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Can you make a light sabre sound?
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sheridan



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PostPosted: Wed Jul 13, 2005 1:41 pm    Post subject: Can you make a light sabre sound? Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Hey everyone. It's me again with another bizarre topic! Sorry, but if you've come here looking for a light sabre sound, you'll be disappointed for now because I tried and failed! Funnily enough, what started out as a poor imitation of said sound turned out to sound a bit like a car and so I transformed it into the rather superb attached patch of 'the sound of a pit lane'.
Anyway, back to the sound of a light sabre. Apparently it is composed of two main sounds: the sound of an idle projector motor (running but with no film) and the sound of interference from a (muted) TV set picked up by a microphone as it was moved past it. This almost continuous 'tone(s)' was then played through a speaker and re-recorded by a microphone which was being waved around it (to create the movement or doppler effect). So, who can recreate this? Again, a very difficult thing, but I'll have another go soon.


Formula 1.prf2
 Description:
In the pit lane. All sound is routed through slot D.

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 Filename:  Formula 1.prf2
 Filesize:  17 KB
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 13, 2005 4:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

I"m not a Star Wars fan, so not too facinated by the light sabre sounds, but why the formula 1 sounds?
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sheridan



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PostPosted: Wed Jul 13, 2005 4:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Oops, this was supposed to be in the forum... don't suppose you could move it for me please mosc? As for the F1 sounds... my light saber attempt just sounded more like cars, so I gave up with the original plan and experimented with that instead. I will have another go though.
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ian-s



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PostPosted: Wed Jul 13, 2005 5:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

I think I remember a ‘making of’ documentary. The sound designer did not want to use synthesisers because he wanted a more organic sound Rolling Eyes , I remember thinking he should have just got a better synthesist. Anyway, the bass part of the sound as I remember he used an electric shaver waved around inside a steel mixing bowl, then re-sampled, or played the tape back slower, to bring it into the bass region.
I don’t have any star wars DVD’s (to scary for the kids yet) so I did this from memory, and its been a long time.


LightSabre.pch2
 Description:
light saber

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 Filename:  LightSabre.pch2
 Filesize:  1.99 KB
 Downloaded:  1748 Time(s)

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3phase



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PostPosted: Thu Jul 14, 2005 11:46 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

sheridan wrote:
Oops, this was supposed to be in the forum... don't suppose you could move it for me please mosc? As for the F1 sounds... my light saber attempt just sounded more like cars, so I gave up with the original plan and experimented with that instead. I will have another go though.


I think its very cool that there are some sounds in the forum..here i find them. And here they become a point of discussion everybody stumbles along...not only the people that look in a drum cattegorie..
Work in progress patching...thats cool...A bit like what happened on the list from time to time...

thanks for the interesting work...still have to hack the funky drummer.. i really enjoy to have such naturalistic sounds as a basis on the G2 ..
Because they dont need to stay that naturalistic .-)))
I like to develop a bit of interactivity and morphing..maybe random autofills as i did in the past and key pressed related variations...

Sven
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sheridan



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PostPosted: Thu Jul 14, 2005 2:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Hey Ian, that's pretty dam good! I don't think it actually sounded quite like that (I've been trying to find some audio), but that definitely has the right feel. Well done! That's an effective way of creating the movement too.
By the way, I found this regarding the creation of the actual sound:
http://www.filmsound.org/starwars/burtt-interview.htm#Lightsabers

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Unfed



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PostPosted: Thu Jul 14, 2005 8:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

mosc wrote:
I"m not a Star Wars fan, so not too facinated by the light sabre sounds, but why the formula 1 sounds?


Sad geez Mosc, you're such a downer sometimes.

Very Happy

seriously though, as a synthesist aren't you intrigued by someone trying to replicate the sound (which i've personally always found quite fascinating...)? i'm thinking R2-D2 can be pulled off by most synths with S+H (i thought even an SH-101 worked well for this), but can anyone do Darth Vader?

stuff like this makes me extremely happy to be a Nord Mod user, you don't really get this type of experimentation from other synth user-groups. you guys rule.

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PostPosted: Fri Jul 15, 2005 7:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Unfed wrote:

seriously though, as a synthesist aren't you intrigued by someone trying to replicate the sound (which i've personally always found quite fascinating...)?


Absolutely!. However, hearing the sound, and being able to identify it it in pieces (or stages), is one thing (and quite difficult for me), but creating sounds from scratch keeps reminding me that my knowledge of synthesis needs improving. Of course, it depends on how complex a sounds is.


Unfed wrote:

i'm thinking R2-D2 can be pulled off by most synths with S+H


I've read (in several sources) the R2D2 sounds were created with an Arp 2600. Now that would be fun to try on the G2.

Unfed wrote:

but can anyone do Darth Vader?


The voice, or the breathing ?


I have a really cool documentary, where they explain how some of the sound FX for Tron were created.
(after I saw this, I was amazed, and convinced I wanted to be a Sound Designer for a living-not thinking that i had to have a lot of experience to earn a living this way Smile )

According to this documentary, most (if not all) of the FX for Tron were created with an Emulator II.

If my ever-failing memory serves me correctly, the sounds of the Discs being thrown, was created by using the roar of some kind of monkey, slowed down, and reversed, and I think layered with a bullwhip sound.

A very intriguing, and inspiring documentary though.
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mosc
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 15, 2005 8:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Unfed wrote:
Sad geez Mosc, you're such a downer sometimes.


Thanks... Twisted Evil

Tron, that's a movie I actually liked quite a bit. Remember the MCP, the Master Control Program? Who could forget that one? Very Happy

Long long ago in a distant galaxy I used to work at Bell Labs. We used Vax 11/780 computers. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/VAX

Posted Image, might have been reduced in size. Click Image to view fullscreen.

These were one MIP, 8 MB RAM systems -> $250,000

Anyway, once a year they would give each department a budget to buy more computers. Some departments got a lot of money and some very little. I enquired how the money was allocated. The answer was they kept accounting on the systems and the departments that used the more CPU cycles got the most money because they needed it. Logical...

I wrote a little program for our department's VAX that woke up once every minute and checked for CPU usage. If there was none, it would run a little loop to burn a few cycles, and check a minute latter. If some real program needed cycles, it would sleep for a minute, etc etc. In a few years our department had 6 VAXes. Twisted Evil

The name of the program was MCP. Rolling Eyes

Only one person saw MCP running, got the joke, and called me on it. He worked for another department as a VAX administrator. He joined our department because he could see we had a future. Cool

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Unfed



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PostPosted: Fri Jul 15, 2005 9:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

well, i did add the smiley...

even if someone's never seen Star Wars (or whether they liked it or not if they did see it), the sounds from the films are quite interesting from a sound design standpoint.

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ian-s



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PostPosted: Sat Jul 16, 2005 12:29 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Well the Remington in the steel bowl turned out to be a false memory, or maybe It was one of the things he tried first.
A little research indicates that it was a 50/50 mix of a film projector and the buzz induced in a microphone by the field at the back of a TV. The sound is then played through a speaker and re-recorded by someone waving a microphone around.

This patch I think is a bit closer though I may have overdone the stuttering. Doppler in this case comes from the phase modulation of the ShapeLfos.
Version 3 has the white noise based effects, press and hold a key, extra keypresses generate the clash noise, release to turn off.


Sabre3.pch2
 Description:
light sabre buz + noise effect

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 Filename:  Sabre3.pch2
 Filesize:  3.11 KB
 Downloaded:  1560 Time(s)

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v-un-v
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PostPosted: Sat Jul 16, 2005 9:22 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

You can get a very convincing light saber sound by stroking a large fluorescent light tube with a telephone pick up.

Sorry not an idea for a patch, but it leaves a lot of food for thought concerning electro-acoustics vs pure synthesis. I know I shouldn't really be saying this here, but I've always found the former more interesting to listen to than the latter.

You can do a post-graduate course in Electro-Acoustic music here at Birmingham University. It's supposed to be unique to Britain and highly regarded throughout the world.

Tom
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sheridan



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PostPosted: Sun Jul 17, 2005 8:27 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Well, I've only managed to find 2 very short samples of a lightsabre, and my efforts at trying to synthesize the sound have not yet yeilded anything as good as Ian's. I've attached the samples if anyone is interested... but don't cough or you'll miss them!!


lightsabre 2.wav
 Description:
Clashing sabres

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 Filename:  lightsabre 2.wav
 Filesize:  92.53 KB
 Downloaded:  1090 Time(s)


litesabre.wav
 Description:
Turning on light sabre

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 Filename:  litesabre.wav
 Filesize:  29.56 KB
 Downloaded:  1110 Time(s)


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G2egory



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PostPosted: Sun Jul 17, 2005 10:20 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

I like the light saber patch that g2ian developed very much. What a fun patch it will be for boys to play on my synthesizer while quoting Star Wars lines. For this patch, very much thank you, I do.

Razz Laughing
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dorremifasol



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PostPosted: Thu Nov 09, 2006 6:31 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Cool patches here!

But the sound I most like in the Star Wars universe is the Tie Fighter sound, it's really frightening! Are you capable of synthesizing it with the G2? Very Happy

I don't have the knowledge (and talent) to make such sounds yet, I'm starting to learn my G2.

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the0verclock



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PostPosted: Thu Nov 09, 2006 10:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

dorremifasol wrote:
.....Tie Fighter sound, it's really frightening!
.....



amen to that!
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sheridan



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PostPosted: Fri Nov 10, 2006 9:15 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

The Tie fighter sound originally came from a 'drastically altered' elephant sound!* This is not to say that it is beyond synthesis, but I think it would be very tricky. I'd cetainly like to hear some attempts, although due to a heavy workload at present, I can't take the time to try myself.

* more information can be found here: http://www.filmsound.org/starwars/

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PostPosted: Fri Nov 10, 2006 12:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

sheridan wrote:
* more information can be found here: http://www.filmsound.org/starwars/


That is a very interesting site. Thanks.

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kvnvk



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PostPosted: Fri Nov 10, 2006 6:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

sheridan wrote:
The Tie fighter sound originally came from a 'drastically altered' elephant sound!* This is not to say that it is beyond synthesis, but I think it would be very tricky. I'd cetainly like to hear some attempts, although due to a heavy workload at present, I can't take the time to try myself.

* more information can be found here: http://www.filmsound.org/starwars/


I don't think it is beyond being synthesized, a few years ago while recording material for a release I did manage to (unintentionally) get a sound which was close. Unfortunately I have no idea exactly how I created that particular sound, was using a table full of guitar effects pedals and not entirely certain about the source, but it was likely one of the following... MS2000R, guitar or microphone feedback.
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13rian



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PostPosted: Sat Nov 11, 2006 12:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

i'm sure it's not cool to post a recently released track on here, so i'll point you to it instead.....

http://phobos.apple.com/WebObjects/MZStore.woa/wa/viewAlbum?id=203008005&s=143441

the latest venetian snares release, track 2 - beverly's potatoe orchestra. there is a lot of sounds in there, but there is one reoccurring tone that seems to be a processed voice, maybe some spectral stuff. there are a few points (for example - 1:13, 1:19, 1:23) that sound closer to the tie fighter sound than anything else i've heard.

almost sounds like some scrubbing (like in radiohead's 'everything in its right place') but with some heavy spectral mutation of some sort.

is it 'off-topic' for us to have moved onto tie fighter sounds from light sabre sounds? Very Happy

- b
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13rian



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PostPosted: Sat Nov 11, 2006 12:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

so i just tried that itunes link that i posted, if you do the free preview of the track, you only get 30 seconds, but the very first second has a little bit of the voice stuff. later in the track it is more tie fightery.

- b
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mosc
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PostPosted: Sat Nov 11, 2006 5:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

13rian wrote:
i'm sure it's not cool to post a recently released track on here, so i'll point you to it instead...


Thanks much. We don't have a license to host any copyrighted material here, no matter how old, nor do we have the money to pay lawyers to protect us from aggressive RMAs.

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phlizmo



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PostPosted: Wed Jan 31, 2007 1:41 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

sheridan wrote:
The Tie fighter sound originally came from a 'drastically altered' elephant sound!* This is not to say that it is beyond synthesis, but I think it would be very tricky. I'd cetainly like to hear some attempts, although due to a heavy workload at present, I can't take the time to try myself.

* more information can be found here: http://www.filmsound.org/starwars/
Hey guys, I am new here but I saw this thread (I know its old), and wanted to chime in. I actually have heard some of these original tapes. I am a sound designer myself and have friends who had access to these sound effects. As far as the Tie Fighter elephant it wasnt really so drastically altered. If you heard the original you can guess it in a second. I was also able to hear some of the original R@ sounds and of course the donkey brays used for the sand people. Yes I am a sound geek.. I have been trying to figure out the light saber for some time. If you listen to the idle hum and slow it down you can hear how Burtt tuned the samples with one note sounding a third above the original. Thats the musical part of the sound. The buzz of course it the tv set. I havent tried it with a broken cable picking up the interference but I know that if you try to capture it with the mic you get that nasty high pitched monitor ring with it. Of course Burtt had many filters to take out these frequencies. I know Burtt was also using a lav mic for the lazers as well as Vaders breath (a lav inside a scuba regulator) and I have an idea that he may have used one in the lightsaber being sheathed. I have not tried it but I imagine one could place a lav inside a pvc pipe, and aim it at a speaker playing a whooshing sound. Then the recordist could then pull the mic out of the tube creating a sweeping comb filter sound. I really want to try this.. Might be fun.

These days with Meta synth it is sooo easy to just use software to mangle sounds.. I am a big fan of the old days when it was tape and speakers. I was born in 1974 so this stuff was actually phased out before I became a sound designer but I still use these techniques when I can. The best is worldizing or playing a prerecorded sound or bit of dialog in a real space and rerecording it to capture the natural ambience. This has been used to great effect by Walter Murch in films like American Grafitti (all the radio shows), and of course by Ben Burtt in Star Wars. Darth Vader, C3po, and all the droids were rerecorded in actual spaces approximating the spaces on the screen. Burtt would take James Earl Jones's dialog and run it through a phaser, (maybe Eventide?) to give it that talking in a bucket sound and then replay those tapes in rooms. Walter Murch did something very cool in "THX:1138" where there is this loud verb'd out dialog being played over loud speakers in the underground cement tunnels. Murch could not always gain access to say a parking garage to worldize the dialog so he would play them back in a normal sized room at a very high speed and record that. Then he would slow this down to to the original speed and the fast reverb time of the recording would be slowed down and elongated as well creating a cavernous reverb.

When working , we dont always have time to do recording sessions like this especially since it is so easy with plug-ins many designers opt for the digital route. On "Friday Night Lights" there are these scenes where you hear a radio call in show and especially the scene where billy bob is listening to the radio in his car. The older guys wanted to just eg the dialog so it sounded like it was coming thru a phone and then eq it a bit to sound like it was on the radio. I said "I can do better, just give me a chance." I took the recordings and fed them through the shop speaker phone system. Then took the radio show and played through the speakers in my truck. I then put it on an ipod and broadcast it through my stereo.. My only quibble was that it was FM and I spent a lot of time trying to figure out how to build an AM transmitter but time ran out. Anyway in the end the billy bob scene is my fave and it sounds exactly like a car stereo..

So as you can see I am a sound geek of sorts but not as bad as some. It's a fun gig and Star Wars was pretty much the film that did it for me. I have yet to get hold of a modular synth for my sound endeavors but I am on the look. Of course it would be fun to get a 2600 but... Maybe a Modcan? Serge is pretty cool but a lot of people say "too much for too little in the function department." Oh well.. By the way the salad bowl with the razor was used for phantom menace.

Anyway, Great to be here.. Sorry to resurrect such an old thread.
carry on!

D
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 31, 2007 7:23 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

phlizmo wrote:
Anyway, Great to be here.. Sorry to resurrect such an old thread.


Resurrect away... you're post took me back to my sound design days at college. Very Happy

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PostPosted: Fri Feb 02, 2007 8:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

great post! thanks, and welcome to E-M.
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