The No.1 Website for Pro Audio
Beam me up, Scotty! (How do I recreate this classic Star Trek effect)
Old 1 week ago
  #1
Gear Guru
 
zerocrossing's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Beam me up, Scotty! (How do I recreate classic sci-fi effects)

I’m working on a sci-fi themed game and there’s a moment where you’re transported. I don’t want an identical effect, but the general art direction of the game is very chunky 70s sci-fi, and we’re definitely making nods to classic Star Trek. So, I want to try and get as close as possible to the original, but then keep going and make it unique as well. I’ve got lots of software, including modular, but also hardware synths. I’ve got great weapon and general ship sounds to a place where I like them, but the transporter effect eludes me. It’s such a great sound, especially when you consider what they had to work with at the time. Help!

Last edited by zerocrossing; 6 days ago at 06:17 PM..
Old 1 week ago
  #2
Gear Nut
 
jondis's Avatar
 
🎧 5 years
have you tried time stretching a bell sound and then fading the volume in and layering it with some bleeps and bloops ?

Im just brainstorming here but maybe have the bleeps and bloops have an attack on the envelope for transporting up and do the reverse for transporting down

It would be cool to see what sounds you come up with
Old 1 week ago | Show parent
  #3
Gear Guru
 
zerocrossing's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by jondis ➡️
have you tried time stretching a bell sound and then fading the volume in and layering it with some bleeps and bloops ?

Im just brainstorming here but maybe have the bleeps and bloops have an attack on the envelope for transporting up and do the reverse for transporting down

It would be cool to see what sounds you come up with
I’ve not tried anything yet. Some elements seem straight forward, like the purr that accelerates, but the ethereal top end part is a mystery.
Old 1 week ago
  #4
Lives for gear
 
🎧 5 years
Some examples for context:
Old 1 week ago | Show parent
  #5
Gear Guru
 
zerocrossing's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mutantt ➡️
Some examples for context:
Actually, I’m thinking more along the lines of the original series. I could easily make things similar to the later stuff using a granular synth or effect.

Old 1 week ago
  #6
I read somewhere that the OG series transporter sound was done using piano strings suspended from a beam. The opening/closing doors sound was made using a recording of an air pump reversed and someone's sneakers squeaking to give the effect of a rubber door seal.

I think the later transporter sounds ie: Films/TNG were made using a Synclavier using a basic chord and adding a series of tri-tones.

Bones medical scanner heartbeat sounds was a recording of a bass guitar in the lower registers.
Old 1 week ago
  #7
Lives for gear
 
jazzcabbage's Avatar
 
🎧 5 years
Can you sample it or would you be in a position where you might get sued?
Old 1 week ago
  #8
Lives for gear
 
breakmixer's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Wasn't R2D2 an Arp Odyssey or 2600? He was my fave Star Trek character?

Only kidding, but the Arp synths I think were used alot on older Sci-fi stuff. Maybe not in this case though.
Old 1 week ago
  #9
Gear Addict
 
2ToneStrat's Avatar
You'll find a few easy to reach "70's" Sci-fi nuggets exploring Ringmod with various, dissimilar waveforms.

Since you have an Iridium (I think?), you could sample rich veins and then process the samples.
Attached Files

Hydrasynth Square Ring Mod.m4a (362.8 KB, 1043 views)

Old 1 week ago
  #10
Lives for gear
 
Marzzz's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Sorta strange that this is a new topic today...

Nichelle Nichols RIP
Old 1 week ago | Show parent
  #11
Gear Guru
 
zerocrossing's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by jazzcabbage ➡️
Can you sample it or would you be in a position where you might get sued?
Well, not only would I not want to risk copyright infringement, I also want to take it to a different place. I want to nod to the original, not be it. I do already have a CD of all the original show sounds.
Old 1 week ago | Show parent
  #12
Gear Guru
 
zerocrossing's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Marzzz ➡️
Sorta strange that this is a new topic today...

Nichelle Nichols RIP
I know, right. Too sad. She was an icon.
Old 1 week ago | Show parent
  #13
Gear Guru
 
zerocrossing's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by breakmixer ➡️
Wasn't R2D2 an Arp Odyssey or 2600? He was my fave Star Trek character?

Only kidding, but the Arp synths I think were used alot on older Sci-fi stuff. Maybe not in this case though.
I’ve got a great book about the sound effects of Star Wars and they got a copy of an early script where R2 spoke. The dialogue is hilariously bad. I don’t know who brought in the 2600, but they saved George and possibly all of Star Wars.
Old 1 week ago
  #14
Lives for gear
 
Arglebargle's Avatar
 
🎧 5 years
IF the transporter sound was indeed the blaster beam, then this is the story. Could be useful conceptually.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blaster_beam

Me, I'd probably try a barber pole effect, but that's just because I like that. Sit it with some sort of scraped string. Time for everything to come apart!
Old 1 week ago
  #15
Lives for gear
 
gentleclockdivid's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Sounds like pure additive synthesis
Old 1 week ago | Show parent
  #16
Lives for gear
 
breakmixer's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by zerocrossing ➡️
I’ve got a great book about the sound effects of Star Wars and they got a copy of an early script where R2 spoke. The dialogue is hilariously bad. I don’t know who brought in the 2600, but they saved George and possibly all of Star Wars.
R2 and C3PO(and Darth Vader) made the movie what it was, the most memorable, liked characters, maybe all that Star Wars/Sci Fi music and effects had an effect on the space/electronic music that followed like Electro, Techno and other stuff, it set the tone of the future past. I don't know what inspires nowadays, probably 90s still...lol. I'm rambling...but I'm sure the Sci Fi 70s had an effect on music culture consciously or not.
Old 1 week ago | Show parent
  #17
Lives for gear
 
breakmixer's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Marzzz ➡️
Sorta strange that this is a new topic today...

Nichelle Nichols RIP
Just came on the news as I was posting...
Old 1 week ago
  #18
Gear Addict
 
The shimmery top part sounds a bit like a bowed cymbal.
Old 1 week ago
  #19
Gear Maniac
 
AstroSpy's Avatar
The transporter effect in the original series had many elements.

One of the main ones is Jack Cookerly's "magic box" modifed Hammond organ. You could play a discordant triad and bend a note up or down a half step, creating weird beat frequencies. It all went into tape delay and varispeed playback machines. There are also some chimes and mixed in, bowed cymbal, etc.

Some of the sounds were originally made for alien planet sound textures in the pilot and were edited and reused.

Most of trek's sfx are edited musical instruments, sine oscillators and tape machines.

Start with a high organ chord and experiment. Think like you're in 1965 and on a tight deadline.

PS RIP Nichelle Nichols. Who will answer the space phones now?
Old 1 week ago
  #20
Lives for gear
 
PuggaMahone's Avatar
 
If they really strung piano wire between beams for that sound, then I feel like that connection of "beams" to a "transporter beam"... that was probably important. Back then, they knew about mojo, and they would look for those connections.

You can probably still get a D-2 for cheap, right? Is that the cheapest available d-beam, you think? Does it MIDI? No off brands... mojo! If you control the volume of the partials using the swell pedal, and control the grain cloud with the d-beam... and maybe mix in a faint whiff of the classic "analog pretending to be digital sample and hold sound" (you know the one) because that's a real transporter/tractor beam trope, so it'll seem right to quite a few people who've watched old sci-fi.
Old 1 week ago | Show parent
  #21
Gear Guru
 
zerocrossing's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by gentleclockdivid ➡️
Sounds like pure additive synthesis
That’s what I thought too, so I loaded up a simple additive oscillator in VCV Rack Pro and set it to some weird intervals and gave it some LFO modulation and ran it though Blackhole and with the right settings I totally nailed it, at least to my satisfaction. It doesn’t sound identical but definitely “inspired by” and a bit more modern.

Now I’m working on what I’m calling the “power up whirr” and I’ve started with a simple triangle oscillator and modulating a VCA with a LFO that’s rate is getting modulated by an envelope. I had to stop, but once I modulate the pitch of the triangle with the envelope, I think it’ll be perfect.
Old 1 week ago | Show parent
  #22
Gear Guru
 
zerocrossing's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by PuggaMahone ➡️
If they really strung piano wire between beams for that sound, then I feel like that connection of "beams" to a "transporter beam"... that was probably important. Back then, they knew about mojo, and they would look for those connections.

You can probably still get a D-2 for cheap, right? Is that the cheapest available d-beam, you think? Does it MIDI? No off brands... mojo! If you control the volume of the partials using the swell pedal, and control the grain cloud with the d-beam... and maybe mix in a faint whiff of the classic "analog pretending to be digital sample and hold sound" (you know the one) because that's a real transporter/tractor beam trope, so it'll seem right to quite a few people who've watched old sci-fi.
This sound will not last more than three seconds or so, so while that sounds fun, a simple envelope will be all the modulation needed.
Old 1 week ago | Show parent
  #23
Gear Guru
 
zerocrossing's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by AstroSpy ➡️
The transporter effect in the original series had many elements.

One of the main ones is Jack Cookerly's "magic box" modifed Hammond organ. You could play a discordant triad and bend a note up or down a half step, creating weird beat frequencies. It all went into tape delay and varispeed playback machines. There are also some chimes and mixed in, bowed cymbal, etc.

Some of the sounds were originally made for alien planet sound textures in the pilot and were edited and reused.

Most of trek's sfx are edited musical instruments, sine oscillators and tape machines.

Start with a high organ chord and experiment. Think like you're in 1965 and on a tight deadline.

PS RIP Nichelle Nichols. Who will answer the space phones now?
Sadly, this is an ultra low budge game, and as much as trying to manually do all that would be super fun, if I start billing for all that time they’ll poop their pants. But that’s great stuff for ideas. I’ll start with some chime and bowed cymbal samples. I think with the right envelopes they’ll add something nice.
Old 1 week ago | Show parent
  #24
Lives for gear
 
jbuonacc's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
sounds right to me, at least part of it. cool:



Quote:
Originally Posted by AstroSpy ➡️
... RIP Nichelle Nichols. Who will answer the space phones now?
misogynist bastard! how dare you? somebody tell somebody.
Old 1 week ago
  #25
Lives for gear
 
jazzcabbage's Avatar
 
🎧 5 years
Modified Hammond Organ

Quote:
One of the reasons that the show’s effects are so distinctive and memorable is that they are often musical, and that goes back to the first composer who created music for the series, Alexander Courage,” says Bond. “When Courage was working on the show’s first pilot, ‘The Cage,’ he was assisted by a man named Jack Cookerly, one of the session keyboardists, who had modified one of the electric organs of the period to make strange ‘electronic’ sounds.”

“A lot of the sound effects were generated by musical means at the end of recording sessions with the orchestra,” says Kendall. “Cookerly had a device he called a ‘music box’ — a reconstructed Hammond organ — that laid the basic tracks for the transporter effects, the medical scanners in sickbay, and other sounds.”
https://www.audible.com/blog/kittens...-iconic-sounds
Old 1 week ago
  #26
Lives for gear
 
jazzcabbage's Avatar
 
🎧 5 years
But I’m down with the cymbal angle to recreate something similar. Check this plugin out Zero

https://www.audiothing.net/effects/gong-amp/

I think if you ran some type of synth tone through that you might come close.
Old 1 week ago
  #27
Gear Maniac
 
AstroSpy's Avatar
Here's a Hydrasynth doing some multitrack Trek impressions. Little transporter at the end.
Attached Files

TREKFX.mp3 (2.33 MB, 85 views)

Old 1 week ago
  #28
Gear Nut
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by zerocrossing ➡️
I’m working on a sci-fi themed game and there’s a moment where you’re transported. I don’t want an identical effect, but the general art direction of the game is very chunky 70s sci-fi, and we’re definitely making nods to classic Star Trek. So, I want to try and get as close as possible to the original, but then keep going and make it unique as well. I’ve got lots of software, including modular, but also hardware synths. I’ve got great weapon and general ship sounds to a place where I like them, but the transporter effect eludes me. It’s such a great sound, especially when you consider what they had to work with at the time. Help!
Andy Farnell's book, Designing Sound (https://mitpress.mit.edu/books/designing-sound) has a transporter sound as one of its practical exercises. The book is highly recommended and walks you through sound design, from analysis to implementation (in PureData), for a number of examples in its final section. The rest of the book is an excellent text book for Sound Design, with an emphasis on procedural implementation for video games (although the theory and methods could apply to pretty much any sound design)

According to the book, the original sound is either a brushed cymbal or an aeolian harp, sent through a vocoder with the filters spaced in a whole tone scale.

Regards,
John
Old 1 week ago
  #29
Gear Maniac
 
AstroSpy's Avatar
There was no vocoder used on the original series. Here's actual audio of the main body of the transporter being played on a Hammond organ.
Attached Files

Series Transporter Effect.mp3 (1.66 MB, 74 views)

Old 1 week ago | Show parent
  #30
Gear Guru
 
zerocrossing's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Shrdni ➡️
Andy Farnell's book, Designing Sound (https://mitpress.mit.edu/books/designing-sound) has a transporter sound as one of its practical exercises. The book is highly recommended and walks you through sound design, from analysis to implementation (in PureData), for a number of examples in its final section. The rest of the book is an excellent text book for Sound Design, with an emphasis on procedural implementation for video games (although the theory and methods could apply to pretty much any sound design)

According to the book, the original sound is either a brushed cymbal or an aeolian harp, sent through a vocoder with the filters spaced in a whole tone scale.

Regards,
John
That book looks great, but how deep into PureData is it? Meaning, if I wanted to avoid any programming but use basic synth modules, could I get there? I’ve got several good software modular plugins and I’m not great at learning programming languages. My ex girlfriend still makes fun of my solution to the quiz question: “Write code to return a negative integer when an positive integer is entered.” My equation was “let x=x-(2x).) That’s how I think. Poorly.
📝 Reply

Similar Threads

Thread / Thread Starter Replies / Views Last Post
replies: 13 views: 3246
Avatar for matyas
matyas 18th November 2009
replies: 43193 views: 3434808
Avatar for Neptune45
Neptune45 19 minutes ago
replies: 28 views: 5421
Avatar for Rimwolf
Rimwolf 18th January 2018
Topic:
Post Reply

Welcome to the Gearspace Pro Audio Community!

Registration benefits include:
  • The ability to reply to and create new discussions
  • Access to members-only giveaways & competitions
  • Interact with VIP industry experts in our guest Q&As
  • Access to members-only sub forum discussions
  • Access to members-only Chat Room
  • Get INSTANT ACCESS to the world's best private pro audio Classifieds for only USD $20/year
  • Promote your eBay auctions and Reverb.com listings for free
  • Remove this message!
You need an account to post a reply. Create a username and password below and an account will be created and your post entered.


 
 
Slide to join now Processing…

Forum Jump
Forum Jump