Cymbals and metallic percussions synthesis lab

Hi all.
Goal : make a cymbal from a single cycle wave.
No other samples, no resampling.
I used this 512 khz square wave :

My last recorded result :

I used 7 tracks and a master track. Mostly inspired by this patch :

@mpiecora, @unifono, @darenager…you’re in ?


Great stuff. OT such a deep well of capability

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Real nice !!!

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Damn that sounds nice, 7 tracks?! You definitely put some work in on the OT. Nice job! I can give it a shot, I haven’t tried bigger cymbals on the OT.

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You help me for the movivation ! :wink:
Octatrack: Synthesize a hi-hat!

Pretty boring to work on cymbals only since a couple of weeks ! :smile:
I’d like to hear from others, see different approach. I’ll share my settings later.

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Yo so a few weeks ago I was very interested in doing some DIY cymbal sounds too. I love the results you‘re getting! Are you using some noise too?

This is what I did:

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I think your cymbal sounds very good, the next challenge is to eliminate as many steps as possible and try to do it on fewer tracks. I don’t know if it’s possible to make a cymbal sound as good as yours in fewer steps though, haha. I am thinking maybe LFO’s to the rate, rate set to time stretch in an effort to get that grainy decay that cymbals have. I’ll try it this weekend.

Thank you for the compliment! Feels good when people acknowledge your work!

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No noise, square wave only. I was not satisfied with the results with additional noise. But you gave me an idea to make it noisier with cue out > cable. > INAB.

Nice one. I like the loop idea. I have to give it a try. I also read that doc, especially for oscillators frequencies! :wink:

paper on the 808 cymbal

But I don’t especially like TRs nor ARs cymbals.
So I started again with a square modulated by an lfo on the rate :

And another lfo with different speed on pitch.

Good idea. I also thought about timestretch, didn’t try. I don’t think it works on a single cycle wave…

Fewer tracks is possible. I tried with only one, not very realistic. That’s a challenge in the challenge! I used a square wave mixed with noise. Not great.

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Wow, sezare! Those cymbals sound amazing!

I totally dig modal synthesis, because you get this acoustic quality you can modulate and your Octa-Cymbals totally have a certain acoustic quality. Much wow man!

Btw, did you use just one single cycle wave as sound source and basically followed the nord modular patch from the SOS article (great series btw) or did you go somewhere else on the way?
With seven tracks + master I can imagine you had quite a complicated signal path there.

I just gave it a try on my OT, it kinda went in a right direction but then I totally messed up lol^^

Discovered a few gorgeous chiptune-sorta sounds on the way, though^^

I’ll probaply spend the week trying to make Octa-Cymbals…

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Thanks for participating!

I used 7 tracks with this path :
Flex (square)
1 square lfo designer on pitch
1 square lfo designer on rate

Master track : Filter and Dark Reverb

Procedure, starting from high level cymbal settings :

  1. Pitch / Rate
    You can start with low settings (-5 / 32)

  2. Lfo designer
    8 times faster than a square!

    Tip to make it fast : Hold 4 trigs (1,3,5,7) turn Level knob. Repeat for other 4 trigs.
    Lfos 1 / 2 :
    Dest Pitch (Rate for lfo 2)
    Designer T1-T8
    Lfo 3 :

  3. Tune by ear (with another sample as reference eventually)
    Turn lfos speed, depth, pitch, rate.

  4. Filter
    SETUP : RES on HP
    There’s lfo3 on Q, but you can increase Q for tuning
    Width 0
    Set base frequency by ear
    Decay 95-100
    Increase Depth

  5. Eq
    Increase 2 frequencies above filter base frequency

  6. Master track
    Filter similar to track filters
    Dark Reverb, Mix mode

  7. Once you adjusted track 1, copy paste it to track 2, increase pitch / rate / depth 1/2

  8. Once happy with your settings (after a week or 2? :content:), edit scene B for low level / smaller cymbal.

  9. Extra I used : Midi loopback, 7 midi tracks playing the 7 audio tracks with an arp.

Watch your ears!
I extended the lab to metallic percussions, because results can become bells, gongs, hi hats, etc…


Dude…I tried to compensate for the slow lfos with 300BPM tempo + master scale x2, but that didn´t cut it…
Thx for the tip with the lfo designer, gonna try that!

*edit; way better results with an lfo designer square!
So much better.

Ah, so you basically used seven square wave oscs + master w filter.

Lol… for a moment I thought you used one flex machine with 6 neighbours + master. Ugh, I definately need more coffee :joy:

And yes…it seems I’m going into the right direction! :blush:

Anyways, thx again, I’m looking forward to weeks of cymbals on the Octatrack :upside_down_face:

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So…I eventually got a pretty nice cymbal thing going on.
Probaply gonna start again with a higher pitched square wave.
All squares I had in my OT were below 130 hz.

Did you just sweep the eq, looking for suitable frequencies to boost or how did you approached it?

Coming from someone who plays meinl byzance extra dry cymbals. These rock!


Yes, by ear.
Happy new ear! :content:

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