Sound FX how-to

So, on the advice of some of you esteemed fellows, I grabbed that keyboard and Reason last month. Haven’t really had too much time to play with it since I’ve been busting ass on my game, but now I’m kinda wanting to use it…

So, here’s the thing - I’ve got the keyboard, I’ve got Reason, and reason has a couple of kick-ass analog synths. But for the life of me, I can’t figure out how I would get a “laser” sound of one of them… Not the star warsy type laser, but more of an “industrial hum” kind of laser sound, suitable for a continuous beam. I’ve tried loading promising patches and then tweaking all sorts of things, playing with the pitch bender and the Sound Destroyer, etc… Can’t get something satisfying out of it.

Phil was kind enough to recommend SoundRangers.com, but their laser sounds aren’t what I am looking for, and neither are there explosions.

Now, I may just have to hire a sound guy, but I thought I could at least do the lasers myself… They should be pretty simple, right? :)

If you don’t know anything about synthesis techniques, you’re going to have a hell of a time generating good-sounding SFX like that from scratch with a single synth. You might be able to achieve better results by layering a synth waveform with samples: maybe render a slightly effected sine tone (a little flange, maybe a little distortion…?) to wav, double with a sample of crackling electricity (a la some of the stuff from Spectrasonics’ Distorted Reality libraries), maybe add some flanged or phased white noise to the beginning with a rapid attack and slightly less rapid decay to give it a little thwack at the onset…I’m not sure what Reason offers in that department, but I’m sure there’s some sort of sampler that will allow you to layer wavs to a single note.

An easier way to approach it might be to generate sounds in Reason, then render them and layer wavs in a DAW, if you have one. A lot of guys use Vegas, but I imagine you could have similar results in just about any modern platform (Sonar, Cubase, Logic, Pro Tools, etc).

Does the edition you got a hold of have the Malstrom Graintable Synth? You’re looking for the Homeworld Ion Beam noise, is my guess … something warm, relentless, perhaps with a vague hint of disrupting the very nature of reality.