In Part 1 we explained how the tones of most real instruments can be reduced to patterns of harmonics, which can be generated using sine, saw, square or pulse waveforms. This month, we consider the sonic raw materials needed to imitate unpitched percussion.
Korg's Trinity workstation has, like their earlier instruments, become virtually an industry standard — but far from resting on their laurels, the company have upped the ante still further with the new Triton. Derek Johnson and Debbie Poyser provide an exclusive hands-on review.
The theremin is one of the oldest electric instruments around, and its distinctive sound is instantly recognisable. However, real ones are hard to find, and even harder to play. Sam Inglis tries to work out a way of cheating.
If you were offered a Roland JV2080, complete with Session expansion card and software editor, for around half the price of a JV1080, you'd probably wonder what the catch was. OK, so the JV1010 isn't quite that, but it comes surprisingly close...
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?
Most US synthesizer manufacturers followed the now all-too-familiar corporate history of rapid growth in the 1970s followed by acrimonious dissolution in the 1980s. What happened to Octave, however, was a little different...
Last month, Gordon Reid reviewed the babies of the Technosaurus range, the Microcon synthesizer and Cyclodon sequencer. This month, he tackles their (very) big brother, the Selector modular synthesizer...
In Part 1, we saw how manufacturers realised that putting DSP effects on synths made for great sales. Subsequently, they twigged that it was also a good idea to let us take them off again (selectively), and route and adjust them ourselves.
Yamha scored a big success with their famously blue, knob-endowed CS1x Performance synth, and now they seek to build on this with the silver-grey CS2x — but does the 1-digit increment and change of colour scheme constitute revolution or evolution?
Ensoniq were as the forefront of workstation and sampling technology in the '80s, but their recent synth offerings have not kept up with the fashion for controller-festooned techno boxes. The Fizmo, however, updates their take on wavetable synthesis with extensive real-time control.
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.
Two Dutch designers who were influential in the design of the cult '80s Synton Syrinx synth have recently returned to the field, coming up with the exclusive and highly idiosyncratic Fénix synthesizer.