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Synthesis / Sound Design

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    Figures 7, 8 and 9: Shown from top to bottom.

    What's In A Sound?

    Synth Secrets

    In Part 1 of this (63-part) series exploring the world of subtractive synthesis, Gordon Reid goes right back to basics. What are waveforms and harmonics, where do they come from, and how does the theory relate to what we actually hear?

    Techniques May 1999
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    Synth FX: Part 1

    Introduction Of Built-in Effects On Synthesizers

    These days, a new synth without some form of DSP effects processing is almost unthinkable — but it wasn't always like that. Paul Wiffen traces the introduction of effects on synthesizers and looks at making the most of the early implementations.

    Techniques Mar 1999
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    Synth School: Part 12 (of 12)

    The Way Ahead

    Will physical modelling continue to be at the leading edge of synthesis, or are there other methods moving up on the inside tracks? Paul Wiffen winds up the Synth School series with a little crystal ball-gazing.

    Techniques Oct 1998
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    Synth School: Part 11

    Modelling Strings & Wind Instruments

    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.

    Techniques Sep 1998
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    Steve McNally: Sound Programmer

    Sound Design

    Do you ever wonder who's responsible for the waveforms and sound patches in your favourite synth? If it's a Korg keyboard, then the answer might be Steve McNally, one of the team of sound developers.

    People Aug 1998
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    Synth School: Part 10

    Modelling Electric Instruments

    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.

    Techniques Aug 1998
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    Synth School: Part 9

    The Imitation Of Analogue

    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.

    Techniques Jul 1998
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    Synth School: Part 8

    Wave Sequencing To Z-Plane Synthesis

    Paul Wiffen continues to examine transitional synthesis, covering the Wave Sequencing facility, first introduced on the innovative Korg Wavestation, and concluding with Emu's Z-plane technique, which may be regarded as bridging the gap between S&S and today's physical modelling.

    Techniques Jun 1998
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    Synth School: Part 7

    Transitional Synthesis

    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.

    Techniques Apr 1998
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    Synth School: Part 6

    Building On PCM — The Next Generations

    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.

    Techniques Feb 1998
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    Yamaha VL70m

    Breath-controller Sequencing Workshop

    Paul White finds a few ways around the restricted breath-control facilities of the Yamaha VL70m.

    Techniques Jan 1998
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    Synth School: Part 5

    The Origins Of Sample & Synthesis (S&S)

    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.

    Techniques Dec 1997
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    Synth School: Part 4

    Additive Synthesis

    Throughout the '80s, additive synthesis was the Holy Grail for synth purists; many machines aspired to it, but only one achieved it successfully. Paul Wiffen explains how additive works and looks at the various implementations, including the newly updated Kawai version.

    Techniques Oct 1997
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    Synth School: Part 3

    Digital Synthesis (FM, PD & VPM)

    Having completed his study of analogue synthesis last month, Paul Wiffen takes a look at FM and its related digital synthesis types, which rocked the synth world throughout the 1980s.

    Techniques Sep 1997
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    Synth School: Part 2

    Resonance, Envelopes & Routing

    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.

    Techniques Aug 1997
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    RON BERRY: Acoustic Modelling With Analogue Modular Synth

    Interview | Artist

    Somewhere in the North-East of England, electronic musician and designer Ron Berry has been applying an old-style analogue modular synth to the creation of a very contemporary phenomenon — physical modelling synthesis. Jonathan Miller finds out how it's done.

    People Jul 1997
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    Synth School: Part 1

    Analogue Oscillators, Filters & LFOs

    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.

    Techniques Jun 1997
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    Making The Most Of Your Emu Proteus: Part 2

    Tips & Techniques

    Paul Farrer looks at ways of using Proteus 2 samples to create a convincing orchestral arrangement.

    Techniques Oct 1995
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    Making The Most Of Your Emu Proteus: Part 1

    Tips & Techniques

    In the first of a 2-Part series, Paul Farrer offers some hints and tips for improving the sounds you can coax from Emu's popular Proteus range.

    Techniques Sep 1995
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    Exploring Analogue, Part 3

    Exploration

    24 tracks? Pah! How about a whopping 24 notes? Steve Howell concludes his series on the modular system of yore by taking a look at the somewhat capacitorially-challenged analogue sequencer...

    Techniques Jul 1994
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    Creating Analogue Sounds On Digital Synths: Part 4

    Recreating Analogue Bass

    Set the controls for the heart of the bass: Nick Magnus reveals just how low your digital synth can go...

    Techniques Apr 1994

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