Hi. Welcome back to another Exploring Sounds tutorial. This week’s post will feature a plugin bundle that I’ve started using recently, Melda Production’s MFreeEffectsBundle. It’s a great freebie package offering tons of different effects. Some of them are your usual phasers and flangers but there is also some rarer stuff in there such as a frequency shifter or a noise generator. The only downsides for me are the slightly odd interfaces and the huge installer. Which is nothing compared to what you get for free, really. I’ve barely explored the possibilites yet with so many plugins and options but that didn’t stop me from making a sound design post with them.
So enough chatter already, let’s jump in. The sound we’ll be mangling is a wind instrument (Flute? I can never tell.) sampled from an old record.
It starts with MComb, which is a quite sweet sounding comb filter. It can do much more complicated things as you have 4 parallel filters with different tunings, feedback etc. but I’m going for a pretty basic effect here. Which sounds pretty much like a delay actually. Here it is:
Next up a favourite, MFreqShifter. This is a linear frequency shifter (I suppose it’s the same shifting algorithm with CDP) which is great for getting odd timbres out of ordinary samples. I’ve used a preset here (called “annotator caesarean”) but it’s basically shifting down 500 hz with 50% feedback. It sounds pretty close to ring modulation in this case.
Now comes an instant hit for me: MBandPass. This is actually a quite basic filter effect but it sounds good and the simple combination of a lowpass + hipass coupled with a dry/wet setting works so well on so many things, especially when automated. I love it. I’m doing that same automation here, lowpass, highpass + dry/wet. The amount of interesting sounds you can get out of such a basic setup is astonishing. Dry/wet automation is also very effective as it adds an extra complexity layer when combined with other cutoff movements. I’ll definitely be using this effect quite often.
For this particular sound, I don’t wanna go the neuro-ish filter weirdness route so it’s time for some CDP goodness. Blur works just right in this situation.
At this point, the sound is pretty much done as you can do a lot different things with what we have. It sounds interesting when pitched up/down, can be chopped up to get weird hits or stabs, you can drench it in reverb and get odd ambiences, whatever. I was really enjoying the MBandPass filter at the time so I decided to have another go at that.
But before that it’s transposed up 13 semitones. Then comes another MBandPass automation as described above. Distortion usually sounds cool after this sort of filter movement, so there’s also a Renoise Cabin Simulator in chain. Finally, some minor eq, compression and a touch of reverb+delay wraps it up. I think I also transposed it back down 5 semitones after processing. This is the result:
And that’s it for this tutorial. I hope you find it useful. Big ups to Melda Production for the great free effects bundle. See you next week!
(Image by Ian Mackenzie)