Inertia - Beyond The Paralysis

Minimalistic, this one is willfully limited to 4 tracks only, with only ONE instrument : an old distorted 909 drumkit.

Of course you hear something else than a drumkit, electric guitar for example, and a big fat saw bass… I’ve used a “native monophonic synthesis approach” into Renoise 2.7.2, combined with the cabinet simulator what somehow emulates electric guitars in action… I’ve also willfully limited my composition worktime to 4H max, you can hear it, because of the deadline I did not had time for sound research, for something complex, or elaborate more the mix. The Inertia title comes from a parameter available in the Renoise internal ring modulator, when you put it to 40% or 50%, it creates a powerfull and cool glide fx during synthesis.

The idea to limit my number of tracks, instruments, compo worktime (even if I’ve got all my weekend for me and 650 VSTis and quality samples waiting in my hard drive), comes from a topic, where we made the correlation between the profusion of choices / products / options, and a global paralysis of action and creativity. The conclusion of this little experiementation is that I could be more productive with less material, the more I increase my options, instruments, samples, the more I have to choose, the more I hesitate and finally do nothing at all.

You can download the .xrns song (Renoise format) here.

Thanx for listening &
Have fun within limits

cool. (keeping the comments short and strong! :slight_smile:

do you care to expand a bit more on how you use the Cabinet Simulator to emulate a electric guitar sound?

okay. this is possible. let’s call it the [b]r-guitar.

[/b]In fact when we hear electric guitars we often hear 90% of a sound produced by cabinets, amps, fx, and so on, and 10% of the real original sound. The cabinets have a too strong personnality, what means that you can feed them with anything like simple waveforms it’ll have chances to sound like an electric guitar in the end. But what defines an electric guitar is also the guitarist talent, expressiveness. Concerning the amp, cabinets, well renoise has its own solution. The cabinet as you probably noticed, increase first the volume, modifies the sound color, but in a second time, it also “screams”, especially when it is fed with two similar input signals. And it screams even better when you find the way to distort a bit the sound before. So if you want to emulate a electric guitar, the cabinet simulator must be “prepared”, and fed with delayed signals and slightly distorted signals, so that the “sacred screaming” will appear. Concerning expressiveness, the trick is to alternate note offs and “glides” alot what is very and maybe too simple way to define the manual activity of a guitarist. Finally a guitarist likes to play live, so I think that the reverb at the end of the road is necessary to make believe that the guy is on a stage.

  • I start from a typical dBlue-ish native monophonic synthesis, composed of a BLANK sample, a positive DC-OFFSET (25%), a keytracker controlling the frequency of a ringmod (I’ve deleted the customized LFO so that I have to completely forget the relationship between notes and tones, what is another willfull and thus interesting / productive limitation). The keytracker defines 0.24Hz as the minimal destination value, and 12181Hz as the maximum destination value, with a range from C-0 to B-9.

  • in the ringmod you’ve got to select a “sinewave” (**). After that there are some interesting parameters to select in the ringmod : amount = 75%, phase 45° and the most important one : INERTIA, 40% or 50% make the frequency changes sweet and emulate a glide (without the need to use the usual pattern commands technique ; this is why when checking the video you did not see any pattern command column for the r-guitar, because glides are handled somewhere else in the DSP chain).

  • place a delay now, you don’t need any feedback, any offset, you just want a plain and simple 1 time echo delay with 4 lines synced to pattern, for example, just because you know that if you double the signal, the screaming will have chances to happen.

  • the distortion, then. In this video, I have used the distortion included in the Chorus DSP device (1Hz of rate, 50% depth, “dist high” and 23%) because I want the distortion to live itself with a slow rate.

  • now the cabinet. I thing that if I want to sound “metal”, I must use the preamp -> equalizer - > cabinet model. I want to use the equalizer before the cabinet because, the sound has to be equalized like a rock band would equalize it, with increased low freqs, decreased mid range, and increased high freqs (excepted the ultra high freqs, > 8KHz that should stay as is otherwise the output sound could be too noisy). Concerning the gain, no less that 75% should give convincing results

  • the r-guitar works, but it could sound even better, the final touch comes with the reverb with the stage param. Of course, you can choose whatever you want here, if you want to place the r-guitar in something closer, choose a room. The reverb adds “something realistic”.

Don’t hesitate to download the .xrns in my signature or in my previous post, the DSP chain (minivib track) shows clearly what to do to properly feed this evil cabinet simulator and to make it scream like I want.

(**) Note : of course you can get more “electronic guitars” fx if you choose a sawtooth or a square instead of a sine, but the illusion of a real guitar won’t be there.

@KURTZ: thanks a lot for that very elaborate explanation. i’ve been looking for a way to emulate this sound for a while but my knowledge of synthesis is still too basic for me to have figured this out myself. i’ll try this out tonight!

You can easily create raw electric guitar sounds by bitswapping (rock) organ samples. No other effects required ;)

so i googled ‘bitswapping’ and just got stuff about modems. i’m sure that’s not what you are talking about. care to expand a bit?

I 've read something about guitars that could sound like keyboards, or hammond organs, for example, if you send the original guitar to 3 tracks while keeping the source, then if you pitch shift the sound with +12 tones in the first send track, +24 in the second, and -12 tones in the third send track. The resulting mix should be close what a hammond organ does. But I never tried this trick, I have just read it somewhere.

cheers for the xrns

Wow, great track Kurtz! And cheers for all the synthesis tips :)

I don’t know what bitswapping means in this context either, but is this because we are mostly hearing the effects of the cab and amp in rock organ recordings as well??

Im’not sure if this option was present in FastTracker 2, but in quite a few trakcers, there was an option to turn wave-files inside out (lows turned to highs and vice versa), that is what i mean by bitswapping.
The Gravis Ultrasound patch set had a rock-organ to which i applied that trick.

Interesting. I’m going to reload FT2 in DosBox and have a closer look on the sample editor.

You’re right, V², the Conv converts signed sample data to unsigned sample data, what can be seen as a “bitswap”, I understand better your point of view now. The result is a sort of “hot distortion” (I don’t know the way to define it better), and when you click on it again, the sound sample returns to its normal state.

It could also be changing endian figuring (converting little to big endian and vice versa) but i have more the idea that this is some kind of DC swapping trick