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Synthesizers

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    Sound Modules

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    Synthesis / Sound Design

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    Synth Secrets

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    Figure 1(a): The stretched string.

    Synthesizing Wind Instruments

    Synth Secrets

    Gordon Reid embarks on a journey to synthesize convincing woodwind and brass. This month, he considers how these instruments make their sounds in real life.

    Techniques Apr 2001
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    Alesis A6 Andromeda

    16-Voice Analogue Synthesizer

    Looking like a star cruiser, or something from the film 2001 (rather than just the year), Alesis' Andromeda is the first analogue polysynth that approaches the complexity of a digital workstation. But does analogue necessarily equate to quality?

    Reviews Apr 2001
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    Yamaha Motif [Preview]

    Workstation Synthesizer

    Rumours of a new Yamaha synth were circulating at January's NAMM show, but nothing was confirmed until a few weeks later, when SOS were invited to Yamaha's London R&D Centre. Matt Bell meets the Motif...

    Reviews Apr 2001
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    Cheetah MS6

    Analogue Synth Module (Retro)

    British computer peripherals manufacturer Cheetah ventured into the hi-tech music jungle in the 1980s and went down in budget gear history. David Harman goes on a synth safari with their MS6 analogue rack synth.

    Reviews Apr 2001
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    Figure 15: Part of a formant synthesizer constructed from multi-mode filters.

    Formant Synthesis

    Synth Secrets

    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.

    Techniques Mar 2001
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    Emu Mo'Phatt

    Urban Dance Synth

    The latest in Emu's range of style-specific sound modules is bright purple, stuffed with 32Mb of 'street' sounds, and bristling with urban attitude. Paul Farrer takes a closer look.

    Reviews Mar 2001
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    Figure 14: Modelling an acoustic space using analogue modules.

    From Springs, Plates & Buckets To Physical Modelling

    Synth Secrets

    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.

    Techniques Feb 2001
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    Waldorf Micro Q

    Polyphonic Rack Synth

    Stardate 02/2001: the most compact and affordable of Waldorf's bright yellow workstation synths is beaming into the SOS Editorial dome. Is it the work of a superior intelligence, or does it have all the appeal of a Vulcan nerve-pinch? Mind-meld with Paul Nagle and find out...

    Reviews Feb 2001
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    Korg PS3100

    Polyphonic Synthesizer [Retrozone]

    It may not be well known, but it is sought-after. Simon Lowther relates the history and mystery of an early 48-note polyphonic analogue synth and its well-connected family.

    Reviews Feb 2001
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    Figure 1: [top-left] A paraphonic synthesizer. Figure 2: [bottom-left] A fully polyphonic analogue synthesizer. Figure 3: [right] Octave divider boards.

    From Polyphony To Digital Synths

    Synth Secrets

    This time, Gordon Reid explains how various analogue synth manufacturers attempted to create workable polyphonic synths by employing digital technology.

    Techniques Jan 2001

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