What's new

Tips for creating interesting pulses

ranaprathap

Active Member
Can anyone give me tips for creating interesting arpeggiating percussive like pulse sounds? The kind you can hear from 10 second mark in this song:



I don't want to use any particular sample libraries for that, I would like to do learn to create them.

What I usually end up doing is take a sine wave, pitch it down, throw a gate at it, or reduce the pluck amount and write arpeggios in the piano roll. Some compression, distortion, and reverb and that's it.

I would like to hear the things that you do to it, to make it interesting, moving and compelling.
 

Karsten Vogt

Active Member
Well, my approach would be: take a TB303-like synth (D16 Phoscyon, Audiorealism ABL2), program a bassline with sawtooth (pretty high cutoff and envelope, accent button is your friend here too) and shape the sound with EQ, distortion/saturation and reverb.

Maybe this gives you a direction:

This is dry of course but sounds totally different with fx mentioned above.

This is just an approach worth trying. I bet there are different/better ways.
 
OP
ranaprathap

ranaprathap

Active Member
Thread starter
  • Thread Starter
  • Thread Starter
  • #6
Well, my approach would be: take a TB303-like synth (D16 Phoscyon, Audiorealism ABL2), program a bassline with sawtooth (pretty high cutoff and envelope, accent button is your friend here too) and shape the sound with EQ, distortion/saturation and reverb.

Maybe this gives you a direction:

This is dry of course but sounds totally different with fx mentioned above.

This is just an approach worth trying. I bet there are different/better ways.

Thanks for your help. That sounds close to the kind of sounds I have in mind. I will experiment more with sawtooths.
 
OP
ranaprathap

ranaprathap

Active Member
Thread starter
  • Thread Starter
  • Thread Starter
  • #7
Dotted 8th delay
The dreaded dotted 8th delay.

Thanks. I have tried dotted eights before, but it sounds too generic as it is plastered all over the place in most corporate music we hear these days. But the sound in the video I linked had a very nice percussive quality to it and it transformed beautifully as the filter opened up. It's the sounds themselves that I am more interested in.
 

nordicguy

Active Member
Thanks. I have tried dotted eights before, but it sounds too generic as it is plastered all over the place in most corporate music we hear these days. But the sound in the video I linked had a very nice percussive quality to it and it transformed beautifully as the filter opened up. It's the sounds themselves that I am more interested in.
You may be did it without mentioning but, did you experiment modulating some parameters via velocity?
Could be cutoff of course, but also distortion amount/drive, reverb's tail time, cutoff's decay time, etc...
 
OP
ranaprathap

ranaprathap

Active Member
Thread starter
  • Thread Starter
  • Thread Starter
  • #9
You may be did it without mentioning but, did you experiment modulating some parameters via velocity?
Could be cutoff of course, but also distortion amount/drive, reverb's tail time, cutoff's decay time, etc...

That's a good idea I haven't yet tried. I usually modulate them by curves, but linking them to velocity sounds very interesting. Thanks, I will check it out.
 

DSmolken

Senior Member
Output Movement is a good effects plugin for this type of stuff - it does gate, delay, and a lot of other stuff, plus has a convenient XY pad for adding modulations.
 
OP
ranaprathap

ranaprathap

Active Member
Thread starter
  • Thread Starter
  • Thread Starter
  • #11
Output Movement is a good effects plugin for this type of stuff - it does gate, delay, and a lot of other stuff, plus has a convenient XY pad for adding modulations.

That looks really interesting. I remember I once domoed Output Signal for the same purpose. I will look into Movement. Thanks.
 

karelpsota

send nudes
The key to a good pulse is variation.

Since its often the same note and rhythm, you need to keep it interesting with changes in volume and cutoff frequency.

For example, you can assign the velocity of the synth to the decay speed of a filter. Then put all that through distorsion and reverb. Finally, add a trance-gate to make the rhythm tighter.

For more advanced synthesis, you can vary the wavetable position, FM carrier, or even the distorsion amount. Weird impulses in a convolution plugin can alter your pulses in a unique way too.
 
Last edited:

karelpsota

send nudes
To illustrate what I previously wrote,

I made a patch that showcases variation in volume, volume decay, cutoff, and cutoff decay. All these parameters are modified by velocity. I added the "dreaded" 8th delay too. Hopefully it can inspire you.

audio: https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/15219925/VI/Pulse Demo.mp3

screenshot:
 
OP
ranaprathap

ranaprathap

Active Member
Thread starter
  • Thread Starter
  • Thread Starter
  • #17
To illustrate what I previously wrote,

I made a patch that showcases variation in volume, volume decay, cutoff, and cutoff decay. All these parameters are modified by velocity. I added the "dreaded" 8th delay too. Hopefully it can inspire you.

audio: https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/15219925/VI/Pulse Demo.mp3

screenshot:
Thanks a lot for taking some time to do this @karelpsota. It is really appreciated.

Even though I don't own Serum, this should be possible in other synths. I will definitely experiment more in this direction.

Yes, this did inspire me. :)
 
OP
ranaprathap

ranaprathap

Active Member
Thread starter
  • Thread Starter
  • Thread Starter
  • #18

Thanks for suggesting a list of plugins. Even though I would like to try and do it in as barebone way as possible (like karelpsota did everything in a single instance of Serum), sometimes its far easier to slap a plugin and let it do its job. Thanks again.
 
Top Bottom