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Triggering secondary sounds

Discussion in 'Recording' started by Barkingdogstudios, Dec 19, 2003.

  1. Barkingdogstudios

    Barkingdogstudios Active Member

    Oct 29, 2003
    I have heard on a couple occasions of engineers using one instrument to trigger a sound generated from another electronically. For example, a gate would be "attached" to a kick drum, a synth holding a very low note (40 or 50 Hz) would be triggered when the kick gate would open giving a "sub" note to the mix whenever it is struck.

    I understand the theory, I just am not sure how to "wire" that sort of a setup. I'm guessing you would need a gate that has two channels plus the capability of "coupling" so that the gate opened by the input on channel A would also open the gate on channel B (assuming the input on channel B wasn't loud enough to open the gate on it's own).

    Can somebody clarify the practical application of this method? Thanks!
  2. teleharmonic

    teleharmonic Guest

    hey BD,

    What you require is a single gate with something called a 'sidechain'. What the sidechain does is it allows the gate to be triggered/controlled by a signal other than the source signal plugged into the gate.

    So... for the kick drum example:

    1) you plug your synthesizer playing the continuous low tone into the input of the gate
    2) you plug the output of your kick drum track into the gate's sidechain input
    3) play with the gate thresehold, attack and release until you get the effect you are after

    The gate will not look to the synthesizer for trigger information... it will look at the kick drum coming in through the sidechain. The gate will open when the kick hits and will let the synth tone flow through only on those hits.

  3. AudioGaff

    AudioGaff Distinguished Member

    Feb 23, 2001
    Silicon Valley
    In addition to the kick, this can be also be done on the snare where a white noise source is in addition or replaces the synth oscillator.

    I do this all the time using one of my own custom written algorithms in my Eventide. I also get to add reverb, delay/echo, compression, eq, pitchshifting, auto panning, white noise and bit reduction all at the same time.
  4. teleharmonic

    teleharmonic Guest

    well... more IS more better. :)

    i'd love to hear those auto-panned, pitch shifted, delayed, white noise snare tracks of yours...
  5. e-cue

    e-cue Active Member

    Oct 5, 2000
    This can also be done without the use of a gate with a key input, although it might take a bit longer if you are used to doing it. There are several other units (Forat F16, SDE3000, AMS DMX, etc) that can facilitate the same results.

    For example, on the TC 2290.
    #1 Press SAMPLE (to enable sample mode)
    #2 Feed the tone into the unit you wish to trigger (or hell, use a drum sample you like- that's what most people do when they do this, but you could also do it with the flat tone you mentioned)
    #3 Press KEY A (led will be lit) to enable recording.
    #4 The delay display will show 2.81 (meaning 2810 ms) with is the rear point of your sample. Some of the 2290's have a sample upgrade and you can increase the recording time by pressing UP or DOWN.
    #5 Press KEY B and the display will show .01 (15 ms) which is the start of the recording. (There's a 15 millisecond prerecord in the 2290 to prevent clipping the beginning of the sample- cool thinking on TC Elect eh?)
    #6 Press LEARN and the unit will make a recording or if you want the unit to trigger it's recording by seeing audio input press DYN MOD. You can set the threshold for this in the SPEC NO 30.

    To edit the sample
    #1 Press KEY B to access the start of the sample. Press the "Up" or "Down" button so you can input numbers in the 'delay' window. Press 400 enter, and you sample will start at 400ms. Press the learn key to play to sample and find the correct start point.
    #2 Press KEY B to access the rear point of the sample. Press the "Up" or "Down" button so you can input numbers in the 'delay' window. Press 4000 enter, and you sample will end at 4000ms. Press the learn key to play to sample and find the correct end point.

    Now, if you want to trigger the unit, "Learn" obviously will do it manually. Or press DYN MOD. Now, if you use the trigger input, you won't hear any of the OG signal, which is usually what you want.

    So, basically, you'll probably want to use a gate after all this to get the correct tail on the end of your tone that you send into the unit.

    Different roads, same destination.

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