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Creative fx chains for ambient drones. Ideas.....


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40 replies to this topic

#1 Polytrix

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Posted 09 September 2018 - 07:18 AM

So I've been listening to a lot of Huerco S and when I'm not actively trying to finish a track I go on ambient drone out trips which I throughly enjoy.

I'll resample what happens and have had great results at times. I want things to kind of live within - where it evolves by itself and is multitimbral and also kind of percussive - but purely using processing.

Any of you do the same? If so, what vsts/in the box plugins do you use?

My process at the minute is sample based. I'll take a cool sample and warp it up nicely then loop that. I'll mess with bpm and warp modes (Ableton) and pitch to get something droney - often pitched down to get low end yum.

Distort that and eq, get some reverb on it from a return channel. Then I'll send that signal via another send to my reel to reel and get an extra layer of delay and feedback and wow/flutter/ noise.

What I've found is that if I then add an auto filter and use the lfo/drive on that to get some movement on the delay chain and then add Ableton Corpus I start getting really cool results. It can be hard to control though.

Other times I get total shit - I think it's very dependent on what sample you start with obviously.

How do you make your alien world drone outs?

#2 RSP

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Posted 09 September 2018 - 07:34 AM

8gWSAaC.jpg



#3 Polytrix

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Posted 09 September 2018 - 07:37 AM

Vocoders! Why didn't I think of that!!!

I'm a sucker for stuff that sounds vocal in some way.

#4 sheathe

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Posted 09 September 2018 - 08:12 AM

creative use of the vocoder is where i am right now, plus some of the new max stuff. i'll use a bassline (just a plain sawtooth with no filter env) as a modulator and my drums as the carrier. just leave 20% of the dry signal in. automate/map to lfo many vocoder parameters.

 

been making guitar fx, trying to make as much as possible happen from just playing a few little notes. i'd be happy to share fx racks as well as have them shared w/ me.



#5 Polytrix

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Posted 09 September 2018 - 08:35 AM

So does that mean you're starting with a drum track as the core element and that's being modulated by the bass line yeah- rather than your voice? I get confused by this stuff. Won't that mean your drone is very percussive by nature or does the vocoder make everything more tonal? The max lfos are probably the way to go right so everything is constantly changing - I love how simple they are - I'll often use those instead of finding out how to patch in modulation on the device itself.

I wish you could put an lfo on the warp mode grain size, jus moving that around with the mouse makes weird sit happen - messing with formants etc.

I don't really have racks to share yet it's more experimenting at this point. I do think there are certain combinations that work better than others though and that's kind of the idea of the thread.

Alien worlds are cool! Proper escapism right.

#6 sheathe

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Posted 09 September 2018 - 07:01 PM

here is how it works

 

the modulator goes into the vocoder, where it is then put through some type of spectrum analyzer. if you are using a 16 band vocoder, the modulator signal's level will be measured at each of those 16 bands. at the same time, the vocoder is receiving a carrier signal, which is put through 16 parallel bandpass filters, the output level of each determined by the analysis of the modulator signal.

 

so the carrier is the signal you hear, like a synth, and the modulator, like your voice, is what determines the spectral content of the output.

 

but there are so many ways you can use the ableton vocoder. it's really well designed. once you dig in, you will understand how so many audio effects actually work. i never fully understood formant until i dug into the vocoder.



#7 sheathe

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Posted 09 September 2018 - 07:08 PM

8gWSAaC.jpg

 

 

hmmm, not getting great results from this!



#8 RSP

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Posted 09 September 2018 - 08:52 PM

 

8gWSAaC.jpg

 

 

hmmm, not getting great results from this!

 

 

I used to do it on an aux send quite a bit, it's been a while.



#9 darreichungsform

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Posted 09 September 2018 - 09:17 PM

I like having a very fast long delay. Say 20ms at feedback 98% and then change the delay speed a bit. 18ms, 22ms, 19ms etc. That creates nice tones. Also you can add a step filter to it, change it's parameters and timing. And then you can also add some sort of transient shaper to make it a bit percussive. Then have another similar track and compress them together. It's a simple method but can sound nice. I did that a lot in this track:

 

Listen on Soundcloud.com



#10 Polytrix

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Posted 10 September 2018 - 01:38 AM

Thanks a lot that makes sense now.

Looking forward to messing with the vocoder!

#11 Polytrix

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Posted 10 September 2018 - 01:42 AM

And that track is crazy! Good work!

I like how alien that sounds but I'm after more of a warm bass undertone at the same time - like dub techno esque.

#12 Salvatorin

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Posted 10 September 2018 - 02:32 AM

So I've been listening to a lot of Huerco S and when I'm not actively trying to finish a track I go on ambient drone out trips which I throughly enjoy.

 

noice  :diablo:



#13 Entorwellian

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Posted 10 September 2018 - 06:09 AM

Input -> compressor -> reverb -> delay -> reverb -> phaser -> reverb -> compressor -> output

 

Have LFO's at different frequencies control the wet and dry signals for the verbs. Add more reverb as necessary.



#14 Polytrix

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Posted 10 September 2018 - 09:14 AM

Thank you. Yes, I think it's all down to the lfos and what they are modulating right.

#15 Gocab

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Posted 10 September 2018 - 09:23 AM

It's not very creative if you ask other people what to do.

Edited by Gocab, 10 September 2018 - 09:23 AM.


#16 sheathe

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Posted 10 September 2018 - 04:30 PM

just made a parallel reverb for guitar, but the catch is each channel has sidechain compressors hooked into the other, so you have this crazy feedback loop of sidechain compression, each side fighting for prominence. right now, if you play loud on the lower strings, it kills the reverb, but if you mute the strings, the reverb fades in. pretty cool that you can control an effect like that just with the volume of your playing.



#17 sweepstakes

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Posted 10 September 2018 - 06:37 PM

Don't forget envelope followers, where the incoming signal can affect the parameters, which can get pretty interesting when combined with modulation.

+1 for compressors in feedback loops - lets you get get really intense but you can tamp down the overall volume. 



#18 sheathe

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Posted 10 September 2018 - 07:16 PM

this is probably the best one i've done and also the simplest. need live 9

 

it's a tape warble with filter and drive.

 

https://drive.google...4qbfJ4MA25QjMYp



#19 Polytrix

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Posted 11 September 2018 - 01:10 AM

Nice one will check this out later

#20 Entorwellian

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Posted 11 September 2018 - 01:59 AM

just made a parallel reverb for guitar, but the catch is each channel has sidechain compressors hooked into the other, so you have this crazy feedback loop of sidechain compression, each side fighting for prominence. right now, if you play loud on the lower strings, it kills the reverb, but if you mute the strings, the reverb fades in. pretty cool that you can control an effect like that just with the volume of your playing.

That sounds awesome, by the way.



#21 Entorwellian

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Posted 11 September 2018 - 02:07 AM

Don't forget envelope followers, where the incoming signal can affect the parameters, which can get pretty interesting when combined with modulation.

+1 for compressors in feedback loops - lets you get get really intense but you can tamp down the overall volume. 

 

Definitely this too. Not just side chaining but even long build up and release envelopes can add lots of interesting changes overtime to make your sound have more timbre and character come out. Even putting envelopes on the modulators to add little heads and tails to the duration of the note (and in some cases putting modulators on the envelopes!) Drone is usually a big, giant blur so adding in little details with envelopes triggering other things makes your tracks even better. It's a requirement for making FM synthesis sound good.



#22 b born droid

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Posted 11 September 2018 - 02:35 AM

It's not very creative if you ask other people what to do.

lol don't be a dick.



#23 Entorwellian

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Posted 11 September 2018 - 03:46 AM

 

It's not very creative if you ask other people what to do.

lol don't be a dick.

 

Not an attack on you at all Gocab but Polytrix is doing nothing wrong in asking the question; it was asking something pretty specific and he also shared his own technique of how he tried to emulate it. He's demonstrated he's creative in approaching the problem and already attempted to try it, but still isn't satisfied with the results: its a legit artistic and technical question. Heck I like asking these types of questions too and I'm sure lots of other people would like to know too and aren't saying anything. I never actually thought about using reverb to modulate the carrier frequency of a vocoder! It's more enjoyable and educational being able to discover things for yourself but there is definitely a place to ask questions about techniques, definitions and learning from others as well.

 

Youtube is far, far worse in instructing people what to do to be creative.


Edited by Entorwellian, 11 September 2018 - 03:48 AM.


#24 Polytrix

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Posted 11 September 2018 - 05:47 AM

I took no offence and have no need to be defensive either! It's all good cheers everyone! Love me some dronescapes.

#25 Gocab

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Posted 11 September 2018 - 07:14 AM

I was just goofing off.