Last month we kicked off our new video tutorial series Sound Alchemy with Ableton Live featuring Dubspot instructor, composer, and producer Raz Mesinai. In this series, Raz creates Effect and Instrument Racks in Live, taking inspiration from natural sonic phenomena. If you missed the first episode on the Singing Dunes, check it out here. In this second installment of Sound Alchemy, Raz exposes us to another world of amazing sound possibilities by showing how to create an advanced Instrument Rack inspired by overtone singing (also known as throat singing or harmonic singing).
Harmonic singing is a great source of inspiration for a tutorial on synthesis, because the way a synth works is very similar to how the voice works.
When we sing we generate a note and push it out through our lungs, just like an oscillator generating a sine wave routed to the amplifier of a synth. We can also modulate the voice with filter or pitch effects, just like using an LFO to control parameters in a synth, or generate noise by adding hiss, our voice’s version of white noise.
To some, harmonic singing may seem ‘other worldly,’ mainly because specific frequencies normally suppressed in the voice are amplified in harmonic singing and because the mechanics of performing this style require learning a particular vocalizing ability.
In this sound design example, rather than hearing harmonic singing as being something mysterious and exotic simply because it is somewhat foreign to the Western ear, I’ve tried to create an Instrument Rack in Ableton Live focused on how the mechanics of harmonic singing works, boosting certain frequencies and widening the resonance. – Raz Mesinai
Related Dubspot Courses:
After completing this program, you will leave with 4 completed tracks (EP), a remix entered in an active contest, a scored commercial to widen your scope, and the Dubspot Producer’s Certificate in Ableton Live.
- Ableton Live Level 1: Shake Hands with Live
- Ableton Live Level 2: Completing Your First Track
- Ableton Live Level 3: Production Essentials
- Ableton Live Level 4: Sound Design & Instrumentation
- Ableton Live Level 5: Advanced Composition & Production
- Ableton Live Level 6: Taking Your EP Global
“So far the experience through Dubspot is incredible, and I can’t wait to go through the next levels. It’s just getting better each week, and I can not wait to start putting an EP together, not just being able to put a successful track together!” - Dan Carter, United Kingdom
Become fluent in the language of sound design with this comprehensive program. Our six-level Sound Design program uses Native Instruments’ Komplete as a platform for learning synthesis and sampling techniques. Starting with an introduction to the properties of sound, this comprehensive series of courses covers most common synthesis methods available for music production in the DAW of your choice.
Discovering the right sound is like finding a needle in the digital haystack. Learn the fundamentals to make this easier, and gain the depth of knowledge to make a good sound better. Factory content is great, but everyone has it – your mix needs something special.
Sound Design Level 1: Introduction to Komplete 8
Sound Design Level 2: Synthesis with Massive, FM8 and Absynth
Sound Design Level 3: Sampling with Kontakt and Battery
Sound Design Level 4: Advanced Sound Design
Sound Design Level 5: Reaktor Ensembles and Instruments
Sound Design Level 6: Reaktor Programming
Start dates and information about payment plans can be found here.
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