Cheers Guys!


Ave it !!!!!!
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Evenin' All,

I've only recently been bitten by the Psy bug, but already the symptoms are showing, which mainly include constant listening to Man With No Name, 1200 Mics, Talamasca, Astrix, and Etnoscope, to name but a few...

I'm really inspired to have a go at producing something myself (have Reason & Cubase), but was floundering at trying to get the right sounds, and then I stumbled across this great forum. I've been reading many great postings about how to craft the sounds that are needed.

One link has lead me to a Reason 'sketch pad' by the great guys at Infected Mushroom, so I thought I'd share it you guys.

There does seem to be some comon base, lead and effect sounds, and I'd be really grateful if anyone could give me some pointers in the right direction.

But a big thanks :punk: anyway to all those who have contributed so far - this place makes great reading for a hungry numpty like me :Wink3:

I hate to be the whiny bastard that says it, but...

frankly i wish more people stopped trying to get the 'common' or 'standard' sounds (i know exactly what you mean - there's a very clear set of standard sounds these days), because they're boring.

i remember first listening to cosmosis and hallu and stuff , later on logic bomb etc, and hearing all these weird stretchy squelchy spinning rubbery creaky backwards noises, and thinking "holy shit, these people are making some FAR OUT noises" - i got the impression they wanted a crazy , mind bending , psychadelic sound , so abused their synths til they found one.

now every single psy tune has the exact same rubbery stretchy fx in it, it seems...... because over time thats become refined into 'the sound'.

same with basslines - is there only one patch available, which everyone just tweaks a bit, or what? yes, that sound works, and works damn well, but listen to some nu breaks or dnb and realise the vast scope of totally different possibilities for your synthesised low-end!

not that dnb is without the same problems! people started combining hoovers, z-plane filters, etc, to make techstep - because they wanted something dark, hard and sci-fi. now lots of 'techstep' gets churned out using those noises because those are the noises that techstep uses - they're not actually deployed with any true spirit of darkness or futurism, thus the tunes leave me totally cold. (there are notable exceptions, like BSE, obviously)

so in short

people hit upon certain noises (and structures and so on, come to that) which really work, and a style is born. the noises get refined and improved until the style becomes an archetype. at which point it eats itself, as a new generation starts hammering those noises because they think thats just how you make that genre, not because using them genuinely furthers the "philosophical" aims and spirit of the genre.

</slightly drunken rant>
Hey, thanks for taking the time for the frank, yet detailed response.

I can appreciate how requests like this must get up a purists' nose, but I guess eveyone had to start somewhere, and as a beginner, trying to recreate the sounds that I'm really enjoying listening to doesn't mean that in later years I'll be cranking out the same stuff.

I really admire other artists such as Toby Marks (Banco De Gaia) and Simon Posford, who are able to step 'outside' the box and fuse together all manner of interesting sounds. Take BDG's "Last Train to Lhasa" - the track is underpinned by a fantastic sample of a steam train, which not only sets the tempo, but is also an intergral part of the track's ironic message.

Now that to me is Art, with a capital 'A'.

I'll appologise in advance to everyone else that may read this message, 'tut', and consider me lame. But I'm going to keep plodding on, I realise that I need to learn *much* more about synthesis theory (sorry, but I didn't understand the references to hoovers, filters, etc).

I love Kudos' reply in the preset thread which really sums up my interest:

Ditto. The non-musical, or those who don't have the right 'ear' to analyse music, don't know what they're missing! Many are plain deaf to much of the detail in most music, and when they say 'enjoy' or 'just listen' to the music, to them that means just recognising the basic beat of the kick drum or the overall groove or mood of the track.

Being able to understand the make-up of a track and being able to notice slight changes in timbre and to figure out how a special effect has been achieved is what being a musician is all about - hey, I was taught to do that in Music GCSE! So next time someone says 'just listen to it', you could say 'I'm listening to it more than you are'.

When at a party and dancing to the music, most of the time I'm analysing it, and I find it fun. When I hear something really special which makes me starting wondering 'how' it was done, it brings me joy.

So I'll say bye for now, but I *will* be back.

He he, back quicker than I thought.

But credit where it's due, I've been listening to Soliptic's tracks & now I *know* that I'm in the right place to learn.


Teacher come out, your class has arrived!



PS - the Brighton gig looks interesting on May 2nd.
</div><table border='0' align='center' width='95%' cellpadding='3' cellspacing='1'><tr><td>QUOTE (RezN8 @ Apr 17 2004, 10:09 AM)</td></tr><tr><td id='QUOTE'> Hey, thanks for taking the time for the frank, yet detailed response.

I can appreciate how requests like this must get up a purists' nose, but I guess eveyone had to start somewhere, and as a beginner, trying to recreate the sounds that I'm really enjoying listening to doesn't mean that in later years I'll be cranking out the same stuff. [/quote:068881337b]


yes... sorry if that suggested i thought you 'lame' for asking how to get standard sounds. it wasnt really meant to suggest that, it was more of a general diatribe, stuff i've been thinking for a long time and just suddenly spewed onto the forum.

See, the reason that i hated to be the whiny bastard to say that, is that for the most part i actually hate it when people give answers like that to questions like yours.

Typically, when I see someone say "no u dont need to learn any production and synthesis fundamentals, imitate professional tracks' structure or match favourite noises from professional tracks... just be original man.." , I want to slap them.

Because producing is one of the hardest games out there, and jumping in as a total beginning thinking you can be totally freestyle is a recipe for disaster. Getting to grips with producing fairly "standard" stuff to a respectable technical standard, before trying to move on and add some originality - like you said - sounds like a damn fine approach to me.

Trouble is by the time I'd rambled that long it ran out of steam before I could get to that :lol: But anyway - sounds like you have exactly the right attitude anyway.


as for the noises.

i can think of a good handful of 'staples' :

1 - what i call the logic bomb lead - wrote about how i got fairly close to that in this thread.

2 - the rubbery stretchy thing. i've never yet nailed this really. closest i've got has been messing around with v.a. synths : with some noise as well as oscs, high resonance on the filter, some (lfo, env, etc) mod on the pitch as the setup; and serious tweaking/automation of the filter, and mod depth and rate parameters, as it rolls.

3 - the boingy bassline. again i dont think i've ever quite managed to get the archetype of this (notice, hehe, that *I* also try and exctly match these sounds- so i really wasnt saying as a producer that people shouldnt do that, just that i wish as a listener that more people didnt). but i've got fairly close. again , just messing with v.a synths - the basic patch is nothing that remarkable, its just about getting the filter settings right, the amp envelopes spot on, the pattern right, the right eq+compression to fit it into the tune...

4 - the kick. yet again - dont look at me for the perfect kick :hehe: but i'm getting into the right ballpark. for me, its all about the fact that i've scavenged literally thousands of kick drum samples from multiple sources, and there are about 6 that i regularly use for psy/goa. Nothing more special than looking long and hard for the right sample. Obviously, again, how you pitch (envelope) it, eq+compress it, etc, helps make it "just so".

obviously there are umpteen threads and stuff to be found about all of these so a little searching might go a long way.

my overall advice would be to choose one or maybe two high-quality v.a. VSTs (i'm assuming thats the world you're in - replace with hardware or AUs or whatever as appropriate if not) and spend a while getting familiar with synthesis. just what parameters typically do what, pull it apart and try and understand it. my recommendations would probably be the v-station (for the one of the smoothest, fattest v.a. sounds out there), the synth1 (which is thinner, scratchier and generally worse in inherent sound quality, but has a slightly wider range of possibilities, and is free), or the z3ta+ (which is good to move onto perhaps, as its v.a. but with knobs on - a crazy mod matrix and extras like waveshaping).

Latest news on the Brighton gig is that the VJamm all stars are off the bill, now we're supporting the Lo-Fi Allstars (too many all stars, heh)

Should be a damn good one so do come down if you're in the area :Smile3:
Many thanks again for the taking the time to draft such a great reply. You've certainly given me some ideas.

I totally empathise with how you guys must feel, I'm developing software using tools that have taken many years to master, and I've been doing this for 20+ years. Yet it never ceases to amaze me at how trivial people think the effort in writing a business application is.

I know I can't short circuit the system, and I don't want to as I'm looking forward to many years of creating music, but any pointers in the right direction are always welcome.

I was bought Cubase SL last year by the missus for me birfdee, along with Albino, which we were told was the muts for the Trance sound. Oh, and I have a Fatar Studio 900 keyboard hooked up. The whole lot sits on a custom built PC (polishes finger nails on chest) which is as fast as the proverbial, and talks through a set of high quality 7-yr old Altec Lansing active speakers, via an M-Audio Delta card.

I was soooo desparate to get going but floundered for ages in Cubase. Realising the error of my ways I got hold of Reason & started taking piano lessons. Although I'm working the music theory, I'm still getting no-where with my sounds & so I've grabbed a few books from Amazon on synthesis to reduce the randomness of my knob-twiddling (oo-er).

Stumbling into this forum has given me renewed hope in me mastering Cubase, because I've been trying techniques & tutorials in Reason with some success and having been reading the recommendations for VST plugins, I've tried some demos and I'm grinning like an idiot!!!

So far my shortlist is Vanguard & Absynth.

:lol: Just listening to Asterix - Eye to Eye - and after reading other threads about favourite plugins, and how comon Delay Lama is, I'm listening to Asterix using the thing...!!! Or at least a sound-a-like.

Anyways, thanks again, have a great weekend folks!

BTW soliptic - also been listening to your band's stuff & I think I'll see if I can't get a few of the troops roused, 'cos that's a really clever sound you've got there! Absolutely jumping, with something for everyone!!!

I could have sworn I heard just a hint of Madness in the sax in Fahrenheit 451...

Best warn my clients not to ring me on the Monday :lol:
My wholehearted advice would be to grab a couple of decent plugins and get busy.

favourites out of my bag are:

FM7 - for pads and digital weirdness
Moog Modular V - Just the nicest sound ever really

These two will take a lot of getting your head around, but the moog in particular comes with a really thorough manual. I don't really think it makes sense to give shortcut answers to sounds though. Part of knowing why they work comes through understanding how to make them. I.e - if i tell you how to make them, you will actually be losing out, as you will not experience what doesn't work. You could only understand that precise sound in the precise context i gave it to you in.

I don't reckon that would do you any favours in the long run.

However. Good luck, and i would love to hear some material, so be sure to post it up for us to get our ears around!
Cheers for the reply Speakafreaka...

I've grabbed demos of both the FM & Moog - dead impressed with the Moog, the wiring is one thing that I love about Reason, so already I'm fealing a bit at home. And I took your advice re. the Moog manual and grabbed the excerpt avaialble to have a read - v. impressive.

I've been auditioning the plugins all day and I'm still grinning like an idiot... God those Vanguard presets sound bright!

And to really get the juices going, I watched the Underworl "Everything Everything" DVD last night, and with renewed ears, I hadn't realised just how much distortion these guys used.

Anyways, thanks again guys.