Re: One Synth Challenge #121: Any One Synth (Rellik Wins!)

VST, AU, AAX, etc. plug-in Virtual Instruments discussion
User avatar
Taron
KVRAF
2370 posts since 17 Apr, 2010 from Croatia

Post Fri Mar 08, 2019 5:51 am

A comb filter is not really a "filter", but a super tight delay or repeater, ideally with dampening (which then would be a filter, uhm, so..ah...well, let's just say its "more" than a filter!). As a result it's kind of like a waveform sampler, where the repetition "becomes" the sound. Thing is, any overlap- of what feeds into this- will smoothly repeat and only adds complexity to the sound. You can therefore turn any source into a kind of waveform designer, really.
The awesome thing about modular synths, which have a comb module (like ModulAir), is that you can put envelopes around them, before and after, if you will, and therefore still have total freedom about the transient it produces. Ordinarily you would hit it with a kind of impulse wave, something that has a tight enough envelope to just create "one waveform" when you play it. This one then goes into the comb and keeps swinging, depending on your decay and dampening settings of the comb filter. OH, remember Triple Cheese?! The whole synth was exclusively comb filters, really, with just some impulse and envelope features.
To get bowing type attacks or behaviors you can just hook a noise up as sound source/waveform input and play with its envelope. The noise will "energize" the comb, so to say...but it can be anything, not just a noise. Detuned waves can avoid exploding resonances and help produce amazing sounds as well!

Anyhow, the whole clue about such a filter is that you hook key tracking into its frequency. It then becomes much like a physical modeling concept.
In some ways my Lord of the Springs is related to that, but it doesn't work with "sampled" inputs. Instead it has literally springs that you stimulate, like pure resonance filters. It's related, because it also just holds on to what you put into it in an even more physical way.
The challenge with comb filters is really to design the right kind of input. You can put a single snap (like a pulse wave turned all the way to one side) into them and it will result in a very thing sound, because it has no real body like a sine wave, which would have the richest body.
It's amazing to experiment with all this, especially velocity controlled changes to the impulse part and dampening.
If you can have an lfo on the frequency of the comb, you can get the most beautiful vibrato, because it just does more to the sound than if you were to generate waveforms directly. Highly organic!
So, yeah, please, start playing with combs. It's ridiculously awesome! There are some "dangers", though, and it can get fickle...but it's worth the "risk", haha. :ud:

TheNeverScene
KVRian
625 posts since 1 Dec, 2016

Re: Re: One Synth Challenge #121: Any One Synth ($100 prize added!)

Post Fri Mar 08, 2019 6:03 am

Hey man, thank you for that fantastic explanation!
Just a touch of EQ and a tickle of compression

DavidCarlyon
KVRist
384 posts since 17 Mar, 2018

Re: Re: One Synth Challenge #121: Any One Synth ($100 prize added!)

Post Fri Mar 08, 2019 7:01 am

Last question i promise. How about automation?
Is it against the spirit of the comp to use loads of automation? Or just lfos/MSEG etc.

I love the spirit of this - everyone sharing little tips n tricks. Nice

TheNeverScene
KVRian
625 posts since 1 Dec, 2016

Re: Re: One Synth Challenge #121: Any One Synth ($100 prize added!)

Post Fri Mar 08, 2019 7:06 am

DavidCarlyon wrote:
Fri Mar 08, 2019 7:01 am
Last question i promise. How about automation?
Is it against the spirit of the comp to use loads of automation? Or just lfos/MSEG etc.

I love the spirit of this - everyone sharing little tips n tricks. Nice
Automation is fair game afaik....load it up!
Just a touch of EQ and a tickle of compression

User avatar
Taron
KVRAF
2370 posts since 17 Apr, 2010 from Croatia

Re: Re: One Synth Challenge #121: Any One Synth ($100 prize added!)

Post Fri Mar 08, 2019 7:14 am

If you consider the real point of this, creating a whole arrangement with one synth, you can find virtually all the answers. As long as you don't sample and/or bend the output of the synth, you're fine. Even EQ and some distortion are totally fine as well as reverb at any thickness and whatever post process can place the sound in the mix. Gray areas are often used virtuously by some, like automating EQs and having fun with stuff like Boogex. But it should simply be about faithfully making use of the synth in a way that keeps its spirit alive and challenge yourself and the synth itself to do thy bidding - not the DAW.
As for automation, sometimes I even use the DAWs envelopes and even LFOs to automate parameters of a synth, but it happens rarely and is fair game, simply because it simply is automation. Whether you draw those curves or use something that makes them for you doesn't matter.

doctorbob
KVRian
1242 posts since 7 Mar, 2014

Re: One Synth Challenge #121: Any One Synth ($100 prize added!)

Post Fri Mar 08, 2019 7:16 am

Just downloaded the latest Modulair and I cannot insert modules! Loading a preset works, but I cannot add any extra modules in empty slots … using Reaper 64-bit. Cannot move them with right click either …

Anyone else got this problem? Ideas? Solutions?

Done the delete vsti, edit the reaper-vstplugins64.ini and removed the entry. Rescanned etc.

Also tried the 32-bit as well - also no go ...

dB

mclstr
KVRist
135 posts since 13 Dec, 2016 from Tucson, AZ, USA

Re: Re: One Synth Challenge #121: Any One Synth ($100 prize added!)

Post Fri Mar 08, 2019 7:54 am

Taron wrote:
Fri Mar 08, 2019 4:13 am
TheNeverScene wrote:
Thu Mar 07, 2019 9:12 pm

...For guitar sounds I'm so hooked on Comb Filter based sounds, because they ....
Add some very slight randomness to the timing, attack, pitch and tone to reduce the uniformity.

Polyphonic pitch bend and/or assigning each note in the chord to a different track allows you to use modulations on each note independently.

Here is an example using Zebra. Listen to the last third and you can here the randomness in my attempt at synthesizing a Spanish guitar:
https://soundcloud.com/user-851734095/20180102a

User avatar
Taron
KVRAF
2370 posts since 17 Apr, 2010 from Croatia

Re: One Synth Challenge #121: Any One Synth ($100 prize added!)

Post Fri Mar 08, 2019 8:06 am

doctorbob wrote:
Fri Mar 08, 2019 7:16 am
Just downloaded the latest Modulair and I cannot insert modules! Loading a preset works, but I cannot add any extra modules in empty slots … using Reaper 64-bit. Cannot move them with right click either …

Anyone else got this problem? Ideas? Solutions?

Done the delete vsti, edit the reaper-vstplugins64.ini and removed the entry. Rescanned etc.

Also tried the 32-bit as well - also no go ...

dB
Nope, no such troubles with MuLab here. :shrug:

RichardSemper
KVRist
464 posts since 30 Oct, 2013 from Stoke On Trent

Re: One Synth Challenge #121: Any One Synth ($100 prize added!)

Post Fri Mar 08, 2019 8:19 am

doctorbob wrote:
Fri Mar 08, 2019 7:16 am
Just downloaded the latest Modulair and I cannot insert modules!
dB
Just checked it - is fine in mulab, bitwig, cubase and tracktion, must be a reaper issue.

User avatar
Taron
KVRAF
2370 posts since 17 Apr, 2010 from Croatia

Re: Re: One Synth Challenge #121: Any One Synth ($100 prize added!)

Post Fri Mar 08, 2019 9:16 am

Danged... now I'm playing around with Zebra2 and....pffff... it is one of the very rare, perfectly deserving commercial synths in existence on the computer, if you asked me. The quality is just unreal. Within a few minutes I made a comb based sound that is clear, round, pretty, juicy and essentially flawless, when it comes to quality. The whole idea of "fickle" doesn't even quite come into play. I'm seriously considering to give Zebra finally a good go. Right now I'm lost in just playing the keys with this sound... pffff... delightful.

TheNeverScene
KVRian
625 posts since 1 Dec, 2016

Re: Re: One Synth Challenge #121: Any One Synth ($100 prize added!)

Post Fri Mar 08, 2019 9:20 am

mclstr wrote:
Fri Mar 08, 2019 7:54 am

Here is an example using Zebra. Listen to the last third and you can here the randomness in my attempt at synthesizing a Spanish guitar:
https://soundcloud.com/user-851734095/20180102a
Thanks, nice guitar! What sort of base waveform/table did you use for it?
Just a touch of EQ and a tickle of compression

DavidCarlyon
KVRist
384 posts since 17 Mar, 2018

Re: Re: One Synth Challenge #121: Any One Synth ($100 prize added!)

Post Fri Mar 08, 2019 9:41 am

Taron wrote:
Fri Mar 08, 2019 9:16 am
Danged... now I'm playing around with Zebra2 and....pffff... it is one of the very rare, perfectly deserving commercial synths in existence on the computer, if you asked me. The quality is just unreal. Within a few minutes I made a comb based sound that is clear, round, pretty, juicy and essentially flawless, when it comes to quality. The whole idea of "fickle" doesn't even quite come into play. I'm seriously considering to give Zebra finally a good go. Right now I'm lost in just playing the keys with this sound... pffff... delightful.
Yeah i stayed on the fence with Zebra for ages. It is one of the few on my list that i don't yet have!

mclstr
KVRist
135 posts since 13 Dec, 2016 from Tucson, AZ, USA

Re: Re: One Synth Challenge #121: Any One Synth ($100 prize added!)

Post Fri Mar 08, 2019 11:12 am

TheNeverScene wrote:
Fri Mar 08, 2019 9:20 am
mclstr wrote:
Fri Mar 08, 2019 7:54 am

Here is an example using Zebra. Listen to the last third and you can here the randomness in my attempt at synthesizing a Spanish guitar:
https://soundcloud.com/user-851734095/20180102a
Thanks, nice guitar! What sort of base waveform/table did you use for it?
Pretty much as Taron explained. Mine was noise fed into a comb filter. I reverse engineered some of the examples that came with Zebra2 and found it worked quite well for lots of natural sounding instruments.

TheNeverScene
KVRian
625 posts since 1 Dec, 2016

Re: Re: One Synth Challenge #121: Any One Synth ($100 prize added!)

Post Fri Mar 08, 2019 11:15 am

Wow, noise?! That is very interesting, thanks for that.
Just a touch of EQ and a tickle of compression

mclstr
KVRist
135 posts since 13 Dec, 2016 from Tucson, AZ, USA

Re: Re: One Synth Challenge #121: Any One Synth ($100 prize added!)

Post Fri Mar 08, 2019 11:22 am

DavidCarlyon wrote:
Fri Mar 08, 2019 9:41 am
Taron wrote:
Fri Mar 08, 2019 9:16 am
Danged... now I'm playing around with Zebra2 and....pffff... it is one of the very rare, perfectly deserving commercial synths in existence on the computer, if you asked me.....
Yeah i stayed on the fence with Zebra for ages. It is one of the few on my list that i don't yet have!
I did not find it as intuitive to program, especially for people like me who grew up with modular analog synths. You really want to read through the manual.

It is very flexible and can do a huge variety of sounds. I especially like it for simulating acoustic instruments.
My favorite for pianos, guitars, percussion, ....

Return to “Instruments”