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Synthesizers

  • 7256
    Modal Cobalt 8, Cobalt 8m & Cobalt 8x

    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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    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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    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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    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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    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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    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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    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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    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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    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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    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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    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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