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Michael Jackson Beat It Gong Virtual Instrument Plugins
Old 30th December 2010
  #1
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KrisMiller's Avatar
 

Michael Jackson Beat It Gong

I have to perform 5 MJ songs for a tribute show in June. I'm having a hell of a time trying to find a high quality sample of the Synclavier gong patch. Does anybody know where I can find it? I could program a patch that sounds similar with various vsti's, but they really dont do that sound justice.

PS/ Anybody know of a Synclavier emulator Au/Vst or maybe a Reaktor Ens?

Thanks to any Slut who can help me out in advance & Happy New Year!!!!
Old 30th December 2010
  #2
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shaft9000's Avatar
 

it's in isolation on the record - so why not just sample that?
no need to complicate things imho
Old 31st December 2010
  #3
Shy
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Yes, no need to do it yourself when you can just take someone else's work, there's nothing to gain.

KrisMiller: unfortunately nope, never heard anything like it.
Old 31st December 2010
  #4
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Jim Stout's Avatar
I think that patch lives in some of my emulator 2 patches. Let me hunt around for it...
Old 31st December 2010
  #5
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Jim Stout's Avatar
Is this the sound?
Attached Files

001 Synclav.wav (1.39 MB, 5798 views)

Old 31st December 2010
  #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim Stout View Post
Is this the sound?
That sounds like something out of Star Trek: The Next Generation (and I recall reading the Synclavier was used heavily on that show).

It's not the Beat It gong sound though. I think that was a Synclav preset though.
Old 31st December 2010
  #7
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Jim Stout's Avatar
Pitch it down and do some envelope work and it's close. The original is a little more "hollow" sounding but I think it would pass.
Old 31st December 2010
  #8
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If that's not the Synclavier, it's really close.

First of all, that sample is obviously looped and crossfaded, therefore it can't possibly be the actual Synclavier.

However...

I do happen to know that the MJ song in question DID use the Synclavier FM gong sound. I can also confirm that it is, indeed a Synclavier preset, the reason being I own and use a Synclavier PSMT myself and giggled like a schoolgirl when I found that patch.

I'm fairly obsessive about programming my own sounds, so one of the first things I did was erase the timbres in the Synclavier parent directory before I knew what I was doing (I've only had it a few months). I don't really miss the presets because I never had any desire to use them. But what I WILL do is go through the original superfloppies to see if that directory still exists. I'll be happy to sample it for you and try to make arrangements to get it to you.
I use both exs24 and NN-XT, and I tend to favor NN-XT. But, if nothing else, you can map the samples yourself for your sampler of choice.

There is not yet a faithful emulation of the Synclavier. It's certainly POSSIBLE to make one with 24/96 technology, high RAM capacity and high processor speeds. The cost of analyzing the hardware and recreating it virtually outweighs the profit of selling the software (at the moment), and to my knowledge there is no active commercial interest in the Synclavier as a virtual instrument. I hope I'm wrong, but I don't see any way we'll get a Synclav VST any time soon.

To be honest, though, a small system that's FM only or sampling only won't be much more expensive than, say, the latest Moog Voyager. You can configure a Synclavier such that you don't need the V/PK. I do all my Synclav programming from a MacBook Pro (I also use the V/PK, but Termulator has a software version of the V/PK so that you don't HAVE to have it), and you can easily set up a Synclavier to load a sequence with different sounds/combinations of sounds responding on 16 channels using a controller keyboard of your choice. I'm not suggesting you shell out $3k to $5k for 5 songs on an MJ tribute gig... I'm just saying that if it's something that interests you, you should look into getting a Synclav. I bought mine primarily for sound design and to streamline my composition workflow. It really is a great instrument.

At the moment, I'm away from home but will be back by New Year's. It might take me up to two weeks to get it, but I'm pretty sure I can get that sound for you from the actual machine itself if you're interested. Just let me know. I'll be glad to help. As to high quality--keep in mind the Synclav is 8-bit, so it's extremely noisy. I COULD make a 24/96 set of samples for you, but that might be overkill considering what the Synclavier does. I mean, even the sampling isn't more than 16-bit. I can also make envelope adjustments if you want a looping sample, which will make it virtually identical to the real thing and let you tweak it in your own sampler. Just let me know.
Old 31st December 2010
  #9
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KrisMiller's Avatar
 

That would be AMAZING if you could send me samples of that patch!!! Is the gong sound an actual gong sample that's been synthesized along with FM or is it an all out FM sound? If its the ladder, maybe you could help me by breaking the sound down into operator, ASDR, filter ect ect settings.. If not, I'm totally happy with getting multi-samples of that patch. Happy New Year & thanks a milli!!!!
Old 31st December 2010
  #10
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Jim Stout's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by AngelRho View Post
If that's not the Synclavier, it's really close.

First of all, that sample is obviously looped and crossfaded, therefore it can't possibly be the actual Synclavier.

.

I said it was a sample from my emulator 2 library. But it was sampled from from a synclav.
Old 31st December 2010
  #11
Gear Head
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim Stout View Post
I said it was a sample from my emulator 2 library. But it was sampled from from a synclav.
No, I understand! I was just pointing out the obvious. I'm pretty sure that's the real deal.

KrisMiller: It's not an actual gong. The beauty of that sound is more an effect of FM than resynthesis. It COULD have been a resynthesized gong, but I really doubt it.

I'm on the road at the moment and a little carsick. I'll get back to you tomorrow at some point through PM and give you the rest of the details, maybe even some suggestions on how to use virtual FM synths to recreate that sound. Right now, I'm just guessing, you could probably pull it off in Thor, FM8, or Absynth. The Synclavier doesn't do FM feedback loops, so emulating that particular sound won't be terribly difficult.
Old 1st January 2011
  #12
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I heard the exact same sound in the demo song for "Cult Sampler" by Best Service, so I bet it's in there. I was tripping out when I heard it because it was THE exact patch.
Old 1st January 2011
  #13
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Yoozer's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Shy View Post
Yes, no need to do it yourself when you can just take someone else's work, there's nothing to gain.
It's for a cover version

What's there to gain if it has to sound as close to the original as possible anyway, other than studying how it was created for the heck of it?
Old 1st January 2011
  #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KrisMiller View Post
I have to perform 5 MJ songs for a tribute show in June. I'm having a hell of a time trying to find a high quality sample of the Synclavier gong patch. Does anybody know where I can find it? I could program a patch that sounds similar with various vsti's, but they really dont do that sound justice.

PS/ Anybody know of a Synclavier emulator Au/Vst or maybe a Reaktor Ens?

Thanks to any Slut who can help me out in advance & Happy New Year!!!!


This might be what you`re looking for.... YouTube - click the link and forward to 2:39....sounds something like it.
Old 2nd January 2011
  #15
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KrisMiller's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Yoozer View Post
It's for a cover version

What's there to gain if it has to sound as close to the original as possible anyway, other than studying how it was created for the heck of it?

Part of the enjoyment is within the challenge of finding out how something was made. I'm not gonna sit back there & press play. Its not in my nature. Just like its not in my nature to give up & put on Rubinstein when I'm having trouble with a Chopin passage. However, I understand that there's a time & place for the "play" button, but the theatrics involved with this MJ cover have me hitting the gong synth & various times & notes. So what's there to gain? Knowledge. & knowledge is power. Thanks for the question though.
Old 2nd January 2011
  #16
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KrisMiller's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by superjc View Post
I heard the exact same sound in the demo song for "Cult Sampler" by Best Service, so I bet it's in there. I was tripping out when I heard it because it was THE exact patch.

FULL OF WIN!!!
Old 2nd January 2011
  #17
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Yoozer's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by KrisMiller View Post
Part of the enjoyment is within the challenge of finding out how something was made.
And that's a perfectly good reason. It was aimed at Shy's "take someone else's work". If it was a factory preset anyway, the original did exactly that - take someone else's work (the Synclavier employee who programmed it) and get away with it (and gain millions )

I'm not sure about the source, but I recall reading (was it VSE?) an explanation of a Synclavier owner who elaborated on how the FM exactly worked - instead of Yamaha's 6 operators in various configurations you'd have several 2-op pairs that you could stack at any pitch; each stack would reduce polyphony. Kind of like algorithms 5/6 on the DX7, only with as many pairs per voice as possible. I can't find the write-up, though.

The original already sounds layered - the percussive attack and the almost unison-like FM sound.
Old 2nd January 2011
  #18
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bitman's Avatar
Just listening to it in my head from my memory and it sounds pitched down a good bit. Maybe even an octave.
Old 2nd January 2011
  #19
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KrisMiller's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Yoozer View Post
The original already sounds layered - the percussive attack and the almost unison-like FM sound.

I hear exactly what you mean. the perc hit off to the left & the ringing out FMish sounding crap of to the right... My knowledge of FM synthesis lacks big time. I'm messing around in FM8 right now, but gaining little or no ground.
Old 2nd January 2011
  #20
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Yoozer's Avatar
I'd love it if AngelRho could chime in on this, but here's what I'd try to do.

1) figure out the FM configuration of the Synclavier. If the "pairs" story I described is correct, then it's probably better to use 4 or 6 instances of FM8, panned. Disable all but one and then start building the sound. Since FM is hard to deal with and the sound has this unison-like flavor, I would not be surprised if you'd have 2 or 3 groups of L&R pairs, detuned and panned, and the sounds differ not much; it's "just" a matter of discovering the right envelope and operator ratio combination. All that you have to do then is to save the sound in one instance and reopen/retune it in the others. Furthermore, if it turns out that 2 pairs have a different pitch (say, an octave higher or so, perhaps even at lower volume) to "complete" the sound you have the freedom to do so and won't get mired into shoehorning a single patch in there.

FM basics all start with 2 operators; learn what happens to the sound when one of the operators is not voiced - that is, only the output of the carrier (modulated operator) goes to the mixer, not that of the modulator. 3 or more operators is like trying to do cubic equations in your head - too many variables to keep track of at once.

2) Analyze the sound. Run the last note through a spectrum analyzer and see if you can spot any peaks; that may give you hints on the ratio.

3) I slowed down the intro of "Beat It". The sound's timbre changes gradually; when the second percussion hit hits, the change does not repeat but appears to continue in its tracks. This means that the sound could be monophonic - notes don't need to overlap, no need for resampling, and no need to waste 2 tapes when you only need 1. (listen to the rest of the track too; you'll find lots of neat details!)
Old 2nd January 2011
  #21
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KrisMiller's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Yoozer View Post
I'd love it if AngelRho could chime in on this, but here's what I'd try to do.(listen to the rest of the track too; you'll find lots of neat details!)
Thanks for the tips. This is gonna take awhile. If you have any more tips please drop me a line. Cheers.
Old 2nd January 2011
  #22
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acreil's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Yoozer View Post
1) figure out the FM configuration of the Synclavier. If the "pairs" story I described is correct, then it's probably better to use 4 or 6 instances of FM8, panned.
Yeah but it's not just simple 2 operator FM. The modulator is a sine wave but the carrier is an arbitrary waveform with 24 definable harmonics. Software can smoothly crossfade between pairs of voices for time variant additive synthesis (or wavetable, if you want to think about it that way).

And it's quite low resolution, but since it uses variable sample rate playback and analog amplitude scaling, this manifests as harmonic distortion and image frequencies rather than aliasing and quantization noise.

I think stacked 2 operator FM can get "close enough" for this case, but a really good emulation will be very difficult.
Old 4th January 2011
  #23
Here for the gear
 

Keyboard magazine did a brief excerpt on this sound some time ago. Check out the attached link. I think it gets close, but I found I needed to get a bigger, unison-type sound than what I was getting from just these tips. They probably processed the heck out of whatever sound they had too on the album, so another factor to consider.

Michael Jackson
Old 4th January 2011
  #24
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Groovenizer's Avatar
 

I think Andrews (Dirty Halo) owns a Synclavier. Try to PM him, maybe he'll share the sound...
Old 4th January 2011
  #25
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The "Beat it" sound is featured on a Synclavier demo record from many years ago. I had a copy of that Synclavier record when it came for free in a magazine that I bought many years ago. It was one of those flexi-vinyl discs and I no longer have it.

Here's the sound all by itself. I found this on some blog where the guy actually had the demo disc also.

Just scroll down to - And a factory preset that you might recognize:

“The Incredible Sounds of SynclavierÂ*II”, and otherÂ*hits « faunæ or automat?
Old 4th January 2011
  #26
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Yoozer's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by acreil View Post
Yeah but it's not just simple 2 operator FM. The modulator is a sine wave but the carrier is an arbitrary waveform with 24 definable harmonics. Software can smoothly crossfade between pairs of voices for time variant additive synthesis (or wavetable, if you want to think about it that way).
Then Ableton's Operator would be an even better candidate because it can do that; too bad it doesn't come as a separate plugin. By itself it's 129 euros, but Suite is 189 now with the discount... argh, choices, choices...
Old 4th January 2011
  #27
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Groovenizer's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by SBX-80 View Post
The "Beat it" sound is featured on a Synclavier demo record from many years ago. I had a copy of that Synclavier record when it came for free in a magazine that I bought many years ago. It was one of those flexi-vinyl discs and I no longer have it.

Here's the sound all by itself. I found this on some blog where the guy actually had the demo disc also.

Just scroll down to - And a factory preset that you might recognize:

“The Incredible Sounds of SynclavierÂ*II”, and otherÂ*hits « faunæ or automat?

I've seen this blue Synclavier demo record come up on Ebay US quite often...sells usually for around 10 bucks or so.
Old 4th January 2011
  #28
Gear Head
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by KrisMiller View Post
Thanks for the tips. This is gonna take awhile. If you have any more tips please drop me a line. Cheers.
OK--update.

I'm back home and looking for the sound. I was SURE that I have it, but I'm becoming less certain. Any other Synclav owners have it think they can share some screen shots of their "F Page"? lol

I haven't given up, though. I do know for certain that I have high quality samples of it, but I'd rather make the samples myself.

Some little factoids about FM on the Synclavier--bearing in mind I'm just a user, not a software/hardware engineer:

There's not really anything out there that can emulate the Synclavier FM. Do NOT use FM8 or Thor to try to get it. What the Synclavier does is allow you to additively create a waveform and modulate it with FM on a single sine-wave modulator, and it can do that at either a fixed frequency or harmonic ratio. FM8 and Thor will work as long as you work strictly in pairs of mod-carrier. You might come close with FM8 and Thor bearing that in mind and running them through a distortion plugin to bring the resolution down to 8-bit. You would do better to use Absynth because you CAN vary the shape of the carrier wave and still use a sine modulator, converting the output to 8-bit (if you feel the need). Any Alchemy users here know if you can do the same thing in Alchemy? I don't personally own it, but I understand that the resynthesis in Alchemy is unparalleled.

Anyway, the only Synclavier-like sounds you can get with FM8 or Thor have to be harmonically very simple. Same thing with DX7--but DX7 sounds aren't really sounds you want to try to emulate with the Synclavier and FM8 is better suited to that kind of thing. Thor has the spirit of the Synclavier, in my opinion, because it doesn't do feedback loops and the oscillators in Thor get really glitchy when you route them to themselves, unlike in FM8 or a real DX7. To emulate that on a Synclavier, you need to take several short samples of DX7 articulations using feedback loops or resynthesize the output of the DX. So anyone using PD or Max to recreate those sounds has to keep that in mind--but I assume it's possible (I've never gotten sound out of PD, so take that for what it's worth).

If I can't get THE MJ Gong sound, what I CAN do is attempt to rebuild it from scratch. Just from listening to it, here are my impressions: What you hear is not a pitch bend. It's a decrease in FM modulator amplitude. What I'm trying to figure out is what the carrier wave is and the modulator ratio. With all the inharmonic sidebands in the Gong sound, I'm pretty sure that it isn't an exact ratio. So it's a matter of finding out what the original carrier sound is and how to properly dirty it up.

I still need another day or two on it. If I determine that I accidentally erased the A-Page it was on, then someone on here will have to put me on suicide watch.

In the meantime, here is my attempt at an Absynth patch. Add a bit-crusher type distortion to reduce it to 8-bit and you've got something that's really close.

Let me know what you think!
Attached Files
File Type: zip Beat It.ksd.zip (10.4 KB, 384 views)
Old 4th January 2011
  #29
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CJ1973's Avatar
 

Michael Jackson Beat It Gong

Dude there are Michael Jackson instrumentals out there. I have a few but not beat it. These are the original instrumentals. Why don't you just search for that?
Old 4th January 2011
  #30
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acreil's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by AngelRho View Post
In the meantime, here is my attempt at an Absynth patch. Add a bit-crusher type distortion to reduce it to 8-bit and you've got something that's really close.
Actually a bit crusher effect applied to the output won't quite cut it. The Synclavier's waveforms are 8 bit per voice, before any amplitude envelope. The result is harmonic distortion rather than the broadband quantization noise you get from a bit crusher.

If anyone can actually find the original patch, I'd be interested to see how well it can be recreated from the original parameters, though this will probably require significant work to transcribe them all.
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