You may remember that we shared a very clever video from community member Nick Harrison showing how he created a Christmas tree using modulated sine waves and Insight 2 from iZotope. In this article Nick shares how he did it. Over to you Nick…
To make a sine wave Christmas tree you'll need iZotope Insight (it can be the original Insight or the new Insight 2) a synthesizer plug-in, I like using Serum for this (and there is a free demo available) and a DAW.
Here are the steps:
Create a MIDI track, add your synth plug-in and set it to play a sine wave through a single oscillator
On the MIDI track, add a 20-second A6 (1760Hz) midi note, checking your synth plays that note.
Set the synth's LFO to modulate the pitch of the oscillator (like an fast and exaggerated siren), set the oscillators rate to 1/32.
Open an instance of iZotope Insight or Insight 2 on your master fader and set it to 3D Spectrogram view.
In the MIDI track, draw in an automation line that automates the 'LFO amount' control from zero to around 50% over several seconds, and you'll see a sine wave triangle appear in Insight's spectrogram.
This Christmas tree will be a big triangle with saw type edges, so adjust your 'LFO amount' automation line up and down to achieve the jagged edges of your triangle.
You should now have a single colour tree, next to add the colour:
Bounce your MIDI track audio and add it to an audio track, and duplicate the audio track 5 times (you should now have 5 identical audio tracks with your pitch modulated sine wave). Mute your MIDI track.
If you have iZotope Insight 2, place an iZotope relay plug-in on each of the 5 audio tracks (or if you are using the original version of Insight, place a 'meter tap' on each of the audio tracks).
The Relays (meter taps) make each of the 5 tracks colour assignable in Insights spectrogram, but currently, the audio tracks are all identical and the colours aren't ticked to show in Insight.
Back in Insight, click the multiple button (top left) to open the relay colour selection tool below and set the relay colour selection tool as I've done - get creative and come up with new colours for your tree.
Cut the audio clips in your audio tracks down to sixteenth notes chunks (equalling 4 clips per beat with the master tempo set to 120BPM) in the same way as I've done below.
Press play and you should see your multicoloured spectrogram tree appear!
From here you have the knowledge and skills to attempt the trunk, tree decorations, and possibly a star.
More Christmas Tree designs from Nick Harrison
Thank you Nick for sharing this. Who else fancies having a go?