Analysis of S1E12: FD – Shaping Pads

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    • #39921

      Topics: Atmospheric Samples, Audio Manipulation, Pads, PaulStretch, Sample Use

      This is FD’s second video for Season 1, and it is another working example of using tools differently then most probably think of them, specifically how he uses NI Battery as a sampler for sounds other than drums. It’s a little shorter in length (24 minutes), but concise.

      01:15 – loads up Battery to use as sampler

      01:40 – recommends thinking about the sounds you are going to use and the quality of those sounds. Pick your source sounds well, think about where you want them to fit in the mix, frequency-wise, and what space is it going to fit in the track.

      03:00 – quick mention of the importance finding the root note of the sample

      03:30 – using envelopes to shape the sound

      04:30 – demonstrates using decay & sustain to create a stabby sound vs. a smoother sound

      05:30 – demonstrates how adjusting the start point of sound playback can affect the perceived sound

      06:30 – looking at basic sampler functions; pitch and key range

      07:50 – looking at PaulStretch
      – At 10:00 shows how he often stretches a sound to fit an arrangement, e.g. stretch a sound to roughly 45 seconds, which would fit 32 bars at 172 BPM
      – States that he prefers to process the sound in DAW, so he avoids using the extra tabs of processes in PaulStretch

      11:45 – demonstrates using Ableton Live rewired in to Logic, to utilize Live’s stretch algorithm

      14:15 – moving on to sculpting the sound, utilizing modulation movement
      – At 15:30, mentions EQ setting considerations
      – At 17:15 demonstrates using an auto-filter to add movement
      – Also states that sidechaining compression is a quick way to add movement to a sound

      18:00 – states that pads are often stereo, while things like drums and bass sounds are filling up the mono field, but keep in mind control of the pads in stereo is key

      22:00 – again touches on thinking about how sounds are utilized, going in to planning how you want your track to break down in sections. Example being the modulation on the pad, automating it so the pad is utilized differently in different sections. This is to help keep the sound from being static and get dull over the course of the track.


      – The point made at 01:40 mirrors what Hybris was making in S1E11, “you want sounds to serve their purpose”.

      – The way FD utilizes Battery makes me think of how you can use the Noise OSC module in Serum as a simple sampler, and how visually easy it is to manipulate a sound using Serum’s envelopes and LFOs.

      – Different approaches to finding the root note of a sample, either using tools (Mixed In Key, maybe Rekordbox or Serato DJ?), or manually via A/B’ing against a simple synth patch playing in key. I’ve even seen using a frequency analyzer, where you find the peak of the fundamental, and then compare it to the harmonics of a saw or triangle waveform (can’t remember exactly). Something I have been working on.

      – I should be tracking how many of these tutorials utilize PaulStretch. The question becomes is it overused in drum & bass, essential, or just a nice option for sound design?

      – Need to check if Ableton Lite 9 has the same stretch algorithm, and also test out Bitwig 2.3’s new algorithms more.

      – The point FD makes about sounds being static vs. changing throughout a track, this is something I really need to work on, not only with pads, but also with bass, and maybe try to apply to drums as well.

      This finishes off my notes for all of the Season 1 episodes! I am aiming to get Season 2 notes started this week, actually need to rewatch quite a few of the videos.

      "Knowledge kept is knowledge lost." - Bobbito Garcia

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