According to Gordon Reid (in his Synth Secrets articles on the Sound on Sound website), synthesizing realistic metallic percussion on a simple analog (in our case virtual) synth is impossible. This is due to the inability to generate the complex spectrum of frequencies with simply two oscillators (and a noise generator) although with layering we can utilise four oscillators (and two noise generators). As you will see below however, the open hi hat patch that forms the subject of today's post is relatively simple being based on white noise only and doesn't to my ears sound too bad, especially for it's intended use, within an electronica composition. I suspect I will have a harder time of it however when programming the cymbal patch (ride or crash, I have not yet decided which) for tomorrow.
As I will be synthesizing just the single hi hat sound for use in my sampler I will need to create a sound that can be used both as an open and closed hi hat. I was also therefore keen that the hi hat in today's patch could be played on the microKORG as either open or closed (either manually or via an external sequencer). This will be achieved by having an amp envelope with zero sustain and a shorter release than decay which means that playing normally will result in open hi hat sounds while playing staccato will result in closed hi hats.
Firstly, change to voice to monophonic as we don't want any open hat tails to overlap. Next up I turned off the vibrato on the mod wheel. Although I left the pitch bend assignment on, I reduced this to 1 as I may want some subtle changes in pitch as the patch plays (although have since realised that this has no effect given only noise is used).
Next I turned down both oscillators and the noise level up to 127 in the mixer. The filter was of the high pass variety with a medium degree of resonance. The filter and amp envelopes were similar, although the decay and release for the filter envelope were faster than the amp envelope (so we can hear the full ADSR of the filter envelope before the sound fades out). And that is pretty much all there is to it, except for some EQ to accentuate the higher frequencies further.
Here are the settings (starting from init, shift+3):
Voice: SYT, SGL, MON, ---, ---
Pitch: 0, 0, 0, 1, 0
Osc 1: SAW, 0, 0, ---, --- (unchanged)
Osc 2: SAW, OFF, 0, 0, --- (unchanged)
Mixer: 0, 0, 127, ---, ---
Filter: HPF, 107, 28, 22, 0
Filter EG: 0, 20, 0, 20, ON
Amp: 127, CNT, OFF, 0, --- (unchanged)
Amp EG: 0, 54, 0, 33, ON
LFO 1: TRI, OFF, OFF, 10, --- (unchanged)
LFO 2: SIN, OFF, OFF, 70, --- (unchanged)
Patch 1: LF1, PTC, 0, ---, --- (unchanged)
Patch 2: LF2, PTC, 0, ---, --- (unchanged)
Patch 3: LF1, CUT, 0, ---, --- (unchanged)
Patch 4: LF2, CUT, 0, ---, --- (unchanged)
Mod FX: FLG, 20, 0, ---, --- (unchanged)
Delay: STR, OFF, 40, 0, --- (unchanged)
EQ: 280, -12, 6.0, 5, ---
Arpeg. A: 120, 1.16, 80, UP, 1 (unchanged)
Arpeg. B: OFF, 0, ON, 8, --- (unchanged)