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I'm scoring a film and I would like to include this effect in my music:

[link]

Basically the violas and the cellos play "random" harmonic glissandos on the open fourth string (C), while the basses play a tremolo sul ponticello.

I'm looking for a way to recreate this effect with my sample libraries. I tried using EQs and filters to isolate certain frequencies of a regular note, but it doesn't sound like harmonics at all. I can't find any libraries or synths that inculde this effect or something similar either.

Any suggestions? :)

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I don't know about "random" harmonic glissandos, but you may be able to piece something together using the patches from this string library, it's completely dedicated to orchestral string effects:

http://dynamicsoundsampling.com/products/stringfx.htm

In fact I used it just recently on a horror film score myself and it's fairly flexible given the price. Failing that the only other thing I can think of would be some of the more effects based string patches from EastWest Quantum Leap Symphony Orchestra, which I've also used in the past.

May be time for another library. What are you currently using?

I have EWQL and Symphobia, but I haven't been able to find a library that includes that effects. Do you know anything?

For this project I ended up sampling this effect myself with a few string players, and it sounds pretty amazing.

ADENS SKY said:

May be time for another library. What are you currently using?

EWQL Symphonic orchestra? Try Clstr & air located in 18 Violin effects. Or 11 violin effects, there's A LOT of really good glissandos! You can hear one i used in my song "IN THE MIND OF A KILLER" at the very end. Hope you find what your looking for!

Yep, but they are just "regular" glissandos, I need something where the string players play a glissando over all natural harmonics of a string (in this case, C for the low strings and G for all strings together).

ADENS SKY said:

EWQL Symphonic orchestra? Try Clstr & air located in 18 Violin effects. Or 11 violin effects, there's A LOT of really good glissandos! You can hear one i used in my song "IN THE MIND OF A KILLER" at the very end. Hope you find what your looking for!

Tremolo sul ponticello is easy, just mess with the EQ. Whether it sounds authentic or just passable depends on how much time you're willing to spend messing around with it. With enough bands you can pretty much create the effect, not merely imitate it, since all you basically need to do is to boost the frequencies that get mudded when you play the string in regular position. That's what real sul ponticello does, duh. HOWEVER, I tried it just now (Cbs Trem sample) with only three bands (3 octave wide boost around 7 kHz, some additional near 1 kHz for no apparent reason and delicate bass cut to balance it) AND it's pretty nice. Feels more like EQ than sul pont. but that's standalone EWQL, played at 100 velocity, with a 3-band-filter and that's it. I'm sure it can be hugely improved.

As for the harmonic glissandos, now that's some trouble. I picked Vcs Non Vib sample but it's awful, the repetitive feel is incredibly loud. Either way my idea was to pick a very soft patch, push the tranposition up as far as it goes (that's +12 semitones in standalone EWQL) and then mess with the filters - probably lowering the bass, as always, plus definitely some cut-off higher up the spectrum. I actually used a low-pass filter near 400 Hz and it sounds nice. Real harmonics will sound more rich than this, but you can fix that by stacking them in octaves, and the low-pass (unlike merely tweaking the curve) removes a lot of non-harmonic garbage, which is good. What I would do now is: use a few tracks with pitch bend applied to them to achieve just tuning (particularly for the seventh harmonic, the Bb - it needs be lower than default), increase the attack a lot (400-500 ms is okay, I think) and then just write out the notes that you want, remembering to try and squeeze a soft octave on top of each if they sound too thin.

STILL there's the matter of transitions between harmonics. It's basically a noise, but it sounds very specific... Honestly I have no clue how to imitate that without ridiculous amounts of tinkering. Perhaps you don't need that, though - with the Cb tremolos and addititional noise coming from the altered Vc / Vla samples it might already sound acceptable. I'm not sure, but it's worth a go, I guess.

10x less hassle to just write for the samples, wouldn't that be? :D Or have the passage recorded (edit: LIKE YOU APPARENTLY DID. Good plan). Oh well.

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