Using and Removing White Noise [Part 2] White Noise as a Retro sci-fi Effect

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We have already looked at using white noise as an effect to build anticipation, but what about making a good old sound effect? Here I will show you a trick I found recently. This is a cool retro sci-fi sound that sounds like a 1950s spaceship interior. Check it out first.

Get your white noise sample loaded up. In the picture below, you can see the fattest sausage of a waveform. It hurt my soul, but I will go on. This is the white noise I am using. As you know, white noise consists of every frequency, so let's remove a bunch, leaving only a few poking through.

I will use ReaEQ for this and for the sake of brevity, I will assume you already know how to use it. If not here is a quick guide to using ReaEQ. What I'm going to do is remove all the frequencies and then let a few narrow bands through. These bands are going to mostly fall in the low-mid frequencies to get that cool sound we want.

Try and emulate something like this. This will mean a few frequencies poke through, and as the bandwidth is so narrow, it will essentially be single notes. 

Have a listen. It still sounds like white noise, let's fix that. We want to remove all but the very top volumes left. These peaks will correspond to the frequencies remaining on the EQ. Usually, I'd recommend ReaGate however I feel that the gate feature in ReaFir is much easier to work with. So select ReaFir and select the Gate mode. 

The gate mode works by playing everything above the red line. If you hit play on the white noise, you will see a yellow line representing the volume of each frequency. We want the red line to go just below the peaks so we get those notes. Notice there are two points on the red line, one is unnecessary so just delete it.
[A short note about above: the yellow line should only ever briefly cross above the red line making it hard for me to screenshot, you will see where to drop the line]

So you have the red line just below the peaks and you will now hear a multitude of different frequency beeps as the individual frequencies only ever briefly cross the gate threshold. Now is time to do minor adjustment to get the sound you want.

I ended up slamming LoudMax onto the end as it was very quiet and I wanted to compensate for all the reduction in sound through the EQing and gate process. I then added some reverb and stereo widened the sound.

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