Opinions on my Shepard Tone?

Hello guys, I would like to know Your opinions on my Shepard tone which was created with the help of mda Shepard + few more modifications. Thanks in advance :slight_smile:

URL to the sound:

http://freesound.org/people/BrainClaim/sounds/404910/

URL to the sound with borrowed visuals:

Sounds cool, but endless is more than 2:13 minutes, so i wonder how does it sound 3 hours in or whatever?

I think it sounded very nice in the start, but it kind of looses it’s effect a bit after a while, so i would probably not listen to it for 3 hours to find out. :stuck_out_tongue:

Thanks for the opinion, I agree that it loses its power after some time, I wonder why :slight_smile:

I had to look up what a shepard tone is. Never heared of that before. What peaked your interest to create this?

adding more octave points to fade the main tone could even out the power it has at each time…with your version there are passages that sound weaker/muddier than other, this would be mitigated. at the expense of the effect occupying a larger frequency room. Also make sure your tones are phase-aligned for the effect to work the best. I’d ditch the mda effect and make your own shepard tone generator, it is not very difficult, just octaves crossfaded. Also you could try to slowly rise the center that the shepard generator revolves around slowly to keep the tension, then the effect would not use up so quickly psychologically. I’d also make the rise a bit faster. It seems, other than for some art installation maybe, a bit unusual to have a scene accompanied by such a tone for 3 minutes anyways…and it is hard to keep it up for that long…in arrangement to keep suspense you would have to insert “break” periods to “reset” the tension a bit just before it would become too boring, after which the shepard tone could restart with a lower center and maybe your rumbling sound design rise a bit in timbre. Endless suspense…please playback in an elevator with lcd displays that look like windows suggesting the thing is falling and falling…

I think also to consider is that when ear has listened to a sound for a longer period it looses the impact and feel, so i would think that the sound needs to evolve more to keep the interest up.

From listening to the OP, I didn’t immediately when/if it started repeating.

Which, imho, rates as a success in the world of barber-pole sonic illusions :slight_smile:

I have deep-dived into this shepard/risset stuff before, and come up with the following concept/technique.

Risset/shepard tones as a (very strict) foundation for writing chords.

  1. First, you add multiple tones, and delay each one (voila, you now have a chord). Obviously, the interval size would determined by delay, which is decided by the ‘steepness’ of the falling or rising movement (this is already very exciting stuff to my nerdy brain!!).
  2. You then divide each rising/falling tone into discrete steps, instead of the constantly moving pitch.
  3. Finally, you cherry-pick spots from the combined tones that you think sound good. One tone at a time, all tones together - you decide.
  4. You can sustain tones too - the only limitation is that every time youpick a tone, it has to originate from the underlying movement.

According to my experience, you can reach some pretty weird results with this technique. Certainly I made some stuff I would otherwise never have come up with.

Whether, and how strongly, the illusion of rising or falling pitch would remain intact would depend on frequently these selected tones appear, if they appear together etc.

But - I think it’s interesting that you could then e.g. take some effect device that would_re-introduce_ the rising/falling pitch into the signal, and thus reveal the “true nature” of the tones being played.

What peaked your interest to create this?

I have been working with audio illusions in the darker side of my music production for two years now and I wanted to further develop myself in that aspect for I am basically experimenting with sounds rather than creating “proper” music. I hope that answered Your question :slight_smile:

adding more octave points to fade the main tone could even out the power it has at each time…with your version there are passages that sound weaker/muddier than other, this would be mitigated. at the expense of the effect occupying a larger frequency room. Also make sure your tones are phase-aligned for the effect to work the best. I’d ditch the mda effect and make your own shepard tone generator, it is not very difficult, just octaves crossfaded. Also you could try to slowly rise the center that the shepard generator revolves around slowly to keep the tension, then the effect would not use up so quickly psychologically. I’d also make the rise a bit faster. It seems, other than for some art installation maybe, a bit unusual to have a scene accompanied by such a tone for 3 minutes anyways…and it is hard to keep it up for that long…in arrangement to keep suspense you would have to insert “break” periods to “reset” the tension a bit just before it would become too boring, after which the shepard tone could restart with a lower center and maybe your rumbling sound design rise a bit in timbre. Endless suspense…please playback in an elevator with lcd displays that look like windows suggesting the thing is falling and falling…

Thanks for the feedback! These were some nice suggestions, I will try further developing next sounds based on your advice and see if it works for me :slight_smile:

I think also to consider is that when ear has listened to a sound for a longer period it looses the impact and feel, so i would think that the sound needs to evolve more to keep the interest up.

These are the feedbacks that really help me improve my work and make me avoid lots of commonly used mistakes, I am really grateful for Your advice :slight_smile:

From listening to the OP, I didn’t immediately when/if it started repeating.

Which, imho, rates as a success in the world of barber-pole sonic illusions :slight_smile:

I have deep-dived into this shepard/risset stuff before, and come up with the following concept/technique.

Risset/shepard tones as a (very strict) foundation for writing chords.

  1. First, you add multiple tones, and delay each one (voila, you now have a chord). Obviously, the interval size would determined by delay, which is decided by the ‘steepness’ of the falling or rising movement (this is already very exciting stuff to my nerdy brain!!).
  2. You then divide each rising/falling tone into discrete steps, instead of the constantly moving pitch.
  3. Finally, you cherry-pick spots from the combined tones that you think sound good. One tone at a time, all tones together - you decide.
  4. You can sustain tones too - the only limitation is that every time youpick a tone, it has to originate from the underlying movement.

According to my experience, you can reach some pretty weird results with this technique. Certainly I made some stuff I would otherwise never have come up with.

Whether, and how strongly, the illusion of rising or falling pitch would remain intact would depend on frequently these selected tones appear, if they appear together etc.

But - I think it’s interesting that you could then e.g. take some effect device that would_re-introduce_ the rising/falling pitch into the signal, and thus reveal the “true nature” of the tones being played.

Thanks for the long feedback! These are some nice techniques, I am glad when I see people who try to do new things in music :slight_smile: