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Synthesizers

  • 7256

    Sound Modules

  • 8198

    Synthesis / Sound Design

  • 8106

    Synth Secrets

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    Figure 1: [top-left] A simple monosynth. Figure 2: [bottom-left] A four-note broken chord played on a low-note-priority monosynth. Figure 3: [top-right] A four-

    Introducing Polyphony

    Synth Secrets

    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.

    Techniques Dec 2000
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    EMS Synthi 100.

    All About EMS: Part 2

    Exploration

    In the final part of our two-part Retrozone, Gordon Reid charts EMS's further achievements, the reasons for their decline in...

    Music Business Dec 2000
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    Novation Supernova II

    Modelling Workstation

    The Supernova modelling workstation earned a pile of accolades for its excellent 'analogue' sounds, superb multitimbral effects, and its user-friendly, knobular interface. But Novation have now withdrawn the original and replaced it with the Supernova II. Can something so good get better still?

    Reviews Dec 2000
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    Emu Systems Virtuoso 2000

    128-voice Virtual Orchestra Module

    Continuing their tradition of themed rackmount modules, Emu have unleashed a 128-voice virtual orchestra in a box. A virtuoso endeavour or virtual insanity?

    Reviews Dec 2000
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    Roland VG88

    V-guitar System

    Ever imagined what a guitar with a resinator body would sound like with a humbucker-style pickup, played at the 12th fret through a Marshall stack? John Walden creates just such a virtual instrument, with the help of Roland's VG88 V-Guitar System.

    Reviews Dec 2000
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    Figure 3: [top] Creating a. Figure 4: [bottom] The chromatic scale generated by the configuration in.

    Duophony

    Synth Secrets

    Gordon Reid discovers that two's company, as he investigates how manufacturers stretched the capabilities of analogue monosynths to offer the magnificent total of two notes at a time...

    Techniques Nov 2000
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    EMS VCS3 synthesizer.

    All About EMS: Part 1

    EMS VCS3 & DK1 Retrozone

    In the first part of a two-part series, Gordon Reid charts the rise of EMS and their creation of the world's first self-...

    Music Business Nov 2000
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    Roland XV5080

    Rack Synthesizer/sample Playback Module

    In their eagerly-awaited new flagship synth, Roland have harked back to the sampling technology of their respected S-series samplers, as well as adding some contemporary touches to equip it for the 21st century. Gordon Reid assesses past, present and future.

    Reviews Nov 2000
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    Korg Triton Rack

    Expandable Sound Module/Sampler

    Korg follow up their top-flight Triton workstation with a sophisticated rackmount expander. The new model sacrifices some features but enhances many others and adds support for the mLAN music network standard. Simon Trask racks it up.

    Reviews Nov 2000
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    Figure 3: [top] Creating a. Figure 4: [bottom] The chromatic scale generated by the configuration in.

    Priorities & Triggers

    Synth Secrets

    In these days of 64-note polyphony and 32-part multitimbrality, it's easy to forget the importance of note-priority systems in analogue monosynths — yet they can have a drastic effect on what you hear when you play or trigger an old synth. Gordon Reid provides a refresher course.

    Techniques Oct 2000
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    Analogue Systems Sorceror

    Modular Analogue Keyboard Synthesizer

    West-country company Analogue Systems have been in the vanguard of modern modular synth construction for several years now, most notably with their RS Integrator system. Using Integrator modules, they've produces their first freely configurable keyboard modular. Paul Nagle sees if the spirit of patchable modular keyboards is alive, well, and living in Cornwall...

    Reviews Oct 2000
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    Figure 1: Smoothing a stepped waveform (or vice versa?).

    From Sample & Hold To Sample-rate Converters (2)

    Synth Secrets

    Sample & Hold modules, as explained last month, convert a continuously varying signal into a stepped series of fixed pitches. And this, as we shall see, is the basis of what we know as 'digital audio'...

    Techniques Sep 2000
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    Figure 1: [top] The output from an envelope follower. Figure 2: [bottom] A more sophisticated envelope follower.

    From Sample & Hold To Sample-rate Converters (1)

    Synth Secrets

    Gordon Reid introduces the synthesis modules that allow you to create a number of commonly used 'random' effects, and their close relatives — analogue sequencers.

    Techniques Aug 2000
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    Emu XL1 Xtreme Lead 1

    Sound Module

    Built in to the same box as Emu's flagship Proteus 2000 comes the Xtreme Lead 1, a dance-based 64-voice, 16-part multitambral sound module with 32Mb of onboard sampled ROM sounds. But is it as powerful as it is bright? Paul Farrer finds out.

    Reviews Aug 2000
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    Figure 1: A typical setup for processing an external signal using a Minimoog.

    An Introduction To ESPs & Vocoders

    Synth Secrets

    We turn our attention to the effects that can be achieved when subtractive synthesis components are applied not to the output from oscillators, but to real-world sounds — such as human speech.

    Techniques Jul 2000
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    Roland XV3080

    Sound Module

    Roland's JV1080 and 2080 have become the bread-and-butter sound sources for innumerable MIDI studios worldwide. Now the company have introduced their successors in the shape of the XV-series. Derek Johnson and Debbie Poyser test the new XV3080.

    Reviews Jul 2000
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    Clavia Nord Modular v3.03 & MicroModular

    Analogue Modelling Synths

    One of the advantages of a software-based instrument is that it can evolve over time, as its makers add new algorithms and refinements. Clavia's Nord Modular has undergone exactly this process, and its editing software has also migrated to the Mac. Gordon Reid tries out the latest version, along with its baby brother, the MicroModular...

    Reviews Jul 2000
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    Emu Modular [Retrozone]

    Modular Synthesizer

    Emu Systems have been synonymous for so long with samplers and sampling that it may surprise some to learn that they started out making analogue synthesizers — and that through the '70s and early '80s, they produced some of the biggest, most sophisticated modular synths ever made. Simon Lowther gets out his patch cords...

    Reviews Jul 2000
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    Figure 10: [top]. Figure 11: [bottom].

    An Introduction To Additive Synthesis

    Synth Secrets

    Every pitched sound can be thought of as a collection of individual sine waves at frequencies related to the fundamental. Gordon Reid introduces a powerful method of synthesis that works by manipulating these individual harmonics.

    Techniques Jun 2000
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    Waldorf Q

    Rack Workstation & Software

    Waldorf's Q keyboard workstation definitely suffered by being released to the public before its operating system was completely finished or bug-free. Gordon Reid takes advantage of the release of the new Q Rack module to revisit the operating system and see how it's come on...

    Reviews Jun 2000
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    Emu B3 Tonewheel

    Organ Module

    When Emu launched their flagship Proteus 2000 sound module last year, they promised a further range of cheaper 'P1K' modules which would cater for special needs, but be expandable to full Proteus 2000 spec. The first of these modules to appear aims to recreate the classic Hammond tomewheel organ sound. Nick Magnus is impressed.

    Reviews Jun 2000

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