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  1. Music & Audio
  2. Mixing & Mastering
Music

Sound Design With U-He Triple Cheese

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Difficulty:BeginnerLength:ShortLanguages:
Final product image
What You'll Be Creating

About

u-he Triple Cheese is a freeware VST synth plugin. It uses very short, chromatically tuned delays to create sounds. 

The plugin comes with a couple of dozen of presets from various sound designers. The plugin is available in 32 and 64-bits VST2, VST3, AU and AAX formats for Windows and Mac. 

This instrument is the winner of the 2006 KVR Developer Challenge. As a bonus there is a PDF document for the user guide.

Triple Cheese
Overview of the plugin

Main features:

  • 3 sound generators
  • 2 ADSR
  • 2 LFOs
  • 1 FX section with 5 parameters each
  • 16 voices polyphony
  • MIDI learn
  • custom patch browser with easy navigation
  • resizable interface with predefined values (from 70% to 200%)
  • gamma can be set (from lighter to darker)

There are 11 generator types:

  • pluck
  • saw pluck
  • square pluck
  • bowed
  • blown
  • noise
  • DC
  • crackle
  • resonator **
  • damp **
  • stressor **

** = for second and third generator

Generator parameters are:

  • tone
  • damp
  • tune
  • detune
  • vibrato
  • volume
  • pan

The effects selection comprises:

  • chorus
  • flanger
  • phaser
  • delay
  • reverb

Project Basic Settings

  • tempo 120 BPM 
  • scale C-minor 
  • rhythm signature 4/4 

Workflow

For the purposes of this tutorial, I've started with the idea of the bassline, the sub part, and then I selected a square pluck sound for it. I've continued with the other bass sounds from lower to upper octaves, and then created the lead and pad in the mid range.

In the second part of the workflow, I've designed a white noise type fx sound and then added some drum loops.

BassSub

I used a square pluck-type generator for this sound. The ADSR is set to minimal attack, medium decay, maximum sustain, and minimal release. The notes played are: G#1, A#1, C2, D#2, D2, C2, A#1, C2. 

I've set the tone to maximum and damping to 10 o'clock to have a bit of attack. Then I've cut the top of it with an EQ Eight normal LP filter.

BassSub
I use a square pluck for this sound

BassHi

This bass is in an upper octave and plays very short notes. The generator type is saw pluck.

I've used a Reverb to color the sound (size 1, predelay 36 ms, 750 ms decay, reflect 3 dB, diffuse 4 dB, 46% dry wet). I cut the low end with EQ eight and boosted the top end in sides mode (M/S setting).

BassHi
The sawpluck is dampened but has got full tone

BassHi2

Similar to the previous sound but I used square pluck and eight notes.

BassHi2
Similar to previous but with square pluck

BassNoise

This esoteric filler sound uses a bowed generator, the tone is set to 30%, and the dampening is set to 100%. The Reverb and EQ are just copied from BassHi.

Lead

This is a pluck type sound with around 66% of tone and damping settings. It creates a very sharp, spiky sound. 

For seasoning, I've used a Ping Pong Delay with 45% feedback and 50% dry wet. I've also set the center to 2 kHz and lowered the bandwidth to 2.43.

Lead
The lead is a normal pluck sound with 66% decay

Pad

I chose the bowed category for the pad and set the envelope to slow attack, no decay, full sustain, and slow release. 

I've also used a Reverb set to 2.8 sec decay and 47% dry wet with 100 size, 1 db reflection, and 3.8 dB diffusion.

I used a sidechain compressor for the pumping effect. The ghost bass drum is feeding into this plugin to help with fitting into the mix.

Pad
The pad is a bowed instrument in this case

Fx

The FX is a simple crackle generator sound with a very short decay. 

I then used a Utility to amplify it, put some Reverb onto it, used a sidechain compressor for pumping, and finally I made a low and high cut with EQ Eight (680 Hz and 3 kHz).

Breaks

The main breaks loop was a bit boring, so I boosted 187 Hz by +8 dB and cut 51 Hz by -4 dB. This provided enough energy to cut through the mix. I also removed the low end in mid/side mode from the sides part.


Breaks EQ
In mid I boosted 187 Hz and cut 51 Hz to give it more kick and less thump

Top1 and Shaker

I panned them to the sides and used EQ Three to kill the low frequency content.



Top1 and Shaker EQ
EQ Three is a quick way to remove low frequencies with just the kill switch

Top2 and Loko

First I panned them slightly left and right, and then I removed the low end with EQ Three, and I then put a small Reverb for the Loko track with a 1 one second decay, 46% dry wet, 12 ms predelay, 6 size.

Top2 and Loko FX chain
I added Reverb to make an artificial space around this loop then used EQ to remove low end




GhBd

This is a simple 4/4 ghost bass drum for feeding the sidechain compressor. 

I have turned it off, but the signal is working properly for the stock Ableton Compressor plugin.

BD
This kick is working in ghost mode to feed the sidechain compressor

Grouping

Typically, I create four or five groups, which are these:

  • drums
  • bass
  • mids
  • fx
  • vox (vocal)

On the mids group, I cut the low end at around 200 Hz to allow enough low end from drums and bass.

Group channels
I also use coloring for the various groups

Mixing

I mixed as I went along the project, constantly adjusting volumes, EQ and some effects. I removed the low end with EQ where it was necessary.

FX channel
Details from the FX channel chain

Mastering

I checked the mono compatibility by turning on the Utility module for a couple of seconds. I turned it off and cut the low end at 40 Hz in mid and 300 Hz in side mode with EQ Eight. Then I set up the limiter to amplify +2 decibels and the ceiling to -0.5 dB.

Master chain
Essentially an EQ and a Limiter is used for mastering. With the EQ I removed the low end in the sub and in the lower mid region in mono and sides mode (m/s).

Finished Composition

This is the final version.


Conclusion

In this tutorial, I showed you how to create sounds with u-he Triple Cheese. I showed you how to create bass, lead, pad, and fx, and added drums from wav files. Then I showed you how to mix and master the project.

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