AudioRealism’s Mike Janney on emulating the hoover
The hoover is without doubt one of the most iconic synth sounds in the history of dance music. We asked AudioRealism DSP guru Mike Janney – creator of Alpha Juno emulation ReDominator (not to mention the amazing ABL3 Roland TB-303 emulation, which is put to use on p62) – to tell us more.
: Originally designed using the Roland Alpha Juno synthesiser, the hoover sound is iconically rasping and downright nasty. What is it about the synth itself that defines this distinctive timbre? MJ: “Any plugin synth that has a multi-stage envelope should be able to do the job; NI’s Massive is one example, but keep in mind that the Alpha Juno envelope is unusual in that it has linear and exponential sections. Also, the PWM Saw [the Alpha Juno’s unusual shapemodulatable sawtooth oscillator] is pretty special – I’m not sure if any off-the-shelf synths have this feature.”
: How about effects processing? How can the desktop producer use plugins to emulate that rough, nasty hoover timbre from all those classic 90s records? MJ: “The Alpha Juno’s included chorus was used on most hoover sounds, I think. Of course, every track will have its own effects chain applied after that, but the built-in chorus sounds great when creating a hoover.”
: What about loading retro hoover samples into a sampler? Is this a good way to recreate the sound authentically? MJ: “It is to a point, but you will lose some dynamics and inter-note effects, just like when you sample any other synth. For example, if you trigger a new note before the envelope fully decays, it will start from the last value and reach the maximum during the attack phase.”
: What, in your opinion, is the most creative use of a hoover on a record to date? MJ: “Easy: Dominator by Human Resource! We got in touch with them and they gave us their blessing to name our synth ReDominator after the track. Very cool guys indeed!”