How can I create this sound with the right kinds of distortion?

How to make that sound...
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KVRist
360 posts since 4 Dec, 2019

Post Sat May 01, 2021 9:21 am

I still find it a bit difficult to figure out what kind(s) of distortion(s) to use to recreate this sound. It's the lead sound that starts at 24 sec. Obviously, the key would be to find the right kinds of distortion effects to be used on a saw here and explain the fine tuning which is involved here:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9346vKpsh1E
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KVRAF
2048 posts since 12 Jan, 2019

Post Sat May 01, 2021 9:27 am

Bit crusher. Look up 8-bit or chip tune synths/romplers, too. There are some good threads here dedicated to that.
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KVRAF
28492 posts since 11 Apr, 2010 from Germany

Post Sat May 01, 2021 9:38 am

Could this be oscillator sync?
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KVRist

Topic Starter

360 posts since 4 Dec, 2019

Post Sat May 01, 2021 10:30 am

Hey, already some first comments! Great!

I think I already tried bit crushing but maybe I didn't try hard enough or there's something more to this sound?
(Side note: those who know me will know I won't use romplers, only synths to create sounds from scratch. :wink: )

chk071 (I don't know how else to call you): What do you mean by oscillator sync? Can you explain this a bit and why you think this could be involved in this sound?
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KVRist
175 posts since 4 Jun, 2020 from USA

Post Tue May 04, 2021 8:59 pm

To me it sounds like a slightly overdriven square wave tone.

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KVRAF
2442 posts since 18 May, 2002 from up on Cripple Creek (CO)

Post Wed May 05, 2021 1:59 pm

juno987654321 wrote:
Sat May 01, 2021 10:30 am
chk071 (I don't know how else to call you): What do you mean by oscillator sync? Can you explain this a bit and why you think this could be involved in this sound?
Since it looks like they haven't made it back to answer this, I figured I might as well.

Osc sync is about what it sounds like, it causes the synced oscillator to reset whenever the oscillator it's synced to completes a cycle. When the synced oscillator is tuned differently from the one it's synced to but left static, it can make kinda odd sounds like the one in that track. A lot of times the pitch of the synced oscillator is modulated with an envelope to make sounds like the lead that plays the main melody in Gary Numan's "Cars," or, speaking of cars, that distinctive sound in The Cars' song "Let's Go!" Lol, I'm sure there are more modern examples, but those are what immediately came to mind. :)
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KVRAF
28492 posts since 11 Apr, 2010 from Germany

Post Wed May 05, 2021 2:03 pm

I tried to replicate the sound using Synth1, using the oscillator sync on that one. Didn't get close really... I think there is some distortion involved indeed.

As usual, I guess there's more than one way to achieve the sound.

Oh, and, I should also add that osc sync on most soft synths sounds like... well... butt. :P It's one of those things, like good saturation or distortion, which is still unmatched from the analog domain.
Last edited by chk071 on Wed May 05, 2021 2:13 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Plugins and a DAW. On an operating system. Which runs on a computer.

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KVRist

Topic Starter

360 posts since 4 Dec, 2019

Post Wed May 05, 2021 2:06 pm

Thanks guys, I will try this even tonight still. I'm starting to do a hundred things at the same time, just like my friend Choos. I'll hopefully get back to that sound tonight! :D

Sound design is so versatile. You easily get lost...
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KVRist

Topic Starter

360 posts since 4 Dec, 2019

Post Wed May 05, 2021 4:28 pm

...
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KVRian
732 posts since 20 Apr, 2005

Post Sat May 22, 2021 1:42 am

chk071 wrote:
Wed May 05, 2021 2:03 pm
I tried to replicate the sound using Synth1, using the oscillator sync on that one. Didn't get close really... I think there is some distortion involved indeed.

As usual, I guess there's more than one way to achieve the sound.

Oh, and, I should also add that osc sync on most soft synths sounds like... well... butt. :P It's one of those things, like good saturation or distortion, which is still unmatched from the analog domain.
I think a big part of how it sounds is the terrible hard edged reverb that mixes in. The sound itself is pretty unremarkable, no, just two oscs slightly detuned plus distortion?

I think Valhalla room, with a small room size, might be able to sound that harsh in the early reflections.

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

Post Sat May 22, 2021 1:39 pm

I'm certain that this sound was produced with a sampler. Back in the days, it was a common technique to create synthetic sounds by taking a short loop of samples and using them as a synth sound (even the click sound transient in this example is a clue: it's not a synth, it's a percussive sample loop). If you want to do something similar, take any sample with a dense/noisy waveform (snare, rimshot, clap, anything), leave a short transient, and make a very short loop. You can achieve the same by converting the sample to wavetable (AFAIK Serum is capable of this, but it's working in Ableton's Waveform 2).

Or use some kind of noise wavetable in a wavetable synth (the pink noise wavetable works pretty similar to this on it's own).

This video shows all the 3 ways, but I'm 100% certain, it's not a synth sound at all:
https://www.dropbox.com/s/g6m3liqowj6v7 ... h.mp4?dl=0
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KVRist

Topic Starter

360 posts since 4 Dec, 2019

Post Sat May 22, 2021 5:33 pm

Thank you Alpha guy for enhancing my knowledge with this video again!
This really helps me understand how they got that sound back then and I believe you.
In a video on youtube I saw how they used samplers extensively back then but seeing (how exactly) is believing!
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KVRist
360 posts since 23 Sep, 2003 from Hungary

Post Sun May 23, 2021 5:04 am

Back in the '90s rave/club music was mostly produced using digital gear. If someone used analogue stuff it was mostly a Roland Juno 106, a 303, or the classic Roland drums, but in the mid-'90s these gears costed a fortune already, the rest was the more accessible workstations (M1, D50, DX7, X3, Wavestation maybe), while one had trackers for budget productions (on some early live-act footage from raves you can spot Amiga Protrackers or other trackers on stage with a computer). This opened up the market for early groove boxes and stuff like Quasimidi Rave-o-lution, cs1x, where one had many things together, but mostly sample-based. Virtual analog gear and the real analog renaissance started at the end of the '90s when the happy-rave era was past already. From a sound-design perspective, there was much more interesting stuff in that era in electronic music than the pop-rave / eurodancefloor genre.
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KVRer
2 posts since 27 Apr, 2021

Post Sun May 30, 2021 3:58 pm

juno987654321 wrote:
Sat May 01, 2021 9:21 am
I still find it a bit difficult to figure out what kind(s) of distortion(s) to use to recreate this sound. It's the lead sound that starts at 24 sec. Obviously, the key would be to find the right kinds of distortion effects to be used on a saw here and explain the fine tuning which is involved here:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9346vKpsh1E
I'm pretty sure in serum there is a factory waveform that sounds exactly like that.
I don't know if it's just me but I just hear a similar to square wave lead with reverb but I don't hear any distortion at all.

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KVRist

Topic Starter

360 posts since 4 Dec, 2019

Post Sun May 30, 2021 10:23 pm

If you could find and name the waveform you have in mind that'b be awesome.
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