Surround ChipSounds Tutorial

So there is a technique to get the most surround sound from your samples without having to compromise quality and sound modification. I am using this technique for chipmusic but you can use it for any sound type ! And you can apply this method on any daw or tracker that support stereo samples !

Let’s begin with a simple square waveform !

1: Make Sure your Sample is stereo
2: Make Sure you activate no interpolation

This should give you something like this :

For a wider sound you must make the identical waveform, but the waveform should be the perfect mirror of the other one by making the waveform doing the opposite sound at the same time :

The result should look like this on the spectrum :

Now here is the interesting part, we saw that exact waveform (Image 2) are performing a linear sound on the spectrum. The opposite waveform (Image 4) is making a completly wide sound. So lets combine the best of the two !

On this picture, section 1 and 3 will be our mono part of the sample and section 2 will be the wide section of the sample :

This will give this kind of result :

DONE ! There is my way of giving the most of my chipmusic samples ! As simple this technique seems like, sounds created by that sounds really amazing !

Note : On the spectrum the upper right part is not visible ! This is not because the sample is not playing in this area, this is just because the screenshot wasnt took at the right time. Because if i took the sample a millisecond later the upper left part would be missing and the upper right part would have be present.

Enjoy !

Burn time!

No, it is performing the sound of you don’t know what you’re talking about. That’s not a spectrum analyser, that’s a phase analyzer. The two tools have two very different functions. The phase analyzer can, among other things, warn you when you’re about to make the mistake you just made. The problem is that in certain circumstances, the parts of the waveform that are opposite will cancel, which may have undesirable consequences. When listening in headphones, it just sounds like the sound is coming from the back “or something”. Pretty cool. If you’re listening with stereo speakers, and move your head, you may get phasing effects. Pretty rad, sort of, kind of. The real trouble is when the sound, for whatever reason, is mixed to mono. Your first example with completely opposite phase, will now (in theory) disappear altogether, or if you’re lucky, there are some nasty highs left over. You can simulate this by adding a stereo expander device, changing mono mix to L+R and expand fully to the left (mono). The second, “best of two worlds” example will not disappear completely, but will become significantly thinner in a mono mix. Mono mixing is sometimes done in live venues, and on music devices with only one speaker. And even if a venue doesn’t mix to mono before sending the sound to PA, the left and right speakers are now so far that there are places where the sound will cancel out almost completely, and the sound engineer will hate you for the extra trouble. Likewise, vinyl mastering engineers will also hate you because phase differences in the lower frequencies will make the needle misbehave, and so they will try to mix your song it toward mono, and again, the sound cancel out and your square wave sound very thin.

I mean, you do what you want, but be aware that there are traps with this method. Finally, I recommend you learn how noise cancelling headphones work. :)/>

Indeed. I also don’t see why you would create this situation on purpose.

Wow thats is a nice way to point out a mistake thank you for your big skills in diplomacy !

Let me resume this by… NO ! If you analyse things carfully you will see that i am just playing the waveform at different phase on Left than right. Your understanding would have been right if i was playing 2 samples at the same phase playing 2 identical mirror of themselve ! Then like you say YES it would cancel eachothers.

I would suggest you to try it and then you will understand little padawan !

The mistake is not calling a phase display a spectral display. Your mistake is that you most probably lack a systematic understanding of audio etc.

Do you understand that not every playback system is identical to yours? Do you understand that there are various circumstances where stereo is mixed down to mono, either partially or completely? Did you even read what I said past the first sentence?

Wow… Why ? What ?

Ok… what are you trying to win here, i just don’t get it. I am showing a trick to wider a simple square sample ! Of course i know that if somebody mixed this down to mono that my technique will not work. If you don’t like my technique just don’t use it

If somebody want to give it a try here is a link to the xrni !

Well, if you don’t care that your music might sound like crap when played on a phone, or a club’s PA system, because this instrument is cancelled out, that’s your loss. Since you’re posting this as a tutorial, I’m pointing this out, so other people are aware of this issue. There are other ways of creating similar effects that are not as destructive when mixed to mono.

If you only intent to use this technique for your own setup then that is fine. But if you want to release the results in public, there will be many devices where your stuff will sound like shit.

Yes but where in the world people use mono speakers ! Old Cellphone maybe ?

While I don’t agree with the approach taken by nito2k01 (saying “burn time!” is simply a bit rude and unnecessary), I do think it’s important to understand the processes you’re applying here, and what kind of effect it can have on the listener.

As they have already mentioned, your music might be played through a sound system which mixes everything to mono. This is surprisingly very common in clubs and other venues where they have to pipe the music to many different speakers around the place, where a typical left/right stereo field makes almost no sense.

In those types of situations, you should simply be aware of how your sound might be transformed by this mono mixing process, because you may not like what you hear!

Here is a very simple demo using the instrument you provided:

The Stereo Expander on the 2nd track is replicating what will happen to your sound when the left and right channels are mixed together into a mono signal. As you can hear, the result is rather different indeed!

heh, I once learned the phasing thing the hard way live, had a portion of a track with increasing of Renoises width parameter, and in the club it sounded like I was pulling down the volume slider till absolute silence, didn’t understand what was happening until I heard about the club mixing everything to mono lol

It can be a shitty lesson to learn, haha. I’ve also been through the same experience, after nagging a DJ friend to play my stupid CD in his set, only to have it sound like complete bass-less crap simply because the PA system was mixing everything to mono. A very rude awakening indeed!

A simple and very effective way for all kinds of waveforms without any preparation is the emulation of the Dimension processor used in NI Massive. The special thing about this is adding phase-flipping on one channel of a gentle layered, short delay. The result is extreme fat stereo width, that still is completely mono compatible. On a mono signal the (subtile) delay just disappears (deleting itself) and its mono source is kept untouched. I’ve done a simple variation of this in one of the sounds I posted in the Tips&Tricks. Happy analyzing.

I agree that nito2k01’s way to express here sounds a bit arrogant.

Also the iPad mixes to mono. And maybe a lot of other mobile devices. It would be cool if Renoise fx could go mono compatible. I also never believed that mono compatibility is a problem today. But it is.

For 100% compatible use something like this:
Stereo wider mono compatible

Any ideas what stereo chorus is 100% mono compatible? Maybe a really short delay with slight pitch modulation like pro53 has inside?

This seems like the roland/boss dimension chorus type effect that Mr. Arts mentioned? I never checked it in mono but interesting that it apparently cancels.

Not chorus at all, an alternate route i took sometimes, stolen from some esq-1 patches, is fast autopan. Obviously ‘cancels’ in mono while making a wide image in stereo. But, can be surprisingly coherent. Sometimes. But, more often than I would have thought.

We can also steal from rock records. Stereotypical trick (ha?), hard panning slightly different timbres/performances like guitar recordings. Not exactly a chorus. Or, maybe more accurately, exactly a real chorus? Only a bit harder to achieve purely with sequencing? But with minimal care while mixing to check that volume doesn’t seem to ‘pile up’ in mono, works very well.

You could just skip the effects and build a panned osc patch. For synths capable of such things (renoise is?) the classic formula of one ‘bass’ osc in the center and one each +1 octave osc left and right statically detuned differently then all run through the same filter (type/settings) keeps things sounding like a single instrument. Sounds large in stereo. Makes phasey/flangy decorations over the ‘meat’ osc in mono. Of course, you could use any different variation but synth programming is a bit more controllable than an effect unit.

Wouldn’t it lose a lot of gain in mono?

Not really. It of course indeed loses the gain of the added delay. But you have to see this in relation to the source, which is way louder than the actual stereo signal. I don’t exactly remember what amount I used in the sound. But I guess it was something about -18db from the source. Maybe even less, like -24db or something like that. Don’t exactly remember and also don’t remember anymore in which sound I used it. Should be either the neuro-sound or the massive bass, I guess.