Have you ever listened to the sound of a Xylophone?
Have you ever used an instrument that somewhat resembles it?
I’m sure that you’ve noticed that, at the moment the xylophone is one of the most popular instruments.
It doesn’t matter if it’s synthesised or not, because it can be clearly heard in a lot of nowadays’ creations.
Because it’s a very popular type of sound I would like to teach you how to create one for yourself.
It’s not that hard, but you need to follow the steps carefully.
I’ve posted 2 or 3 xylophone sounds in the sound banks that I’ve uploaded.
Download the sound banks and look after PLC Inside Clouds and PLC Rezonant Xylophone if you want to try them.
My xylophone sounds are purely melodical. There are two types of xylophones:
1. Percussive xylophone – it’s the sound of a real xylophone.
This is the natural sound and you can use it as a drum.
2. Melodic xylophone – you usually get it by synthesizing it, and it sounds a lot more defined.
You can use it as a plucked or lead in a musical creation.
Please test the presets that I’ve uploaded and tell me what do you think about them.
Now I will tell you how to make a Xylophone preset from scratch. Let’s open FL Studio and insert a Toxic.
Now I would like to explain what I’ve done in the following video.
How to make a xylophone easy!
Have you ever thought about making a xylophone, or more precise a xylophone sound?
If you listen carefully you will also be able of creating a xylophone.
Now we can see Toxic Biohazard in the foreground. Let’s activate the first 4 oscillators.
Now set all the oscillators to a Sine sinusoid.
In the upper-right set the decay to approx 4000ms, set the sustain at 0 and the release at 2000ms.
Now, set the volume of the oscillators like this: the volume of the first one at 100%, the second one at 85%, the third one at 75% and the forth one at 68%.
Now the frequencies of the oscillators.
We don’t change anything at the first oscillator, but we add +12 pitch to the second oscilator, we add +19 at the third and +24 at the forth.
Now we blur a bit the harmonics. This is how to do it:
• First sinusoid – 4000ms
• The second – 2000ms
• Third sinusoid – 1500ms
• Forth sinusoid – 1000ms
Now we have the proper settings for all the harmonics.
Now add a fifth harmonic and modulate it to 100% to get some white noise, then reduce it’s decay.
The result will be a percussive one and will brighten up the sound.
Now add some reverb and delay to give the sound some more warmth.
This is how you can make a xylophone! It’s very simple!
The xylophone is an instrument which is based on the first 5/6 harmonics.
I would like to give you another tip.
There are harder ways of creating “wooden” sounds, but this time I’ve shown you a simple example.
If you want to create your own “wooden” sound then keep reading.
You can create them by using various combinations of the first 5/6 harmonics.
The most important rule is that they need to be a bit blurred.
The higher frequencies are very dense and they contain a large number of vibrations.
The fundamental sinusoid should always have a higher volume than the rest of the harmonics.
It’s a rule that I always apply and it gives results.
The final product will have clarity, balance and it will sound very well defined.
I admit it, the xylophone is one of my favourite sounds.
Those special timbres which reflect the essence of the wood have something special.
I believe that I will upload a sound-bank with “wooden” like sounds in the future.
Being so popular, they are also used in various ways.
I’ve heard a lot of songs that have a xylophone sound as their “signature”.
Others ways of obtaining a xylophone
Even with the help of subtractive synthesis which is fairly limited you can make pretty good xylophone sounds.
Being a sound made of simple elements you don’t need to put much effort into making it.
The sound is simply percussive. The percussive elements are usually short but strong.
I would describe it as being focused. Short but powerful like an impulse.
This is the xylophone. These short but strong elements are called transients.
Even though they are simple, they are very important when having multiple overlapping sounds, like in most songs.
I will further explain their usage in the future because they are very important.
How to make a real xylophone
If you like making your own instruments that you work with, then I have something to tell you.
Making a xylophone in real life is a lot harder than making a virtual one.
It’s a lovely job to craft your own instrument. A few years ago I’ve made my own guitar.
Even though it wasn’t something real, the keys sounded very well, but there was a thing that the guitar was lacking, the authentic resonance of a real guitar.
So, today you’ve learned how to create a xylophone sound.
Now there is something that I would want you to do.
Homework: using this guide, create your own xylophone sound.
It doesn’t matter which VST you are using, just create the sound.
I’m looking forward to hearing your attempts. Good luck!
In next video, I’ll show you how to make a xylophone in FL Studio.
Do you learn how to make a xylophone?