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Synthesizers

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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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    Yamaha's flagship FM synthesizer, the DX1.

    More On Frequency Modulation

    Synth Secrets

    Last month, we examined the frankly scary maths allowing you to predict the audible effects of Frequency Modulation. This time, although the maths gets even tougher, Gordon Reid relates the theory to the practical implementation of FM synthesis on Yamaha's digital synths, as well as modular and non-modular analogues.

    Techniques May 2000
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    Roland MRS2 Promars [Retrozone]

    Compuphonic Mono Synthesizer

    The Roland Promars helped to usher in a new era of microprocessor-controlled analogue synthesizer, but has subsequently been all but forgotten. Gordon Reid remembers the world's only 'Compuphonic' monosynth.

    Reviews May 2000
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    An Introduction To Frequency Modulation

    Synth Secrets

    As explained last month, audio-frequency modulation of the amplitude of a signal can be a powerful synthesis tool. The possibilities expand still further when we consider what happens when you use one audio-frequency signal to modulate the frequency of another...

    Techniques Apr 2000
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    Kurzweil K2600X header.

    Kurzweil K2600X

    Keyboard Workstation

    Kurzweil's latest workstation is very much the product of evolution, rather than revolution. Paul Ward finds out whether it's keeping pace with the rest of the synth world...

    Reviews Apr 2000
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    Minimodular rack synth.

    Analogue Solutions Minimodular

    Dual-oscillator Synthesizer

    Analogue Solutions' diminutive Minimodular contains all the necessaries to make up a miniature patchable synth. Gordon Reid arches an eyebrow at this innovative and compact sound source.

    Reviews Apr 2000
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    Touched By Sound DRM1 Syncussion

    Touched By Sound DRM1 Syncussion

    Analogue Percussion Synthesizer

    If sparkling analogue drum sounds are what you need to turn your tracks to gold, Germany's Touched By Sound company may have the answer in the form of the DRM1 eight-piece analogue drum module.

    Reviews Apr 2000
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    Figure 9: [top] Amplitude Modulation of Signal 1 by Signal 2. Figure 10: [bottom] The harmonic spectrum of the waveform in Figure 9.

    Amplitude Modulation

    Synth Secrets

    Last time, we examined the concept of modulation at low frequencies. This month, we speed things up a bit. The result is not just faster versions of the same modulation effects, but a new type of synthesis...

    Techniques Mar 2000
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    Waldorf Microwave XTk

    Wavetable Synthesizer

    Until now, the only implementation of Waldorf's wavetable synthesis with a built-in keyboard was their pricey Wave megasynth. Now, however, they've repackaged their more affordable Microwave XT in an attractive keyboard unit.

    Reviews Mar 2000
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    Studio Electronics Omega 8 (Preview)

    Analogue Synth Module

    The long-awaited Omega 8 promises much, even if its feature-set is not yet complete. Gordon Reid takes a first look...

    Reviews Mar 2000
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    Yamaha GX1 Synthesizer: Part 2

    Retrozone

    In Part 1, author Gordon Reid told us how he found one of the world's rarest synthesizers in Australia, and of the trouble he went to to get it home. In Part 2, he explains what it is about the Yamaha GX1 that made it all worthwhile...

    Reviews Mar 2000
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    Red Sound Systems Dark Star

    Desktop Synthesizer

    British company Red Sound Systems are known for their innovative DJ products. Now, in the shape of the Dark Star, they've produced their first synthesizer. Wing Commander Paul Farrer warms up the engines and takes it out on its maiden flight.

    Reviews Mar 2000
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    Figure 1: [top] A simple synthesizer. Figure 2: [bottom] Applying this control voltage to the oscillator frequency would result in a short burst of vibrato.

    Modulation

    Synth Secrets

    In this month's instalment of his series on the basics of subtractive synthesis, Gordon Reid considers the magic ingredient that makes all the other elements sound interesting...

    Techniques Feb 2000
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    Access Virus B

    Access Virus B & KB

    Modelled Analogue Synth Module, KB Keyboard & v3.0 Software

    The Virus modelled analogue synth has received a hardware upgrade to complement its ever‑evolving software feature set, and is now available in a keyboard version.

    Reviews Feb 2000
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    Yamaha GX1 Synthesizer: Part 1

    Retrozone

    In Part 1 of a special two-part feature, Gordon Reid tells the amazing story of Yamaha's ultra-rare GX1 analogue megasynth — and how it ended up in his living room!

    Reviews Feb 2000
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    An Introduction To VCAs

    Synth Secrets

    Having laid bare the inner workings of oscillators, contour generators and filters, Gordon Reid turns his attention to something which at first sight seems entirely self-evident. Can the humble voltage-controlled amplifier really hold any Synth Secrets?

    Techniques Jan 2000
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    Yamaha CS6X

    Control Synthesizer

    The CS6X has more features than any previous Yamaha Control Synth, with plenty of polyphony, real-time controllers, onboard effects, and basic sampling. You can even fit PLG expansion cards, giving you access not only to fresh sounds, but also other forms of synthesis.

    Reviews Jan 2000
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    Build Your Own Synth Websites

    Net Notes

    With demand increase for original analogue synths, and the second-hand market drying up, more and more people are contemplating building their own. As Ken McBeth explains, all the necessary resources are available on-line...

    Techniques Jan 2000

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