The loud sound of a (I presumed) circular saw, cutting some metallic item somewhere in my neighbourhood, was the inspiration for these two unstable, evolving pads.
I thought the sound source was interesting enough to justify an attempt to record and turn that into something playable, but retaining the unmistakable quality of a work power tool.
Therefore, I stood at the entrance of my house, holding my Zoom H1N up in the air, and captured the sound mayhem. I then opened RX, de-noised what I recorded, and looked for the fundamental harmonic, but also included all of the other higher harmonics, as well. Everything else was discarded.
I separated what I obtained into two chunks that are the basis for the two patches included in this pack, applied a bit of EQ to bring out the bits I believed sounded more interesting, compressed and applied a bit of Soundtoys Microshift, to detune the already detuned sound even more. Last, a bit of modulated reverb and delay to add more space and width.
The result is a certain amount of instability and evolution, resulting from the tool itself plus the processing, so do not be afraid to distort and saturate the sounds as you see fit.
Reviews for Circular Saw
Leave a review to let others know what you thought of the instrument!
Lovely! In two very different directions... (And it isn't very often that I say this!)
As often happens on Pianobook.co.uk, the name of the Sample Pack (or Virtual Instrument) is not always a good guide to the actual sound itself. This is a perfect example of that, and a perfect example of immense editing/processing skill in operation, which is immediately apparent when you audition the two sounds...
Evo1 is melancholic, wistful, regretfull and a whole host of other evocative words. I loved it, whilst at the same time hating its powerful influence on my emotions. This doesn't happen often, and rare magic like this needs to be encouraged and utilised!
Evo2 is a startling experience after Evo1. It is slow, nasty, unsettling: a tearing evolving morphing sound that evokes the name, but at the same time is way beyond a mere sample of a circular saw. Almost a diametric opposite of Evo1, it is spectacularly complex and involving. This time, I loathed and adored it in different ways for different reasons. There's a huge amount of compositional skill being revealed here, and just in a timbre!
The invitation to distort and saturate is interesting, because that's exactly what I do with my Spitfire BBCSO Discover sounds - but for them I have got very used to adding just a little bit of edginess - the review in my blog tells more... But Evo1 and 2 work nicely with rather more 'umph' than I generally use, and it became rather addictive. Welcome to the darker side!
I can't help my nit-picking mind, so here are a few fixes for the XML...
- The slashes are wrong in the background graphics path. Change them to:
and all will be well. (This may be OS-dependent)
- The mapping of the Mod Wheel to the 'Tone' cutoff-frequency for the Low-Pass Filter is broken - the line should look like this:
binding level="ui" type="control" position="2" parameter="value" translation="linear" translationOutputMin="0" translationOutputMax="1"
(With chevrons in appropriate places...)
Overall then, two very different experiences. Both good, but in different ways, and with very different use cases. I'm increasingly impressed with the musical wizardry exhibited by Marco in his Pianobook.co.uk contributions! (Sorry, I just couldn't resist that pun!) Recommended: totally, thoroughly and completely. Woooohooooo!
A dreamy synth from the past
When I read "saw" in the title of this instrument, I didn't expect what came out as I first hit a key on my keyboard. This is really the opposite of the harsh nature of an actual saw. It's a dreamy, lush synth that leaves a retro impression to the listener, similar to what you could hear in a Stranger Things episode.
Inside you will find two instruments, and both are based just in one quality sample each, stretched across the entire keyboard, and it just works great. The first is the dreamy one that caught my attention the most, and it's really a lovely pluck with a smooth attack and very resonant body.
The second one is a litte more textured, evolving manner that features another pitch a whole step up. It has a thrilling, horror-style signature, capturing the nature of the actual saw in a more prominent way.
Inside one download you will get both DecentSampler and Kontakt patches, though the GUI is a little different between them. If you don't see any Kontakt settings, you need to expand the window by pressing the new button on the top left corner.In both patches you get have full ADSR settings, Filter, Reverb and Delay knobs, which will help you fine-tune the sound however you like. In Kontakt you will also see a Gate sequencer and extra Distortion settings.
I'd say that the weaker part of this instrument is the GUI design, which might be as harsh as a saw mostly because the background image gets in the way - it would help if it was a bit darkened. Everything though works great and serves a purpose.
All in all, this is a fantastic instrument by Marco, highly recommended!
The sounds in this pack are peculiar, ghostly. I think they would be very useful for suspense or horror shorts, or soft movement scenes.
The color of the controls and the color of the text could have been different, as some elements are not very distinguishable from the background. I think the names of the controls should have been larger, they can barely be read if you are at a reasonable distance.
Overall, it is a very good pack. It is appreciated that you included two patches.