There is a synth sound/timbre that I'm trying to emulate. It's from the alternative House MD intro/outro theme song.

I can only describe it as a tapered, high-pitched whistle. I want to say, it sounds "science-y"?

If that's even possible. Some will probably associate this sound with traditional "Dr. Dre-style"; West-Coast Hip-Hop, analog synth-patches. I think it may even be in the old GTA: San Andreas theme.

How do I emulate this sound?

Note: No; I'm NOT talking about Teardrop by Massive Attack.

I'm talking about this version: [https://youtu.be/cGmM0suaQ0Y].

  • 1
    Link to the track might help... ;-)
    – Tetsujin
    Sep 4, 2015 at 12:48
  • It's not clear what your question is, although it seems like it's "how do I recreate this sound?" A whistle like sound is usually mostly sine wave or triangle wave. There may or may not be some noise to make it a little breathy. This is always a good place to go for help in sounds: soundonsound.com/sos/allsynthsecrets.htm Sep 4, 2015 at 13:32
  • @ToddWilcox Yes thats right; Opening sentence: "There is a synth sound/timbre that I'm trying to emulate." Thanks for writing in though. Cheers for the information & resource.
    – voices
    Sep 4, 2015 at 14:23
  • @Tetsujin Good idea, i will find it and append it to the tail of my original post.
    – voices
    Sep 4, 2015 at 14:26

1 Answer 1


Sounds like you need to play with a triangle wave. Start with a slightly fast attack and decay, with a pretty high sustain. make sure you have portamento on, and (depending on your feel) play very legato, so one note slides into the other. Your portamento rate should probably set fast-ish.

Maybe a bit of saturation style wave shaping to it. Not much. Just enough for character.

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