Hello all, one of my students was asking about using white noise and filter sweeps to create dramatic transitions.  I started experimenting with the idea and had a ball playing with the possibilities and exploring sound.  So, here is how I responded:

Hey guys, the white noise sweep is a cool effect, here is my version.  I have attached the screenshot and the preset, you can drop it into a MIDI track and hold down any note to hear the sweep.

The noise generator is Operator, I have the first two oscillators set to create noise.

Noise Operator

Noise Operator

Then the filter  in Operator is used to create the sweep, It is a band pass filter and its envelop is controlling the cutoff frequency of the filter.  You may want to adjust the Attack parameter of the filter envelope to control how fast the filter moves to the top, Resonance will change how obvious the filter is, and you may want to play with the Shaper and Drive amount, very cool.

Filter section of Operator

Filter section of Operator

After the operator is a Frequency Shifter that adds a nice movement to the noise, notice the settings, I am using a tiny amount of shift, I find that is the best way to use the effect(it adds a nice modulating phasey quality, any more and it turns into a crazy Dr. Who effect), and Dry/Wet is set below 50%.

Frequency Shifter and delay

Frequency Shifter and delay

Next is a delay to add some lingering motion to help glue the sections and an EQ to tame the high end and boost the bass.

Here is the preset: NoiseSweepAdg

Drop it into a MIDI track and hit a key on your keyboard to hear it in action.
Enjoy, and thanks for the challenge I enjoyed building the patch, and I will probably use it in my future productions.  Feel free to use it yourself, and explore explore explore!
Loudon

  • del.icio.us
  • Digg
  • DZone
  • MisterWong
  • Netvouz
  • ThisNext

    Hey! Great patch!
    It makes this little zap sound though if you release the key after holding it in long enough. Any idea how to get rid of that?

    Troy,

    I actually really like that aspect of the sound, but it isn’t great in all situations. The sound comes from the filter swinging down at the release of the note, try adjusting the release value on the envelopes, make the amplifier envelopes have a shorter release and maybe give the filter envelope a longer release.

    hope that helps,
    Loudon

    Hey, I’ve tried to use your tutorial, but when I take the file and drop it onto my midi track in ableton, noting happens.

    Thanks!

    You need to play MIDI into the instrument, this is a preset for operator.

Leave a Comment