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Synthesizers

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    An operator editing window, with the graphic envelope display showing on the right. At the bottom left of all operator windows is an Amplitude Modulation grid. Many modulation sources are assignable in the main Modulation Matrix, but to save you from cons

    Native Instruments FM7

    Virtual FM Synth [Mac / PC]

    Virtual analogue plug‑in synths are now common, and as DX‑style FM was the next great leap forward for real synths, a virtual FM synth was only a matter of time. So how does FM7 measure up to the original DX?

    Reviews Jul 2002
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    Practical Cymbal Synthesis

    Synth Secrets

    Synthesizing realistic cymbals is complex, but not impossible — after all, over 20 years ago, Roland's TR808 drum machine featured synthesized cymbals. We look at how they managed it, and attempt to create cymbals on another affordable analogue synth.

    Techniques Jul 2002
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    Analogue Systems Apprentice

    Modular Analogue Synth & Integrator Synth Modules

    The Apprentice — a keyboard-less wooden casing designed to house synth modules — is the latest addition to Analogue Systems' fully modular Integrator series of analogue synths. We test one fitted with some of the company's new modules...

    Reviews Jun 2002
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    Akai AX80 (Retrozone)

    The Return Of The AX-Man

    Prior to taking over the sampling world, Akai launched a hybrid analogue/digital synth with a unique interface.

    Reviews Jun 2002
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    Roland XV5050

    Sample-based Synth Module

    Roland's latest module provides the most affordable way yet to access the company's fine XV soundset, albeit with reduced polyphony and a less intuitive user interface compared to the more expensive XV5080. We weigh up the pros and cons.

    Reviews Jun 2002
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    Synthesizing Realistic Cymbals

    Synth Secrets

    Having analysed the complex process by which a cymbal makes its sound, it's time to synthesize our own...

    Techniques Jun 2002
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    ARP Quadra: Part 2

    Keyboard Synthesizer (Retrozone)

    In Part 1 (of 2) last month, we finished with the question: 'What is the Quadra? Is it a turkey of the first order, or a misunderstood and overlooked masterpiece?' This month, we'll take a closer look at the instrument itself to find the answer.

    Reviews May 2002
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    Roland SH32

    Virtual Analogue Synthesizer

    Roland released the JP8000/8080 virtual analogue synth way back in 1997, but never really followed it up. Now they've combined the modelling synth idea with their Groovebox concept, presenting it in compact form with a wealth of hardware control options...

    Reviews May 2002
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    Analysing Metallic Percussion

    Synth Secrets

    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...

    Techniques May 2002
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    Macbeth Systems M3X

    Analogue Synthesizer

    The M3X is the first product from Macbeth Systems, the Scottish company founded by former DIY analogue synth enthusiast Ken McBeth. Will all turn out well, or is the M3X destined for a tragic end?

    Reviews Apr 2002
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    Novation K-Station

    Modelled Performance Synthesizer

    Novation seem to be on a roll. Scarcely had the monotimbral A-Station made the cover of our December 2001 issue, when news broke of a £500 keyboard version. We look at one of the first UK production models.

    Reviews Apr 2002
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    Oberheim OB•12 v1.5

    Analogue Modelling Synthesizer

    The Oberheim/Viscount OB•12 was already a well-specified virtual analogue synth when it was launched in 2000, but it failed to gain much of a following. Now, after an OS upgrade and a cut in price, it's seriously good value for money...

    Reviews Apr 2002
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    ARP Quadra: Part 1

    Keyboard Synthesizer (Retrozone)

    Combining strings, a monosynth, a bass synth and a polyphonic synthesizer, did ARP create the keyboard equivalent of 'Wash and Go', or a jack of all trades and master of none?

    Reviews Apr 2002
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    Practical Snare Drum Synthesis

    Synth Secrets

    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...

    Techniques Apr 2002
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    Synth Secrets 0302 header artwork.

    Synthesizing Drums: The Snare Drum

    Synth Secrets

    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...

    Techniques Mar 2002
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    Emu Proteus 2500

    128-Voice Expandable Command Module

    Emu's synths may have broken no new ground since the 1999 launch of the Proteus 2000, but the new 2500 plays to their strengths, offering the best of their sound library, plus excellent sequencing and real-time control capabilities, at a very attractive price.

    Reviews Mar 2002
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    Moog Sonic 6

    Analogue Synthesizer (Retrozone)

    The pioneering Sonic 6 has a complex and intriguing background, featuring not only the synth industry's most famous name, Bob Moog, but also that of an unsung hero called Gene Zumcheck - a shadowy figure now, but one whose contribution to synthesis deserves acknowledgement.

    Reviews Mar 2002
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    Figure 1(a): A patch to synthesize the bass drum.

    Practical Bass Drum Synthesis

    Synth Secrets

    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.

    Techniques Feb 2002
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    David Vorhaus

    Electronic Music Pioneer

    One of the original pioneers of electronic music in Britain, David Vorhaus has remained at the cutting edge of the genre for over 30 years.

    People Feb 2002
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    Roland Fantom FA76

    Keyboard Workstation

    Korg's Triton has dominated the workstation synth market for several years, but the past 12 months have seen challenges to this position firstly from Yamaha, with their Motif, and now from Roland. Does this Fantom have what it takes?

    Reviews Feb 2002
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    Korg M1 (Retrozone)

    Digital Synth Workstation

    The all-time best-selling synthesizer, Korg's M1 laid the groundwork for synths that followed. We go behind the scenes to reveal the secrets of its success.

    Reviews Feb 2002

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