most of the synths do the more or less the same thing with their own special sauce. Though if there is one that I used that is particularity interesting it would be Harmor by Image Line.
 
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