Limitators: Creative Limitations Challenge 1

The humble sine wave      24/06/13

Hi Hat

How the heck am I going to make a sine wave sound metallic?

Well I know that Hi Hats are usually short percussive sounds so let's start with that.

I'll draw in a simple 16th note pattern and adjust the decay time while it plays along with the Bass and Kick.

Not really what I was after but it sounds cool, so I'll save it for later. I'll call that the "Plonk"

Ok so back to the High hat, I'll crank the pitch all the way up.

Almost there, but I need to tame some of that high end. I'll use a compressor and add some harmonics with another oscillator. I'll shorten the decay too.

Yeah I'm happy with that; I'll throw in a few effects for fun (Phaser & Pulveriser)


I'm going to have a hard time making a realistic snare drum from a sine, so I think I'll go with an old school analogue style snare. I know that white noise was used to make a lot of those kinds of sounds back in the day, and I've heard something that sounds a bit like white noise when you modulate an oscillator's pitch really quickly.

I'll apply an LFO to the pitch of a sine wave and increase wobbliness to maximum.

Almost there, but I need the LFO to be quicker; I'll use a normal oscillator as a modulation source.

That's pretty close to white noise, I'm happy with that. I just need to shorten the decay and I should be set.

(That last one sounded like a Hi hat, I'll have to remember that for next time)

I added another oscillator which was un-modulated; this was an attempt at adding some body to the snare. I then finished things off with some EQ, Compression, Reverb, and a Pulveriser.


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2 Comments...  Post a comment    original story
Donya Quick    Said...

Thanks for writing this! It was a very interesting read and it's great to hear the transformations applied step by step as you've presented them. While I've worked quite a bit with sine waves before, I've never tried using them exclusively to generate a wide variety of sounds. I gave the idea a try myself and it proved to be a very entertaining afternoon.

25-Jun-13 10:33 AM

Nick B    Said...

Hey do you fancy sharing the results - there's a Soundcloud group and drop box for people to share - see the last page of the article...

25-Jun-13 11:09 AM

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