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Sound Design Database ?
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oXo



Joined: Sep 20, 2004
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 21, 2004 2:23 am    Post subject: Sound Design Database ? Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Since I'm interested in sound design I've never find something like a database, containing the basic or complex sound that we can create with a basic synth model except the traditionnal "flute", "piano" patch ...
Everytime I find a patch, it is dedicated to a specific synth, anybody is thinking to create a more abstract and generic method to describe a patch ?
I can be great no ? What do you think about this idea ?


oXo
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elektro80
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 21, 2004 4:05 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

THis is a great idea, but it would be hard to implement it in a sensible way. When it comes to sounddesign, the old NM-archives site, hosted here, is pretty cool and full of tutorials . What many of these teach is how to use various modules. Lotsa great ideas in there. The current new Clavia G2 patch forum here is also full of good ideas.
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mosc
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 21, 2004 7:24 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

oXo, good idea. The difficulty is in characterizing the patches. About the best you can do is either describe the structure, "vocoder with noise and swept filter", or describe the sound, "swishy alien voices". I'm more of the abstract type of patcher and my patches are difficult to describe in either context.

I think most of us abstract sound guys are constantly working on new patches - or more like evolving the old ones. I rarely use someone elses patch and it's even rarer for me to finish one to post.
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jksuperstar



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PostPosted: Tue Sep 21, 2004 7:27 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Quote:
anybody is thinking to create a more abstract and generic method to describe a patch ?

A while ago I did come across some program trying to "abstract" the synth patches, so that a patch could be downloaded from, say an Access Virus, and then translated over to, say a Novation SuperNova. I don't remember the details, and it was very much beta. For the life of me I can't find it now. But it might have been based, or loosely linked, to this:
http://www.jsynthlib.org/
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DrJustice



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PostPosted: Tue Sep 21, 2004 3:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Hi oXo!

That would surely be a nice resource for reference and learning. As elektro80 mentions, modular patch archives have this function to some extent. It's perhaps worth mentioning that even if you haven got the NM or the G2 you can download the editor software and view the patches. Otherwise I'm sure it would be just fine to ask around here, get some sound design discussions going. Theres lots of good stuff already in the modular section.

On a related note, for spectral sound description there's SDIF http://cnmat.cnmat.berkeley.edu/SDIF/, and there used to be the Sandell Harmonic Archive (SHARC), but the latter seems to be extinct.

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elektro80
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 21, 2004 3:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

I once heard one excellent BBC radiodocumentary on what went on at the BBC Radiophonic Workshop. That one is excellent for those old school ideas. I guess David Vorhaus made his first LP there together with the staff.

The NM patcehs are great for ideas and there are some articles in the NM-archives that are just excellent and the techniques will apply on most modular synthesis gear.

When I think of it I once wrote a thingie about some cool modules..
http://electro-music.com/article.php?t=292
Just looking at the panels will give you ideas.

The sad story about synthesis is that most of the classic synths that are prepatched, like the Minimoog, the ARP Odyssey.. all that stuff.. the consumer musician gear.. never explored a more sensible and adaptible signal routing. Some of the semimodern stuff was better but those products ususally missed a useable interface. Apart from the at times stupid signal routing clearly the absence of a whole lotta envelope generators was the most depressing.

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oXo



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PostPosted: Wed Sep 22, 2004 2:14 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Ouahh so much information ! greats Very Happy
I think I'll check the NM-Archives to extract some ideas.

In fact, my idea is to create something (mainly for newbie) like : "If I have a VCO/DCO, a VCF/DCF, an enveloppe on the VCF/DCF, What can I do ?" (this exemple is very simple). It's like the question I ask about the 2 VCA...

You know (may be you forget ? since the time you play with modular) but when you start playing with synth, you tweak every thing full-left or full-right, and if nothing important happen, you test other stuff and so one...
But after sometimes, you realize that what you've done before was wrong since "sound synthesis" is the art of subtile variation...
An other example, that I remember when I started, is the problem of translation/traduction (I'm french), at the beginning I see everywhere "Filter Sweep" ... but It was not so easy to figure out what it was ...
And It's another problem that [mosc] talk: "should we describe the structure or describe the sound ? " I think both are important but describing the structure is the most important for me, if we want to be understand by international people...

I'll try to create a little draft paper to show my idea, and I'll submit it here to have your feedback.
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Dovdimus Prime



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PostPosted: Wed Sep 22, 2004 4:15 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Strikes me what we're talking about is a recipe for sounds:

Electro Gazooba Bangs
2 parts square wave
1 part triangle wave
Turn down cutoff so it sounds muddy
Whack the resonance right up
LFO the pitch over four octaves, with a frequency of 4 Hz
Maximum attack, short delay, sustain zero
Add a pinch of fast delay


If the recipe is to be transferable between synths, then we need a way to actually express values for parameters in a transferable way, so that we have (in real terms) the same cutoff level between the Access Virus and the NM, or whatever.

For MIDI type devices, at last we can report the value the synth reads out (e.g. Access Virus C - cutoff 1 = 64). I don't know if this is possible for old skool analogue synths.

One thing we could do is report the value as a proportion of the range available (e.g. "cutoff should be halfway up"). Problem is, the synths could have different ranges. The maximum distortion on the Nord Lead could be loads more messy than the maximum distortion on the Virus.

Still, I think this approach is probably as close as we're likely to get. What say you, comrades?

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oXo



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PostPosted: Wed Sep 22, 2004 4:54 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

YES ! It's exactly what I'm thinking.
I think It will be to complicated to make something transferable between synth .. it 's why I said "abstract" Wink but people participating in this project can create .wav file with their synth so other people can hear the same thing played on other synth and make modification if there are some difference between a parameter on 2 synth..

Reporting the value proportion of the range available is the best choice, I think too.

Other question, do you think we can define all of this stuff with picture like this ? (it's just an example)


exemple.jpg
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jkn



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PostPosted: Wed Sep 22, 2004 4:55 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

There was a recent thread on Analogue Heaven on creating a website or cd or something showing examples of various sounds and how they are constructed. Extending an idea for an out of print album that did something similar. I'm sketchy on this because I only skimmed a couple of the posts and then deleted all the rest... Wink

Anyway - yes the most difficult thing is the various words used to describe the functions in a synth. If we're keeping to classic analog functions - VCO/VCF/VCA would generally work and it doesn't take long for a newbie to grasp what those terms are, etc... - getting a cross reference of what the things are relatively close to those in later synths could get more interesting - as more and more features and styles of synthesis were rolled out.

A site that had an example of a filter sweep and how it's achieved on various synths - that would be fairly cool where people with different backgrounds and hardware/software could describe how they achieve a similar sound could then add in their 2 cents... (wiki wiki wiki...)
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jkn



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PostPosted: Wed Sep 22, 2004 7:07 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

This post popped up on the AH list. The fairly large book and mp3 examples are linked to in the post.

Quote:
Hi all...

For those who are interested, the CD which accompanies my modular
synthesis book is now available as MP3s online courtesy of fellow
lister Matteo Santori. You can download them free of charge here:

http://www.rektorat.it/sam/

In case you missed it the first time, the book is available for free
download here:

http://www.bitshifted.com/samecoff.asp

Courtesy of another lister, John Mahoney.

Kind regards,

Sam E.
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mosc
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 22, 2004 8:18 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

jkn wrote:
This post popped up on the AH list.

That's a nice link.

oXo, please don't post pics that are more than 700 pixels wide. It messes up the forum pages. I edited your pic.

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oXo



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PostPosted: Wed Sep 22, 2004 8:34 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Sorry Mosc Rolling Eyes
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mosc
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 22, 2004 8:48 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

No need to aplogize...

Back to the topic, there are some great tutorial about synthesis techniques available on the NN Archives. You need to have a NM synth to play the examples, but the patches are available. The tutorials have the screen scrapes, so it's quite possible to get something from them even if you don't have a NM.

Interesting topic. We certainly have the potential for innovation here.

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oXo



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PostPosted: Wed Nov 03, 2004 5:38 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Hello,
I'm back with new ideas Very Happy
Since It's not easy to define a database for Sound Design.. may be we can try with a more simple approach with this objectives :
1 - The needs :
-> help people understand the basic of sound design
-> give idea in using specific "modules" (like a TVA, TVF,....)
-> keep the things simple to understand (for the readers) and simple to create (for the authors)
-> explain things with terms that are synth independant
-> the idea is not to translate a patch in text, but just give information, ideas of what can we do with ... (a list of module)
2 - How to do that :
-> may be with this forum ?
-> We can create a forum like Sound Design
-> and create sub categories like : Env (ADSR)-->LPF
-> which will contain all the information regarding of what we can do with an ADSR controlling a LPF.

I think in the subject we can list the modules used, and in the message body give more explication like [jksuperstar] give me in this post [url]http://electro-music.com/forum/topic-3503.html[/url]

Exemple 1 :
------------------------------
>Subject: Env(ADSR)-->LPF
>Body :
Sound's type or name = Filter Sweep
Needs :
Modulators : an Env(ADSR) or Env(AD)
Filters : LPF

With this configuration you can do ....

Exemple 2 :
------------------------------
>Subject: LPF and HPF
>Body :
Sound's type or name = Create a BRF
Needs :
Modulators :
Filters : LPF and HPF

If you split an audio signal and feed it in an LPF and an HPF then mixing the 2 outputs of each filters you can create a Band Reject Filter.

The first works is to define some rules like :
use "-->" to create a link between a modulator and something
use "+" if you want to sum something

Ex: [LFO1(sin) + LFO2(Square)] --> Pitch
which means LFO1 and LFO2 modulate the Pitch

What do you think about this idea ? to complicate ? not interesting ?

You may ask why I want to do that ?
Because I have some module on my synth and I don't know what to do with them Very Happy (a lag processor, a 8 step Envelope, ... )

oXo
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mosc
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 03, 2004 7:24 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Good thinking oXo, but this looks like a huge project. I'm not sure you'll be able to round up enough contribtors. The reason is that people into sound design are probably into some synth or program already and get their information and ideas from the appropriate user community. For example, Nord Modular users communicate about sound design by using this forum pto post patches and to discuss them. What you are thinking about is more general.

Your descriptive format looks pretty much like a programming language. Something like CSound could be used. The syntax is well defined and the software is available for free.

If you want to know what you can do with a lag processor and 8 stage envelope generator, why not just post those questions directly?

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oXo



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PostPosted: Wed Nov 03, 2004 7:58 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Yes Moss you're right, I'm thinking about something more general...
I don't know if it will be a huge project or not, may be we can start, and see what happen ...
In any case if nothing happen I will post them, but I have a lot of question Very Happy
(XOR function, ... all the boolean function, absolute, min, max, Ramp, ...)
I know that there are many patch in the Nord Modular forum that use them and I will try to find some examples, but it's more easy to learn and understand, when people explain the different way to use this modules in clear text than to decrypt a Nord's patch Wink

May be we can wait, and see what other people think about this...
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mosc
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 03, 2004 8:39 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

oXo, do you have a NM G2?
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oXo



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PostPosted: Wed Nov 03, 2004 8:47 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

[Mosc] No, I don't have any Nord Modular
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mosc
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 03, 2004 9:12 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

oXo wrote:
[Mosc] No, I don't have any Nord Modular

Well, reading the NM forums won't do you much good because the patches are binary and can't be decoded.

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oXo



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PostPosted: Wed Nov 03, 2004 9:36 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Quote:
Well, reading the NM forums won't do you much good because the patches are binary and can't be decoded.


Yeap but I can read them with the Nord Software, no ?
And I want to say "the Nord Modular Interesting threads" rather than the patch archive...
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mosc
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 03, 2004 9:42 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Yes, that's true, you can look at them but I'm not sure that's going to be a great deal of help. It's so important to hear them and to be able to work interactively with them. There are some excellent synthesis and sound design tutorials in the NM archives. There is even an online book http://electro-music.com/forum/topic-477.html which may be of value even if you don't have a synth.
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