How do I create that WHAM?

Started by Joshiii-Kun, August 13, 2006, 21:13:29

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I was wondering, how does one make that WHAM effect? With the WHAM effect I mean that effect that is somewhat like an orchestra hit. It is done with strings and other instruments as well.
I can't quite explain how it sounds, it's just this very powerful attack of sound. I'll cut something from a song I have on my computer.

(watch it, the guitar is relatively soft)

Is that an orchestra hit? How can I create that same powerful effect? The orchestra hit in my soundbanks sound a bit like it but it's not as strong, not at all. The orchestra hits I have are just a tiny sounds compared to what I would like to create, you know? :P


That could be a typical orchestra hit. I think it is, although it sounded softer than usual, maybe because of the accompaniment. The orchestra hit is such typical a sound, that the best thing you can do is getting an orchestra hit sample. Shouldn't be difficult to find one, even for free. If you want to make your own, take orchestral samples and play them all at once. I don't know exactly how an orchestral hit is made, but if I were to make one I would make the brass play the lowest notes, the strings the middle notes and the woodwinds the highest. This is in general, of course. Obviously, the cello will play above the trumpet, but in general strings would be above brass. Why would I make it that way? Because that's the way an orchestra sounds big. All instruments should play the same note, but you'll have to use several octaves. You can use the timpani, too, to make the "wham" stronger.
-Melody Enthusiast


2 Joshiii-Kun
Don't confuse the word 'effect' with a 'sample'. You don't call a sound 'equalizer', because you used one.

Maybe 'orchestra hit', but then in the broadest sense, meaning  : as many of the instruments available at the moment, making some single sound. So it's more than the restricted setup of a symphony-orchestra.
All sources playing the same note, in whatever octave, is just an option imo.
This mp3-example (hello Tommy..) contains several single 'strikes' in a sequence. So you've spotted a part with potentials for a 'Wham'. I say potentials, because you have to isolate the exact data out of the 'snapshot' to make a proper sample.
Of course you can buy preset 'wham' samples, but I guess it will seldom satisfy at once. Some personal modifications are often needed. So, if you have to work editing anyway, you can search for the material yourself as well.
So detecting existing music for having 'Whams'. Obvious place to seek for them is at the end of some apotheosis, in some interlude, a dramatic change, or a power-shock after an intro.

I've isolated the first one out of your example and did some shaping : Wham1
It has a short preceding note, but I let it there, because one can use the 9xx code to skip a certain part from the start of the sample, so it's a matter of getting the right value, if you only want to play the second note. A choice.

Check movies. Often they have moments of such musical strikes, mixed with a blast or some single shout.

EDIT : This item reminded me of a work I made a decade ago, using such single-strike samples : Massive (MOD)
Rip the samples if you want. I will post this in the DL-section as well.


I also think you can give the Wham more room and feeling by adding a little bit of reverb to it. (or perhaps alot?)

You have also those deep explosion like sounds. (could be considdered a WHAM too perhaps) which is choosing a bdrum with lots of reverb. The deeper the bdrum is, the better the result.
"Heh, maybe I should've joined the compo only because it would've meant I wouldn't have had to worry about a damn EQ or compressor for a change. " - Atlantis
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