How Do I Add A Sign Wave To My Timpani In Cubase 7?

Another tip from my producer. Add a sign wave to your timpani in order to sweeten it, whatever the hell that means.

Okay, so I have my timpani track in cubase. How do I add a sign wave to it? I have no clue.

  1. I would start by spelling it correctly: it’s “sine wave”
  2. To create it use a tone generator
  3. Choose the right frequency
  4. Adding a sine wave to something does not sweeten anything, it just “destroy” the original tone

Put the sine on another track and export both.

How does Cubase know to associate that sine wave that’s on another track with the timpani when I have 16 other tracks in the song? Doesn’t make any sense to me.

Exporting both will give you one file with both included. :confused:

Then what you’re saying is I have to create the Timpani part with the sine wave and export it separately from the rest of the tracks.

  1. I don’t know how to do that. When I do an export it exports the whole song.

  2. That also means I am then importing wave files into my project. Doesn’t that slightly degrade the sound as opposed to pure MIDI data?

  1. Then you need to read up on how to Export.

  2. How do you figure?

By default, yes, but you can change the parameters and have Cubase only export the tracks you want. Look in the dialog box that pops out when click on “export.”

Doesn’t that slightly degrade the sound as opposed to pure MIDI data?

When you export an instrument track, it’s converted to audio. MIDI data is not retained. MIDI is not audio, just a set of instructions for a VSTi or an external synth.

Well, I just went through all the VST synths that come with Cubase 7 and I can’t find one that generates a pure sine wave where I can change the ADSR to get the sound I want.

Does Cubase come with one or do I have to get a 3rd party VST tone generator?

Not sure why you need it but anyhow:

  1. Duplicate your timpani track and disable the output to the stereo master fader on one of them. (this one will be your trigger)

  2. Make an Audio Track and Insert the Test Generator and set to sine wave. Dial in the frequency that will make the timpani “sweet”. Be careful: “Sweet” I says

  3. On the same audio track insert a gate after the signal generator. Play with the threshold until the gate is closed and no audio is coming through. Activate the side chain on the gate.

  4. Set the output on your duplicate timpani “trigger” track to the gate side chain.

  5. Boom - Now every time the timpani is played, the sweet sine wave will miraculously ring with it making it phat. You need to adjust the threshold - attack -release, etc. of course.

If you make a million bucks due to this short tutorial, don’t forget mail me a check.

Hope this helps!

F -

Thank you for this. I’m stuck on number 4 (only options for routing that I’m being given are Stereo, L and R) but I’ll figure it out eventually.

Like I said, I’ll figure it out eventually. Wow, what a difference in the timpani sound. I wasn’t exactly sure what it was supposed to do but the producer I spoke to said it makes a big difference. It does.

Glad it worked!

You can do it with kick drums, low toms and bass guitar on the fundamentals too.

Basically the same process?

Yep! it’s an OLD trick… much loved by the old ‘salsoul’ guys on kicks :slight_smile:

60Hz is usually a good start point i’ve found

The idea is that you are going to carve a good chunk of the bass presence out with an EQ to give the instruments “space”. By adding a fundamental a couple of octaves lower, you can retain that presence and attack. You just have to be careful as with a lot of “modern” music, there is an ass ton of bass frequency content. I don’t work on that kind of music, so I can’t tell you how they deal with it. But, with older rock, classical and fusion type music, it works wonders when used sparingly.