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 Forum index » Clavia Nord Modular » Nord Modular G2 Discussion
How to add harmonics BELOW the fundamental frequency?
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sheridan



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PostPosted: Sat May 12, 2007 6:17 am    Post subject: How to add harmonics BELOW the fundamental frequency?
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Hi there everyone! Very Happy

I often have a problem with sounds that have no/few low frequencies... for example strings/pads:

How can I add 'some' extra frequencies BELOW the sound's fundamental frequency? If I add an extra oscillator an octave below, it doesn't quite have the right effect and neither does simple equalising.

Now I know that the lowest frequency is generally supposed to be the fundamental frequency and I need this frequency to remain fundamental, but I just need to thicken the sound somehow... Rob's tilt filter doesn't help in this situation either. Confused

Anyone have any ideas??

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elektro80
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PostPosted: Sat May 12, 2007 6:44 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Any examples of what you have there that needs thickening?


This is an interesting question. Traditionally this "thickening" would be done by using several instruments. Consider how parts for a double bass, the cellos etc. will thicken and widen the sound of "strings".

Try to listen to stuff like Pergolesi´s Stabat Mater and Mozart´s Requiem. try to figure out why it sounds the way it sounds. Even if you cannot quite completely place each instrument and voice hidden in there, I´m still sure you will get the main concepts really fast.

Mahler as well as Wagner would be next I think.
As for detailing tricks and the unexpected and interesting.. in a modern way of sorts.. try the Soldier´s Story ( Stravinsky ). You may want to listen to Wagner again after Stravinsky. Interesting stuff.

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PostPosted: Sat May 12, 2007 6:55 am    Post subject: Re: How to add harmonics BELOW the fundamental frequency?
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sheridan wrote:
I just need to thicken the sound somehow.


This is complex but possible very easy too. Shocked

I´m still not comfortable with the "pad" terminology so I won´t commment on this using the word "pad"

I suggest you don´t think in terms of the tools used, but rather in terms of music, voicing and how you want it to sound. Then you do whatever is called for.

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PostPosted: Sat May 12, 2007 7:14 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Slightly OT:

Consider the use of mellotrons, solina´s and what have you, the rock musician´s idea of handling this would be instant "strings" in a rock musician´s usual rockish "chordy" manner. This rarely works well.
The reason string sections in classical music sounds like string sections in classical music is mainly because of how the music is written and slightly less about the instruments used.

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PostPosted: Sat May 12, 2007 7:29 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

I´m moving this ( and keeping a link in the current Clavia hierarchy ) to Composition. Very Happy
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PostPosted: Sat May 12, 2007 8:46 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

I think that Sheridan does not want to throw in an extra part here but wants his sound for one part to have more "body".

Usually I try this by getting some "dirt" into the sound, like for instance adding a sub octave from a logic divider circuit and then either mix that in (maube filter it first) or use it to modulate something. That can be self modulation of phase, or filter frequency modulation or distortion modulation or whatever. It could even be FM on the original oscillator, but then the feedback should go through a high pass filter to get the DC out.

Otoh it might be that the voice is in the wrong range and that it needs to be brought down an octave or even two while at the same time adding some interesting stuff in the harmonics, For instance by not using a low pass but a high pass filter rather set to accent the first harmonic or something - which will suggest bass more than actually having it. Maybe add some distortion followed by another (modulated) filter (low pas) set to resonate a bit.

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bachus



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PostPosted: Sat May 12, 2007 11:10 am    Post subject: Re: How to add harmonics BELOW the fundamental frequency?
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sheridan wrote:

Now I know that the lowest frequency is generally supposed to be the fundamental frequency and I need this frequency to remain fundamental,


Could you expand a bit on what you mean by that statement ?

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bachus



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PostPosted: Sat May 12, 2007 11:46 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Could you post an mp3 of a bit of what you are talking about? That might make a lot of things clear.
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kijjaz



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PostPosted: Sat May 12, 2007 12:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

I have an idea for what you're after.
it's something i done with some sounds many times..
for example, a very dry and thin Claps that need some more bass + groove in it. etc..

I use "Overdrive" .. and sometimes Distortion / Fuzz.

but try some different wiring for each case.
for example..

EQ -> Drive -> EQ..
Multiband Compression -> Drive -> EQ..
EQ -> Drive -> Multiband Compression

it can produce some drived bass parts mixed with the same sound.

but if you still wanna have the dry sound not driven
try keeping the dry sound..
then create another effect chain and 'Send' the dry sound to it..
and use EQ -> Drive -> EQ or just EQ -> Drive or just Drive -> EQ
to add the low drived part to the sound without making the whole thing go dirty.

this is one idea.. the result can vary a lot with different kinds of EQ / Multiband Compression / Overdrive Type
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Kassen
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PostPosted: Sat May 12, 2007 5:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

What Kijaz sugests roughly comes down to how a tubescreamer (and many other tube-emulations) works; overdrive and roll off the high-end. It's a great way of adding body (tubescreamers can also boost higher harmonics, but that doesn't matter here).

What a typical sub-octave generator does is clock-devide the input signal at the zero crossings. For every two zero crossings in the input you get one back, resulting in a square-wave tuned a octave below the original input (idealy, you may need to LPF the input). You can mix that in straight but with it being a square it'll have some higher harmonics which may need to be filtered out.

Clearly those methods can be combined; do roll your own because standard sub-octave generators are aimed at general purpose situations and with a modular you can do way better for speciffic sounds.

It's likely also worthwhile to look up the infamous "what is BASS???!!!" topic on this site which deals with related matters (as well as social behaviour, headroom, psycho-acoustics, linguistic confusion, blown speakers and sex)

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PostPosted: Sat May 12, 2007 5:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

The What is bass thread is good for some ideas. However, I´d still like to hear some of Sheridans examples before we take it into the sex zone. Laughing
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Kassen
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PostPosted: Sat May 12, 2007 5:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

elektro80 wrote:
before we take it into the sex zone. Laughing


There is no "before". Part of our brain we share with reptiles, this is the most primitive side of our brain. Reptiles use growls while mating; a lower growl means a larger chest so a more fit mate. This is why teenagers like bass in their clubs, this part of our brain processes info faster then the rest (but not as fast as the part dealing with the ears which delivers the data and which can be tricked!).

This bit of the brain doesn't care about good taste in internet posts, I fear.

:¬p

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bachus



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PostPosted: Sat May 12, 2007 6:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

I don't know what "overdrive" is. I'll go looky on the wwwwwwww
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PostPosted: Sat May 12, 2007 6:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

That did not produce unambiguous results. So, I still am not clear.
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PostPosted: Sat May 12, 2007 7:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

bachus wrote:
I don't know what "overdrive" is. I'll go looky on the wwwwwwww


Traditionally a guitar amp being turned way up, nowadays a sort of a general name for a type of harmonic distortion that tries to emulate that effect. For the Clavia Nord Modulars it's an effects module that can be thrown in, its not a very accurate replica of the guitar amp effect but it does add harmonics and makes some pleasantly fuzzy stuff out of certain input signals.

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bachus



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PostPosted: Sat May 12, 2007 7:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Blue Hell wrote:
bachus wrote:
I don't know what "overdrive" is. I'll go looky on the wwwwwwww


Traditionally a guitar amp being turned way up, nowadays a sort of a general name for a type of harmonic distortion that tries to emulate that effect. For the Clavia Nord Modulars it's an effects module that can be thrown in, its not a very accurate replica of the guitar amp effect but it does add harmonics and makes some pleasantly fuzzy stuff out of certain input signals.


Ahh. As in driving a device into saturation. Thanks.

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PostPosted: Sun May 13, 2007 6:46 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

bachus wrote:
Ahh. As in driving a device into saturation. Thanks.


Overdrive is less about satuartion and more about clipping I think... the term overdrive (as Jan says) was originally coined when guitarists 'over-boosted' the level of their instrument past the optimum signal to noise ratio and into distortion land.

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PostPosted: Sun May 13, 2007 6:48 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

elektro80 wrote:
I´m moving this ( and keeping a link in the current Clavia hierarchy ) to Composition. Very Happy


Not sure why this was moved, for it IS a G2 specific question... I don't have this problem with other sound sources. Maybe I didn't mention that, but as I was posting in the G2 section, I didn't think I needed to... but oh well! Very Happy

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PostPosted: Sun May 13, 2007 6:56 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Thanks for all the idea, fellas. Very Happy There are some interesting ideas there and I'm embarrased not to have thought of some of the simpler ones myself! Embarassed

Unfortunately, I have an assessment coming up at uni soon, so don't really have time to record and post an example at the moment, but I will return to this post when I have more time.

I like the simplest idea about using a sub oscillator and filtering out (lowest) frequencies that are too low... why didn't I think of that??!! Embarassed

I'll try them all and see what works. Very Happy

Bachus, the bit I wrote about the fundamental frequency just meant that the notes are in the right frequency range, but if I add another oscillator one octave below, then that would then lower the fundamental (most audible) frequency and move the notes into an undesired frequency range... hmmm, that's probably not any clearer! Very Happy

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PostPosted: Sun May 13, 2007 7:00 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

sheridan wrote:
elektro80 wrote:
I´m moving this ( and keeping a link in the current Clavia hierarchy ) to Composition. Very Happy


Not sure why this was moved, for it IS a G2 specific question... I don't have this problem with other sound sources.


OK. I moved it back. It´s just that I´ve heard similar complaints re the Roland Rs-09, the Solina, the Elka, the Roland jupiters, the M-Tron, the CS-80 and even upmarket samplesets. Laughing

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PostPosted: Sun May 13, 2007 8:45 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

sheridan wrote:
Overdrive is less about satuartion (sic) and more about clipping I think...


I would have to respectfully disagree with you on this. It is entirely the saturation effects which ensue when a valve-driven magnetic core (which don't hard clip like our digital products) is over-driven and delivers such a rich plethora of augmented harmonics and intermodulation by-products that it pleases the brain in some way (no doubt the reptilian part of the brain which Kassen refers to Smile ).

There is a case to be made, I think, that pure fundamental sounds (pure sine, square, triangle etc.) are really uninteresting to the brain and a large part of synthesis is becoming adept at 'dirtying' them up in an interesting and pleasing way.

It just occurs to me that this is no doubt why I find Ms. Westenra so uninteresting to listen to Very Happy

Sorry I don't actually have an answer to your question.

Jim
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PostPosted: Sun May 13, 2007 9:00 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

jima wrote:
It is entirely the saturation effects which ensue when a valve-driven magnetic core...


Nobody said anything about valves in these guitar amplifiers. Very Happy There is no saturation on amps wiithout valves, instead clipping occurs.

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PostPosted: Sun May 13, 2007 9:44 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Maybe an interesting read, some old article about tubes vs transistors : http://www.dwfearn.com/tvst1.htm
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PostPosted: Sun May 13, 2007 11:45 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

sheridan wrote:
Nobody said anything about valves in these guitar amplifiers. Very Happy


True enough!

Quote:
There is no saturation on amps without valves, instead clipping occurs.


Perhaps that is why valves still seem to be the preferable choice?

Jim

(P.S. interesting read, Jan, thanks for the link)
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PostPosted: Sun May 13, 2007 1:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

sheridan wrote:
jima wrote:
It is entirely the saturation effects which ensue when a valve-driven magnetic core...


Nobody said anything about valves in these guitar amplifiers. Very Happy There is no saturation on amps wiithout valves, instead clipping occurs.


I agree with jima (not that it's that import); in guitarist idiom 'overdrive' is mostly used to indicate saturation / valve-like distortion, while 'distortion' is mostly used to indicate more harsh clipping effects, but it's not black and white of course.

On the reptile brain issue: such theories have a bit too much popular psycho-biology content for me buying them without a doubt. There are many possible alternative theories that could be thought of but since sex-linked theories are inherently 'sexy', they seem to appeal to many people. Must be a freudian inheritance.

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