Saw this promo and I liked some of the stuff I heard. (link under) Any ideas on what techniques are being used here? I think especially of the stretched/broken sounds while changing key:)

I hear this stuff all the time, from commercials to transformers movies, and Im sure there are many approaches from tremolo to mondomod or even granulating processing, but I havent tried myself. Would be great to hear your opinion or suggestions.


  • You're looking in the right direction, just experiment! May 11, 2014 at 12:00

2 Answers 2


This is kind of a broad question. Sounds like this in commercials and movie trailers came from the mainstream success of EDM like Skrillex etc. I hear a lot of the bread and butter tools of aggressive synthsizers - modulating the cutoff of resonant filters, etc. I hear some "lo-fi" stuff, most obvious in the beginning, that sounds like it had a reduced sample rate and bit depth.

If you want to do modern sound design techniques like this, you generally work with powerful synthesizers - I, for example, own and use a lot of the ones from Native Instruments Komplete. Absynth and FM8 are both great. Synths like this are meant to have the power and flexibility, working with envelops and modulators, to create the complex sounds like this, and you use multiple patches to assembe the soundscape you want. I highly recommmend getting Absynth and going through the groove3 tutorials on it: http://www.groove3.com/str/Absynth-5-Explained.html

I also highly recommend doing the same with FM8. It's not some simple answers, it's a whole workflow, set of tools, and way of thinking. Generally the FX are all intergrated into the synth itself, allowing them to be modulated with the envelopes to keep each effect nestled nicely into the patch to form cohesive sound.

It techs a lot of patence and technical ability as well as musical taste and viewing things from a high-level, producer's standpoint.

Good luck!


A combination of heavily modulated synthesisers. Just sample them and play with the values while you record stuff. Then cut out the coolest parts and use them in a sampler. automate the pitch to get crazy change of modulation speeds and tonal changes and use external fx like chorus reverb and distortion and automate their values so they fit the rhythm of the modulated stuff. Then sample them again and start to build rhythms by fitting the samples together like a puzzle. Stuttering edits come in handy too also revers the samples and stretch them really hard.

Granulated foley on top can give some nice organic sounds.

It is a lot of experimentation to get such sounds... Just record stuff and play around with the knobs than trying to get one sound right. By experimenting you will record 100 cool sounds in the time you get one sound that you were after...

Good Luck

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