VS 16: Two Sides of A Cymbal

Hi. This week I will be making 2 different sounds originating from a simple cymbal sample. First one will be somewhat similar to the original and the other totally different. While the tutorials I’ve been doing generally tries to morph the input sounds totally into different outputs, I also appreciate minimally processed sounds that are somewhat reminiscent of the original. So I’ll try to cover it both this week.

Here is the cymbal sample we’re using. Randomly picked from my library.

First comes the filter envelope. It’s a bandpass filter and I’m controlling both the cutoff frequency and the bandwidth of the filter with the envelope. A simple step but it will influence the result quite a bit.

Next up, a comb filter. Renoise has a simple one that usually gets the job done. The purpose of this step to add some harmonic content to the cymbal. Note that a lot more textures possible by changing the comb filters frequency. This is the result:

To turn this into an atmospheric sound we obviously need reverb. I’m not sure but I think I’ve used Valhalla VintageVerb this time. Love that plugin.

To give them a twist you can always reverse sounds. I find that most things sound better when reversed! To mask the abrupt ending I also add a delay here.

And this concludes the first part of this tutorial. As you can hear, the cymbal ambience is still there. As I’ve said above, I really appreciate when the final sound is different but still has a connection to the original. And this sound just accomplishes that, in my opinion.

Now for the second part. To make things otherworldly, you can always call up CDP. This time I’m using one of the filterbanks and it’s setup like this. The possibilites here are just endless as all kinds of interactions possible between frequencies. I also like “scatter” paramater with which you can slightly randomize the harmony you’ve generated. Here’s how that sounds like:

That’s basically it but here’s one step further with a few simple tricks. It’s a 2 note fifth chord (base and +7 semitones), some reverb and delay. To add more movement I automate the rate of an LFO which is connected to a highpass filter’s cutoff. There’s also some automation on the depth of this modulation to give it a more organic feel. Finally some compression and EQ to make it sound prettier. And here it is:

Right, so that’s all for this week. Let me know if you like it!


  • skvenga

    Man, I love your tuto! You opened a whole new world for me haha, i didn’t know that just with a cymbal, we can create something like that…

    • Hey skvenga, we’re lucky to have so many great tools in Renoise
      nowadays… CDP, Morphsynth, Offline filter etc. I’m glad you found it
      useful & thanks a lot for letting me know!