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Extreme Mixing 21st September 2004 08:31 AM

Signal Generator

I used your signal generator trick on Timpani tonight. It worked brilliantly! They led into a big break and the sub tone added so much weight to the stop that it made it into an event worthy of being there.

I tried the trick years ago on a kick, but i didn't really get it til tonight. Thanks.


Jules 21st September 2004 09:31 AM

Extreme perhaps describe the trick to re-cap for folks reading this for the first time..

Max headroom 21st September 2004 01:19 PM

Yeah always ready for new trick that work. Please tell us where can we read about that


Extreme Mixing 21st September 2004 11:52 PM

In Pro Tools, I put a signal generator on an Aux input and tuned it to 65hz (a low C). The next plug was a gate with and external key input. I sent from the timpani to the key input of the gate so that it would open when the timp was playing, and adjusted the hold and the release until it matched the decay of the timp.

As Dave has pointed out, when you work with the sub range, you're going to need monitors that can reproduce those tones. If you don't, you'll almost certainly use too much. Think of it like plastic explosives. A little 40-65hz goes a long way.

I also like the Renaissance Bass for adding subharmonics to sounds, so this isn't a completely new trick for me. I didn't really like it years ago because it was too hard to get the sine wave in tune with the track, and the Drawmer gates were hard to keep from clicking. The last time I tried the sine wave trick, I was working in a Trident 80B room. The oscillator tones were fixed at 50, 100, 1K, and 10K, as I recall.


Dave Pensado 22nd September 2004 02:01 AM

A little 40-60 goes a long way
Good job Extreme, I thot this might help:

A = 27.500 hz
B = 30.868
C= 32.703
D= 36.708
E= 41.203
F= 43.654
G= 48.999


I almost forgot, try using more that one at the same time, or also you can automate the generator for key changes etc.

Extreme Mixing 22nd September 2004 04:53 AM

Re: A little 40-60 goes a long way
Alright Dave,

Now you've done it. More stuff to try. I'm just about to need another farm card anyway, and that means I have to find and buy the 13 node cable. And It's all your fault...Well, its partly your fault.

OK. It's my fault. But I keep trying new things and liking them.

Dave, I know you augment the sounds that come to you. Do you also add loops, or additional drum patterns when you're mixing? I have found that I can do more with additional loops and sounds than I can with EQ to change the sound of a mix.

You also mentioned that you use doubles of reverbs, change them and pan them left and right to widen the mix. I send to all of my reverbs, delays, and modulation FX in stereo for just that reason. It's nice to hear a tambourine hit, then cascade to the left as it decays. When you add placement of the effect into the mix it increases the posibilities exponentially. One of the best things about the SP 2016 is the stereo room with stereo input. Is the plug in version set up that way, too?

Off to work with me.

By the way, I have the frequency chart, too. But do you have an tone generator that will allow you to set it to 32.703? I guess I could use a virus or something.


soundthinker 22nd September 2004 06:48 AM

Gated signal generators are great!
I use filtered white noise for snare hits. Just the other day I used this trick to make a clean voice over sound like a tv director counting down to air time. Try using multiple gates with different thresholds so that the signal generator (or whatever you can think of) reacts more dynamically.


Jules 22nd September 2004 07:49 AM

Dave in your opinion...

Is related pitch ALWAYS advisable? or do you sometimes run into 'note' beating

(where it jar's with other low musical notes and vibrates unsympathetically)

Do you ever just set the low tone to simply what 'feels good" rather than do it via "math"?


Dave Pensado 22nd September 2004 07:56 AM

Jules, good question
As you know, tuning is always by feel, and never can be perfect. Sometimes you DO just have to feel it. I actually do like to create a little tension in B-sections before hooks, just to help create the big payoff. Perfect tuning as well as timing is pretty boring.

Soundthinker, great idea, I am gonna try it.

soundthinker 22nd September 2004 08:15 AM

Re: Jules, good question

Originally posted by Dave Pensado
Soundthinker, great idea, I am gonna try it. [/B]

Glad I could help! jkthtyrt

Seriously though...

An extension of the multiple gate concept is to apply it to the standard gated compressed room mic technique, using milder ratios and range. Hit the snare/toms (or sing etc) harder and the room mics open up more. Lots of fun can be had seeing (hearing) just how many things one can sidechain together.


djui5 22nd September 2004 09:40 AM

The 60-80hz gated trick on the kick was big in the 80's.....same as described above but on kick instead of Timpani

White noise is also used in underground dance on the synth's a lot....gated and triggered by the synth........add's a certain smoothness to the track.....makes the synth's smooth and creamy if you will...

The girls love smooth and creamy....

Max headroom 22nd September 2004 01:15 PM

great one fellas !

I like this kind of stuff . Keep 'em comming !

If you want to easy generate low freq us wavelab sound gen type the freq and of you go!

living sounds 22nd September 2004 01:38 PM

Instead of a signal generator you might as well use any sampler with a sine wave sample. You can use the sampler's envelopes and the tuning fits automatically.

By the way, using a gliding sine wave (like from 80-50) works very well one kickdrums.

cordura21 22nd September 2004 01:52 PM

Just to add a tip, mda Plugins have a Signal Generator that can have its frequency determined by midi note, and it's freeware.

EDIT: you can use that with a midi octaver, transposer, etc, to get additinal tones.


NeoVXR 22nd September 2004 03:05 PM

gating a signal generator or playing a prepared sine sample will make one difference:
the first option will during the track change its phase to the other samples that build the instrument (kick...)
the second option will start all components in sync, as you design it.

is this a serious issue, that sometimes leads to the first option for a certain reason? I would expect most time the second version is better.

cashewcupcake 22nd September 2004 04:28 PM

Also most pitch shifters don't sound like crap when you're just pushing a few cents. They can be useful if you're stuck with a fixed frequency.

Extreme Mixing 22nd September 2004 10:58 PM


I tried the filtered white noise on the snare today. I could hear the snares rattling!



Absolute 23rd September 2004 02:40 AM

I just used a sub tone on my mix...and now my balls itch fuuck

Extreme Mixing 23rd September 2004 03:15 AM

Just don't get a stinky finger. And if you do, we don't want to know about it.


soundthinker 23rd September 2004 04:43 AM


I have to give credit to the many much better engineers that I assisted for when I was starting. But, you're welcome. abduction


elementsound 28th September 2004 03:38 AM

White noise?
What do you guys use to generate the filtered white noise?


soundthinker 28th September 2004 04:41 AM

Digi's signal generator plugin. If you're working completly analog, just tune your TV to static. Or radio. Or toaster oven... abduction Experiment.


mitgong 28th September 2004 07:07 PM


Originally posted by NeoVXR
gating a signal generator or playing a prepared sine sample will make one difference:
the first option will during the track change its phase to the other samples that build the instrument (kick...)
the second option will start all components in sync, as you design it.

is this a serious issue, that sometimes leads to the first option for a certain reason? I would expect most time the second version is better.

You're the only other guy I've ever heard mention this, but it's a problem that drives me crazy, and so I try to trigger a sine wave sample instead of using the keyed-gate approach.

elementsound 28th September 2004 10:04 PM

Ohh cool, thanks for the info. I thought the signal generator was only a sine wave/square wave.