Recreating steel drum style synth sound

Nov 10, 2012 at 3:43pm

Recreating steel drum style synth sound

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s64Xgbm3neA#t=3m25s

this synth is really odd, it sounds like a steel drum with some reverb. what synth settings would I need to recreate this?

also, what are the tricks to getting different sounds out of saw~ and rect~, apart from using reverb, delay or tuning the oscillators differently?

cheers

#65158
Nov 10, 2012 at 4:45pm

Not sure which part of what your talking about is steel drum like. (the bendy guitar-ish sounding bit?)

Synthesis is a whole big monster of a subject, and you can do a ton with just a couple of objects (additive synthesis, FM synthesis, subtractive synthesis(?), etc…)

I personally never bother with trying to create synthesized sounds in max, as there’s sooooo many softsynths out there that it seems all but pointless.

#234875
Nov 10, 2012 at 5:42pm

really? You never build your own synths in max? I don’t find it pointless at all if you want something very specific.
Besides that one learns a lot and finds things that one wouldn’t have encountered when one wouldn’t have bothered to build a synth oneself.
I just wanted to say i do recommend building synths in max. it’s fun!

#234876
Nov 10, 2012 at 6:22pm

Heh yeah never. Well I have a couple sections in my patch which are super simple synths, but for me, synthesis isn’t an interest (in Max). I’m all about the sampling/processing of stuff, so all my energies have gone there.

#234877
Nov 10, 2012 at 7:44pm

How does a sound evolve? What is the impulse or exciter? What is the nature of the resonator? Two names always mentioned in this context are Perry Cook – PeRColate external – and Dave Bessel – MetalWood.

I’m surprised to hear Rodrigo say he’s not made much use of synthesis per se. Is live processing not a form of synthesis? I’ll not get [more] pedantic but the little I’ve heard of Rodrigo’s unique soundworlds use synthesis processes, no?
Woyteg has posed an interesting question too.

Tired and emotional on sat nite.

B

#234878
Nov 10, 2012 at 7:49pm

Ps

Guesswork would lead me first to FM synthesis, for those enharmonic overtones, and then to AM, for more intuitive control. Both methods immediately mentioned by Rodrigo : )

#234879
Nov 10, 2012 at 11:03pm

Nope, no ‘real’ synthesis. As mentioned there is a small part of my main patch (the party van) which has some super basic sinetone/fm type stuff, but I rarely use it.
I do use some hardware/oddball synths (ciat-lonbarde stuff), but I’ve found when trying to make synth stuff from scratch, that unless you know a tremendous amount, it sounds quite flat and uninteresting (this extends all the way up to full on hardware soft synths. And it’s not because I think analog is the ‘real deal’, it’s more the complexity and nonlinearities required to make for an (in my opinion) interesting synth sound are way beyond my knowledge.

#234880
Nov 10, 2012 at 11:40pm

I have an old DX synth. It’s digital, and I’ve recreated the algorithms in MaxMSP. Not the same. Je n’est ce qua. I believe the Yamaha is just noisier : P

Maybe OP should search here for Bell/Bar synthesis?

#234881
Nov 11, 2012 at 1:44pm

I imagine it’s very difficult to recreate a synth sound exactly. I just wish those sound on sound synth secrets tutorials were more compatible with Max as they have some great tutorials but I find implementing them in Max is difficult.

I have however managed to get some cool synth sounds from max msp. the synth sounds i got with ableton are not my cup of tea.

I would go with what rodrigo said though. Unless you know all the tiny intricacies of synth building you won’t get a fully professional sound which is a little disheartening. my synth patches are always a little mickey mouse. can’t afford a decent synth though.

ah well, back to the sound on sound tutorials I go.

#234882
Nov 11, 2012 at 3:10pm

I’d like to see your efforts in transferring the SOS algos into Max. I recently had some success with Gordon’s article on string modelling.

B

#234883
Nov 11, 2012 at 4:29pm

….in fact, if you have PeRColate, the [bowedbar~] and [vibraphone~] helpfile examples sound like they could get you close to a steel drum. If you grab a soundfile example of a steel drum that would also help.

#234884
Nov 12, 2012 at 2:46am

If you’re referring to the tones in the background I think you’re looking for something like http://www.gforcesoftware.com/products/vsm
If you actually do want steel drums try Modal synthesis

#234885
Nov 12, 2012 at 3:56pm

I don’t hear the steel drum in the recording that was posted. I think it’s just electric guitar, if it’s the repeated tones that OP is referring to. However, if you’re looking for a steel drum-ish sound, try FM first, since it’s simple, cheap, and requires no externals. (nothing against the others, just they may be a lot more effort and if you’re not going for an exact steel drum…)

You could run two simpleFM~ in parallel, the first one is for the metallic element, and should die out very quickly. Try a harmonicity ratio of 1.6-1.8. For the second, you might try something like 5; I seem to recall the vibraphone having a prominent 5th harmonic, but YMMV.

#234886
Nov 14, 2012 at 11:33pm

Maybe he’s hearing the Ondes Martenot?

#234887

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