How to make this sound

There is an amazing synth line that starts at 0:03. It’s the main melody of the song.

Anyone have an idea what type of synthesis that is or how to recreate it?


Haha you beat me to it Jalex :sunglasses:
Yes, definitely some type of clav/clavinette pulse wave stuff. So to recreate from scratch I guess you’d need a synth with a flexible sound engine that can handle pulse wave so you get that thin almost phasy vibe to it. Love that Prefuse line, nice!

1 Like

This sounds like very ordinary synthesis.
I was trying to replicate it and here you have:preview
Link for Vital preset: link
Vital VST (free): link

Sounds like a pure FM synthesis with a saw oscillator…

1 Like

To me it sounds like karplus strong, or just a pulse through tuned comb filter…

Here, I made a similar instrument with pure renoise, using the renoise comb filter. It is not perfect, a bit more static/synthetic, not as “dirty” and organic as a real karplus strong. But can be worked with.

Combpluck 1a.xrni (5.5 KB)

1 Like

Thanks y’all

I thoroughly appreciate this

agree w/ @OopsIFly

karplus strong type synthesis, pulse/click with high FB delay line, maybe filtered

dope track

Karplus strong ,a tuned delay line with a damping filter /
What’s also important is what you’re using to trigger the delay , it can be just an impulse , or saw/square/noise
I made lot’s of these thing in reaktor , it’s pretty easy stuff
Some simple conversion is needed , midi note to frequency in hertz to delay time
Sadly renoise instrument combilter does not have a damping filter which needs to be in the feedback loop and not just post , I suggested this years ago1

Okay so, I need to dive into reaktor for this …

The multitap delay has a filter in the feedback loop. I think you could get pretty close to this sound within renoise… Not sure if you’d be able to trigger the right delay times for equal tempered tuning using the key tracker, but you could probably get a decent sound going and resample it. I’ve made a lot of good-sounding (to my ears) karplus strong type synths in renoise using various dsp units, but most of them have had unique, non-standard tunings

True , the multitap delay is suited for it since the filter can be inside the feedback loop
However ,tuning the keytracker to delay time for chromatic pitches is easier said then done

I was listening your youtube video and that sound at 0:03 and then my example and I’m wonder - for me it sounds almost the same. Or not? I maybe added some effect to it (easy to remove) but still - is it that different?

yeah, that’s definitely been my experience. I usually just resample if I want equal temperment.

Somebody must know a good way to scale the delay times with a keytracker for chromatic tuning… Anyone?

I have made keytracker tuned multitap delay, among tunings for other effects. The delay quasi becomes a comb filter when tuned…

It just has some downsides, the first is a kind of static glide, that cannot be turned off, as the delay seems to smooth delay time changes internally. The second is the lowpass filter being pretty steep, so the sound gets rather filtered completely, than having that kind of pluck decay. So it is not like karplus strong, sorry. The karplus strong works by multiplying the delay line with itself I think, leading to gradually smoothing the sound as it decays, also causing lots of grit and character…

I have adapted my comb pluck to use the multitap delay. Is now monophonic only!

Multitap Combpluck 1a.xrni (9.2 KB)

this is very cool, thanks for posting!
have any recommendations for how to get started with the formula device? seems super useful, I’ve just never tried to bend my brain around it. I’m sure it opens up a ton of possibilities!

Learn a little about lua coding, how to input calculations, how to make functions and such. Only need the 101, the formula device is not as mighty or powerful that you would need more complex coding skills. Then you need a good use case. The device has some predefined variable (speed, position etc.) that can be accessed (click the “?” button), and the rest is just 3 sliders (variables “A”, “B” and “C”) that can be used to make a calculation that will control an effect slider/macro. You can either just use a one-liner formula making a calculation, or you can enter more complex code or variables in the code field above the formula field. Such code or variables must be called/accessed from the formula field. The device first runs the code in the code field once (so you can set up variables etc.), and then calls for each tick the formula field to determine the value of the slider that is controlled.

So basically all you can do with it is set up some automation logics, no synthesis or audio processing. My trickery might seem a bit complex, taktik one day posted some formula for the filter slider in the forum, and out of it I made with quite some work the ktrk library. So that is nothing one would just come up with. But in the end it is just translating a keytracker to the filter/delay values so stuff can be tuned.

The formula device can be useful for other things though. Sometimes it is just the simple things, like a formula “A+B” that will just add two controllers together controlling a third effect slider. Or you can make timed effects, like lfos, or rhythmically controlling an effect via calculations from the line number.

great. thanks for the info. much appreciated!

HI, sounds a bit of a crossover between a clavinet and Karplus-Strong:–Strong_string_synthesis

So, is there a decent tutorial for the formula tool? I have no idea what it does