Techniques for generating clicks, pops, hiss and noise

Today I found an old max patch, on an old hard drive - that generates different flavors of clicks/noise.

There’s something cathartic in making these…

The patch:
Random Clicks Pops and Noise.maxpat (112.9 KB)
(A few presets there to give you an idea of the range). The second one is my personal fave - approaching rain on a window.

Feel free to:
Add to the patch and post back,

It does not need to be Max specific.


Ooh this is satisfying. I just have it running in the background while I finish up some work


Thanks for sharing this. I might try to implement something similar in Supercollider with a Norns UI just as an exercise. Would you mind sharing some sound recordings of this, since I don’t have Max?


Sure, will do when I get the chance.

I was planning to add a randomise function to all the parameters - might make a norms thing more exciting perhaps? Also hi/low pass on all… or some kind of more complicated sweeping system…


Oh, very pertinent topic.
Only yesterday I was trying to get some decent clicks and pops out of the eurorack …

Wonder what a good way would be to do this on an ‘analog’ modular.
Right now I’m sending offsets to VCAs, opening those rhythmically, mixing all of this with an AC coupled mixer.

Thankful for every tip and suggestion …

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You can do this in an Automatonism PD patch on a computer, assign the knobs and drop the patch on Norns to play it

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Pink noise modulating a sine wave’s freq or self oacillating VCF’s cutoff across the right range sounds like bacon frying sounds or crackling vinyl with some settings.

You can get authentic dusty/old vinyl sound by feeding white noise to the sync input of a VCO with variable sync (turning down the amount of sync a bit), while listening to the pulse output.

Set a VCO’s PulseWidth to the minimum so that it is silent, then use a tiny bit of noise as a PWM source. Great for digital and glitch sounding effects.

Run some noise source through a couple different filters of different types and modulate them with independent oscillators for abstract noisescapes.

@Mark Here’s a patch I did in Automatonism playing on Fates - it’s mixed white noise, gates and triggers through a bank of randomly modulated bandpass filters


Just patched this up, and the bacon-ing is legit! :sweat_smile:

I used a Three Sisters as the sine, and playing around with span gives some nice “rain on a tarp” sounds.


Pardon, but I’m 100% brand new to Max. I have this patch open and the meters are showing activity, but I don’t have any sound. Is there a general step for getting sound out?

means audio is running, that’s good… maybe check your “audio options” and make sure the output device is set properly(go up in the menubar of Max, under ‘Option’ menu, open ‘Audio Status’ window, then set the input output devices to what’s valid on your system)

I found that bitwise XORing two similar signals leads to nice results:

This was generated by taking two Befaco Rampage outputs and bitwise XORing them together and then playing with the frequency of one of the waves to find various clicks and pops.


on the general topic, there’s some nice secret threads on the cycling74 forums from user “Grigou” that show more techniques:

one of my favorite threads there of all time is actually how to make the video glitches from the indie game “Memories Of A Broken Dimension”, and there Grigou and Martin both add some cool audio glitches too:

(edit: i guess the last exclamation point in that last URL :point_up: breaks the link here on discourse, but you’ll need it to visit the proper URL - 2nd edit: sort of fixed(?))


I’ve used dust2 in the past to produce dusty noise (kind of) like what you’d find on vinyl.

I think it was originally a supercollider ugen, but I used it as a Csound opcode.

My personal favorite kind of glitches are sinusoidal bursts. If you take an impulse and put it through a resonant lowpass filter, you can get some pretty satisfying sounds. Here it is being done in ChucK, where I first learned about it. You can hear this same technique sprinkled around in this generative audio-visual composition of mine. Exponentially mapped sine waves do a pretty similar thing, which is what I do to get the glitchy percussive sounds in this sporthling.

FAUST has a collection of noise generators, including something called velvet noise, which I think is very similar to dust2.


In VST-land, Unfiltered Audio has many options for noise and crackles. If you have Reaktor, Euro Reakt features lots of stuff:

Lion also has crackle/dust/noise generators:

Also, both Euro Reakt and Lion have wild mixing modes (bitwise, wave terrain, etc) that allow you to mix the noise & crackles with other inputs.


I made a patch with some really satisfying pops and clicks using a Maths and Three Sisters the other day. I’ll see if I can put it back together.

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This is pretty nice. Anyone else working with it, how are you using it?


This is a crazy cool web tool! For the last few hours I have been FM-ing a furthrr generator with one of the feeds. Crazy sounds. Thanks for the tip!

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Awesome resource. Thanks for sharing this. Very useful :+1: :sunglasses:

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piezo powered jar lids. great for pops and clicks.


When I was playing with these a lot I had a bag that was full of bottle caps and wadded up paper and I would just drop a few contact mics down in there and squeeze the bag to varying degrees. Made some great crispy sounds.