9 Answers 9


The majority of that video sounds like granular synthesis. You can find components that do this in Ableton Live, Reaktor, or Max/MSP. I think MOTU ship an awesome granular in MachFive. Or you can google Imperial Grains or a PC equivalent.

Re the little sounds sprinkled all over the video, many are microsampled bits such as metal and glass particles (or you can kill your wrists designing the same in a modelling synth), and others you can edit by hand with a virtual analog synth.

It really takes a lot of time to get these to sound like that. There's no magic bullet. And thanks for the video. Some nice stuff in there.


If you have Reaktor, then try S-Layer: http://twistedtools.com/shop/reaktor/s-layer/


Sounds like that are mostly granular synthesis and wavetables.

Fast/fun easy way is to convert .exe files into .pcm files then open them with audacity. Probably not quite what you have in mind though.


Robert Henke's Granulator 2 M4L device does wonders. I find myself using it more and more, even for stuff that doesn't require granular synthesis. https://www.ableton.com/en/blog/granulator-ii-robert-henkes-max-live-instrument-updated-live-9/

Also, Spectrum Sampler: http://www.amazingnoises.com/am/?p=78


Granular (+ automation obviously), microediting and creating stutters/rolls (by hand or e.g. by automating sample start and end points in samplers in loop mode. Optionally automate their volume and pitch to create movement and adjust their timing or try reversing the rolls or individual samples in them.) and careful layering of different clicks and pops for the full-sounding and moving crumbling.

As mentioned, there's generally no magic bullet, because there's a lot of variation and one needs a lot of different samples here and there, so it takes some trial and error, patience(!) and familiarity with the tools and techniques. Also, a good ear/taste for the samples as well as what to try/use as starting points (electronic drum or drum-like sounds [e.g. 808's sounds] are pretty good and somewhat common, because of their clear differences in frequency content and their cleaniness, even when pitch-shifted drastically.). Generally those "auto glitch/stutter" effects won't give you enough (musical) control to have them create what you need (although you may get some usable samples out of them).

Opening files that you shouldn't open in audio programs (as well as other glitch tricks) may also prove to be worthy/interesting.

  • in the past it was always an interesting effect to open an executable and listen to the data sections for interesting patterns. unfortunately these days a lot of them tend to be compressed...
    – georgi
    Commented May 21, 2013 at 22:18

Your questions really need to be more specific if you want answers. Take a look at the FAQ.


Check out the new Soundmorph library - Users of Tomorrow, which comes with a Max/MSP patch designed for making all sorts of techy sounds.

You can also build these kinds of sounds using izotope Iris and/or Kontakt - try creating really small loops, adding delays, and adjusting the envelopes. Use pitch modulation in combination with other effects. You might also try using synthesisers like Razor or Massive. And there are plenty of Reaktor synths you could use - I would recommend GrainCube.


Immediately thought of Autechre when I saw this.

Autechre - Gantz Graf http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AyJfHU4GoOQ

  • As well as Vaetxh, Richard Devine... Commented May 21, 2013 at 19:58
  • And Hecq. @brandon, if you research any of these artists and their workflows, you will learn about many of the tools used to create these sounds, in addition to the excellent suggestions already in this thread. Commented May 23, 2013 at 15:21

Also check in on dogsonacid (the grit) forum. There you will learn how to "resample" sounds like these, a technik often used in dnb. Often tech based sounds are based on a neurofunk reese bass layered with granulized real world sounds like breaking glass or wooden hits. Omnisphere hase great textures and an inbuilt granulized you could try that.

Some cool randomness can also be crated by transforming audio material. jogs to wav for example. Using a Wav, transform it to jpeg apply filters in photoshop and transform back can have extreme results and so on. A nice plugin to get strange sound effects is a granular delay wich for example is in the daw ableton. Together with random delays/ filter delays on high feedback and cross-feed settings feed into short reverbs or delay can give realy wide glitchy sound fields.

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