Wednesday, 19 January 2011

Sound-A-Day 19.01.2011

Woke up this morning to find an unexpected guest in my room. Thought I'd see if they was up for a bit of a collab, and got everything fired up. He zipped about the place, from one piece of gear to another. Eventually ended up on my K station where he stayed for a while, before pooping on it and disappearing out of the window. Lesson learned, Birds are analogue purists.

Here's a pic of the little guy.

Anyway, back on with the task at hand. A sound for today.

I've never had any formal production lessons, only music theory etc. So I'm pretty much self taught with all this stuff. I do from time to time read books and bits n pieces in magazines, and there are always a few "rules" that reappear time and time again, in particular, ordering of effect chains. Never put X before Y, always put A before B and so on.

I'm a massive Zappa fan, have been since I was about 14. One of the things I really like is his really distinct solo guitar tone. I remember finally figuring it out one day, putting the wah after the distortion. The wrong way round by convention, but ultimately interesting and characteristic. So today I decided to go against everything I read in books and put things in completely the wrong order, pay no attention to digital clipping etc, and just see how things come out. (WARNING!! ABRASIVE!!)

HARD-DIST by Noisy Neighbour Sound

I like it, a lot!! Nearly all of the drum sounds are running through one mixer channel, straight into a reverb. This is then running through a Guitar rig patch, then a VERY hard compression, then EQ, and finally a limiter. Most of the levels are hitting the red full on, and i had to bring the channel volume down quite considerably so as to avoid distorting the master bus as well.

The drum sounds are a mixture of Module Drum sounds, and noisy filter snaps from an SH101. The metallic tones are made by hitting two large metal crow bars together. The ambient drone is a little patch from the K station, which has been heavily processed inside Sound forge.

What I found most surprising is just how much effect the reverb has on the level of distortion. Without any this sounds relatively tame, but adding more and more reverb causes the real grittiness, and the tails going through the hard compression make a really satisfying breathing noise effect. I really recommend trying this out, very cool fun!


  1. that sounds DOPE!

    and that bird is an effin adorable little pooper!

  2. one of my fav synths I've patched involved an lfo going through reverb before modulating anything... weird and gritty stuff happens!