Binary Finary - 1998 breathing pluck sound?

How to make that sound...
KVRer
18 posts since 4 Apr, 2021

Post Thu Apr 08, 2021 4:04 am

This is old classic song. I am looking for help for this "breathing" synth sound that is right at the very beginning of the song (it plays alone for a while in the beginning):

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6OfY7ev4FKM&t=8s

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9b0
KVRist
346 posts since 23 Sep, 2003 from Hungary

Post Thu Apr 08, 2021 5:17 am

It's an 'Ah' sample basically with some filtering + reverb.

If you want to reach something similar with synths, you'll need a formant filter + white noise + several oscillators.
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Suspended
266 posts since 4 Dec, 2019

Post Thu Apr 08, 2021 8:21 am

9b0 wrote:
Thu Apr 08, 2021 5:17 am
It's an 'Ah' sample basically with some filtering + reverb.

If you want to reach something similar with synths, you'll need a formant filter + white noise + several oscillators.
Yes, want to reach something similar with synths.
Let's make it a 100% synth based, then!
It'd be great if you could help me improve this patch I just made. You seem to know something about it. How do I get the formant filter to stay more constant in its quality on each note? I already applied key tracking but it doesn't seem enough... That's the most urgent thing that still cries for some more fine tuning here, I guess. :tu:
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h66
KVRist
70 posts since 17 Nov, 2012

Post Thu Apr 08, 2021 10:43 am

Masterpiece

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KVRAF
4136 posts since 7 Jun, 2012 from Warsaw

Post Thu Apr 08, 2021 11:09 am

I don't know the answer, but this "ah" sound was very, very common in many tracks from that era. It's pretty much a cliche.
http://djwarmonger.wordpress.com/
Tricky-Loops wrote: (...)someone like Armin van Buuren who claims to make a track in half an hour and all his songs sound somewhat boring(...)

KVRAF
3409 posts since 27 Dec, 2002 from North East England

Post Thu Apr 08, 2021 11:41 am

I think that might be based on the choir 'oscillator' in the Korg M1. I can't quite nail the filter movement here, but it sounds very tonally similar.

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Suspended
266 posts since 4 Dec, 2019

Post Thu Apr 08, 2021 12:51 pm

I'm a fan of this kind of trance music as well and it's not the first time I'm listening to this track.
The Serum patch I made and posted is for everyone to download who would like to improve it and post it back to us again.
I made the start so that we could end up with something close enough to the sound the OP is looking for.
So if you've got the skills, then let's do this.
Nothing can be better than liberty and free time to spend as you choose. Let's give those modern slaveholders the bum's rush!

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9b0
KVRist
346 posts since 23 Sep, 2003 from Hungary

Post Thu Apr 08, 2021 2:26 pm

juno987654321 wrote:
Thu Apr 08, 2021 8:21 am
9b0 wrote:
Thu Apr 08, 2021 5:17 am
It's an 'Ah' sample basically with some filtering + reverb.

If you want to reach something similar with synths, you'll need a formant filter + white noise + several oscillators.
Yes, want to reach something similar with synths.
Let's make it a 100% synth based, then!
It'd be great if you could help me improve this patch I just made. You seem to know something about it. How do I get the formant filter to stay more constant in its quality on each note? I already applied key tracking but it doesn't seem enough... That's the most urgent thing that still cries for some more fine tuning here, I guess. :tu:
I don't know what synth you're using, the file is just a .fxp file, but my guess would be that I don't have that plugin anyways. :D (EDIT: I see now, you're using Serum... my guess was right, I'm not a Serum user)

I'm really more into modular stuff, and I can't imagine a fixed architecture that would suit this sound well, but something that gets close to this sound should be doable, even if sampling is the most efficient for these sounds.

I was trying to build something similar quickly, here's what the patch looks like and sounds like (sorry I'm not the greatest keyboard player of all time, but this shows the idea):
https://www.dropbox.com/s/4jdvc6hmwjqfm ... k.mp4?dl=1

The main oscillator is a triangle, and I mix a saw to it, and also some noise (with a 4p hi-pass filter on it to remove low frequencies). These signals get mixed together and go into 3 parallel keyboard-tracked State Variable bandpass filters (basically this is a formant filter). The output of the 3 filters is getting mixed together in the mixer, and I round down the hi-frequency content with a 1-pole lowpass filter and send the whole sound into a resonant State Variable lowpass with a sharp envelope. In the end, I take care of the volume envelope and add some reverb to the track.
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Suspended
266 posts since 4 Dec, 2019

Post Thu Apr 08, 2021 3:10 pm

Hey, thank you very much!
I will have a close look at all of this tomorrow and see what I can do. (It's already late in the night right now.)
Nothing can be better than liberty and free time to spend as you choose. Let's give those modern slaveholders the bum's rush!

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266 posts since 4 Dec, 2019

Post Fri Apr 09, 2021 4:34 am

9b0 wrote:
Thu Apr 08, 2021 2:26 pm
The main oscillator is a triangle, and I mix a saw to it, and also some noise (with a 4p hi-pass filter on it to remove low frequencies). These signals get mixed together and go into 3 parallel keyboard-tracked State Variable bandpass filters (basically this is a formant filter). The output of the 3 filters is getting mixed together in the mixer, and I round down the hi-frequency content with a 1-pole lowpass filter and send the whole sound into a resonant State Variable lowpass with a sharp envelope. In the end, I take care of the volume envelope and add some reverb to the track.
Could you please send a screenshot of the modular arrangement you created? I cannot really see it in the video because it's too small.
I don't quite understand yet how you get the sound but I would like to.
You use a triangle and a saw and some white noise. (OK, I used a triangle and a small pulse which may still sound somewhat similar as a basis.)
Do they all go to the same 24dB HP filter and where is the cutoff frequency and what's the ratio between those 3 - same amount for all?
Next you put the formant filter with key tracking on it, OK.
Then I don't quite understand how you go on next.
Is there a pitch fall involved as well?

Your result sounds good and I can hear you play Sunbeam's "Outside World" as well which is another nice one, but I would like to understand the process and the fine tuning you did further. Please explain.

BTW: You're right with Serum. The limits are soon reached with only 2 main oscs + a sub osc. You are much freer to recreate more sophisticated sounds with your modular approach. I'd have to use additional plugins or multiple tracks for more complex creations... I also should have recreated the patch by using a plugin which is more accessible to everyone, preferably with the free plugin Vital which has become the better alternative to Serum in a way and moreover has 3 main oscs. I will do that in my next post because I don't usually support commercial plugins and I don't want to promote them. Thanks for indirectly having reminded me on that as well. :tu:
I will translate your modular patch into Vital and make it available to everybody if you can help me understand it.
Nothing can be better than liberty and free time to spend as you choose. Let's give those modern slaveholders the bum's rush!

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9b0
KVRist
346 posts since 23 Sep, 2003 from Hungary

Post Fri Apr 09, 2021 6:15 am

juno987654321 wrote:
Fri Apr 09, 2021 4:34 am
Could you please send a screenshot of the modular arrangement you created? I cannot really see it in the video because it's too small.
I don't quite understand yet how you get the sound but I would like to.
You use a triangle and a saw and some white noise. (OK, I used a triangle and a small pulse which may still sound somewhat similar as a basis.)
Do they all go to the same 24dB HP filter and where is the cutoff frequency and what's the ratio between those 3 - same amount for all?
Next you put the formant filter with key tracking on it, OK.
Then I don't quite understand how you go on next.
Is there a pitch fall involved as well?

Your result sounds good and I can hear you play Sunbeam's "Outside World" as well which is another nice one, but I would like to understand the process and the fine tuning you did further. Please explain.

BTW: You're right with Serum. The limits are soon reached with only 2 main oscs + a sub osc. You are much freer to recreate more sophisticated sounds with your modular approach. I'd have to use additional plugins or multiple tracks for more complex creations... I also should have recreated the patch by using a plugin which is more accessible to everyone, preferably with the free plugin Vital which has become the better alternative to Serum in a way and moreover has 3 main oscs. I will do that in my next post because I don't usually support commercial plugins and I don't want to promote them. Thanks for indirectly having reminded me on that as well. :tu:
I will translate your modular patch into Vital and make it available to everybody if you can help me understand it.
I think a screenshot would not tell much, I've recorded a quick video instead... should be a lot easier to understand while hearing.

https://youtu.be/PeyRlcdIVvA

I hope, this helps!
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Suspended
266 posts since 4 Dec, 2019

Post Fri Apr 09, 2021 6:37 am

9b0 wrote:
Fri Apr 09, 2021 6:15 am
I hope, this helps!
Yes, this helps a lot! Thank you! In the end you say you use a 2-poled resonant LP filter.
This is just another term for a 12dB LP filter with some resonance on it, isn't it?
But is there any filter MOVEMENT on this one or on the other filters you used?
It sounds like some filters also sweep through frequencies as if there was some movement as well and as if they were closing?
Nothing can be better than liberty and free time to spend as you choose. Let's give those modern slaveholders the bum's rush!

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9b0
KVRist
346 posts since 23 Sep, 2003 from Hungary

Post Fri Apr 09, 2021 6:54 am

juno987654321 wrote:
Fri Apr 09, 2021 6:37 am
Yes, this helps a lot! Thank you! In the end you say you use a 2-poled resonant LP filter.
This is just another term for a 12dB LP filter with some resonance on it, isn't it?
Yes, they are 12dB/octave State Variable filters.
juno987654321 wrote:
Fri Apr 09, 2021 6:37 am
But is there any filter MOVEMENT on this one or on the other filters you used?
It sounds like some filters also sweep through frequencies as if there was some movement as well and as if they were closing?
The gain has an envelope with some attack, and the resonant lowpass has a fast decaying envelope, that's the movement you feel in the end.
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Suspended
266 posts since 4 Dec, 2019

Post Fri Apr 09, 2021 7:01 am

9b0 wrote:
Fri Apr 09, 2021 6:54 am
...
I'm lucky we're both online. Which gain are you referring to?
I'll try to recreate the patch in Vital. Do I have to know any cutoff frequencies or any other settings you used as well? It would be nice if you could tell me the frequencies if they are important.
Nothing can be better than liberty and free time to spend as you choose. Let's give those modern slaveholders the bum's rush!

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9b0
KVRist
346 posts since 23 Sep, 2003 from Hungary

Post Fri Apr 09, 2021 7:03 am

juno987654321 wrote:
Fri Apr 09, 2021 7:01 am
I'm lucky we're both online. Which gain are you referring to?
I'll try to recreate the patch in Vital. Do I have to know any cutoff frequencies or any other settings you used as well? It would be nice if you could tell me the frequencies if they are important.
There's nothing too important there. This is just a draft patch I did quickly, nothing fancy really. Just follow your ears! :)

By 'gain' I mean the amplitude, sorry if I'm a bit hard to understand.
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