Any pointers of recreating the sample at the beginning of this MDX composition with a synth(preferably Harmor or Massive): https://drive.google.com/open?id=0B3FbCURTShmeM2F4QXE1SldmUjA&authuser=0 ?

I really like this sample, and I'd not only like to recreate it, but know the theory behind it. I haven't ever been able to acheive a hit sound before, so I decided to ask around on the webs for help.

4 Answers 4


That staby-synth chord sounds like a PDX PCM wav file, probably synclavier that is used to additively synthesize a jazzy piano chord, MDX is all fm synthesis, any other sounds in the track that are not PDX you can use some kind of tool to get that out of the track and convert the format to an fm patch you can use with vopm or fm8...this way you can also study it and understand how it is made.

  • Thanks for your help! I tried the additive synthesis suggestion with Harmor, and I got a semi-desirable result: dropbox.com/s/84hmwulgs1ba267/test_hit.wav?dl=0. But it still sounds a tiny bit like a piano, how can I fix that? Apr 28, 2015 at 3:31
  • try sample reduction and 8 bit bit crunching it, like the emulator does to save disk space on the game storage devices that used to be very limited back then...your sample missing all that high end crunch and noise with aliasing distortion...back then they used to add noise then sample reduce the audio to save space on the storage device...experiment by adding white noise then running it through plugins such as chip crusher or d16 decimort, or even better if you have an vintage sampler such as an emu or an akai sampler where you can samplereduce it, make sure you add highpassed whitenoise.
    – texture
    Apr 28, 2015 at 3:48
  • I'm wondering if a little high-pass filtering would get you closer to your goal. The dropbox sound has a considerable thud in it not at all present in the first link. Jun 17, 2018 at 4:10

I'm not 100% sure because I haven't tried to recreate it. I'm just stating what I hear and how I think you can get that result.

Firstly envelopes - controlling amplitude you have a very short, almost percussive attack, a shortish decay, similar to a bass', no sustain, no (or a very short) release.

I believe the wave(s) is a saw or polysaw but what makes it so rich compared to a saw is that multiple voices are playing in unison and are detuned from one another.

There might also be a HPF involved to make them sound a bit 'thin'.

I'm going to try this when I get a chance and let everyone know if it worked. If it doesn't I'll just delete the answer or edit it to be correct if I work it out in a different way.


The base of the waveform consists of sinewaves and peekwaves. There is very complex chord progression at work with 30+ voices spanning over several octaves.

I used the free Tone2 Firebird Synthesizer to recreate the sound. 2 Oscillators are at work. Base are two simple sinewaves, one at base, and one transformed by an octave, both mono & no effects. The second layer is a Peekwave transformed up by two octaves. Half of the peekwave is mono and without effects, the other half has some fatness, analog dirt & ensemble effects to add some Stereo depth to the sound. After filtering, the result underwent some equalizing and a special Spatial effect Plug-In.

It sounds incomplete in my opinion but I didn't want to make it overly complex and I have only used Plugins that are freeware. You should be able to recreate this file and work from there. You can read all settings from the video. Here is the final product:

It sounds clearly different from the original but the chords are correct. Just replace the Peekwave with your own Piano Synth.

I forgot to show the chords in the video. Unfortunately I couldn't get more than 12 voices at the same time with my Keyboard Plug-In:

enter image description here


Sampling chords was a technique used by composers working with noise trackers in the early 1980s.

Noise trackers typically only had 4 channels of samples, meaning that you could only play four notes simultaneously.

To get around this, they would build a four-channel chord of the best quality sample they could find and export the resulting sound so that they could re-import it onto a single channel - a bit like bouncing tracks on a 4-track recorder. To prevent the new sound from taking up too much memory, they might also clip the head and tail from the sound to get the heart of the waveform and then use looping and an envelope shaper to reconstruct it within the tracker.

The only problem with re-importing the sounds is that this would degrade the sound to whatever quality they were exporting - most likely 8-bit.

So now we have a grainy, chopped chord sound as our raw material.

Of course, it goes without saying, that most of this is not much more than a well-educated guess and, without a time machine, I doubt we're ever likely to discover the whole story.

The particular chopped chord in your example appears to be a low-quality piano sound with some filtering/EQ applied along with a touch of delay.

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