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Unlocking Unique Sounds: Exploring Interesting Sound Design Techniques

Tutorial | Sep 26, 2023

In this video, I explore interesting sound ideas by using various techniques. I start with a simple sine oscillator setup and then incorporate feedback and phase modulation to create inharmonic overtones. I demonstrate how tools like pitch mapping, filtering, and sampling can be used creatively to manipulate and design unique sounds.

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Questions & Answers

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

What techniques are used to create interesting sounds in this video?

In this video, the creator demonstrates using a feedback setup and phase modulation to generate inharmonic overtones. They also utilize the pitch map plugin and quantize the overtones to create harmonic sounds. Additionally, they showcase using a high pass filter and DS EQ 3 plugin to shape the sound further.

How can the block notes feature in Bitwig be used to disable MIDI notes?

The block notes feature in Bitwig can be used to disable MIDI notes from passing through a plugin or device. By routing the MIDI notes through the block notes device, the notes can be effectively disabled. This is particularly useful when needing to disable specific notes that can't be disabled within the plugin itself.

What creative effect can be achieved using the DS EQ 3 plugin?

The DS EQ 3 plugin can be used as a creative effect to select harmonics from a unique or weird signal. By inverting the signal and only keeping the delta signal, it removes everything else and isolates the harmonics. This can be a creative way to shape the sound and select specific frequencies.

How can pitch mapping and bandpass filtering techniques be used to generate pads or lead sounds?

Pitch mapping can be used to tune the oscillators and samples, while the bandpass filter can focus on the fundamental frequency and selectively bring in or remove overtones. By combining these techniques, it is possible to generate smooth pad sounds or lead sounds with texture and movement. These techniques allow for quick sound design without having to rely solely on synthesizers.


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 in this video, I want to share some interesting ideas about interesting sounds.
[00:00:06] That's it.
[00:00:07] That's intro.
[00:00:08] Please stay tuned.
[00:00:10] So sometimes I go here for straight, pulle grid for super simple, easy pulle grid setup,
[00:00:21] sine oscillator, ADSR, output, nothing really special.
[00:00:30] So it's a sine partial.
[00:00:33] But then I go for a feedback setup, kind of a east coast patching technique, where we
[00:00:44] go back into the oscillator here with a phase and create some kind of feedback phase modulation.
[00:00:53] So this gives you a lot of inharmonic overtones, I'm using a peak limiter just to save your
[00:00:59] ears.
[00:01:00] So it gets really fast, pretty crazy because it's feedback.
[00:01:08] And it's also like how generate by newfangled audio works kind of.
[00:01:15] I think what they do is they use a second sine oscillator here and you go feedback back
[00:01:19] into the second one and the first one goes into the first one and you have a static frequency
[00:01:24] probably, but I'm using a pitch frequency.
[00:01:32] And then you can go crazy on the tune, the second one.
[00:01:40] You get these crazy overtones and it's super inharmonic, which is nice because all we want
[00:01:47] to do is to put a pitch map on that and quantize all the overtones because we're super lazy.
[00:01:54] And then I need something in front of the pitch map because when I hit some notes, you
[00:02:06] can see I'm disabling here some notes because I'm using the keyboard.
[00:02:12] So the MIDI notes reaching pitch map basically disabling some of the keys here for whatever
[00:02:18] reason, you can't disable this inside of this plugin.
[00:02:22] So I'm using a bitwig trick.
[00:02:23] I'm using block notes, which is a small patch.
[00:02:26] It looks like this.
[00:02:28] It basically blocks all the notes from going through the plugin or going through the device.
[00:02:35] So if you select your block notes, you can see on the left side, routing is not through
[00:02:40] is disabled.
[00:02:41] So no notes are going through this device.
[00:02:46] Also your note in is not connected to anything that's no doubt.
[00:02:51] And also I've only hear audio routing through the plugin so you can pass through audio through
[00:02:57] this right.
[00:02:58] So but now I can press something on the keyboard here and it doesn't disable any notes.
[00:03:03] So that's the idea.
[00:03:05] So now that we pass basically all this inharmonic mess here through pitch map.
[00:03:17] This actually, yeah, we can basically do everything we want to these oscillators to tune everything.
[00:03:27] You can even use a wavetable for that.
[00:03:45] Maybe try unison.
[00:03:50] This gives you a lot of inharmonic mess, but the pitch map still tries to keep track of
[00:04:04] all that and makes make it harmonic.
[00:04:08] And then you can go into maybe a nice reverb here by a super massive for instance, use
[00:04:16] a nice algorithm.
[00:04:36] Then you find or try to find the break breaking points where it breaks down from harmonic
[00:04:41] to inharmonic and then the noise.
[00:04:43] This goes pretty fast.
[00:05:09] Right because of the detuning we have this nice little movement in there, but it sounds
[00:05:15] like it's still just one sound.
[00:05:23] A bit of tape compression here on there.
[00:05:49] And we probably want to cut some of the low frequencies.
[00:05:53] There's probably a lot of rumble because of the phase modulation there.
[00:05:59] So let's use a high pass here and there.
[00:06:25] Okay, so now that we have this we can also try to use something like DS EQ 3, which I
[00:06:39] also have mostly in use for mastering purposes to get rid of high frequency harmonics, right?
[00:06:47] All the noise on top of the hiss and stuff like this.
[00:06:51] But you can pretty much see when you go down here where all the harmonics are, right?
[00:07:03] So this is everything that's getting removed by this plug-in.
[00:07:07] So all the important harmonics.
[00:07:09] And then you can basically invert the signal and say I only want to have the delta signal
[00:07:15] and it basically removes everything else and only leaves you with the harmonics.
[00:07:20] And you just try to remove.
[00:07:40] So this mastering plug-in now becomes a nice creative effect of selecting harmonics out
[00:07:48] of a completely weird signal.
[00:08:01] You can also play around with selectivity here, which basically just selects frequencies
[00:08:10] more broadly and then you have high selectivity, right?
[00:08:13] And it's pretty sharp and it selects all these small little...
[00:08:27] And then at a certain point you find these nice little pads.
[00:08:36] And then you put, let's say at the end here, a quick sampler on there and sample everything.
[00:08:45] Maybe you sample your C4.
[00:08:58] Maybe let's try an octafire.
[00:09:20] Then you maybe already guessed that you put this into the sampler.
[00:09:27] Let's see what the detection says.
[00:09:33] G4 adds wrong.
[00:09:35] Let's see.
[00:09:45] And sometimes you have maybe too much overtones.
[00:09:49] So many harmonics cause of the feedback, right?
[00:09:54] And the pitch quantizer doesn't actually care for the harmonic series.
[00:09:58] It basically quantizes it to a scale, which is not the harmonic series as overtones, right?
[00:10:06] So you have basically scales.
[00:10:08] So you have basically a chord in here and you pitch up and down this chord, which is
[00:10:15] maybe not a pleasant when you use multiple keys.
[00:10:23] So then you can fall down your back to the band pass.
[00:10:27] You can say back to C3 here, use a bit of resonance.
[00:10:32] Go to 100% and then you can select certain harmonics and say, "This is my root note, right?"
[00:10:38] If you turn up your resonance, everything else becomes quieter, all the overtones and
[00:10:43] it only focuses on the fundamental here.
[00:10:56] If you go down the resonance, you bring back in the overtones.
[00:11:07] But you can still hear the overtones and the texture in the sound.
[00:11:10] So you can use this to create nice pad sounds again, or maybe use a belay plus here.
[00:11:19] This one, on resolution.
[00:11:22] Of course, put this into texture mode here, maybe into a loop mode.
[00:11:43] Yeah, you can create nice pad sounds with this or like I said, lead sounds, all that
[00:12:01] stuff.
[00:12:02] And it all depends on how aggressive you basically design your sound here in the first patch.
[00:12:09] So this is pretty smooth.
[00:12:16] You can also maybe sample something that's longer and you modify while you're sampling
[00:12:31] it.
[00:12:46] Alright, something like this.
[00:13:04] Nice feedback.
[00:13:05] Love it.
[00:13:06] Put this in there.
[00:13:08] You have a much, much longer sound here.
[00:13:12] Let's probably see five.
[00:13:15] I always want to pitch down.
[00:13:16] I always sample on higher octaves and then I pitch it down because it brings out all
[00:13:39] the sounds.
[00:13:59] Of course you can play around your textures modes and different starting points, randomized
[00:14:05] starting positions, play back directions and so on.
[00:14:11] So you get more out of the sample anyway in certain ways.
[00:14:16] But this is how I sometimes generate pads on the fly if I don't want to mess with synthesizers
[00:14:22] using the same oscillators using the same samples all the time.
[00:14:27] Just using pitch map for that and maybe also your DSEQ to filter out certain harmonics.
[00:14:34] The trick with the DSEQ also works just on normal synthesizers or on normal stuff.
[00:14:40] So for instance if I use here maybe piano attack, let's use felt.
[00:14:52] You can put the DSEQ on that.
[00:15:05] So you don't want to have here the root frequency.
[00:15:11] But it finds here some of the overtones and tries to remove these frequencies of course.
[00:15:17] But then I use a delta here.
[00:15:19] It amplifies it and removes everything else.
[00:15:23] Then you use a bit of tape.
[00:15:34] Maybe a super massive one there.
[00:15:48] Activity here.
[00:15:52] Maybe there are different low cut.
[00:15:57] Or not low cut.
[00:16:02] High cut.
[00:16:06] Yeah pretty steep.
[00:16:11] Only selecting here the fundamentals of a piano.
[00:16:19] Then you can create sounds this way.
[00:16:21] Maybe sample it for the sampler.
[00:16:23] Or use something like Paul Stretch and just stretch it out.
[00:16:44] You have this endless kind of drone with this.
[00:16:59] If you don't own pitchmap you can also use for instance here the vocoder.
[00:17:07] So instead of using pitchmap I'm just using vocoder.
[00:17:12] The input sound use the coder.
[00:17:15] As a carrier here I'm using basically some sine partials exactly on the scale.
[00:17:22] D#1, F#, G#, so it's D#m scale.
[00:17:27] And then I'm using here a voice stacking 5.
[00:17:31] And then I'm modulating here all the pitches to have multiple octaves of these sine partials.
[00:17:37] So just this one here just outputs notes or sine partials exactly in the scale of D#m
[00:17:44] over multiple octaves.
[00:17:47] And this is basically my carrier here.
[00:17:49] Then I'm sending all that mess through the vocoder.
[00:17:56] And then you can or you have to play around a bit here with the starting and ending points
[00:18:02] of the vocoder.
[00:18:07] Because you can see it basically squeezes everything in between here and it doesn't
[00:18:11] select basically the exact frequencies of the carrier here.
[00:18:16] So you probably have to start exactly on a note D#1 and end one on a perfect note like
[00:18:23] D#6 or something like that.
[00:18:27] So you have the right amount of notes in between.
[00:18:48] And you put this through a reverb here.
[00:19:05] So you get also interesting overtones with that.
[00:19:07] If you don't want to use a vocoder, you can then of course go back to a resonator.
[00:19:16] Also use the resonator bank of Bitwig Studio dial in all the frequencies.
[00:19:23] No pitch tracking or keyboard tracking dial in all the frequencies of your scale.
[00:19:28] This is here D#3 and this is F# so it's D#m basically.
[00:19:35] It's just one octave.
[00:19:37] So let's start with this here.
[00:19:43] And then you can use multiple of these if you want to.
[00:19:54] So you can say this is here my first octave.
[00:20:07] Then you put this into a FX layer.
[00:20:09] It's the second one.
[00:20:10] And here you go maybe one octave higher.
[00:20:13] So you have to write the first octave here then the second one.
[00:20:17] And then you can say third one, 24 and so on.
[00:20:36] So you can sort the overtones this way with these kind of bandpass filter tricks or vocoder
[00:20:42] tricks if you don't own a pitch map.
[00:20:52] But of course pitch map is more precise.
[00:20:54] It's also based on FFT and it's exactly made for this kind of reason to quantize overtones.
[00:21:03] Okay, so that's it for this video.
[00:21:06] Thanks for watching.
[00:21:07] Leave a like if you liked the video.
[00:21:09] Subscribe to the channel.
[00:21:10] Leave a comment if you have some questions.
[00:21:12] Thanks for watching and see you in the next video.
[00:21:14] Bye.
[00:21:15] [BLANK_AUDIO]