Noises To Voices


Today I have captured the mechanical noise generated by a free plugin called Vinyl by iZotope and turned it into an atmospheric Kontakt instrument that can suit many styles of music, film scores, and video games. The most significant process is filtering. Since the raw material is so noisy, you can subtract a lot of content without weakening the sound; and, with a few resonant bands, you have yourself a tone. Furthermore, this sort of processing often leads to vocal sounding timbres because it emulates characteristic resonances called formants found in the vocal tract.


~ Raw Material


~Distant Choir PATCH


~ Dark Ambiance




The first thing I did was load an instance of Vinyl onto the Master. The “Noise” parameters of the plugin generate noise constantly, even when playback is stopped. So, all you have to do to capture the sound is open the Lumit freeze dialogue and freeze any portion of the master track to a new track. I tuned the noise parameters to a mix that I liked and captured it for 8 bars (the “Raw Material” above).




1.Stretch, Pitch, Gain, Fades.


Secondly, I stretched those eight bars of noise into 16 bars of noise. Essentially, the sample plays at half the speed now. I also transposed the pitch of the sample down a 5th (-7 semitones) and added about 20 dB of gain. This is one process in sound design where a higher noise floor is actually better. This is because it prevents the sound from losing power after filtering and gives you more possible tones to emphasize.


~ With DSP


2. EQ, Reverb, Imaging


As you may have guessed, FX are pretty important here. In fact, most of what you’re hearing in the final product is the results of the FX – as if they were generating the sound. I used the Lumit EQ to drop the low shelf a little and emphasize some harmonic tones using the parametric filters. This can be done by ear. Or, if you know the fundamental frequency of the sample, you can multiply that by whole numbers to find the location of harmonic content.

You will need at least 7 seconds of decay on the reverb to emulate a convincingly large space. Accordingly, this effect will be applied to the sample. I chose to use Valhalla Room. It is a great sounding, easy to use, and affordable plugin. I also used the S1 Imager from Waves on a parallel track.




~ Sample with DSP and FX


3. Export and Import into Kontakt




  • EQ and Formant Filter
  • More reverb (less decay this time, just enough to blend melodic lines from note to note).


~ Re-sampled, formant filtered, and played with MIDI keyboard