"Airy" Sounds

Author: Nifflas

I've experimented a lot with "airy" sounds the last days. I think most of you already know of this way of doing it, but in case you've never tried this:

Turn on only the noise generator. Lower the cutoff a bit, and set keytrack to 100%. Set filter resonance to a very high value, but not so high that it self-oscillates. You will need to tweak the second filter a little bit since you're working with noise.

And of course play around with the ADSR envelope and add some effects, etc.

If you've done it right you have a very "airy" sound now. Here are some more things you can do with it.

Use the LP/BP filter and set the BP offset to +7 (Sounds great for pads) Or why not try the sinus or waveshaper?


I've improved my "Airy Sounds" trick a little bit. Check this out if you want to know more about how to make "Airy" sounds with the Microwave XT.

If you do like the hint, please (spam spam spam) go to www.nifflas.com and download all my music ;)

Airy sounds part I

It's not easy to make the wave generators itself to sound airy, but there is one way to do it, without even using any oscillators.

Start with "Init Sound (V1.1)"

* Set Wave1 mix and Wave2 mix to 0
* Set Noise mix to 24
* Select the 24dB BP filter
* Set Cutoff to 71 and Resonance to 112
* Set Cutoff keytrack to +100%

This is a very nice starting point for making airy sounds.

Hint 1: The Dual L/BP filter, with BP offset +7 sounds really cool.
Hint 2: Always experiment with the second filter, it can often improve the sound a lot.

Airy sounds part II

One way to make airy sounds with many synthesizers is to let a noise generator frequency modulate an oscillator. However, this can not be done by using the µwave's noise generator, so let's turn Wave Generator 2 into a noise source instead.

Start with "Init Sound (V1.1)"

* Set Wave1 mix to 0 for now.
* Choose a wavetable which is harmonic rich and chaotic. Wavetable 46 "Heavy Fuzz" is just perfect.
* Tune Oscillator 2 to -3 octaves.
* Set Oscillator 2 keytrack to 0%
* Set Wave2 startwave to 31
* Set LFO1 shape to random, and speed to 127.
* Mod matrix slot 1 - Source: LFO1 Amount: +55 Destination: Wave2 Pos

This is chaotic, random waves is being picked like mad from the wavetable. However, this is not chaotic enough.

* Mod matrix slot 2 - Source: LFO1 Amount: +40 Destination: Osc2 Pitch

Now it is.

* Set Wave2 mix to 0
* Set Wave1 mix to 70
* Set Wave1 startwave to Triangle
* Set FM amount to 20

Enjoy the result. Use this as a starting point for making airy sounds.

Hint 1: Try other waves, like sawtooth, square, or waveforms from the wavetable.
Hint 2: Try other wavetables for other noise characteristics.
Hint 3: When using some wavetables you might not want LFO1 to controll both Wave2 pos and Oscillator 2 Pitch. To not consume another LFO, use Modifier Delay to delay LFO1 a little bit, and use the delayed source to controll Wave2 pos.