I want to be able to create decent hollywood style high frequency tones- Sustained bell,glass or metal shimmering layers in my sound design projects.In the past I have mainly used stock effects for these but I really want to start creating these from scratch.I have tried countless times but not had any joy.

Anyone got any tips on this?

7 Answers 7


buy a violin bow(or a bigger one), and record bowing of a cymbal for example, and you will get similar sounds to those in horror movies ;)


Besides granular plug-ins, Waves' Enigma can be useful for this kind of stuff. Yes, Enigma modulates back and forth between two sounds, but you can "pause" it when it's got the tone you want. When you do, it will hold the sound it's creating until you release it (turning into its own form of granular synthesis). It's great for creating a sound that needs some movement into a sustained tone.

  • 2
    @Shaun Farley, finally - a use for Enigma! Commented Oct 11, 2011 at 15:12

bow things, reverse things. explore various cymbals, bells like a crotale, singing bowls, wine glasses, etc. get a big bow and bass rosin. layer, verb, reverse, all that fun. i'm also a big fan of the ebow, resonating strings of various instruments.

hope this helps.

  • ... Trash can lids, metal shelving (goo.gl/DtJLJ @ 3:00), vibraphone, glockenspiel, ect... Commented Oct 12, 2011 at 16:27

I've got the exact plugin for you. It's Absynth with the Atherizer setting. You can set it to different chords and use a sample like a dinging glass or thin tin hit.


Metasynth can be pretty handy for sounds like you describe.



I am actually finishing up a library of those kinds of suspenseful glass and metal sounds right now. I used a lot of crystal wine glasses, bowls, saws, sheet metal, etc. As mentioned above, bows are very helpful. I also got a ton of good material playing with digital and analog feedback.

  • hey that sounds cool will it be available to buy ?
    – studio13
    Commented Oct 11, 2011 at 23:40
  • sure will. i will be launching a new site soon with a bunch of small, thematic libraries. i prefer not to pimp my 'wares on this site, but will leave a link or something here when they are ready. :) Commented Oct 13, 2011 at 21:52

Absolutely awesome tips guys. Thanks. Can't wait to get back in the studio to try some of these out.

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