After all the political talk in recent years about a return to traditional values, Paul Wiffen kicks off a major new series on synth programming by arguing the Analogue Fundamentalist Party case — that an understanding of the basic elements of traditional analogue synths is essential to fully exploit the various types of synthesis available today.
This month, Paul Wiffen looks at ways of modifying a filter's shape, both in terms of frequency response and over time, and considers the importance of routing in connecting together a synth's various sound-generating and -modifying components.
At the January NAMM show in 1987, Roland launched their D50, which mixed synthesis and sampled sounds in one package, a compbination which has remained popular to the current day. Paul Wiffen examines how S&S evolved into the most widespread form of sound generation on the market.
The ball of S&S synthesis had been thrown, and most of the big names in synthesis caught it and ran with it, scoring some notable goals in the process. Paul Wiffen continues his chronicle of modern synthesis with a look at the state of play from the late '80s to the present day.
Between the extremes of the broad brushstrokes of subtractive synthesis and the painstaking detail of additive, there have existed many hybrid styles of synthesis combining the speed of the former with the precision of the latter. Paul Wiffen traces the development of this middle ground through its successes and heroic failures.
Physical Modelling and Virtual Synthesis have been buzzwords for several years now, especially when it comes to imitating analogue synthesis. But what are their advantages and disadvantages, and how do they work? Paul Wiffen explains.
Last month, Paul Wiffen looked at how virtual synthesis can emulate analogue synths whilst going beyond their hardware-based limitation. Now he looks at its applications for imitating and exceeding older instruments such as electric piano and organ.
In the penultimate part of his series on synthesizer technology, Paul Wiffen turns his attention to the problem of emulating acoustic instruments in which the sound is produced by a string or reed, and amplified and modified by the body of the instrument.