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I'm in a bind and I'm looking for some wind with a lot of whipping and dynamics. The project I'm designing is very ethereal in nature so I will probably be doing a lot of panning/modulation work but most of the wind libraries I've looked at are a bit flat for what I need. Are there any techniques to produce this dynamic kind of wind? Any libraries that might do the trick or get me started? Thanks!

  • Andrew
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Great question! –  Arnoud Traa Apr 16 at 20:47
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5 Answers 5

up vote 6 down vote accepted

There are (at least) two ways to approach this:

  • Find an appropriate recording to use as a starting point
  • Record your own wind and use that as a starting point

Either way, you're going to need to do some experimenting to get the sound you're after.

The first tool I'd reach for to create a "whipping" sensation would be either an amplitude modulator (think MondoMod) or a chain of dopplers (GRM or Waves), or the two of those working together. The key is create the feeling of motion through level variations, panning and pitch. Those two techniques will take you part of the way. Start with extreme settings and dial down from there.

Layering would be next for me. Either laying something unique on top or varispeeding what you've already chosen, this will bring broader frequency range to your sound. Whatever you choose, be sure to run this new layer through the same plugin chain so your modulations match (unless that's not what you're going for; maybe the low bluster has a slower modulation than the high whistle).

Another thing to try would be choosing an unrelated sound that has modulation you like and using that as a side-chain key to trigger your source wind. Example: You have a wind sound with good character but no dynamics. You also have a fantasy vortex sound with tons of movement but is too sci-fi. Simply insert a gate on your wind track, set the side-chain key as the vortex track, and let the vortex modulate your wind. (You could also do this with a convolution reverb, using the vortex as an IR and running the wind through it at various levels of wet/dry. You will also reap pitch variations using this technique.)

Anyhow, a few suggestions!

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I will add AudioWind from the AudioGaming company, at www.audiogaming.net

I have bought and used both their AudioWind and AudioRain products. Unfortunately it's an expensive option, but what you get is a lot of control over modulations, and speed; surround support, which is super cool, and for the most part the sound, though generated by algorithm rather than naturally recorded, doesn't get "sci-fi-y" at all, in other words you can have wind whipping and shifting at unnatural paces, but it sounds like real wind all the way through.

I think there are other ways to get what you are looking for on this project, but this is a tool worth looking into! There are demos on Youtube so one can get a more detailed look at how it works; I just wanted to share because I had no idea something like this existed for situations like this, until I read about it on a blog a while back!

Another idea is to start from white noise, rather than from a wind recording, when building a chain of your own effects - then you have total control over the filters and modulations, for better or for worse!.

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I think Jay already provided you with some excellent advice. I can only add that I liked working with the 'Blow Tools' library from Sound Ideas, they have very distinct sounding winds. Some sound outdated but I like some of the short duration stuff, you could use that as a layer or as a sidechain/modulator.

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Tim has a great gusty wind library over at hissandaroar:

http://hissandaroar.com/amb004-gale-force-wind/

That might be a good place to start. You should also take a look at "Whoosh" by Melted Sound:

http://www.meltedsounds.com/Products/index.html

Its a vst whoosh generator, and a lot of the layers are wind based. I'm not sure how appropriate it would be, but it might be worth a look. It's a decent plugin either way!

-Dan-

EDIT: Ooops, I forgot to mention: Whoosh requires a full version of Reaktor.

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