The task of synthesizing convincing metallic percussion defeated many synth giants — you only need to listen to Kraftwerk's weedy cymbals on 'The Model' to be persuaded of that. So why is it so difficult? We find out...
Last month, we revealed just how hideously complex the sound-producing mechanism of the snare drum can be. Nevertheless, synthesizing the sound is not as hard as it seems, as we find out with the aid of a Roland SH101...
If you thought synthesizing realistic bass drums was complex, that's nothing compared to snares. So how is it that the analogue snare sound is so well known? And how do you go about creating it? We find out...
Moving from last month's theoretical bass drum synth patch to its practical application on affordable analogue synths, we also take a look at how the world's most famous drum machines produce this fundamental rhythm sound.
Having proved that subtractive synthesis of an acoustic guitar is completely impractical, Gordon Reid tries his hand at the electric variety, and deconstructs some past attempts to emulate the sound via analogue means.
Having dealt exhaustively with the mechanics of brass instruments and how to go about synthesizing them, we turn to instruments that use plucked strings to generate their sound, taking the complexities of the acoustic guitar as an example.
Last month we looked at how analogue modules can reproduce the sound of a real trumpet. All very well if you own a wall-sized modular system — but what if your means are more limited? Gordon Reid adapts theory to practice with a Minimoog.
Ever heard a synth talk? If you have, it's due to formant synthesis. Gordon Reid explores the theory of analogue formant synthesis, how it relates to the human voice and modern digital synths like Yamaha's FS1R.
Onboard effects may seem like a relatively recent synth innovation, but even old modular synths offered analogue effects. Although they were basic, the freely patchable nature of modular synths allowed them to be used to create convincing acoustic instrument sounds — thus effectively physical modelling. Gordon Reid explains how.
Having explored the way monophonic and duophonic analogue keyboards work, Gordon Reid puts away his Minimoog and Odyssey and descends into the complex world of polyphonic synths to a flourish of complex jazz chords.