September 5th, 2020

This is a sci-fi ambient drone sound I made. It's Creative Commons CC0, so please treat it as public domain. You can use it in any commercial or non-commercial media for free, no restrictions.

For those curious how I made this, I took a quick 8-second drum loop from my Pocket Operator PO-33 (KO) and ran it through a free time-stretching/pitch-shifting program called Akaizer. The program's based on old samplers like the Akai S1000 that had extremely artifact-heavy time-stretching and pitch-shifting features. If you slow a sound down enough, the final product tends to sound harsh and electric. Akaizer turned my 8-second drum loop into 2 minutes and 38 seconds of harsh, bassy noise, pretty damn close to the final.

Then I imported the file (we'll call it File A) into Reaper, my DAW.

Track 1 has ReaEQ with a high-shelf acting like a low-pass. Its curve is set at 1386.2 hz, gain at -inf, and bandwidth at 2. In retrospect, I have no idea why I didn't use a low-pass.

Track 1 has a send to a blank Track 2, which has a Fab-filter Pro-Q 3 high-pass filter with a 12db slope. It's at 320.57hz, Q is 1.096. After the EQ, Track 2 has Valhalla Shimmer set to the Black Hole preset with no changes.

Track 3 is the default File A with Valhalla Shimmer on the Black Hole setting, but with two tweaks. Low-cut is at 30hz, high-cut is at 6630hz. Everything else is the same. That's followed by Fab-filter Pro-Q 3 with these EQ settings:

-0.72db at 69.463hz, Q at 1.007

-1.11db at 536.64hz, Q at 1.013, dynamic EQ (click "make dynamic" and leave everything as-is).The point of this dynamic EQ is to give a slight drop in gain in the 500hz region, which tends to get muddy in larger mixes. I wasn't sure if I'd use this for a larger project, and I didn't want build-up in that region from the already large-sounding Track 1 and 2. The ocassional EQ drops here also adds a warble to the final mix that helps sell an analog, electrical sound.

+0.85db at 3697.3hz, Q at 1.009. This is to add subtle airiness to the drone. It seems weird to have "airiness" in the 3-4k region, but it's the sort of rumbliness of the sound traveling away and dissipating in the atmosphere after the lowest drone sounds.

My volume fader settings for all 3 tracks:

Track 1: -8.59 db
Track 2: -6.46 db
Track 3: -6.43 db

On my Master Bus, I have Izotope Imager 9 with these settings:

Band 1: Width at -100 (mono) for 59hz and below

Band 2: Nothing at 60hz to 525hz (width at 0)

Band 3: Width at 48.1 for 526 to 1.4khz

Band 4: Width at 49.4 at 1.4khz and above

Stereoize is set to 6.4ms on Mode I

And that's it! No compressors or limiters anywhere, since I liked how dynamic the actual tracks were and I figure you can always add your own compressor or limiter to the final if you want.

I've also added the original PO-33 drum loop on my page, as well as the loop after it was run through Akaizer but before it hit Reaper in case you want to do your own processing.

Enjoy :)


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