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Tim Hecker style distortion

October 15, 2015 | 11:43 am

Hi gang,

I’m relatively new to Max/MSP as I’m just starting to take classes on it at UC Berkeley through CNMAT. I’m totally in love with this software and am excited to work with it to create textures and timbres and effects that I just don’t hear elsewhere. One in particular is the distortion right at the beginning of this Tim Hecker song.

I know that he uses a lot of weird techniques to get his sound (running through tape, distortion pedals, post-processing on the computer, etc) but I just want one simple patch that can create that massive distortion. I’ve made it myself previously by pushing a low-pass filter WAY too hard, but that creates clipping. I have tried to counteract the clipping by using a adding an additional gain~ or live.gain~ to turn it down but those gain’s just clip. I’ve tried using the mx.comp~, which does quell the clipping buy changes the timbre too much. I’ve also used omx.peaklim~ which alters the sound entirely to the point that it doesn’t really sound like distortion. So, I’m curious how I can create a distortion that has that massive, huge, grinding aspect of it but have the ability to tame it and prevent final clipping (internal clipping is fine).

I have attached one of my Lab assignments so you can hear what I’m talking about. If you click and drag to the (almost) bottom right corner you will hear the distortion I am referring to. WARNING I AM USING odot DEVELOPED AT CNMAT, IF YOU DO NOT HAVE IT INSTALLED THE PATCH WILL NOT WORK. odot can be downloaded from github.

Thanks for your help!

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