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WIGGLING 'LITE' IN GUEST MODE

Warm and dark tone
MUFF WIGGLER Forum Index -> Production Techniques  
Author Warm and dark tone
baboo
Hey what's the theory behind descriptions of a sound like:
WARM
DARK
BRIGHT

It has to do with the amount of harmonics in different frequency bands but I keep confusing them. It should be fairly easy to produce warm or dark sounds knowing the theory
hdd
warm ~around 125Hz
brillance ~6KHz 16KHz (too much causes vocal sibilance)

from the mixing eng handbook

I don't use the dark terms for this kind of thing
Babaluma
it's called MARKETING BULLSHIT

wink

if you want to know more about "the sound" a lot of people (myself included) seem to be trying to achieve, then i highly recommend this article by alan farmelo:

http://farmelo.com/blog/?p=269
ndkent
It's certainly subjective and I would theorize has to do with expectations of what you'd expect a given sound typically sounds like. Bright and Dark have to do with high frequencies being abundant vs subdued.

Never heard of anyone quantifying "warm" as a frequency. Usually it has to do with pleasant kinds of saturation and mild distortion that changes the sound compared to a more accurate representation of it.
vlk
Babaluma wrote:


http://farmelo.com/blog/?p=269


Nice read. Thanks for posting that.
baboo
Yeah , cool article!

In my original post I was refering to the sound of an instrument, rather than mastering techniques.
It's not 100% marketing bullshit though 8_)

I know that with trumpets you have some configurations that give warmer sound. For example when the trumpet bell is made of goldbrass it has s slightly different, warmer sound than yellow brass. It's not marketing since you can have both yellow brass and goldbrass bells for more or less the same money and neither is reserved for high-end instruments. They simply sound a bit different due to different vibrations of the material.

I was curious if the same can be achieved with a modular synth, but I meant rather patching techniques than "buy that filter 'cause it sounds warm"
Babaluma
baboo wrote:
Hey what's the theory behind descriptions of a sound like:
WARM
DARK
BRIGHT

It has to do with the amount of harmonics in different frequency bands but I keep confusing them. It should be fairly easy to produce warm or dark sounds knowing the theory


baboo wrote:
Yeah , cool article!

In my original post I was refering to the sound of an instrument, rather than mastering techniques.
It's not 100% marketing bullshit though 8_)

I know that with trumpets you have some configurations that give warmer sound. For example when the trumpet bell is made of goldbrass it has s slightly different, warmer sound than yellow brass. It's not marketing since you can have both yellow brass and goldbrass bells for more or less the same money and neither is reserved for high-end instruments. They simply sound a bit different due to different vibrations of the material.

I was curious if the same can be achieved with a modular synth, but I meant rather patching techniques than "buy that filter 'cause it sounds warm"


so let me get this right... you are asking about what "the theory behind the descriptions" of WARM and DARK and BRIGHT mean, but you already know the answers?

dude, it IS marketing bullshit. it's got nothing to do with mastering versus production.

but on the other hand, i TOTALLY get what you are talking about in terms of specific instruments/recordings. you need to define what it is you are looking for, before you can work out a way to get there.

for me, i grew up on the sound of vinyl through a '70's class a amplifier, so that is what i am pretty much always trying to get back to.

it's such a subjective thing, that words like "WARM, DARK & BRIGHT", never really seem to do it justeeezzz...
chamomileshark
Don't forget "woody"
anselmi
chamomileshark wrote:
Don't forget "woody"


liquous, rubberish w00t
wyrtti
Babaluma, that was a VERY interesting article. Thank you for posting it.

Maybe the idea of varnish in that article could be used with modular synths: for example using many stages of VERY high quality VCAs equipped with good quality transformers to get that sheen? smile Maybe it's worth a try. Babluma could try running his synths signals through his various wonderful analogue channels, in the middle of the patch, not just after it.

But would the whole signal chain of the modular synthesizer have to be as "pure" or would like 4 to 8 different classic preamps, compressors and eqs in the middle be enough?

I think I am totally on the wrong track, but I just ate some candy and the sugar made me excited. I hope someone more in the know will slam my thoughts.
Babaluma
it's certainly a very interesting topic.

i'm about to release a free compilation album next monday, of many of the wonderful tracks i have been lucky enough to master this year. however, some people have commented that my "sound" seems to be lacking in the high end. i dunno, the listener decides in the end, but it's probably got a lot to do with my aesthetic as outlined above.

re: "the sound" during synthesis, i think that kind of misses the point. as far as i am concerned, you achieve the best sound you can DURING EVERY STAGE OF THE PROCESS, utilising whatever gear you have. make the synth patch sound as close to what you have in mind as you can. then mix it into a track, with or without extra passes through different gear, then master and release it, with or without extra passes through different gear.

in the end it's our EAR that decides, and the "ear" is largely a construct of our mind and "what we think sounds good", which is largely a construct of our previous listening experiences.

i don't mean to be an arbiter of subjectivism, because i do think that there is the possibility of distinguishing between "good sound" and "bad sound". that's what engineers and musicians have been working on throughout the ages. if we take the history of recorded sound as an example, in my personal opinion, some kind of a zenith was achieved in the mid '70's (when i happened to be born... take of that what you will...), which resulted in many of the classic albums that many people still hold dear.

if you set that as your goal, as i do, then you start researching why stuff sounded so good back then, so you can try and replicate it now, and you come up with a similar chain mentioned in the article above, where one stereo master may have passed through 30 or more analogue stages/tubes/transformers etc.

sorry, a little drunk and ranting, but to get to the point, yes, by all means use outboard gear in the middle of a modular synth patch if it adds something you like. it always has to come back to the ears, and what sounds good to you.

applause

a real example, just yesterday i had a very simple patch running, and added a little overdrive from the filter, and a little more overdrive from the vca (both motm), but it was too much. subtlety and persistence is the key!

i think the motm filter and vca i use are both discrete class a (maybe not the 1490 filter, chiperoony, no?), but there are no transformers.

a stereo signal passed through my mastering chain hits TEN. wink
Babaluma
current marketing bullshit terms to be aware of:

1) which [insert piece of outboard gear here] sounds best with [insert sound source here]?

2) which [insert piece of outboard gear here] is a great all rounder for "colour"?

3) which [insert piece of outboard gear here] is a great all rounder for "transparency"?

4) yeah! that [insert piece of outboard gear here] really adds HAIR to the track.

i mean, come on, wtf?

on the one hand these are definitely bullshit marketing adjectives that people are being sucked in by, hook, line and sinker, but on the other hand, perhaps we do need to try and explain just what it is that we are hearing?

i think the problem lies in the fact that we don't yet have the language to truly express what we experience when we listen to music that we dig...

there was a very interesting thread on this exact issue over on the TOMB recently, when someone asked about a good "colour" compressor, and joel hamilton responded with some very astute observations:

http://messageboard.tapeop.com/viewtopic.php?t=72825
parasitk
Hey Gregg, great article - thanks for sharing that. That's exactly how I like to do things, in layers.
Babaluma
yep, me too!

it's the classic example of the chef with his little bit of salt and pepper...

lol
baboo
OK, let me put this another way..
I do know that all the descriptions I mentioned are being abused as marketing of audio products. That was not my point.

I was thinking more like this:
I'm in the middle of making a patch and I feel it sounds dark. I'd like it a bit warmer. What tips do you guys have? Should I add some resonance at certain frequencies? Overdrive, perhaps? A bit of high pass filter output mixed to what I have? Some noise, filtered? EQ?

One thing I do is putting it through a tripple wavefolder- everything sounds warmer applause
wyrtti
Baboo, I would say that any of those could work, depending on the patch. As Babaluma pointed out, it's what subjectively sounds like what you are looking for. So try all those techniques and think of more...and try them.
VanEck
Babaluma wrote:
it's called MARKETING BULLSHIT

wink

if you want to know more about "the sound" a lot of people (myself included) seem to be trying to achieve, then i highly recommend this article by alan farmelo:

http://farmelo.com/blog/?p=269


Very good read!
cv slime 800
Babaluma wrote:

i think the problem lies in the fact that we don't yet have the language to truly express what we experience when we listen to music that we dig...

Or that we have to use language in the first place, which as they say is like dancing about architecture...

...which does sound like fun actually...
itijik
not this shit again

That was a nice article, though thumbs up
Waz
Babaluma
In music school, we were taught these terms as explanations of Timbre. seriously, i just don't get it It might not be an engineering term, but I've heard it used in professional music settings (choirs and ensembles). It was also in my text books.
kindredlost
Bingo!

Timbre is the best moniker. Like a flute is "warm" and a trumpet (generally) is "bright". The stacking of partials to create a certain static timbre is the essence of sound sculpture.

Of course when things aren't static any longer - like when the flutist is doing screeching glissando sweeps (think Ian Anderson) or the trumpet is muted (think Ben Neill or Miles Davis) then timbre changes along with it and so does the adjective describing the sound.

This was one of the interesting things about synthesis from the "early" electronic music era on. Since the invention of the pipe organ, Pianorad, Telharmonium and thru to the drawbar Hammond, once the electronic gear started enabling greater "partials-stacking" timbre control then these ideas became paramount. Prior to that, the proper selection of instruments (orchestration) was critical to conveying mood.

Today we have so much digital control at hand it is almost more fun to try to create within limits and draw forth sounds from vintage (?) designs like the Moog/Buchla/Serge modular analog tools. It's funny how well things like VA's of old string machines sell pretty well.
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