Synthesis is Not that Hard!
For this statement, I want to focus all arm the idea of being able to reverse engineer something because a huge part of like my my whole career is based on the idea that I can listen to a sound, listen to a song and figure out the high ideals for myself, and not not even just these days like it has been both your sound design thing that bean has made me well known and that's that's totally cool. I'm finally keep that up forever. But more recently, it's also been doubling into the idea of being able to listen to actual, different songs of different artists and be able to kind of like toe to bite their style, so to speak. And that has similar as a somewhere, a skill set as being able to sort of listen to sound design, to be able to figure it out. But for this segment, I want to sort of impart to you some way that you can learn how to do it yourself, how you could sort of learn to listen to stuff and then know how to make this stuff without trying to see if I have what tutorial about it a...
lready. So the last segment you saw, a whole bunch of how I went about deal with some stuff and, like I have opened up on the screen. The three three the most obvious sort of examples of being able to analyze with sort of special tools what a sound is doing there's a number of ways to look at for getting information and this happens to be the way the nfl does it um in other dogs there are some other kinds of ways like, I don't know I don't want to call it but it's that there's a whole vertical line thing and that zabel to the main deal and also like his plug in box in just span has that kind of idea it's free box saying joe with an ex fucks and joe it's weird but that's kind of ways well, also we were using the equalizer, which has the sort of the analysis built into it whenever we look at um it's playing something which one of these air so again, I just can't see the movement is something which is a little bit more this is sort of the recording of the and the civic it's it's tried to build the action and the same with this enables us to sort of look at if nothing else at what frequencies that things happen at what time, which is a bit of a bit of a more hard core approach to take and it's kind of a last resort because most of time when I when I listen to a sound I already sort of know the kind of direction I want to take like I listen to this guy, I'm not going to go okay? So big crunching is involved in this was because I could tell us how it sounds and this guy like I can can think of a number of whether you think ok is the fm way but then there's also that, um the just having it felt there on a square away too much and I'm not being away and, um a lot of people it's it's been interesting because I get a lot of students and they asked me, like, how is it that I can I can learn how to do this, how I get like, you know what it sounds out sounds like and if you remember from earlier today and also yesterday, we mentioned a lot about like, it was just just not really a reason why you would know that why a person would know that without essentially having all the different kinds of processes shown deal which, as it turns out of kind of with last year's were about showing you the basic idea is that after this is that, like, the huge majority of these sounds are all based on and using them as different kinds of tools tio what now? Did you have them all in your head when you kind of look at stuff and you listen to stuff you're going to look at them and hear them differently and they're going to color in the way that something is going to go out okay, I could make you think it's a way to do that now you know, even just the stuff that I showed you are obviously not all of the ways of doing things and I also do you have time to show you literally everything that we didn't really cover wave tables much, but I honestly think idea to just because of how prevalent massive is like I think I mentioned you know about about trying to do sound design based on harmer because honestly probably a lot of the people that make a lot of sad people want to make probably didn't news harmer they probably were using the regular staples of massive enough remain that kind of thing so all these work arounds and almost cheats that I'm using to use something like harmer or citrus with their very specific skill sets and abilities to do something that someone else did without that they managed to find other ways of doing that kind of stuff but you know in your own sort of quest to find out how to do that kind of thing is not necessarily is not super necessary to do with precisely the winning you did it although it is interesting to now so sort of step one, and being able to do this kind of stuff is having an understanding that the base of basic supplies its which, like I am I saying, have a a decade of mastery under your belt to just know and can think of everything because that's not even really true for me like, yeah, the decade part is true, but I'm not really I mean, I've been told by people that I know more about things that most, like actually full on successful artist do and that's because it's not really their job or their desire, I don't know what they're doing technically, they just want to make music that just want to have a good time doing that kind of stuff, and you can too he don't really need to it's just I happen to like that with that kind of stuff and it's also somewhat useful when you know you do want to know how to do something, and then you kind of I can just do it. But for the most part, producers tend like high level finished, you know, often our producer is kind of just wanted, like, I want to make a sound and just stick around to go cool sound with issues that don't they. Get caught up on the idea of what I have been using a pre set of shame about that kind of thing that just don't care, and neither do listeners that something else to be kind of kindness enough is that the only people who care that you used to preset or other producers and wow, more and more people are producing all the time it's not even that still in each thing, this is all still very niche in comparison. Just the people who just listen to music is the music that they don't care, how it was made, who made it or what it sounds like. I think there are always a bit, but sounds like you like music, but they don't no even know that's appreciate they don't know a vengeance is that I know what next is, they have no idea, no care at all, and it is vaguely elitist to think that music that did things the hard way should automatically be respected. War and that's always been true for like literally every profession, never so just in case you die vision, but um so the idea it her head it's also not that difficult to figure out the basics of what this is like it's difficult if nobody tells you anything because it's just not very intuitive it's not like fm the phase modulation how would anyone ever figure that out? You might if you could figure out that it's like you know the slope is that really the reason why I could not possibly be able that must be because of phase of that but that's like after just years and just like meditating I'm like, why does it have so weird just there's no reason why you would know that we need to know that. So now that I told you that I just take it by five years off here they like research you welcome, but same thing with less attractive and this is just like it's just you're told that it is a certain way and then it is a certain way and oh, boy leg it's so interesting case this wasn't clear, this stuff is very much a science. This is very much this is the engineering side of her being a producer, being an audio engineer, this is why it's called engineering and I'm bringing this up was a point and say, ok, this is the science because there are a lot of artists out there when you have somehow they make sounds like we'll tell you what it's better if you wear it on your own to figure it out, I'm like what whoever would say that about like math like just forget about the last the last four hundred years of research and like evolution in number theory is well around the around until you figure out high class, why would anyone think to do that? That's not no, thank you are you are told that, you know division works a certain way when that fractions work a certain way and that decimals work a certain way and then you don't need to figure it out you're just told you back in a few times and you got a lot of like, that's, how that's, how science works that's how studying engineering works is that you are told that some things work some way you could discover new things are always new thinking to be discovered and willing around your own is fine, but you need to have the basic skills to do that, and even that even those basic skills are things that have left alone that what he would never figure out because they don't make sense, I guess it's kind of bags because math makes sense, but for the most part some like sound and sound physical things that are a little counterintuitive. Um but if you just have a spot after you and you look at it, it just verify that's what's up, then it's actually not that difficult it's not like you need to spend ten years giving really good at guitar to be a master at the guitar, which is something you kind of need to do because that's how pakistan mr big works because that's that's more art, sports, music, that's more playing, playing an instrument and by playing during piano learning drums any of that kind of thing that requires drilling and to really hammer it home with you just know things in your bones, that kind of thing. First is the engineering aspect where you just kind of like that's like this here in this guy, when you see that going on that's big crushing, you just told that and now, you know, and now when you see something somewhere, you're going to think I could be big crushing and that you can hear it and you go out cats, big crunching and they, you know, it's just in your head now, and it didn't take that while I did it for a lot of you that are watching us right now, you're probably already followers of me, and so you probably have, you know, most of this, but people are totally new, totally brand new to everything that's happening right now, you've probably seen and heard more things about sound design then you thought was possible in fact, you probably learned some things now that lady you're going to use that before you saw this course you're you're you would think would take college to figure out that that you would need professor auriol lecturing for four years and go in debt toe learn and I'm not trying to be like I'm the best u forever ever saying this stuff is not that hard it's not the mystical shamanistic ce like magic that you know let's producers trying to book trying to make you think it is it's not really their fault for thinking that because maybe it was for them but for the most part not so much. So anyway, I just try to make it just right and make it not scary for you so that when you go and you do that you kind of have it in your head and then then you can listen to music more analytically and just that by itself what will help you reverse engineer thing he's just a lot easier because for the most part the sounds especially in like really poppy popular full on top level stuff like anything like katy perry level music none of that is super complicated and I don't mean that in terms of just like the musical quality, that kind of thing that the sounds that used are that are anything even approaching complicated? They're not like skrillex level super growls or not killed annoys groundbreaking massive patches they're not like some brand like nobody does anything interesting at that level it's like it's bad business to do something interesting at that level so like for the most part like especially if you're trying to be a professional like that's you don't need to go a cz faras me to even be that good to be good enough for them to want to have you produce stuff it's mostly about writing music anyway and just go and do that yourself but for what? The really complicated on the ground super like bill aimed level noisiest stuff like that the bad business is many of the sort of reverse engineer that is where, where using sort of analysis tools comes in because really handy and it's so much like listening to a sound and then being able to break down in your brain sort of all things that are happening it is really hard because without any kind of help but what you can use these guys kind of guys for is to break down sort of basic things to narrow down where you have to go just be like is it saw isn't a square is it saw harmonic content on the square home on the content if it's one of the other you start with one ok ok cool moving on is it um fm based or is it something else basic? What kind of distortion if you can even tell what kind of surgeon general is a distortion of all this noise involved like how how could I hear noise versus other things and like that kind of stuff it's the high level like high level in the sense that it's not it's very only the surface of what that sound is but the more that you can knock off the less working you to do to figure stuff out and then you have like the layers of the different pieces of work with the whatever's left is all that you have to figure out and that's a lot easier than trying to do it from total nothing in terms of sort of where to begin to break down a sound um there then uh like they said about earlier but the idea that the big crushing guy could've been really complicated filtering there is always that there's always kind of like the last resort full odd uh I could just build out of a filter kind of thing it's a lot of work and I feel like the people have done that like I've seen some sounds that were just that that there was a good cry will sound that was that three bad past thing I talked about before about the filters ending that sounded like a talk box is kind of this is somebody who I think either really loved the sound of that, which is possible, or I was just really tired of trying to get another process to do something simple, like whenever I'm doing it manually, do this ok, and then moved out with life kind of thing, um, you apart about really getting good at kind of reverse engineering is just to do with a lot on don't necessarily mean just to reverse engineer a lot, but just just just make sounds a lot to do lots of epic. I kind of try, and I was I was talking, I was talking to the guys before, before the video was talking about, like, the idea of, like, classes of sounds and the difference between tutorial content that shows you stuff like moving on here, put a level lever level thing, they're used this table and hit the go button and that's her sound and that's like you get your ones out, that's your path to get into one sound with any of you. If you can find the why the knobs made that sound the way they made it, then you learn a tree like you could go different directions to get different kind of sounds, you learn a class of sound, so the different classes of sounds could be broken up, not so much it's, not really like a uh so this is it's not about attract it's not about if that was not about additive it's about things like uh, square based like scream filter dub step bases that were on that panda eyes track kind of thing or like vocoder basis vocoder leads even booklet or anything booker sounds um or like re spaces or an entire universe of things although I honestly believe that like the term reese has been kind of bits appropriated and overuse for stuff that I would necessarily quality classify as races but that zone what that's like bordering on genre argument so I'm not gonna I'm not going to like go too far into that um then there's like even that means I mean now there's like harmer re sampled bases that I'll do all kind of sound the same would you might wonder why I haven't done a lot recently is because I sort of I haven't figured out anything new about that recently that was worth pursuing um and so if you can sort of identify classes and this is actually something that a little bit more personal for you to sort of like crosses and you can identify it sounds that you're aware exist and or like, you know, deep house plucks, you know, that's that's something like I used to think I know that is on dh let's you know, you have a kind of that that quality of sound that when you hear a version of it you're going okay it's kind of deep how's the hospital I know how to do another one that's kind of like it maybe I could start there and then kind of change it to kind of sound with this other one and and also a lot of people like to do things like take a preset and then used as a starting point and make make changes just leaving their own kind of thing and that used to be what I did like back before I really knew about so this is I would have a sound that I thought was I would hear everything was cool and then I have I would have like I would like no every single centers preset and I will try to find the one that sounded as close to that as possible and it's you know, I could take a farther I never could because I don't I was doing but that's still a better starting point in trying from like from scratch to try and do you like that especially if you don't know things because nobody would tell you anything because they're sad people how it's just a report about the analysis they don't be afraid tio especially I like the song style and genre kind of copy I don't be afraid to county people because and it is this kind of stupid saying but like you have you have to know what the rules are before you break them kind of thing on a lot of producers account like no I want to be unique I want to know I want to like you know be truly of new and improved and different for everybody that's cool that's fine but like and this also I guess has to do with it what kind of career you want because if you want to be someone who's like that totally barker's cooled different whatever then I guess you don't really need to care but I think I'm saying just do what you want if it sounds cool your good bye have fun but like if you want to have some kind of career where people actually like what you're listening like what like listen to what you're making on other than trying to be ironic than like you need to know what is good music and that is really a quantifiable thing that like he can statistically find you know based on like a certain transit styles and the idea of the four four being like the like all the songs before for the four chords that you know work very well and in fact the progressions and the tours of progressions extremely limited like we've had music for extremely long time is regionally different obviously difference in the world but there are indications take classical, western music and as far as that's gone, then, like, we have an incredible amount of history to pull from any idea what good music is in terms of what people like to listen to and also as well as engineering music, that in a way that still sounds that people won't listen to their there are rules for that. And like I said, you just don't break up because of me who doesn't want to be original, but you still need to have a starting point. And who better starting point? Is there that music that you like? Listen to your idols, listen to people that you like, listen to their music and distinct take apart, take part what they do, look at how like, how long is there intro? How? What kind of what did he even doing this transition that works so well, because for me as well, when I'm starting out transitions bridge is the hardest thing I could make, like a course I can make a verse, but then getting in between, but rather than just going into the next thing that they're making a sense introductions and then drops and stuff like, how did how builds work? Like when I first made, um, when I first started doing actual, like e m before that was a middle producer so I was a really big on battle on how that worked out and like I like drama base and so I could kind of do that but then I figured out when I forget first figure out how to do it for me what this is I went and made what I thought electro track wise and what I say when I say what I thought I mean I did precisely what I recommend people don't just say that I tried to make it from memory I didn't actually go and analyze the time arts I like like maddy in and feed me or more trust and that kind of thing and I made the base and it was it was ok exhibition of like athens this is but as a track it was bad it like didn't have the right like mix and master feel for the genre I didn't have the right organization of just structure and have anything that was a very resemble anything that kind of wass and then I realized that I was like ok I have to go actually listen to this stuff and like pay attention the men count bars and do that kind of thing and then after that I'm a base antics which was like a thousand times better then dreams of base it was made in like a two day difference because I actually went in analyze some stuff and I like to say that you know, I finished tract is just like an open book it just shows you everything that the guy did and you could look at it and it's so much easier to do something again that someone else has done that it is to do something from nothing so I mean that's, why it's always super impressive that sonny sonny moore came up with skrillex, then the scary monster that sprites stuff presumably in the vacuum that's intense because it immediately after that, everyone else is like, damn, I wanted to get that one out and they did it took a while, but not to think it's kind of down quietly and like same thing with more narrowly based stuff like we have a guy a like I don't know maybe he knows joe for but if he didn't, he heard joe for was kind like well, and then he decided to go ahead of himself and he did and like joe, but it from in a while joe ford was the ford style was considered pretty pretty unique and it was joe ford's sound design was over the last, but I think it was actually the last thing that I heard that I didn't know how to do immediately I actually had to like thank and figure out and find some weird, esoteric solution that again wasn't what he did but it's like someone else could do it now because he didn't write it but for him that must have been a holds the whole thing and he even knew that because I actually try to get him on one of my stream one time and he said that he doesn't like doing that kind of stuff because he likes to keep his secrets, which I'm not gonna progressed the guy for because he has valuable stuff you know perhaps not so much now that everyone's taking it out but back in today who's pretty important stuff are the questions I think we're good right now cool yeah I mean the u s the questions of literally anything whatsoever life from beginning to the end of anything you possibly think they asked me what's next for you in general music wise besides teaching classes? Well, uh there a lot of the kind of miscellaneous stuff but I want I want try and get into like my label fixed is kind of like they're they're getting into the stable packed game they did one with cell dweller it's kind of a lot of samples from song he's hes being that kind of thing it like it is his huge analog rack of sense and stuff and so there you go the label manager was common you should just go back to your mechanic it's good it's just to get like it's also just a great if it does business wise, because, honestly, I don't have a lot of stuff for sale. I kind of don't rely on selling things I rely on sort of odd jobs about, like doing tutorials or educate anything like something that's, this kind of stuff, but I have, like, two e piece for sale and that's that really I think I have a shirt. Passion is a hoody now, that wasn't what happened while I was here, but, um, I I'm I'm not pushing it as hard as I could in terms of trying to make my career sustainable and that's kind of interesting topic all its own, trying to make music sustainable, like I've always thought that trying to be an artist in the stage would be something that if I was the music, that flat would be way, way harder and not really as much fun as just doing what I do now, which is really just sitting around making music and figure out how to make stuff that's fucking do that for the rest of my days there totally fine with that, and I mean long story short, let's try and find as many things as you can think to do to get paid for with the skill set that you have on, so I mean, for me, that's things like you know, everyone's, so I'll deal with film score, it was everyone is allowed to use that table packs and sound designer. Maybe you came for something that just is so many more options than just making music that someone is so many skills you could have maybe also do mixing mastering the people that got people ask me every once in a while, I keep forgetting about that thing that maybe they want, and just trying to find stuff to do to be stable, because my goal in life is to not, and then it never never work a job or whatever, but just like, if my if I could be having a sustainable career doing the stuff, I like feeling that that's, how hard can you wait that life? You know? Cool. So how how do you kind of make the transition from, like you said, being a metal producer and more electronic or medium like what's, I mean, you always been kind of working with, you know, great in this type of music, and then it just became more of a business thing, or did you kind of I don't know what was what was that transition? Well, I started out being elektronik like I in two thousand four was when I first had f l and I wasn't I don't know what to make of it like I wasn't I wasn't really a hobbit that planet is kind of like I can play piano maybe I could do this and just sort of messing around with it and then around that time and they could have for two thousand five was when I first heard noise yet and that by that point I was just like all right, but I had never heard anything even close to that until you know means it could be that and that was when I was like, I need to know I need to know how to do that and, um I got really into that on drilling into german basic general and that just like I didn't know anything about heidi that again could not I just couldn't figure it out and I also at the time I did I do still now but then well, I have like I really like soundtracks for movies like I'm really into the matrix soundtrack really into that kind of break beat sort of video game like kind of like hip hop he kind of break stuff and I alone had that do that and that's more that's not release sound design any level stuff it's more just writing and drums and programming and I kind of think I got really good at that um and eventually that got to it's kind of having a guitar as a tool for that stuff for like to have, like, metal infused like big things, like I like, I like the whole, like mental orchestral music. I love that, like rap city is so good on dh like, to a certain lesser extent, late night wish that kind of that kind of stuff, but like, I really like that kind of thing, and I was not really into into metal so much until a friend of mine was like, I want to be in the metal band you could do you think you're being a little man in there, okay? And he kind of gave me a crash course on metal and give me and my suga cd he gave me, like, uh, a cannibal corpse cd, and it was kind of here's better when I was like, stuff isn't a kn, and I wasn't really into, like I'm like the stuff so much, but like I did something in a kind of lord to get into it after a while, and then to the point where I was like, full on metal like that's, what I wanted to do, I wanted to do I wasn't the periphery, but still had them into perfect by would scare periphery, and bravery is a self produced thing like this guy misha mentor had written all the reason originally and then has made by himself with himself in superior jammer made instrumental that were just so good that a label like camera handles like need to build a band around this I think the simpler than what has happened but like he I essentially want to be him I want to be the guy that, like could engineer everything so hard that he just created industries around him and, like that's kind of. And then he also helped out toes about c make the first animals leaders album and the third able to see his album, which is why the second animals leaders out one so great because mission mission man so I wasn't there to rein in his crazy newly talent that's toes in boston for you, but, um and that was that was that gets that was his recent as four years ago where that was what I was doing and, um around that time was when I discovered harmer. And that was when I think how I could do harm a resembling to make sounds that sounded like the kind of noisy it sounds like I always want to make and which really kind of screwed me up in my in my own my own education and learning how to do that kind of stuff because that's one of those weird like solutions to things that wasn't even close to what they had done to make a similar sounds and later you know what? Once I figured out like, you know, filters, I realized I didn't need to do that, but because I didn't know who filled this very well and I knew that this day work a little bit I went hard I'm like the harmony sampling thing and because however was new admits this was new and there is no way that worked like that, that and the being beginning of my actual career in terms of the system, once I realized that like this had power and that I could kind of roll with this, I want more into it and appreciate after I learned fm and then bass antics and they're from that that was around when I had acted start doing my first tutorials and they realized that man, this stuff is kind of jokes and with my band because at this point I have been in my band for two years and I joked that like, I'm going to make this one song I make based addicts and it's gonna be more popular than anything we've ever done and it was and I'm like this is funny how about how big the seamless stuff is versus lee, the band that I've been in for four years now and it's just it's a little funny, but we may be know thatcause battle isn't this popular as trying stuff is so it's not to be expected, but because even with the metal stuff I didn't really want to be in a band and touring and the being a performer I wanted to be the engineer I wanted to be the recording engineer I wanted to record metal bands and be the guy that made it possible for other people to do the what they would do and also even then I was kind of I was a shooting like the whole traditional sixty dollars an hour, you know, eight thousand dollars out on album kind of things being like no look, we live in the future, it doesn't cost this much to do that stuff anymore. We don't need a billion channel desk toe mix a drummer thank you don't need that stuff we can do this on the fly and also good because my whole my life, my study on this was mission man sort in periphery and using fake drugs and it sounds good it cz good stuff and like this for last season can be thrown around about that kind of stuff, but even that and I was still trying to like make things easier for people and that's still kind of what I want to do in the drive for all that is just that I really don't want technical limitations to be why people can't make it is they want to make and because it's all right it's always the way it's been for me you know the reason why I wasn't doing crazy or your stuff back in two days because the agents have technical expertise to figure that out and that's a bummer. And so for me, the future is I I have my studio and I just make oh, but you're weird music and people paying to so that's why I'm so a few years ago you said you collaborated with bt how did that come about? And why? Who reached out to california story about that so a while ago or even now I don't know there's a group called I feed I f e how I f f e stands for something kind of craft, so I'm not going to say what it means, but there is this guy in a named conrad, and he has a reputation for being kind of a dick and and like not even like just being looking being mean like full on like theft of like presets and sounds and like misrepresentation is lying about his ability and whatever, so he was doing a collaboration with a fiver fechtel a five rectal being two producers who are close to bt I think they're being mentored by beatty or something and they were given in collaboration with them. I realized something that and the conrad used one of my sound because I had at this point I had made a sable back and it's for sale on black black heart, plus he's, one of those sounds and a fire. In fact, they were just like what was really cool sound had to make it. And, like he tried to pass, that was being one of his sounds. But then, like when he was asked to re created, he absolutely could not. So then he told them that I was actually mine. And then they found out about me and they went and found my youtube channel and started looking out, stuffing, going a little haul and then the show. Beatty beatty was impressed, and he reached out to me through toby. And I don't know who beat iwas because I know anybody is, but I know who he was. And when I finally find out like how big he was, I was like, what? What is happening with my life? And he was cosby who beat his whole thing. Is that he's always doing a billion things with a billion people and he's all about, like, whenever he sees something new, he just goes to the source and learns what it is. So that's, what he did with me. He thought he saw that I was doing this harmer stuff, that it's a decision with the studio, and he wanted that everything good about that on. So he found me, and we didn't collaboration, and that he had just finished doing a collaboration with savant like that. He went and found me and that's, pretty much how that worked out. I'm sure he's found, like nine or ten more people, since that do equally and interesting things to him. And now he's, like playing an orchestra with his his album in march. So he does kind of guy works.