Dissonant strings

anyone ever try and make a dissonant string patch? Like the score for “there will be blood”? It’s all cellos doing shepherd tones . Or seems to be. Im curious if you could get a bunch of string samples together how it could be done. It might be hard to bend samples. Maybe a a better way is to mimic actual strings. Sorry if this is a stupid topic.

it’s pretty easy to get Xenakis-like masses strings with a pretty simple sampling setup and some recordings of sustained notes - actually easier than getting good sounds of more traditional playing with only one or a few voices, because layering then can mask the fact that you’re playing samples when it can be pretty obvious with low density stuff. In my experience you can get away with pitch shifting something like a cello by 3 or 4 semitones as a glissando, but more than that doesn’t sound good, so doing a true Shepard tone thing would take a good mix of notes spread across a couple octaves and some carefully voice swapping. The Sheperd UGen can help with the pitch calculations at least, you could probably get a rough sketch going pretty quickly with just a few samples.

Especially if you dont need perfect single-voice sounds, there are a million really solid and cheap sample based string instruments that you can run with the VST plugin UGen - it just depends on how much you want to dig into sourcing and managing samples yourself versus focusing on the compositional part.

I find you can make some nice kind of string-like sounds with the Gendy UGens if you keep the minfreq near the maxfreq. If you specify frequencies by hand using just numbers you can get many fantastic interval structures not possible using 12ET or any other tuning.

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i was reading these days gendy help, really like this one…

{ Pan2.ar(RLPF.ar(Gendy1.ar(2, 3, minfreq:20, maxfreq:MouseX.kr(100,1000), durscale:0.0, initCPs:40), 500, 0.3, 0.2), 0.0)}.play 

thx for this tip! :slight_smile: