Help with birdsong

Trying to do an assignemnt for college requiring a forest ambience and an anthropomorphic bird. I’ve had trouble replicating birdsong in a satisfactory way. It must be made using only the base VCV modules, any advice on how to approach this? Thanks.

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Check this one:


a starting point

this patch is not for birds only, but frogs and other stuff

play a little bit with the knobs, of course if you are a beginner you will learn nothing from this

some really good stuff of course on youtube, learning is not immediate but the results are way different :wink:

a simple kinda wind can be done with noises and formant filters, try putting different sources into a mixer and pseudo-randomize the levels

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For the…


… I would start by sending a gate/trigger into a filter with high resonance. ADSR into its cutoff and then vca.

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For what it’s worth, some songbirds can produce two sounds independently, one from each side of their syrinx: Syrinx (bird anatomy) - Wikipedia :bird:


My favourite patch (not mine) from March 2021

Bird.vcv (2.3 KB)


I can’t not jump on these challenges when they present themselves :smiley: I don’t want to have done that assignment for you if you’d like to figure things out for yourself - behind here is what I’ve come up with:


Core modules, left hand side is only the most convenient way to get nicely spaced irregular triggers, right hand side is stereo ambience. Pink triggers, coral CV, beige audio.

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I have always been fascinated by that bird ability.

There was one time in high school when I had some congestion in my nasal passages, and somehow it was creating its own vibrations when I hummed. So for a brief moment I was able to produce two tones at once. It was pretty wild.


Here you go. Let it play for a bit.

birdsong.vcv (2.5 KB)


super patch! and how much I like this reverb…always been one of my favourites in Rack!

About that…

I guess most of us at some point have heard about Throat singing, where a human can produce two tones/notes at the same time. Specifically Tuvan/Mongolian throat singing. Throat singing - Wikipedia

Some people can take this polyphonic overtone singing to musical extremes. Check out Anna-Maria Hefele demonstrating and explaining/visualizing her extraordinary techniques.

polyphonic overtone singing - explained visually by Anna-Maria Hefele

And a shorter version for those with a limited attention span :wink:

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Here’s a patch/sketch that brings some ‘Life’ to VCV Rack that I remembered I had created at some point in the past. Kwurqx - Life.vcv (9.9 KB)

You could use some of the bird/animal/creature sounds/techniques in that patch as an example.

Apparently I didnt bother to have the Rampage Envelope Generators (loop mode) triggered automatically at start up. So, they need manual triggering in this patch.

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:thinking: I assume it’s considered cheating. Isn’t it?

Source: ChatGPT & DALL-E 3