How to create Formant-like sounds without a Formant Filter
Today’s music production tutorial deals with creating Formant-like sounds in a plugin that doesn’t have a dedicated Formant Filter.
One thing that newcomers to u-he’s Hive 2 might be underwhelmed by is the lack of dedicated formant filter types – however, the versatility of the filters alongside the awesome routing capabilities within the plugin makes it so that you don’t actually need tons of different dedicated filter types.
Most of the advanced filters in plugins these days, are just combinations of traditional filter types, sometimes stacks of traditional filters and sometimes a combination of filters and effects modules.
While having hundreds of different filter types at your disposal is a good thing, being able to achieve very similar results through tricky routing and modulation allows the space to create something unique almost every single time – because there are so many variables at play.
A more practical example…
Today we’re recreating a traditional plucky formant sounds, using a stack of band-pass filters. The idea is to have them slightly offset from each other, therefore resulting in two resonant peaks – which you then modulate.
You can run the two filters in series (one into the other) or parallel (same source running to both), both give different results – the former being a sharper tone while the latter results in a cleaner, more vocal tone.
This sound uses a simple saw wave, however, you can use various sources for a variety of results. When the resonance on the filter is turned really high and the amp envelope’s decay and sustain turn down, you get very nice plucky, resonant tones that when running through a delay and some reverb can create atmosphere for a variety of different musical applications.
To create a ton of variations on this, I like to use a Random to modulate both filters, and then Hive’s Shape module to generate exact values and randomly cycle between those, set that to modulate the decay of the amp envelope and then render out a long segment (without the delay and reverb). Then cherry-pick the best sounding parts from the result.
For an in-depth walkthrough, check out the video tutorial here: