Ultrabeat Tutorial:  Creating Toms and Tonal Percussion

Tonal percussion sounds such as toms or congas are relatively easy to emulate electronically with sine or triangular wave oscillators. Ultrabeat’s phase oscillator offers you a broad spectrum of suitable basic sounds with which to start. Control the pitch of the oscillators with envelopes, and use the programming techniques discussed in the bass and snare drum sections to alter tonality. You should find it easy to create a broad range of toms and similar sounds.

Note: At the pitches A1 to B0 in the Tutorial Kit you’ll find typical 808 toms. Analyze these sounds and modify them as you see fit.

Spend some time experimenting with the Model mode of Oscillator 2. Try to familiarize yourself with the effect of each parameter, and create some of your own tonal percussion sounds, ranging from small tabla drums to glass bowls.

Note: The “tabla” and “glass” sounds (at pitches C2 and C#2) in the Tutorial Kit combine both Osc 2 Model and FM. They are also good examples of the complex use of velocity as a modulation source.