Augment weak samples with synthesis
Some of you diehard geeks probably already thought of this: You can augment the real samples with these synthesized effects. They have increased frequency response where the originals suffer from generational loss. Similarly, where the synthesized reproductions are weak, e.g. the full-throated bandwidth of the red alert klaxon, the originals fill out the synthesized effect brilliantly in layered playback.
But this technique doesn’t just apply to Star Trek effects. You can use the ESQ/SQ80 to fill in lost sound spectrum in any mix. A simple sine wave at the right pitch is your best tool to mend audio that has a “hole” in it. The sine wave is ideal because it doesn’t color your original sound with unwanted harmonics. And remember, because the ESQ-1 sine wave is not entirely “pure”, its one of the few synths that delivers a distinct sonic character using nothing but simple sine waves.
“Star Trek sounds were all Created on a Minimoog”
In researching this feature, I ran into tons of mistakes, misinformation and outright lies about the Star Trek sound effects. Maybe in the weeks to come I’ll add a sidebar feature correcting the mistaken notions many nonprofessionals have about sound design in general, and the Star Trek effects in particular.
By the way, the sounds of classic Star Trek (1966–1969) were not created on a Minimoog (1971).
The Genesis of this Feature
This article was prompted by postings on a variety of Internet forums. As the SQ8L VST became widely available, there were a number of discussions about these patches. I realized that just crediting the creator of the patch bank did not do them justice. They were worthy of a feature themselves.
Hopefully this article will inspire you not only to give credit where credit is due, but as Kirk says, to expand your sound design skills, the spirit of the original Transoniq Hacker”
“The Hacker always impressed me with some of the ingenious programming various readers did in the Hackerpatch as well as in articles. I learned a heck of a lot about synthesizing just from subscribing to it.”
And I learned a heck of a lot about synthesis by listening to the sound design work of Kirk Slinkard. Many thanks Kirk!