One of the many creative uses of white noise in sound design…
White noise might not seem like something you would want to add to your productions, you may want to reconsider.
There are a ton of creative uses of white noise, from sound design to aiding in the mixing process, some authentic analog emulation plugins even add a considerable amount of different types of noise in an attempt to recreate the nuances of the analog realm. It’s a feature we see on legendary synthesizers dating back to the early days, and quite arguably an intrinsic part of subtractive synthesis. However, it’s something that I feel is somewhat underutilized in modern music production and sound design.
Today’s music production tutorial deals with using white noise as an audio source in synthesis, xFer Serum really excels here as it comes with a ton of different built-in styles of noise to choose from, from digital to analog and even some foley recordings. The idea is to set up a random arpeggiator sending triggers and notes to Serum, and then have a filter that is “key-tracked” to the note input. I like to add an envelope to the filter here, and key-track the decay of the envelope, resulting in higher notes closing the decay.
You can turn this into a “synth” sound too…
To turn the white noise percussion sound that we have created into more of a synth sound, we can use a delay effect, here I like to set a very short delay time and again have the note input modulation assigned to the delay time amount. You can boost the feedback and mix to your taste, I like to modulate them to various parameters, such as note or velocity.
You’re not limited to using this technique with a random arpeggiator, in fact once you have the preset to your taste, you can save it and create more precise rhythms and patterns depending on the style of the track you’re working on. If you have a sequencer or a plugin similar to Audiomodern’s Riffer, even better!
For a full run-through of the creation process, check out the video here: