ilmai wrote:I would love to have some crash cymbals there for added emphasis, but I can't seem to make them sound good using the de facto enveloped noise method of creating hi-hats. Are good-sounding crash cymbals even possible using a simple subtractive synth
The usual method requires some layering. It's possible to combine narrow pulses (<50%) with ring-mod, x-mod or audio rate modulation (audio-rate modulation to PW works great for metallic timbres with a single osc.)
By passing that through the main filter or any additional filter stages to apply EQ and layering to get multiple filters (as many as 6 or more) to get the initial stick, the quick attack/decay, "sizzle" and release portions of the sound in both filtered metallic/dissonant harmonics and noise with unique envelopes and levels for each you can produce a very good synthetic cymbal. You won't be getting very close to a sample without more advanced features but you can easily beat the tr-808 or similar cymbal patches by layering a few instances of a good quality synth.
Using a noise-modulator (LFO with noise waveform) to modulate oscillators frequency can sometimes work better than mixing pure noise. Control of the noise timbre and "shape" (distribution as in log, uniform or expo) can improve results as well and cut down significantly on the number of layers required.
To get even better results some more advanced features and often a modular architecture are required but cymbals in general are notorious for their difficulty.https://soundcloud.com/aciddose-1/analo ... oscillator
This is an example on a single-osc monosynth with a single filter, envelope and LFO using the audio-rate PWM I mentioned.