working on a game here and need a whole bunch of water-y sounds like rivers, streams etc .. of various sizes and characters... but given the abstract visuals having realistic water recordings simply won't work

so I need to generate them using a synth (I work a lot with Serum & Alchemy)

starting point is much probably pure noise .. but I need to bring those "sparkly", bubbly motions to it ..

any advice?

  • 1
    What is it about the visuals that would prevent you from using field recordings?
    – Mark
    Commented Dec 17, 2018 at 11:08
  • its style :) I tried but it just doesn't glue .. water sound is too detailed too organic and visuals are beautifully simplistic and plain - also coloring is plain with very simple gradients and details
    – coroneddu
    Commented Dec 18, 2018 at 10:48
  • Sorry mate, but you're asking a question about how to synthesise an organic sound and then worried about it being too organic. There's going to be a fine line between success and failure on this one mate. Simplest solution is going to be the right one. If I was in your shoes, work from the recordings and fix what needs to be fixed.
    – Mark
    Commented Dec 18, 2018 at 13:08
  • get your point Mark but this is not the case :) .. our game is heavily based on procedural audio (like any other game I've ever seen.. not even close) so we don't use simple background loops .. for example: I had to create a full sound scape of jungle animals .. field recordings were useless since I needed to have each animal separated and cut into short clips.. so I did every single animal using Serum... synthesizing these type of natural stuff is super convenient cos you also can dial in how much organic-ness as you want .. but I already made good progress with water bubbling ;)
    – coroneddu
    Commented Dec 18, 2018 at 15:39

3 Answers 3


guess I've found a good starting point for bubbling:

pink noise --> plugin called "Hysterisis" --> preset ASD_Juicer

but also

pink noise --> plugin called "Molekular" --> preset Sheperd_Sortie

had to tweak stuff but those, for whoever is interested, is a good starting point for synthesized water bubbling


I'm kinda late, but maybe I can add some things here and there. When I go for more watery sounds, I often use this tools: (Ableton) Vocoder + as many bands as possible + turning up the gate threshold so only some bits of the signal get through / Disperser plugin but there are free Ableton Max for live devices for it / Max for live pack "inspired by nature" (Midi effects that mimick physical forces - therefore it sounds natural / also Polyverse "Manipulator" is a nice plugin to fundamentally change your sound, for example sharpen or curve Lfos to modulate changes fluidly / also if you use Serum, modulate the pitch crs value of the OSC deep down and use waveforms and lfos and automations that are more rounded than sharp... I also recommend Vomitstep soundesign tutorials in this case... hope that might help somebody


Modulating pink noise would be a basic starting point; from there, you can use techniques like granular manipulation, pitch and frequency warping to make it sound not so 'pink noisy'. But IMHO, using quality recordings of real moving water will most likely yield the best results.

  • thanks Jay .. my question is a bit more specific like: what kind of modulation to replicate to bubbling :) - and as specified recordings of real moving water won't work this time eheh .. more info about why on my comment up there ;)
    – coroneddu
    Commented Dec 18, 2018 at 10:51

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