Drums (or percussion) using Operator

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Toob
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Drums (or percussion) using Operator

Post by Toob » Thu Feb 28, 2008 12:29 am

Hi guys..

last week I followed an Ableton Live workshop and two producers created all their drums using Operator. I really liked that idea and I started gaining information. I read the Operator chapter in Live's manual, I followed the Operator specific Lessons in Live and I searched the internet for creating drums with Operator (found nothing suitable). The problem is.. the lessons only provide a nice bassdrum, the snare sounds kind of strange and all the other drums like a hihat, claps etc. are neglected. I would like to create some decent snares, hihats, claps etc., so my request is: could anyone push me in the right direction or give me some more information on creating drums using Operator?

Thank you!

blank
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Post by blank » Thu Feb 28, 2008 12:52 am

Start by using the noise osc maybe.

and then experiment with hard fm modulation to generate inharmonic content with light pitch mod.

ect...

-B
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SimonPHC
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Post by SimonPHC » Thu Feb 28, 2008 1:23 am

and search for the 'Synth Secrets' on the Sound On Sound website. It's a series of articles about how to synthesise almost anything. The articles on drums and percussion will help you ALOT.

forge
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Post by forge » Thu Feb 28, 2008 2:20 am

SimonPHC wrote:and search for the 'Synth Secrets' on the Sound On Sound website. It's a series of articles about how to synthesise almost anything. The articles on drums and percussion will help you ALOT.
+1 - I've been reading that lately

but it's quite heavy reading some of it

there is also a waldorf attack PDF somewhere on the internet that briefly outlines the basic setup

in fact try googling 'making a snare drum' or 'drum synthesis' and you might be surprised - there is actually quite a lot around

a Nord forum somewhere made me really want to buy a G2 because of the comprehensive stuff on drum synthesis

but a couple of basic rules to consider:

a lot of the older drum machines (like the 909) were designed with the idea in mind that there are 2 skins on a snare drum then then the snare itself - so they used 2 oscillators, probably sine or triangle waves, and the snare is represented by the noise generator

the rest is just filters and envelopes

real drums pitch up slightly as they are struck, then quickly decay, so try creating that with the pitch envelope

also google 'craig anderton making drums' or something as he has also posted some articles on this

dont try and synthesize a 909 cymbal or hi-hat - they were all samples!

a really cool thing to try for making drums is just record yourself making a beat box beat then using Live 7's 'slice to new midi track' build a kti out of it using simpler's envelopes and filters - i am currently making a series of tutorial videos on exactly this at the moment which should be available in the next couple of weeks from www.grooveboxmusic.com :wink: :lol: [/shameless plug]

Toob
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Post by Toob » Thu Feb 28, 2008 7:35 am

Ok.. thank you guys! And I discovered the Sound On Sound articles as well, (for me) they are quite hard to understand. Especialy to link al the technical terms to knobs, switches and evelopes in Operator.

Tone Deft
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Post by Tone Deft » Thu Feb 28, 2008 7:44 am

I started with this thread tonight, looking for articles. then I realized I already have drum kits from Cov. Ops. Pure Magnetik and omfg some that came with Live for free (pretty sure that's free content, my library has all kinds of stuff). so I started deconstructing those drums and learnt a few things.
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eggnchips
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Post by eggnchips » Sat Mar 22, 2008 3:10 pm

http://www.cosm.co.nz/index.php/Tutoria ... odeck.html
Watch this video. It's a long one but somewhere in the middle old Roberto makes a snare using operator. It's quite easy to do actually though I've also forgotten so I'll have to watch it again.
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Robert Henke
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Post by Robert Henke » Sat Mar 22, 2008 4:17 pm

a little set with a Bassdrum,Snare,Hihat and Clap:

http://www.monolake.de/files_software/free/demo.als.zip

This just as a starting point...

Rob.

Angstrom
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Post by Angstrom » Sat Mar 22, 2008 4:41 pm

forge wrote:
a lot of the older drum machines (like the 909) were designed with the idea in mind that there are 2 skins on a snare drum then then the snare itself - so they used 2 oscillators, probably sine or triangle waves
IMO this is not really why there are two (or more) oscillators for a synth drum.

membrane harmonics are fascinating, where a string instrument's harmonics are quite easy to guess at by imagining the string oscillation (roughly : fundamental, f*2, f*3, etc.) . Membrane harmonics are kinda crazy and produce all kinds of weirdly related tones, partly to do with them being bound on all sides and partly to do with them being tensioned slightly unevenly even in the best case.

Using two oscillators means you can produce odd harmonics (the cheap way) by using intermodulation


Of course, SOS synth secrets is a great resource.
Image

I'm no kind of expert here, just an interested lay person.

My main understanding of physical instrument harmonics comes from a book on making instruments Musical Instrument Design, by Bart Hopkin a book I would recommend to any synthesist wanting to think 'outside the box' for their sound generation. It's not about making guitars, or violins, it is about understanding and creating sound.

Sorry if I drifted off topic a bit.

eggnchips
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Post by eggnchips » Sat Mar 22, 2008 4:52 pm

Robert Henke wrote:a little set with a Bassdrum,Snare,Hihat and Clap:

http://www.monolake.de/files_software/free/demo.als.zip

This just as a starting point...

Rob.
Yo Chief nice one.
By the way, when are you going to invite me round your studio for tea and biscuits? A few tips also wouldn't go amiss.
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mdk
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Post by mdk » Sat Mar 22, 2008 5:14 pm

there was a thread about this not long ago that is worth reading.

http://www.ableton.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=86980

mainly for my operator based 808 emulation of course ;)

http://relivethefuture.com/music/patche ... 8-v0.7.zip

Robert, thats a nice clap, i like the idea of using the delay after it for the roll effect. probably cheaper on the cpu than my arpeggiator based setup.

i'll try replacing it and see how it sounds..
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mdk
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Post by mdk » Sat Mar 22, 2008 5:33 pm

and i just had a play with Roberts demo, swapped the kick, hat and snare for some 909 emulations i started ages ago but never got round to finishing and also added in some other operator based drums i've been making, here :

http://relivethefuture.com/music/patche ... erator.zip

it would be great to get some drum racks full of operator based stuff.
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forge
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Post by forge » Sun Mar 23, 2008 8:41 am

Angstrom wrote:
forge wrote:
a lot of the older drum machines (like the 909) were designed with the idea in mind that there are 2 skins on a snare drum then then the snare itself - so they used 2 oscillators, probably sine or triangle waves
IMO this is not really why there are two (or more) oscillators for a synth drum.

membrane harmonics are fascinating, where a string instrument's harmonics are quite easy to guess at by imagining the string oscillation (roughly : fundamental, f*2, f*3, etc.) . Membrane harmonics are kinda crazy and produce all kinds of weirdly related tones, partly to do with them being bound on all sides and partly to do with them being tensioned slightly unevenly even in the best case.

Using two oscillators means you can produce odd harmonics (the cheap way) by using intermodulation


Of course, SOS synth secrets is a great resource.
Image

I'm no kind of expert here, just an interested lay person.

My main understanding of physical instrument harmonics comes from a book on making instruments Musical Instrument Design, by Bart Hopkin a book I would recommend to any synthesist wanting to think 'outside the box' for their sound generation. It's not about making guitars, or violins, it is about understanding and creating sound.

Sorry if I drifted off topic a bit.
well that was based on something I read from a reasonably reliable source IIRC - I thought it was those SOS articles actually but maybe not

I think it was talking about in the early days when they were still trying to emulate real instruments more than appeal to the techno heads, and probably more specifically the 808 I think - but I'm also regurgitating something I've read and I certainly haven't done a PHd on it (yet!)

chris ott
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Re: Drums (or percussion) using Operator

Post by chris ott » Fri Jul 22, 2011 4:21 pm

I make most of my drums with Operator. It's fun and your track will have more "YOU" in it.

Start off basic and just make sure the delay is short and most anything will sound percussive.

A short deep Sin wave is going to sound like a kick

A short noise wave will sound like a snare

A short noise wave with a long attack will sound like hi hats

This simple starting point sounds "more tech than tech" and is really cool. It's also the starting put for adding nuances. Play with the Pitch envelope with minor adjustments to get idiosyncrasies in your percussion. Try frequesncy modulation with the different algorithms.There's a lot you can do before you even bring FX into the equation to fatten it up i.e. reverb, compressor, limiter and saturation works well with operator drum sounds as well.

I've gotten a lot better but check this video I made many moons ago...
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SF6EYpbB ... ideo_title

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