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Noobie
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Joined: 09/12/2015 - 08:36
How do advanced Caustic users make ambient or drone sounds without using the sequencer?

I'm sorry if I am asking an excessively obvious question to seasoned Caustic users. I am interested in making ambient/ chillout/ downtempo music and there are beautiful examples by Nishit, Wardini, Pan65, and Willy3k that I have come across in the forum. I am amazed by the quality of the craftsmanship (of the musicians, and of the maker of this incredible software). 

But I am mystified by one very beautiful track - frozen trees, by Willy3k. It does not use the sequencer, and I cannot make sense of the available caustic file. (I am very much aware that I still need several intermediate steps before even coming close that level). Wardini also uses the same 'structure' to make a Lord of the Ring' inspired track - I forgot the title. 

Can anyone kindly give me some pointers - what kind of automation, or some other form of routing that allows for these lush and complex layering of sounds? More specifically, how is this 'sequencer-less' music produced? 

Thank you in advance.

 

wardini
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Joined: 07/13/2012 - 17:13
Hi Noobie

Hi Noobie

to see how this works; start a new song, Load a synth and go to the sequencer. switch to song mode using the button at the bottom middle. now, In the upper left hand corner click the button and you will go to the synth you loaded 'non pattern track' or piano roll mode . ( I always think of it as a level that lives underneath the patterns) Tap a note and slide it out several/many beats to the left. Now hit play. Instead of being limited to bars as chunks of time this method makes it so you can have a note or a group of notes last as long as you want and then have it evolve with filters and effects.  There used to be a video on how to do this but I can't find it right now. I am not advanced but i  have learned the most about Caustic by looking at the files of others and then 'deconstructing' and learning what their techniques are. Not to copy but i think when you take something apart you begin to see how to put something together for your self the way you want.  You are welcome to look at this file of mine and see how i did it (after looking at Willy3k's file wink).

http://www.singlecellsoftware.com/sites/default/files/songs/NOIRINAN.cau...

Noobie
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Joined: 09/12/2015 - 08:36
Thanks a lot for your quick

Thanks a lot for your quick reply. I am not sure I "get" everything, but I will try to find out these less obvious dimensions of this wonderful app tonight. I'll probably bother you (and others) with more questions, and thank you in advance for your kind help.

PhantomSignal
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Joined: 11/06/2014 - 15:53
Note that you can also use

Note that you can also use the sequencer in piano roll mode and therefore no patterns would show up in the sequencer but individual instruments may have notes played into the sequencer through the piano roll. Again, when this happens, the sequencer appears empty unless you switch it to instrument mode and look for the individual notes played into the sequencers piano roll. 

Also, some really great tutorials on youtube from a basic orientation to delving deeply into the individual instruments and functions. Worth checking out even if you are familiar with other DAWs.

--PS--

AndyZamoron
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Joined: 05/22/2014 - 12:54
You could use modular. A

You could use modular. A mini LFO, noise generator,.....screw it. I'll justshow you what I mean. Adjusting the semi & cents is where the ambient sound is finely tuned to not be lost in the final track. Play around with all of the knobs & flipside wires.

Hopefully, this is what you meant by ambient sounds without the sequencer?

The opening sound in this track is mini LFO feedback.

Caustic Song file (optional): 

paulovski
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Joined: 09/19/2012 - 06:13
If you use the modsynth for

If you use the modsynth for drones (it's pretty good for them), you don't need any notes at all. Just don't use any envelopes, which aren't much use for drones anyway, and use a volume control to bring the sound up and down.

Noobie
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Joined: 09/12/2015 - 08:36
Guys thanks a lot. I just

Guys thanks a lot. I just found out how much I don't know!

@ Wardini & PhantomSignal - I found out the piano roll mode in the sequencer and this goes a long way in explaining what I was not being able to figure out. 

@ AndyZamoron & Paulovski - modular is still one level beyond where I am now, and I am going to look at the available video tutorials ASAP.

If there are links to the older videos (Caustic 1 and 2) which are apparently simpler tutorials, please let me know, can't find anything except caustic 3 tuts.

Thanks again.  

wardini
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Joined: 07/13/2012 - 17:13
quick search found these for

coolquick search found these for you Noobie, hope it helps:

Rej explains it best

It's not really mentioned in the tuts, but there is also a more classic full-length piano roll in the sequencer for stuff that doesn't fit into 8 bars. Just tap the button in the top-left of the song sequencer until it becomes a piano. From there you can select which machine you're viewing using the selector box. To record into that machine, make sure you're in song mode, and very importantly make sure your grid setting is set to the desired quantizations length (it defaults to big (1-bar) values and that's probably not what you want for recording.), then you hit record and plug away.

Ambient/Noise atmospheres on Caustic Synth [Android App] + Silicon Fuzz,Tape Echo & Loop Station

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fpr8-Eic2T4

LINK to pdf Manual

excellent ambient sound pack by Jason

https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.eipstudiosohio.ambientpro

lots of docs

http://www.singlecellsoftware.com/documentation

Noobie
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Joined: 09/12/2015 - 08:36
Thanks a lot Wardini, will

Thanks a lot Wardini, will studiously go through these! smiley

I was actually listening to Noirinan and 'deconstructing' it. It is beautiful - darker than LOTR or its cinematic prequel. Reminds me of the dark tragedies that Tolkien imagined in that vast universe of his. At times it is closer to SciFi, but the creation of a particular mood is strong. Hope to be able to post something as good in the foreseeable future.

 

Jason
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Joined: 03/23/2012 - 21:32
Let's take it up a notch:

Let's take it up a notch, if you want living breathing sounds:

http://youtu.be/om7dj_Q7tl0

https://youtu.be/NSZsgmuIM9o

Funzerkerr
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Joined: 10/16/2018 - 12:17
Does the trick still works

Does the trick still works with in Caustic 3.2?
The one described as piano roll in sequencer? Because now we have piano roll there without longpressing anything.
Also for dark drone/ambient patterns sometimes seems to be too short. Basically: how can I make dark ambient music in Caustic 3.2? Can you share any caustic proj so I can try to reconstruct it?

Many thx!

paulovski
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Joined: 09/19/2012 - 06:13
You could have a look at this

You could have a look at this one. There's no sequencing. Having to keep pressing that play button was getting on my nerves.

http://www.singlecellsoftware.com/node/12171

Funzerkerr
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Joined: 10/16/2018 - 12:17
@paulovski thank you very

@paulovski thank you very much for your response. I tried it but I don’t understand it. I mean I don't know how can that project help me in my dark drone music. Can I ask you for a bit more in-deep explanation? I will really appreciate it.

This is a track I created with audacity (only).

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CpP_AAvZ_Sk&t=17s

This is how I work now (using Audacity): samples only, stretch them, change pitch, add reverb, distortion ect. Usually I record my own samples (field recording is a big thing in dark drone/ambient) or take some from freesound.org and then change them with those FX. Audacity have a “timetable” don’t have any sequencing, it allows advanced cropping/editing waveforms of my samples witch is very useful.

Now I am thinking: I have that caustic app on my phone. Maybe I can use it to create my music on phone, also allowing me to spend more time on it when I don’t have an access to desktop.

 

Causitc have PCMSynth, so I can play my pre-made samples using piano roll. Caustic have really nice waveform editor with various FX to add to new samples created there. It also have that Modulator Synth and I need to make myself more familiar with it. Only thing that I miss is something replacing “timetable” feature from programs like Audacity, Audition or Reaper. When I want to make an pattern in PCMSynth using quite long sample (attack, release in envelope or fade in/out, plus maybe some echo FX), that pattern length is too short and just “cut” my sound. Is there any way to work around that?

I also wish to know:

  • is there any way to record a bit of your Generation.caustic and then use it as a sample (using Caustic)
  • is there any way to record what I am playing on piano roll without (pattern) sequencer and then use it as a sample. As far as I know rec button in caustic is dedicated to automation process (I’m not familiar with it yet, still watching tuts on YT)

If you guys can give me some guidance that will be great!

paulovski
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Joined: 09/19/2012 - 06:13
I'm using a modular setup,

I'm using a modular setup, there, with no volume envelopes, They don't need notes, so there's nothing in the sequencer. If you place an empty pattern in the sequencer, and stretch it out, then you can export the song as a wav file. That's how to get samples out of Caustic.

The sequencer has a piano roll, where you can write notes as long as you like. The PCMs don't have very long envelope stages. You might want to use auromation instead.

Hope that helps

SToons Music
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Joined: 03/01/2018 - 02:48
@Funzerkerr

@Funzerkerr

Just threw this up (unintended but amusing pun, I'll leave it there).

You may find it interesting.

http://www.singlecellsoftware.com/node/17819

Funzerkerr
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Joined: 10/16/2018 - 12:17
Hey guys is there any way of

Hey guys is there any way of creating Granulator (granular synthesis) on Caustic (PCM Synth?)?

anickt
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Joined: 08/16/2014 - 20:32
Both sequences and non

Both sequences and non-sequenced

Caustic Song file (optional): 

anickt

Funzerkerr
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Joined: 10/16/2018 - 12:17
@anickt Can you explain how

@anickt Can you explain how it works, or which other components I need to be familiar with to understand your project? Also how it can be controlled. 

You see I am not experienced in Caustic. I made a couple of samples with it, used automation watched all tutorials made by Rej on Youtube. But thats it.

I was advised granulators are good for creating drones. So I tough maybe I can load a different samples into PCMSynth and then MAYBE there is a way to connect it to some kind of "granulator" I wish to use PCMSynth because with using external samples possibilities are unlimited. Other synths like Sub Synth have their, still big, but limited range of sounds to work with (limited to sounds been possible to generate by an instrument). 

So can this project be modified to use PCMSynth? 

I would love to have a tool that I can use for very long time for various projects and for a lot of songs. Something universal and ultimate.

anickt
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Joined: 08/16/2014 - 20:32
Just tweak things and see

Just tweak things and see what you get. There’s no right or wrong way. Get creative. If you use PCMSynth just put the longest samples it will take (I forget what the max is) in it with slow attacks and long decays and overlap things. Use delays and reverbs. 

anickt

SToons Music
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Joined: 03/01/2018 - 02:48
You need to understand the

You need to understand the basic functions of each synth better and learn to use randomization.

For example, note this file doesnt even use a sequencer nor is there a single change of patterns. Yet it never repeats the same way ever. I can actually just sit here with a beer or coffee and listen to this for a half hour. I just life atmospheric textures as you can likely tell. If you can learn to control the individual elements and yet set them up that they constantly shift and evolve I think you'll be happier.

I'll get back on my Atmosphere101 stuff soon, I get musically sidetracked very easily, sorry.

Caustic Song file (optional): 

SToons Music
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Joined: 03/01/2018 - 02:48
P.S what type of computer/tab

P.S what type of computer/tab/phone/OS? I'll fill you in on granular synthesis.... but ... It wont change ANYTHING except to add one flavor to the many dozens already available. No brand of hammer will ever build you a house. You need to know how to USE a hammer to build a house.

Funzerkerr
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Joined: 10/16/2018 - 12:17
Thank you both. I use Caustic

Thank you both. I use Caustic on my smartphone. On top of that I use 8gb ram laptop with Windows running Reaper and Adobe Audition.
So how can I better understand caustic synths? Maybe you know some decent tutorials on yt? As I said I already watched all tutorials by Rej. Modulation is still kind of a mystery. Probably I need to watch it few more times. English is not my motherlanguage and that does not help. But hey ho I want to learn more and have strong willpower.
I also don't have any musical background or school/course. Many years ago I used to work as radio reporter and I thats how I get some basics about sound/mixing/mastering ect.
To be honest I usually go through most of this community tips and tricks and trying to figure out how your projects works but I do believe I understand maybe half of it.
Any advice?

SToons Music
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Joined: 03/01/2018 - 02:48
"Any advice?"

"Any advice?"

Tons... too much lol. Let's start here to give me a feel for where your knowledge is - there are two Modsynths in the included file (they were some of the first I ever did so I probably could optimize them but forget that for now).

One produces a bunch of noise which you'll soon discover will be a crucial building block.

The second one Filters the noise so you can shape it. Noise can sound like wind, water, surf or waves, alien atmospheres, the cabin of an airplane, percussion, breathing... very versatile sound. Load the file and go to the NoiseFlt modsynth. Play around with the Cutoff and Rate knobs to get a feel for what they do then we'll go from there. If you have questions we'll address those and if this is too simple we'll move on.

Caustic Song file (optional): 

SToons Music
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Joined: 03/01/2018 - 02:48
A little something to help,

A little something to help, here:

http://www.singlecellsoftware.com/node/17848

SToons Music
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Joined: 03/01/2018 - 02:48
Here's another cool dark one.

Here's another cool dark one. We can dissect it later but for now it's just a bunch of different sounds to analyze that sound fairly good together. It's fun to mix and match combinations. You can also un-mute the Beatbox tracks to add rhythm if desired.

Caustic Song file (optional): 

anickt
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Joined: 08/16/2014 - 20:32
Just get in and get your

Just get in and get your hands dirty. The Caustic tutorials are great and should teach you a lot about basic synthesis and the use of the Caustic machines. Watch each one with Caustic in front of you and try out the things he is showing. Bottom line is, you don’t learn how to ride a bike from watching tutorials. You have to get out and ride. Start out slow and as you build your foundation of knowledge the things you do will get more complex.

anickt

Amel
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Joined: 02/21/2015 - 10:00
There is too many good

There is too many good advices here, so I will add a basic ones. Padsynth is the key to create a powerful drones. You will essentially need two padsynths and you will need a filter because padsynths don't have their own filter. Smart way to do it is to send two padsyinths in a modular. Then send those two in to a modular mixer. Use mixer that has no modulation input. Send a mixer in to a low pass and high pass filter, add a second mixer, send that mixer in to a pan module. In pad processing, you will need some time to get good sounds. The wise thing to do is to start from the highest frequency and go lower adding a low end bit by bit to get a feeling how your sound actually sounds in space. There are two types of pad processing. Sampling over the whole octave. Sampling over the all octaves.
The sampling over the whole octave is good for static pads
Sampling over all octaves gives you more traditional pads.
Place a note on the one key in each octave.Place them in a same key to get harmonics. Or use Melody helpers to work with a different range of frequencys. Padsynth in caustic doesn't have a polyphonic clock, so this instrument is paraphonic. Paraphonic syinth requires also an parametric EQ to work smother, so add a parametric EQ under each padsynth so you can remove unwanted frequencys.

Good luck :)

Funzerkerr
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Joined: 10/16/2018 - 12:17
Since now on I should call

Since now on I should call you the Mentor. I am trying to understand the first project. I see how general structure works. I can see how filter modsynth works but your noise gen with all those components and connections looks complex. I will go for another run with Rej's tut about modsynth to remember how those components looks like so I will not being confused and try to guess next time I will open that project. You are great help! If I will have some questions I will ask them.l and then I will go for sec project.

Funzerkerr
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Joined: 10/16/2018 - 12:17
Big thanks everyone. I am

Big thanks everyone. I am going through all those brilliant advices and trying them out.

Funzerkerr
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Joined: 10/16/2018 - 12:17
@Amel can you please create

@Amel can you please create project file as you described? I tried to make one but it doesent work as you described. I want to compare them to see where I made a mistake.

Amel
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Joined: 02/21/2015 - 10:00
There you go :)

There you go :)

Caustic Song file (optional):