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How to Find Unique Sounds and Creating My Own Sounds

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How to Find Unique Sounds and Creating My Own Sounds

Postby JamesAllenLayman » Tue Oct 09, 2018 3:25 pm

Hi. I mix music and rap. I've barely ever tried to produce or compose anything, but when I have I've used FL Studio. I used to come on this site a long time ago but haven't for a while. I don't know who else to ask or where to put this question. I don't really have anyone to ask in real life.

My question is this. How do producers make and create their own sounds as far as synthesizers, pads, and leads in the production? I'm not talking about drum sounds or loops or anything like that. I'm talking about the melodies and what drives the record. Are there ways to do it on FL Studio with the presets like Ogun and Harmless? Or is it more like you have to buy aftermarket stuff like Native Instruments Komplete Ultimate and it comes with a bunch of custom sounding stuff or tools to create custom sounding stuff? I just straight up don't know.

Answers to these questions and anything extra would be really appreciated. This has been on my mind for months and it makes me feel like I've run into a brick wall mentally. Thank you guys
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Re: How to Find Unique Sounds and Creating My Own Sounds

Postby job » Wed Oct 10, 2018 10:07 am

Sampling can be one way. Any noise can be recorded. You don't have to stick with the original sound but can twist it, morph it, apply effects to it, etc. This will most likely be an original sound.

Another way is to synthesise it. Combine oscillators, filers, effects (and samples), to make an original sound.

You can also start with someone else's sound as a base and change it, either slightly or unrecognisably.

Could make your own instrument.
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Re: How to Find Unique Sounds and Creating My Own Sounds

Postby The Elf » Wed Oct 10, 2018 10:23 am

I wouldn't get too hung up on creating original sounds. Millions have trodden this path before you, so finding something truly unique is a bit of a garden path. Putting sounds together in unique combinations is arguably a better aim, and that comes down to making good arrangements of good material.

But if you really are hitting a wall then maybe it's time to get out of the box and try some hardware?
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Re: How to Find Unique Sounds and Creating My Own Sounds

Postby CS70 » Wed Oct 10, 2018 11:33 am

JamesAllenLayman wrote:
My question is this. How do producers make and create their own sounds as far as synthesizers, pads, and leads in the production? I'm not talking about drum sounds or loops or anything like that. I'm talking about the melodies and what drives the record.

+1 to what the Elf says. What makes a sound new is not the sound, it's how you use it in a composition. Distorted guitars have been used on thousands of tracks, and yet some stand out and some don't.

If your question then becomes how to use the sounds.. well, that's what making music is all about. Usually you want to listen a lot (years, even decades), absorb all the stuff and then do something that goes beyond these influences in some way. Even Mozart did - he just started very young so by the time he was 18 he already had some 15 years of listening and playing experience.. :)
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Re: How to Find Unique Sounds and Creating My Own Sounds

Postby JamesAllenLayman » Fri Oct 12, 2018 4:17 am

The Elf wrote:I wouldn't get too hung up on creating original sounds. Millions have trodden this path before you, so finding something truly unique is a bit of a garden path. Putting sounds together in unique combinations is arguably a better aim, and that comes down to making good arrangements of good material.

But if you really are hitting a wall then maybe it's time to get out of the box and try some hardware?

Thank you for your reply. I have an Akai Timbre Wolf keyboard with not much of an idea of how to use it I hate to admit.
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Re: How to Find Unique Sounds and Creating My Own Sounds

Postby JamesAllenLayman » Fri Oct 12, 2018 4:22 am

job wrote:Sampling can be one way. Any noise can be recorded. You don't have to stick with the original sound but can twist it, morph it, apply effects to it, etc. This will most likely be an original sound.

Another way is to synthesise it. Combine oscillators, filers, effects (and samples), to make an original sound.

You can also start with someone else's sound as a base and change it, either slightly or unrecognisably.

Could make your own instrument.

You say synthesize it, add effects and whatever else to make it unique. But my question is more like, where does that initial sound come from to begin with? Stock synths on FL Studio like Ogun and Harmless have a bunch of sounds built into them, but even when they are riddled with effects and whatever else, they are still stock, generic sounds that anyone witha copy of FL Studio can access.

So where do I find unique sounds without sampling? Do I buy virtual instrument bundles like Native Instruments or Omnisphere?
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Re: How to Find Unique Sounds and Creating My Own Sounds

Postby JamesAllenLayman » Fri Oct 12, 2018 4:49 am

job wrote:Sampling can be one way. Any noise can be recorded. You don't have to stick with the original sound but can twist it, morph it, apply effects to it, etc. This will most likely be an original sound.

Another way is to synthesise it. Combine oscillators, filers, effects (and samples), to make an original sound.

You can also start with someone else's sound as a base and change it, either slightly or unrecognisably.

Could make your own instrument.

Thank you for your reply. Sampling as a way to get a unique sound I understand.

You talk about synthesizing and adding filters and effects and what not. My question is, before any effects or filters or oscillators are even added, where does that initial sound come from? FL Studio comes with synths like Ogun and Harmless that have a bunch of sounds built in, but even with effects and filters they are still generic, stock sounds that anyone who has the program can access and use.

So where do sounds come from that aren't stock like the ones in Ogun and Harmless? Do you have to buy big virtual instrument bundles like Native Instruments and Omnisphere?
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Re: How to Find Unique Sounds and Creating My Own Sounds

Postby The Elf » Fri Oct 12, 2018 12:57 pm

My advice is to stop worrying about how unique you can be for the moment and take some time to learn how basic synthesis works.

I've not used the Timbre Wolf, but I've taken a look at the manual. Typical of many modern devices it hides a lot behind a few controls, shift buttons and the like. I have to say that it doesn't look a good device to learn on, and given your lack of experience, I'm not surprised you don't know how it works!

A basic hardware synth, such as a Novation Bass Station or the like would be a good way to learn. Failing that a simple plug-in synth would at least get you on your way.

With the best will in the world, I would say that Ogun and Harmless (and I've only glimpsed a couple of pics to see what they're about) are beyond you at this stage. There are plenty of far simpler free plug-ins that would more suit a learner; TAL-BassLine would be good for starters.

Just be patient. You're trying to run, but at the moment you need to learn to walk!
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Re: How to Find Unique Sounds and Creating My Own Sounds

Postby JamesAllenLayman » Sun Nov 04, 2018 8:33 pm

The Elf wrote:My advice is to stop worrying about how unique you can be for the moment and take some time to learn how basic synthesis works.

I've not used the Timbre Wolf, but I've taken a look at the manual. Typical of many modern devices it hides a lot behind a few controls, shift buttons and the like. I have to say that it doesn't look a good device to learn on, and given your lack of experience, I'm not surprised you don't know how it works!

A basic hardware synth, such as a Novation Bass Station or the like would be a good way to learn. Failing that a simple plug-in synth would at least get you on your way.

With the best will in the world, I would say that Ogun and Harmless (and I've only glimpsed a couple of pics to see what they're about) are beyond you at this stage. There are plenty of far simpler free plug-ins that would more suit a learner; TAL-BassLine would be good for starters.

Just be patient. You're trying to run, but at the moment you need to learn to walk!

With all of the help you guys have provided me so far, I hate to suggest that my original question hasn't been fully answered. Maybe I didn't articulate it the best that I could to begin with. I partly understand the process of synthesis and how it is used to edit sounds to make them even more unique. My question is more like, where do all of those sounds come from? The sounds that we end up editing to make them even more unique.
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Re: How to Find Unique Sounds and Creating My Own Sounds

Postby desmond » Sun Nov 04, 2018 9:48 pm

You don’t have to start from anything. Initialise a patch, and start with a single sawtooth wave. From there, your new sound can go in a billion different directions.

Creativity doesn’t have to start with someone else’s.

When making patches, I almost always start from scratch.
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Re: How to Find Unique Sounds and Creating My Own Sounds

Postby CS70 » Sun Nov 04, 2018 9:49 pm

JamesAllenLayman wrote:My question is more like, where do all of those sounds come from? The sounds that we end up editing to make them even more unique.


Same as any musical thing: seldom, someone having a sound in their head and managing to create it, most often someone doing random movements and discovering something marvelous. A lot of random movements. :-)
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Re: How to Find Unique Sounds and Creating My Own Sounds

Postby JamesAllenLayman » Sun Nov 04, 2018 10:35 pm

desmond wrote:You don’t have to start from anything. Initialise a patch, and start with a single sawtooth wave. From there, your new sound can go in a billion different directions.

Creativity doesn’t have to start with someone else’s.

When making patches, I almost always start from scratch.


Thank you guys for continuing to help me.

I am not exactly sure what initializing a patch means. Do you mind explaining or giving some sort of real world example? Thank you.
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Re: How to Find Unique Sounds and Creating My Own Sounds

Postby Wonks » Sun Nov 04, 2018 10:57 pm

It just means setting the controls to a basic starting point - all effects off, no modulation of filters of envelopes, ADSR (and other envelopes types) set to a simple non-extreme setting.

Create a setting like that and save it as a patch, then you can keep going back to that patch, modifying it, and once you get a sound you like, you can save that as another patch. But keep going back to that simple patch (at least at first) so each new patch has been fully created by you, and you knowing what you've done, that staring from someone elese's preset and modifying that.

You can do that sort of thing later, but you learn less from tweaking an existing complex sound than finding out how to create such a patch yourself from first principles.
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Re: How to Find Unique Sounds and Creating My Own Sounds

Postby JamesAllenLayman » Mon Nov 05, 2018 12:10 am

Wonks wrote:It just means setting the controls to a basic starting point - all effects off, no modulation of filters of envelopes, ADSR (and other envelopes types) set to a simple non-extreme setting.

Create a setting like that and save it as a patch, then you can keep going back to that patch, modifying it, and once you get a sound you like, you can save that as another patch. But keep going back to that simple patch (at least at first) so each new patch has been fully created by you, and you knowing what you've done, that staring from someone elese's preset and modifying that.

You can do that sort of thing later, but you learn less from tweaking an existing complex sound than finding out how to create such a patch yourself from first principles.

I think we're getting somewhere more towards what I was asking to begin with now, not to discredit any information that I've been given thus far.

What are some examples of the VST's that you guys use to mess around with your patch templates?

I'm using FL Studio 12. You guys may or may not use different software. Where would be the best place on FL for me to initialize a simple patch and begin building my own sound?
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Re: How to Find Unique Sounds and Creating My Own Sounds

Postby Pete Kaine » Mon Nov 05, 2018 11:51 am

Not sure how the thread made it this far without the legendary...

https://www.soundonsound.com/search/articles/"Synth%20Secrets"?
solrsort=ds_created%20asc&f[0]=im_field_subject%3A8106

(sorry, the site breaks the formatting, if you copy and paste, rather than click it, it does work... honest)

Those presets are designed by someone, but the starting point depends on the type of sound generation process being invoked by the synth in question.

The most common is probably subtractive, where you start with a simple generated tone (traditionally sine/tri/square) and carve the sound you want from layers of pure tones.

Additive synths work by adding a multitude of pure tones together.

FM works by tonally modulating waves with other waves.

Wavetables work with snippets of tones audio saved within a table.

and there are many others to get your head around.

I mention this as your two examples there are not really traditional synths. Harmless is an additive synth with a subtractive design and Ogun i think is a purely additive? (been a while since i've seen it, could be wrong).

Most people suggest starting with a basic subtractive synth and to be honest I've not idea if FL even has one these days. ToguAudioLine (TAL) have "Noizemaker" which is free and as simple as it gets for learning the basics of synth programing.

This is assuming you just want to make electronica noises. If you want proper sounds for your projects (i.e. real instruments) then you'd be wanting something sample based like Kontakt or something else that samples and lets you playback libaries.
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Re: How to Find Unique Sounds and Creating My Own Sounds

Postby Wonks » Mon Nov 05, 2018 11:57 am

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Re: How to Find Unique Sounds and Creating My Own Sounds

Postby Pete Kaine » Mon Nov 05, 2018 3:04 pm

Thanks Wonks, it really didn't want to play dice for me that one :(
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Re: How to Find Unique Sounds and Creating My Own Sounds

Postby Wonks » Tue Nov 06, 2018 3:19 pm

Longer links seem to prefer to be manually put within the URL brackets.
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Re: How to Find Unique Sounds and Creating My Own Sounds

Postby JamesAllenLayman » Sat Nov 10, 2018 3:03 am

Pete Kaine wrote:Not sure how the thread made it this far without the legendary...

https://www.soundonsound.com/search/articles/"Synth%20Secrets"?
solrsort=ds_created%20asc&f[0]=im_field_subject%3A8106

(sorry, the site breaks the formatting, if you copy and paste, rather than click it, it does work... honest)

Those presets are designed by someone, but the starting point depends on the type of sound generation process being invoked by the synth in question.

The most common is probably subtractive, where you start with a simple generated tone (traditionally sine/tri/square) and carve the sound you want from layers of pure tones.

Additive synths work by adding a multitude of pure tones together.

FM works by tonally modulating waves with other waves.

Wavetables work with snippets of tones audio saved within a table.

and there are many others to get your head around.

I mention this as your two examples there are not really traditional synths. Harmless is an additive synth with a subtractive design and Ogun i think is a purely additive? (been a while since i've seen it, could be wrong).

Most people suggest starting with a basic subtractive synth and to be honest I've not idea if FL even has one these days. ToguAudioLine (TAL) have "Noizemaker" which is free and as simple as it gets for learning the basics of synth programing.

This is assuming you just want to make electronica noises. If you want proper sounds for your projects (i.e. real instruments) then you'd be wanting something sample based like Kontakt or something else that samples and lets you playback libaries.

You're getting a lot closer to what I was talking about to begin with.

My goal is not to make electronica noises. My goal is to make proper sounds for my projects.

What is the difference between Kontakt and a virtual instrument bundle such as Native Instruments Komplete or Omnisphere?


If I were to have either of these three things, how would I go about using them to create a basic hip hop beat or something simple?
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Re: How to Find Unique Sounds and Creating My Own Sounds

Postby job » Sat Nov 10, 2018 10:16 am

JamesAllenLayman wrote:.
What is the difference between Kontakt and a virtual instrument bundle such as Native Instruments Komplete or Omnisphere?

If I were to have either of these three things, how would I go about using them to create a basic hip hop beat or something simple?

You could create a beat with some beat making device. Then layer a bass with some bass making device. Then add melodies, hooks and ear candy with a melody, hook and ear candy making device.

Take a read through what's bundled with Komplete if you're interested in it: https://www.native-instruments.com/en/p ... -products/ , and you can see what different devices are available to you.

From the top of the page, we have TRK-01, a kick and bass instrument, that can be our initial beat machine because beats generally have kicks in them. Maybe our bass too. Scroll down and we see something called Monark, a "Monophonic synthesizer capturing every sonic nuance of the king of analog". Interesting, let's stick some of that in there. Maybe as bass because analogue bass is fat and cool. We then see Rounds... "complex, sequenced, sound shifting capabilites." Maybe we can use that as a foundation for some melody lines, or some ear candy, who knows! Bung it in, go nuts and have fun.

We then come to sampled instruments, let's play a few of these until we find something we like for our melody.

We then come to Drums and Percussion instruments, i guess we could exchange one of these in place of the TRK. Let's try them out and see. And on it goes...

Are these sounds agreeable to you? I haven't got a clue. It's your music, your choice. And that's the point.

As for differences between things, read their descriptions. Kontakt: https://www.native-instruments.com/en/p ... kontakt-6/ - "The definitive sampling platform". Komplete: https://www.native-instruments.com/en/p ... mplete-12/ - "The worlds leading production suite". Omnisphere: https://www.spectrasonics.net/products/omnisphere/ , is "the flagship synthesizer of Spectrasonics - an instrument of extraordinary power and versatility."

Synthesising sounds comes learning how to synthesise sounds, whether they be 'proper' sounds or electronica noises.
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