Tags: posts polarity-music Bitwig Synthesis Drum-and-Bass Tutorial Sound-Design Grid

Synthesizing Snare and Rimshot Sounds: Easy Setup for Drum and Bass & Dubstep | Tutorial

Tutorial | Sep 11, 2023

In this video, I'm going to show you my setup for synthesizing snare and rimshot sounds using the pulley grid in my DAW. I use the pulse oscillator because it already has a lot of overtones, so I don't need to use as much post-effects distortion. I set the frequency to around 150-160 Hz for a deep snare sound. I use an AD envelope to trigger the sound and apply an EQ5 in the PostFX to analyze and shape the signal. By adjusting the sync, I can create two partials or amplify the second harmonic. I add a Moog low pass filter and use the shape output of the AD envelope for frequency modulation. This creates a nice snare sound. I also add some noise using a noise burst and a mixer. I shape the noise with segments and use a high pass filter. I then apply a hard clip and use dither and diffusion for added spice. The EQ is crucial for shaping the sound, and by cutting below 1k and boosting around 1k, I can create a rimshot sound. I can also tweak the settings to create deep snare sounds. I can detune the oscillator slightly for a wider sound. Overall, there are many possibilities for customization using these knobs and EQs. I can also add pitch modulation if desired. Finally, I can apply a convolution effect to add roominess to the sound. This setup is great for drum and bass, dubstep, and other genres, providing a clean and focused sound.

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Questions & Answers

Maybe you dont watch the video, here are some important takeaways:

What is the main setup for synthesizing snare and rimshot sounds in the grid?

The main setup for synthesizing snare and rimshot sounds in the grid involves using the Pulse oscillator and the Pulley grid on an empty track. The track needs to be armed and set to mono mode. The Pulse oscillator is used because it provides a lot of overtones, which eliminates the need for excessive post fx distortion. By using the spectrum, you can see the fundamental pitch and the various overtones generated by the Pulse oscillator.

How is the sound of the snare created using this setup?

To create the sound of the snare, a constant value for frequency is inputted into the Hertz to frequency conversion. An AD envelope is used as an envelope generator, and it is triggered using the pre-chord. The output of the AD envelope is then connected to the output of the setup. This creates a C64 snare-like sound. The EQ5 in the post fx can be used to further shape the signal.

How does changing the sync affect the sound of the snare?

Changing the sync parameter does not change the pitch of the waveform itself, but rather changes the partials that are amplified or created. By adding a filter, such as the Moog one low pass MG, and connecting the shape output of the AD envelope to the frequency modulation input of the filter, you can manipulate the sound of the snare. Depending on the position of the sync parameter, different partials are emphasized. This can result in a rim shot-like sound when certain positions are selected.

How can the snare sound be further customized and modified?

There are several ways to further customize and modify the snare sound using this setup. The fade out of the noise component can be adjusted using the speed knob on the noise segments. Additional knobs and filters can be used to refine the sound in terms of EQ and pitch modulation. The oscillators can also be switched to stereo mode for a wider sound, and the left and right channels can be slightly detuned. Additional post fx devices, such as hard clip or convolution, can also be added to shape the final sound.


This is what im talking about in this video. The text is transcribed by AI, so it might not be perfect. If you find any mistakes, please let me know.
You can also click on the timestamps to jump to the right part of the video, which should be helpful.

[00:00:00] So today it's about synthesizing snare sounds, rimshot sounds inside of the grid with an easy setup
[00:00:06] for drum bass, dubstep and so on. It's a nice setup I use all the time
[00:00:12] lately instead of using e-snare. So I want to show you how it works. Here we use the pulley grid
[00:00:19] on an empty track.
[00:00:22] Also the track itself is armed so we can use the
[00:00:25] MIDI keyboard and
[00:00:28] the grid itself is in mono mode of course and to use for the oscillator we use the pulse oscillator.
[00:00:34] And the reason for that is because the pulse
[00:00:38] gives us a lot of overtones already. So when you use the spectrum
[00:00:45] you can see we have the fundamental pitch and then a lot of overtones. We don't need to use in
[00:00:51] the post fx distortion that much because it's already baked in right instead of using maybe
[00:00:57] a sign where we have only one sign partial and then you
[00:01:00] can't filter anything because there is nothing in there and then you have to use distortion to create overtones and then you filter the
[00:01:07] overtones away and so on. So I start here with the
[00:01:11] pulse. Okay, that's that's the main main thing about this.
[00:01:16] We don't need the pre-chord because we don't want to change the pitch to the keyboard or the piano roll and we use
[00:01:24] Hertz to frequency conversion here and pull this all the way up and
[00:01:28] we use a constant so we can type in the frequency in our case here. It's maybe
[00:01:33] 150-160 Hertz something like this for a snare sound for deep snare sound.
[00:01:40] We use here an AD.
[00:01:43] As an envelope we need the pre-chord here actually to trigger it and we go into the output here
[00:01:50] and it sounds like this.
[00:01:52] Kind of like a C64 snare sound.
[00:01:57] But yeah,
[00:02:00] EQ5 in the post fx so we can actually analyze here the signal a bit.
[00:02:05] You can see we have the root, the fundamental and
[00:02:09] we have a bit of overtones or actually all the overtones.
[00:02:14] And now comes the idea when you change here the sync.
[00:02:20] It's actually not changing the pitch. It's changing the pitch of the waveform. The oscillator itself stays on the pitch.
[00:02:31] So we can kind of create two
[00:02:36] partials at the same time or we can amplify two partials at the same time. And I'll show you
[00:02:42] this here when we add the filter.
[00:02:45] I'm using the Moog one.
[00:02:48] The low pass MG also disable here the pre-chord for the pitch. Pull this down.
[00:02:53] And we also take here the shape output of the AD and put this here into the frequency modulation input.
[00:03:02] So you already get a nice
[00:03:08] snare sound with this.
[00:03:14] Yeah, that's better. So now when we change here the sync a bit.
[00:03:18] You can hear it almost sounds like we amplify here the second harmonic this one here.
[00:03:32] We still have the root pitch in here, but sometimes the root pitch goes completely away
[00:03:39] dependent on the position of the sync here.
[00:03:44] Of course if you go on to exact values like 24 you it sounds like you just pitched the frequency up.
[00:03:53] Right, but in between
[00:03:56] It's basically kind of the same idea I did with the formats with the scroll in some of my recent videos.
[00:04:05] Where we have an incomplete kind of
[00:04:10] pinched waveform inside of one cycle for the grand pitch.
[00:04:14] So this is the main idea for creating basically the root snare sound. Of course, we need here maybe also a bit of noise
[00:04:24] on top and a
[00:04:27] segments here for the noise filtering because we want to have here a
[00:04:32] more like interesting shape for the noise. So let's go this. So we need a
[00:04:38] loud burst in the beginning.
[00:04:40] That's how I like it at least. And then a slow fade out.
[00:04:45] We go here also to seconds.
[00:04:48] We use, no, we don't need this. We use here a mixer.
[00:04:52] And mix the noise with the output here of our pulse oscillator and then we go into the output, right? Like this.
[00:05:00] So and then you can change here basically the fade out of the noise.
[00:05:07] The speed knob.
[00:05:09] You can make it stereo.
[00:05:13] Like this. And then in the end of the in the after Xbox here
[00:05:22] we can use a hard clip or maybe a bit 8 which features of course a hard clip here.
[00:05:28] Hard clip. And
[00:05:30] we pull the clock all the way up, mix this all the way up and we can also here use dither and diffusion to add some bit of
[00:05:37] spice on top.
[00:05:39] Sounds like this, like a
[00:05:42] normally nice drum bass snare sound.
[00:05:45] Right? And then you can start to modify it with all these
[00:05:50] knobs you already have here and also the EQ. The EQ is pretty important actually for the sound as you can imagine.
[00:05:57] So when we cut here everything below 1k and
[00:06:01] start to push here 1k and
[00:06:05] then you sync.
[00:06:07] At some positions you get some kind of rim shotty sounds.
[00:06:15] Right?
[00:06:26] Sounds like a rim shot to me at least.
[00:06:33] And it's pretty nice for drum bass sometimes when you make these
[00:06:36] liquid
[00:06:38] roller
[00:06:39] drums then for that it's pretty nice
[00:06:42] to use.
[00:06:44] Also, if you want to have more like these deep snare sounds
[00:06:48] you can amplify here the root frequency.
[00:06:51] Make the top noise layer a bit longer.
[00:06:56] Maybe a high pass here inside of this.
[00:07:21] So you can imagine that all these knobs just play around with this and find a sweet spot for your
[00:07:27] kind of preferred snare sound or what fits actually your grand song or track. But there are so many options just with these
[00:07:35] knobs you have in here.
[00:07:38] And if you think you need more
[00:07:47] kind of whiteness you can also switch it oscillator into stereo mode and then just slightly
[00:07:51] detune the left and the right channel.
[00:07:54] That's too much here, maybe.
[00:07:57] But just a bit.
[00:08:01] Just to get a bit of whiteness instead of you know using a reverb or maybe something like this.
[00:08:07] So it's pretty dry a dry sound and
[00:08:10] pretty defined and focused on certain frequency here with the EQs.
[00:08:15] And we don't even use here some kind of pitch modulation at all. It's just a pure
[00:08:30] static pitch. I mean you can try it out to
[00:08:35] bring in here a bit of pitch modulation by using an add module and then maybe use a second AD here.
[00:08:44] And then we go in here
[00:08:46] and maybe and attenuate to change the strength.
[00:08:53] That gives also kind of a different sound.
[00:09:12] Maybe that's too long.
[00:09:20] Yeah, it really depends on what kind of sound you're going for.
[00:09:33] And then
[00:09:53] more clip.
[00:09:56] Maybe mix it in with a dry signal.
[00:10:01] It's also a good idea. And maybe at the end a bit of convolution.
[00:10:06] And then use a small room. Let's see.
[00:10:10] Real rooms with an attic. It's always nice.
[00:10:29] So it sounds like you have a real drum set inside of a room.
[00:10:33] But this is kind of my setup for a snare sound lately.
[00:10:37] For drum bass at least and dubstep and so on. To have a clean,
[00:10:42] precise,
[00:10:43] focused sound for rim shots.
[00:10:46] These clap rim shot sounds or these deep drum bass sounds. And also of course dubstep. It's also nice.
[00:10:54] So it's a pretty easy simple setup and you don't even need to use here pitch modulation if you don't want to.
[00:11:01] Just the main idea is using a pulse using your sync and pulse width and then use a
[00:11:08] white noise on top, of course. And in the PostFX you see an EQ5
[00:11:16] to shape to your liking and then go and drive everything into a distortion device.
[00:11:21] If it's bit 8 or distortion or maybe a hard clip or whatever you want to use,
[00:11:27] it doesn't matter. It all shapes the sounds in a different way and then maybe use your convolution to bring in a bit of room,
[00:11:33] roominess or whiteness or something like that, right?
[00:11:38] So this is the main idea for
[00:11:41] stuff like this and
[00:11:44] that's also
[00:11:46] this video. Thanks for watching. Leave a like if you liked the video. Subscribe to the channel.
[00:11:51] Ask me the questions in the comments below. Thanks for watching and bye.
[00:11:54] Bye.