View Full Version : First Custom Font: "Aria" Saber Font

03-18-2015, 08:51 PM
Hello saber fans, I thought I would post up this project since I'm getting some good results, and it just might inspire some other folks to give it a try.

This saber font is designed for my recently built saber, which I will be posting about (with video) once the sound font is finished and everything is the way I want it. I wanted a sound font that would sound as elegant as the saber's appearance:


I am a singer (specifically, I sing opera) and I thought it would be cool to try to modify the sound of a human voice into something that sounds like a classic lightsaber sound. Thus, the name of the project became "Aria". The first source was my own voice, singing a 'C' (C3 to be exact, for those of you who are pianists/keyboardists). I recorded both an open mouth "ah" vowel and the same note, only hummed.

For those of you who might not know any Italian, 'aria' also means 'air'. That's where I found the inspiration for my second source- a noisy, old-school laminate projector at my university. It had an interesting whir that came from the motor that turns the cooling fan... so I recorded it!

I should also mention, I have taken quite a few classes on audio recording and engineering, so I did come to this project with a bit of previous experience..

As for putting it all together, I used a FREE sound editing software called Audacity. It comes with many different effects built in. I didnt use any outside plug-ins or programs to create the hum below. After much trial and error, I ended up using the open 'ah' tone layered over the projector noise, which was pitch-corrected to give it more of a 'lightsaber' hum instead of the airy, mechanical one it had at the source. The vocalization, however, was much more complex.

I added a phaser effect, added a compressor to even out the sound, duplicated the track, and then 'nudged' one of the tracks so it was out of phase with the original. The result is a voluptuous, ringing tone that was really what I was going for. I did, however, run into a complication because after all the editing, a specific ring-y frequency popped out that was a bit annoying. But all I needed to do to fix it was find the frequency and 'notch' it out using an equalizer.

Anyway, enough of my blabbering. Here's the hum. I'll be adding to this thread with new sounds as I create them.



Star Bird
03-18-2015, 09:02 PM
That's a really cool idea. And that hum sounds awesome! Can't wait to hear the new sounds

03-18-2015, 09:35 PM
Sounds pretty cool!

03-18-2015, 10:28 PM
Wicked. I'm excited to hear the whole font.

03-18-2015, 11:11 PM
Thanks everyone for the feedback!

All I can say is WHOA. This is process is addicting. Now I know how Novastar got into making so many fonts!

Before bed, I went back and made my Activation and Deactivation sounds! Here they are:



The activation is essentially a light meat ignition (which I ADORE) but it is pitch-adjusted to flow harmonically into the unique Aria hum, which is played underneath and faded in to feel natural.

The deactivation sound is quite literally the activation sound played in reverse. Add a fade out before the 'burst' sound, and voila, yer saber's off.

I've been researching how Ben Burtt created the swings and clashes for the films, and I'm going to try to do the swings in a very authentic way. Might find some 'zaps' on the net to modify for clashes.

More to come soon!



So I dont double-post, here is my newest link.


Today I finished the clashes. This track is just a demo of them all played in sequence.

Lightsaber clashes are well... distinctive. I looked at a couple zaps from here and there, and they really didnt sound like Star Wars to me. So I ended up downloading a big zip file of SW sound effects and cut em up, picked the ones I liked, then adjusted pitch and/or used an Audacity effect called 'Paulstretch', which lengthens a sound without changing the pitch (!!). Some of the clashes are sounds from the Obi-Wan/Maul duel, which are fast at the source, but using Paulstretch got an interesting result and a unique, yet authentic zap.

Only the swings are left!


10-28-2015, 06:57 AM
Very nice.

10-28-2015, 08:36 AM
Cool idea. The hum is fantastic, and completely unique.

I'm finding the discussion of your process to be very interesting.