Rob’s Beard Trimmer Synth

Music is everywhere!

The story

Is it a Clavinet? Is it a sound design tool? Who knows! It is what it is! I never thought I’d find music while trimming my beard – but tah dah! – here it is! No apology for the stolen variation of the SWARM GUI – it allowed me to design a “mixable” series of sounds based on the original sample. The meanings of the acronyms on the GUI are as follows” RAW = the Orginal “raw” sample, PHZ = the original sample with a bit of PHAZE effect. WTR = is the original with the LPX effect “Under Water, STP = is the original with the LPX “Step” effect added. ERL: is the original with the LPX “Endless Roll” effect added and FRAM = is what got me started on this library – when trimming one’s beard it’s normal to change the shape of your mouth to get to all parts of the beard – THIS is that sound. I call it “FRAMPTON” (FRAM) because it reminds me of Peter Frampton’s “Squawk Box” effect. In this library you can choose which sample you want to include in your mix and place each on the stereo spectrum. I purposely stretched the sample to enable the effects to be different at every pitch – then when you change the ARV (attack/release/reverb) the possibilities expand exponentially. You just never know – MUSIC REALLY IS EVERYWHERE!


Reviews for Rob’s Beard Trimmer Synth

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  • Do not give Rob a tuning fork!

    Rob has a mission: Music is Everywhere!

    You probably dismissed it the first time you saw it, but he has now built up a sizeable collection of sampled instruments, and more than a few of them perfectly illustrate that music is all around us!

    Rob's Beard Trimmer is a new example of this principle in action, and it takes it to new heights - there are six different sounds all derived from that not-quite-so-well-known source of musical performance: the beard trimmer.

    You might have just giggled. if you did, then download this sample pack and listen, and then tell me if you are still amused...or if you have been inspired instead.

    The range may be restricted to a span of 22 notes, but there are some amazing tones here. Rob freely admits that the UI has been 'borrowed' from the Global Swarm Decent Sampler virtual instrument, and it certainly re-uses the sample mixer section from that community project, but the 'Swarm' control has unfortunately been lost. I, for one, would genuinely welcome a swarming bread trimmer with open arms!

    After selecting and panning one of the six very varied timbres, you can control the attack and release of the envelope (always a favourite feature for me!), and then set the reverb wet level. I struggled to prevent the sounds overloading the output of Decent Sampler - even with low levels of slider settings I was hitting the reds at the top of the volume display. Only with one or two pixels illuminated was I able to stop the overloading. I'm sure this is easily fixed, and a revision may well be in the pipeline by the time you read this.

    The raw sample sound has been processed in a broad variety of ways - the sound has also been processed with a phase shifter, a number of rhythmic Lexicon effects, and a vocal tract sound that sounds like formants from resonant band-pass filters. Some of the samples are looped, but it is a pity that the 'Endless Loop' and 'Fram' samples are not looped, because it means that it isn't endless! I'm sure that this can be fixed, or you could edit the XML yourself. Here's what an example group looks like after I corrected the volume and added looping:

    group name="ERL" loopEnabled="true" volume="30.0dB" tuning="0.0" tags="ERL" ampVelTrack="1"

    sample path="Samples/RobsBeardTrimmerSynth-EndlessRoll_1.wav" tuning="0.00" rootNote="31" start="0" end="174848" loNote="16" hiNote="37" loVel="1" hiVel="127"


    (You will need to add in the chevrons that strips out of text! You also don't need the two 'volume=' parameter setting statements - just the one in the group is fine.)

    I have to say that the looped effects samples are great fun!

    In conclusion, this has to be a high contender for 'most fun from an 18 Megabyte download'. I eagerly await for the first demo produced using it!

    synthesizerwriter29 July 2022