Using Harmor VST to Create Signature Sounds Using the Time Envelope

Harmor VST is a very distinctive Synth/Sampler that allows you to make some pretty wild sounds, and breath new life into old samples.  I have barely begun to tap into the possibilities with this plug-in, but the following tutorial will show you how to take sounds from sample information and transform them into something much more malleable.

1.  Open up Harmor and select Presets -> Template -> Resynthesis.


NOTE:  You may want to prepare the sample for “Resynthesis” by using a plug-in like Newtone or Celemony Melodyne to correct the pitch to a C note and normalize the sound for optimum sound quality.

2.  Before bringing in a sample, lets improve the Resynthesis preset make sure that we can enhance the quality of the sample sound in Harmor and also map the low pass filter to the X Modulation and the high pass filter to the Y Modulation.

  • First hit the “FX” tab and go to the Compression section and select “Burning” and raise the “amt” slightly above halfway or as high as you desire.  This gives the sound a bit more weight.


  • Second hit the “ADV” tab and go to the “image/resynthesis” drop down and select “High precision”


  • Third, go to the top “Freq” filter knob for which should be set at “Crude low pass”, right click and choose “Quick Map To” -> “Modulation X”.


  • Fourth, go to the bottom “Freq” filter knob, choose “Class high pass” from the drop down, then right click and choose “Quick Map To” -> “Modulation Y”.


  • Finally, save this preset as “HQ_Resynthesis” in the Template directory.  Or download this preset here.  This saves times for creating future presets from samples.

3.  Drag the sample file you want to use into the “image section”


You will notice the sample once dragged into the “image section” has a graphic representation.  By analyzing the graphic representation we can find areas (points of interest in the image below) in the representation that will be good candidates for manipulating through an envelope.  We are looking for peaks in the intensity of the image horizontally where we can repeat, reverse, or hover around.


4.  Above the image of the sample information is a circular drop down button that contains several options for manipulating the image information.  Hit the button and select “Set viewed zone as loop region”:

The following screen appears once you make the selection.


5.  Hit the circular drop down again and select “Prepare time envelope”.


Once you select “Prepare time envelope”, the “ENV” screen below automatically appears  (Notice the two drop downs above the envelope display “Image time offset” and “Envelope” – so that you may get back to the display when you want to).  Now click on the “Tempo” button and drag the peak point on the envelope to the nearest beat or bar (depending on how long you want your loop).  Take a listen by clicking on a key with your mouse or on you MIDI controller to see if it sounds like you want.


Notice the time slope here.    The steeper the slope the faster the sample plays.  If the slope is horizontal it will play a tone.  If the slope is inverted it plays the sample in reverse.  The slope need not be linear and can be curved (right click on a point and a menu of shapes between points is available), which creates a variation in the speed of the sound’s play back.  Manipulating this time envelope is a very creative way to manipulate the sample.


The example above shows a linear progression for a beat and a half followed by a hovering effect back and forth for the last 2 and a half beats.  Turning on the “legato” allows instances of overlapping notes to change the pitch without re-triggering the start point of the envelope.  The legato also prevents polyphony, which is not necessarily desired on complex sounds.


You can buy Harmor (VST for Windows) at the Image Line shop – present the code HDIBEGH491 and get 10% off (or follow this link to go directly to the Image Line shop with the code already applied).

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Posted in Harmor, Music Production, VST Patches, VST Plugins

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