How do you get an instrument to sound a certain way?

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domineekee
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11 May 2020, 1:00 pm

ironpony wrote:
domineekee wrote:
One snare drum has more snare than the other. (that's the metal wires that you can adjust under the drum which gives it a rattling sound)

The trumpets you mention sound like horns, the first one has some reverb.

The first string sounds digital, like a keyboard sample, the second sound as if it was recorded on analogue tape, the technology was different, it may have been recorded on a ribbon microphone and passed through an analogue valve, preamplifier.


Oh okay thanks. When you say that the trumpets sound like horns, what do you mean by horns exactly? Aren't all trumpets a type of horn? Sorry I just do not know the terminology there.

When you say that the first string sounds like a keyboard sample, do you mean that it is a recording of actual strings, that the keyboard is playing back, or is the sound produced by synthesis?


I heard the sound of French horns, rather than trumpet.

To me the first string sounds like a digitaly synthesised string sound.

What's your setup? Are you working purely with a computer?

Do you record midi with a keyboard?

How are you adding effects?



ironpony
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11 May 2020, 1:07 pm

I use pre-recorded samples of instruments you can buy and use logic pro X so far. I don't have a keyboard, I just use the program to create all the sounds so far. When you say how am I adding effects, that would depend on the effect, or which effects do you mean?

Those samples are not my instruments but samples from soundtracks that are already made by others, that I was just using as examples, as to why sounds different from the other.

So in the trumpet one, where you hear a french horn. You are hearing a french horn in the second sample, is that right?

Also, in the strings, I thought that the first sample was electric stringed instruments, that worked the same way an electric guitar does. Are you sure it's a synthesizer trying to mimic the sound, rather than being electric stringed instruments?



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11 May 2020, 1:22 pm

Well it's normal that electronically simulated instruments in your software never sound like real instruments—simulating real sounds is probably not easy. There are a million different things that can change tonality—material the instrument is made of, whether the horn is being used with a mute, whether the instrument is being played in its extreme low/high register, etc.


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ironpony
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11 May 2020, 1:54 pm

Oh no, the instrument samples are not electronically simulated. They are recordings of real instruments. That's not the problem. They are real recordings of instruments, it's just how to do get them to sound like how they do in other movies, if that makes sense?



domineekee
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11 May 2020, 1:56 pm

If you're playing around with audio, you might take 3 snares from a drum loop and intersperse them. If you record midi via a keyboard you could control the frequency of the snares with touch sensitivity (velocity control) to get a bright snare sound or a resonant sound.



ironpony
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11 May 2020, 1:57 pm

Oh okay. Is the first snare sample that has more a bass, a real snare even? To me it sounds like a synthesizer trying to mimic the sound of a snare, but is it?



domineekee
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11 May 2020, 2:09 pm

ironpony wrote:
Oh okay. Is the first snare sample that has more a bass, a real snare even? To me it sounds like a synthesizer trying to mimic the sound of a snare, but is it?

I think it's a real snare drum. Snares are thin wires under the drum, if you slacken them off they make less contact with the drum skin and don't rattle. Also a metal snare drum will sound different from a maple snare drum, drummers also dampen the drum skins and you can tune them up and down.

For a vintage string sound, you'll either have to take a sample from an old movie or something or find a suitable effect. It won't be the same but try playing with a band equaliser and putting it through a VST vintage compressor or tube amp.

https://blog.landr.com/8-free-vst-plugins-warm-sound/



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11 May 2020, 2:14 pm

Oh okay thanks!

So before it was said that the cello and viola. In the first sample are actually not strings but a synthesizer trying to mimic the sounds of a cello and viola. But is there a way one can tell the difference between a real instrument and a synthesizer when listening? How do you tell?

Like for example in this video, they are playing a cello and violin but the sound, sounds very synthetic to me, yet the instruments are real:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ba9AeUMjoBo

So how do you tell the difference between a real instrument sound a synthesizer therefore?



domineekee
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11 May 2020, 2:29 pm

ironpony wrote:
So how do you tell the difference between a real instrument sound a synthesizer therefore?


If the score is obviously sequenced, instruments are very likely to be samples, presets, patches. Play around with some 90s digital synths like the Roland D-50 and you'll hear similar sounds.



ironpony
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11 May 2020, 2:31 pm

Oh okay but what do you mean by 'sequenced'?



domineekee
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11 May 2020, 2:43 pm

ironpony wrote:
Oh okay but what do you mean by 'sequenced'?


Arranged on a music program. When the tempo remains the same and all the notes are perfectly quantized, like modern pop.



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11 May 2020, 3:06 pm

Oh okay, but does it sound like that in the strings sample? If the first one sample is synthesized, like pointed out, does it sound too 'perfect', compared to the real instrument sample?



domineekee
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11 May 2020, 3:25 pm

ironpony wrote:
Oh okay, but does it sound like that in the strings sample? If the first one sample is synthesized, like pointed out, does it sound too 'perfect', compared to the real instrument sample?


I thought so, it was too short to say for sure.

The strings on the Terminator soundtrack are real but if you notice the arrangement is sparse. It's very hard to play along to a computer and to integrate the two sounds successfully and it tends to drive musicians a bit nuts in the studio, asking them to do lots of takes, then hacking most of it away and just using one of their riffs. :lol:

It's not often that you hear the combination of live and sequenced other than some guitar bands who play along to a digital drum track.

I found it really hard to manage the mood when musicians are in the studio, trying to get a take that was longer than a few bars. They tended to get a bit dispondant when I had to quantise notes to land perfectly on beats, it's tricky and I take my hat off to whoever can blend the two sounds.

Massive Attack invited musicians into the studio, for their Blue Lines album, then went down to the pub and left musicians to play whatever. After the musicians were gone they integrated just a sprinkling of notes, the violin on Unfinished Sympathy for example. There's also a sample from Mahavishnu Orchestra, a sampled live beat thrown in and the rest is pretty much keyboards.



Last edited by domineekee on 11 May 2020, 3:44 pm, edited 1 time in total.

ironpony
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11 May 2020, 3:36 pm

Oh okay, well here is what I don't understand. If pre-recorded samples, tend to sound too perfect, you are talking about synthesis, and not actual recorded samples, of the actual instruments, right?

Here's the same strings but I made a longer edit of the sample. Does the strings in it, sound like real instruments, or synthesized?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2TbeIDI ... e=youtu.be



domineekee
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11 May 2020, 4:13 pm

ironpony wrote:
Oh okay, well here is what I don't understand. If pre-recorded samples, tend to sound too perfect, you are talking about synthesis, and not actual recorded samples, of the actual instruments, right?

Here's the same strings but I made a longer edit of the sample. Does the strings in it, sound like real instruments, or synthesized?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2TbeIDI ... e=youtu.be


:lol: sounds real now. Sound very 70s

What era is it, it kind of sounds like it could come from a detective movie, with funky chase scenes :lol:



ironpony
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11 May 2020, 4:15 pm

Oh okay, so that is a real cello and viola then?

If so, what is it about them that sound 70s? Did Cellos and violas of the 70s have a different sound because they were built differently, compared to now?