Here's an effect I would like to re-create. It doesn't sound like a pitch down as much as a synth effect. Is this done with software, synth software like Alchemy, or synth hardware? This kind of effect is probably sound design 101. Where would I start?

  • There is a musical element, the chorus, which I'm not interested in, just the lower wind down and up.
    – william3
    Apr 10 '12 at 14:28


I could well be wrong, but it sounds like this sound is created by a couple of synthesisers. There is the initial impact, followed by a wave lowering in pitch with the lfo slowing down. Then there is a choir style pad coming in and raising in volume at the end and the wind style one too. I would go about this using plugin synthesisers and layer it up- not used alchemy before but should be able to do it quite nicely in the ES2 in Logic or something similar. Hope this helps.

  • Thanks, Dominic, for steering me to ES2. I don't mind a steep learning curve.
    – william3
    Apr 10 '12 at 1:57

That particular effect is quite simple to do. As I don't know you (that I know of), I'm gonna assume you see the initial hit as a part of the sound your looking for, but not the choir at the end. That hit is part of the soundbanks of my Roland SPD-20 drumpad-set actually. Don't know what it's named as I don't know where my manual is and the settings is made by simple numbers, not names, but it's probably incorporated in many of Roland's late 90's/early 2K's units. As for the falling sound, I've made similar ones with my Ensoniq SQ-80 synth. It's not easy to say exactly what waveform it is, but my best guess is it might be a single wave, IE both the positive and negative cycle, from a denser part of an orchestra. Possibly an orchestral hit. It is then simply pitch-bended, and that can be made easily with both hardware and software, with a delayed LFO controlling volume.

THE HARD BUT PURELY SYNTH WAY: LFO means Low Frequency Oscillator, and is quite simply not a sound, it's a controller used for practically anything you want to make wobble one way or another. In this case it sounds like a sine-wave controlled by two other controllers; an envelope (controlling speed of Attack and Decay, as well as level of sustained signal) on Volume set to give a delayed Tremolo-effect, and a bender for frequency. The advantage with this way is that you have full control over it and can tune it very precisely for what it's intended for.

THE EASY BUT EDIT-BASED WAY: And also the one I'd bet a dollar these guys actually used for the falling sound: Take said ochesta-wave, give it a delayed LFO with fixed frequency. Record a sustained note for as long as you need. Import the sound in any audio editor able to pitch by envelope and without time compensation, and draw/pull the shape you want. Done! :-) This way is much faster, but once processed it can't be changed back again. Of course you can use realtime pitchshifters for the pitch-effect, but they'll not affect the speed of the wobble.

It also sounds like having a bitcrusher on it, but as I have no clue where the original came from it might just be this version.

  • Thank you so much, Christian, for your very detailed analysis. I'm filing this message for reference. What software or hardware would you recommend with these tools you referenced? I have ProTools 10 but would be open to other stand alone programs or plug-ins.
    – william3
    Apr 10 '12 at 15:22
  • De nada :-) To be frank, I don't really know what software-synths are out there, I've only worked with hardware ones so far, with the only exception being Rebirth RB-338 and Rubberduck. But to say something you can begin with; with modular synthesizers you can always build these kind of things. A good thing to look for are, for example, soft-synths emulating KORG MS-20, ARP 2600, MOOG 55, and Roland System 100. There are lots of others, as well as new ones, but this is a good start :-) Jun 8 '12 at 11:19

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