Impulse responses are great for recreating spaces, whether it is a resonant glass bottle or a large cave. Here’s a handy a trick for sculpting your own impulse responses, and therefore your own reverbs, from something that we spend a lot of time getting rid of — noise!
If you listen to an impulse response by itself, you’ll find that it has noise-like qualities, except the frequency response changes over time. This isn’t surprising as sine sweeps and pistol shots are representations of bursts of noise.
For the examples below, I’ve used Logic’s Space Designer, but this technique is possible with any convolution reverb. The white noise samples were processed in Logic, bounced out as a wav file and then dropped into Space Designer’s interface. [Space Designer's dry level was set to 0dB and wet level to -6dB with filter and volume envelopes bypassed]
Here’s an example of a white noise sample that was about 1.5 seconds long with an exponential fade out. The samples below include the dry noise sample (watch your speaker/headphone level) followed by the convolved output (apologies for the rather sad drum loop).
Years ago, when I first started dabbling in the deep and dark world of Max/MSP, I attempted to create the sound of a car engine. This month’s theme (which is ‘vehicles’, if you didn’t know) reminded me about it. I opened up the patch after ages and was a bit appalled by the state of it. There are hidden skeletons in every old patch!
Instead of digging through a dated project, I recreated a patch/idea I had used about a year ago when designing sounds for a remote controlled toy airplane. I tried to adapt the simplicity of that implementation to a ‘regular’ car engine.
Here’s a sample of what it sounds like (all synthesised):
This patch was put together fairly quickly and could do with more refinements to improve the character and reduce the amount of ‘digital-ness’ in the sound. The model quite obviously breaks at higher frequencies/RPMs.
Here’s the patch:
The results are in! Thanks for taking part in the competition, I’m told the AudioGaming crew were quite overwhelmed by all the responses they received. Here’s what Amaury said:
Some quotes were just too funny so we decided to award two prizes. One for the best serious quote, one for the funniest. The two winners will get full post-production bundles.
Winner: Kevin Peters. Sculpt, control, create.
Runner up quotes: Everything indoors, The science of sounds, The future of sound design today
Winner: Andrea Proietti. Presets are for losers
Runner up quote: Unleash an audio storm like a Greek god of sound.
Congratulations Kevin and Andrea!
For the past few years I have been bothered about the amount of time I spend on a job — not specifically about how busy I am, but rather how much time I spend concentrating on the task that needs getting done. By default, most of us learn to constantly optimise our workflows as our experience grows. This is very important, as successful projects are judged not only on their quality but also budgets! But most of us also have the task of being creative collaborators while working long hours. Not easy.
One of the biggest problems I find with workflow optimisation is that I get stuck with techniques and ideas that have previously worked and quite often end up forcing ideas that don’t fit the context. They are often sub-conscious decisions and I need to consciously stop myself and try something new. I recently started taking ‘silent breaks’ to combat this. I’m a big fan of the pomodoro technique and use a 25 minute timer when I work. With every break (every 25 minutes) I step away from the computer and silently ponder on my work. I was surprised (and in hindsight, not so surprised) to find that it greatly improved my productivity and the quality of my work. There is something quite stimulating in taking a break, staring out of the window in silence and letting the mind wander.
But there are days when I ignore the timer because I’m too busy trying to make an idea work. I then start to optimise my workflow once again and forget about productive silences. An infinite loop.
AudioGaming is about to celebrate five years of developing procedural audio plugin magic and would like to offer two DS readers a post-production bundle each — for free — through a simple competition.
Here’s what you need to do:
- Help them find a quote for the procedural audio plugin bundle
- A quote that could go on a box like the one below
- The quote needs to be ten words or less
- One entry per person, email your quote to contest[at]audiogaming[dot]net
Example: “Sculpt your audio in real-time”
The folks at AudioGaming will then choose two of the best quotes. This competition closes on 14 July 2014 at 00:00 GMT. Good luck!