Thursday, December 15, 2011

Audio Synthesis in Houdini

I purchased Logic Studio recently for my recording and mixing needs, and came across the synthesizers in it, learned alot about alot (ok two) of them and have fallen in love with the concept of synthesis, be it subtractive synthesization, FM and what have you. I've learnt a bit of this in school (yay engineering) applied to linear systems, and have some experience with RF modulation, but never for audio synthesis like this.

The concept of creating an initial tone, which is then filtered and passed through an envelope generator to give us a sense of articulation, sustain and delay is just... wow. I'll never listen to electronic music the same way again.

Having been doing various tutorials with Logic's ES2 synthesizer, which is a mainly a subtractive synthesizer. Whipped up this little test in Houdini's chops for giggles.

It's exactly as described above. My base tone is a Triangle wave, which seems to give a very pure tone with some harmonics. A square wave is then generated and passed to the trigger chop, which generates envelopes. (The envelope controls are surprisingly, a step ahead of the ES2's controls, including features such as interpolation type, delay *hold* length, among many others).

CHOPs node layout

Multiplying the envelope train against the triangle wave gives a psuedo wind instrument sound.

I have a copy of Andrew Lowell's Simultaneous Music, Animation, and Sound with Houdini - from years back that I did not finish. Looks like it's time to figure out how I can link my music to houdini :)

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