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 Forum index » Clavia Nord Modular » G2 Patches - Completed » Pad
Synth strings (8 variations)
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Eag



Joined: Feb 14, 2007
Posts: 39
Location: Central Pennsylvania
G2 patch files: 3

PostPosted: Sat Mar 03, 2007 8:23 pm    Post subject: Synth strings (8 variations)
Subject description: first patch - comments, critiques appreciated
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A patch for doing string-like stuff. I'd tried one or two attempts at string patches before, and they didn't come out so well. Then, working on something entirely different, I stumbled across an envelope that I thought might work well for strings - so I thought I'd see where it went. This is the result.

8 variations here - a brief rundown of what they're like follows. Knob assignments are pretty complete, too. I find it's a bit easier to get good variations working principally with the control surface, hence the knob assignments.

Velocity morphing on volume and attack on all 8, iirc. You can control the minimum volume with the mod wheel, which can be handy if you want really in-your-face sound without having to pound. Even for sensitive parts, I've found it's best to keep the wheel at about 1/3, which probably means I have it mapped a little too low at the bottom. But then, flexibility is nice to have. Also, aftertouch will give you a bit more detune, for all these variations.

1) Pretty straightforward string sound. Works pretty well for moving parts. Tries to sound more like 'real' strings than some of the other variations.

2) More detuned. Much more lush - a pad proper. More aggressive attack, though, if you punch it.

3) A more realistic sound again. Slightly brighter and richer than var. 1.

4) Not unlike variation 3, but with slightly heavier detuning of the oscs. Just gives you one more pseudo-realistic string sound, with a slightly different tenor.

5) Lushness city. One osc down an octave, two in the normal range, and one up an octave. Really thick sounds with just a few notes.

6) Lands somewhere between 4 and 5, I guess. Not sure what else to say.

7) A very cheesy sound - the result of minimizing detunes. Overtones of fiddle, and could be used for rhythmic 'chop' parts, I think (my bluegrass background leaks out). Although the cheesiness might be overpowering even for that.

8) Departs the realism entirely. Very sci-fi, kinda gritty texture. For no particular reason you can morph the filter on this one with global mod wheel 1, assuming you're using the G2X.

Overall, I'm fairly happy with the way it turned out. The G2 is an amazing machine, and I'm pretty much in hog heaven twiddling with it.

Comments? Things you'd tweak (particularly for trying to get more realistic sounds)? I don't know tons about synthesis, so advice/interesting things to try are always welcome. As it currently stands, on the G2X I can get up to 32 voice polyphony, so there's definitely room to add stuff. I tried doing vibrato with LFOs, but didn't like the results I was getting... maybe I'm just missing something there.


SynthStrings.pch2
 Description:
woooo strings.

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 Filename:  SynthStrings.pch2
 Filesize:  2.35 KB
 Downloaded:  1093 Time(s)


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dorremifasol



Joined: Sep 28, 2006
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 05, 2007 12:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

I like how those strings sounds, except for the chorus module which I specially hate, so I disconnect it as soon as I see one Razz
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Blue Hell
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 05, 2007 1:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

dorremifasol wrote:
so I disconnect it as soon as I see one Razz


Laughing

Set to low detune and great depth it's almost bearable though ... I don't like it much either.

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Eag



Joined: Feb 14, 2007
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 05, 2007 6:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

The chorus does have some audio properties I don't find entirely pleasant, but in this case, I thought it filled things out and gave a sound that was more like a real string section.

Being new to this whole modular synthesis thing: apart from detuning individual oscillators, what alternatives to the chorus module are there for thickening a sound?

I know there's probably a near-infinite number of techniques that could be used to do this, but what are some of your favorites?

Thanks for the responses!

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Blue Hell
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 05, 2007 6:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

I wouldn't know about a near infinite number of ways Laughing

Detuned oscs is the only thing that springs to mind actually. This is more expensive DSP ways of course (the delay and detune based chorus effect is an optimization thingy originally).

I don't know what exactly it is that I don't like about the chorus module, maybe it's just that it is not modulated (usualy). For a natural chorus I'd expect the tones go closer to each other as time elapses (the effect to deminish), or maybe more complex types of synchroniztion.

Guess I should just try some patching now.

Otoh, maybe it's just the simultaneous movement of many sounds that I don't appreaciate. blocks of trumpets piercing through the cones spring to mind (for certain types of music). I might just like individuality better Very Happy

My disliking of the chorus module was not an opinion about the patch BTW, just a general remark about the effect itself. For making "strings", especially when they should be "cheesy", the chorus module seems to be the right thing to use - if only from a historical perspective.

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dorremifasol



Joined: Sep 28, 2006
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 05, 2007 11:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Eag, I have made a simple modification to your patch. now it's doubled so it can cover the stereo field without using the (cough cough!) chorus module. I know it is much more DSP expensive but sounds more "real" and warm to my ears.


synthstrings_duplex.pch2
 Description:
Original sound by Eag, now doubled!

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 Filename:  synthstrings_duplex.pch2
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Eag



Joined: Feb 14, 2007
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 06, 2007 4:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

dorremifasol wrote:
Eag, I have made a simple modification to your patch. now it's doubled so it can cover the stereo field without using the (cough cough!) chorus module. I know it is much more DSP expensive but sounds more "real" and warm to my ears.


Interesting.

For several of the variations, that sounds a lot more like real strings, but it doesn't have the thickness I was looking for in some of the other variations.

I guess you'd just have to apply a _lot_ of oscillators to get there...

Blue Hell wrote:
Detuned oscs is the only thing that springs to mind actually. This is more expensive DSP ways of course (the delay and detune based chorus effect is an optimization thingy originally).


Huh. Okay. Did I mention I was new to all this? Wink

I guess, having seen some of the clever things people around here have done to achieve various effects, I assumed that there might have been techniques I wasn't aware of here, although I couldn't think of any.

Blue Hell wrote:
Otoh, maybe it's just the simultaneous movement of many sounds that I don't appreaciate. blocks of trumpets piercing through the cones spring to mind (for certain types of music). I might just like individuality better Very Happy


I see what you mean. Stacking up lots of instruments is probably not something to everyone's taste.

...especially given how often composers go "huh, I don't know what to do next... UNISON, everybody!" Razz

Coming from a classical and orchestral background, it's an effect I tend to like (when used appropriately), so perhaps that's where the difference in tastes comes from.

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jksuperstar



Joined: Aug 20, 2004
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 06, 2007 9:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Another simple trick (and a little less intense on DSP) is just using a simple delay one one channel (right or left, but not both).

In this patch, try variation one, then give it a little aftertouch. The delay will go up to about 3ms difference between L & R, and you'll hear the wider image.


synthstrings_138.pch2
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 Filename:  synthstrings_138.pch2
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davep



Joined: Jul 05, 2004
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 08, 2007 5:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Eag wrote:
The chorus does have some audio properties I don't find entirely pleasant, but in this case, I thought it filled things out and gave a sound that was more like a real string section.

Being new to this whole modular synthesis thing: apart from detuning individual oscillators, what alternatives to the chorus module are there for thickening a sound?

I know there's probably a near-infinite number of techniques that could be used to do this, but what are some of your favorites?

Thanks for the responses!


Try using pulse waves with a little pulse width modulation. Not too much, you don't want the pulse to get really narrow at the end of the sweep. Use a separate LFO for pulse width mod swep on each audio osc, and set these LFOs to different rates. Try adding some keyboard tracking to these LFOs, maybe 25%, so they speed up a little on higher notes.

In general, separate modulations for each audio osc will get you a more realistic and/or more lush detuned sound. So try using separate LFOs for vibrato too, with these vibrato LFOs runnign at slightly different rates.

Here's an example that uses these ideas, and uses another idea besides the Chorus module to get a stereo spread. There are four detuned oscs with separate PWM for each, and these are patched to a pair of mixers to create astereo mix (note the different level settings for the oscs in each mixer). These mixer outs then go to a pair of filters & VCAs and then to a stereo out. Try muting all of the oscs except one to hear what the PWN is doing.

(EDIT) DOH! I made this on the Demo Editor so it's monophonic. Change it to eight or more voices.


Thickening ideas.pch2
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mosc
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 08, 2007 6:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Eag, sounds great to me. I don't mind chorus if used gently.

It took me a while to figure out what you did with the velocity. The mod wheel controls touch sensitivity. That's the first time I've come across that, but it is not unreasonable.

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Eag



Joined: Feb 14, 2007
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 11, 2007 11:48 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

mosc wrote:
Eag, sounds great to me. I don't mind chorus if used gently.

It took me a while to figure out what you did with the velocity. The mod wheel controls touch sensitivity. That's the first time I've come across that, but it is not unreasonable.


Thanks!

I had actually thought about going one further and using two mod wheels to control touch sensitivity, so that you could control both ends of velocity sensitivity. Not sure if being able to control the top end would actually be useful or not.

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