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Synthesizers

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    Synth Secrets

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    Articulation & Bowed-string Synthesis

    Synth Secrets

    The skilful articulation of a synthesized string patch can improve it no end, even one created using very basic building blocks, as we saw at the end of last month. But we can take this approach much further...

    Techniques Jul 2003
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    Practical Bowed-string Synthesis (continued)

    Synth Secrets

    After putting all our bowed-string synthesis theory into practice on a Korg 700 last month, we found that the result was only acceptable as a string sound with a lot of wishful thinking. Can we improve on it?

    Techniques Jun 2003
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    Practical Bowed-string Synthesis

    Synth Secrets

    Having looked at the mechanics of how a bowed string instrument generates its sound last month, it's time to put these principles into practice, using nothing more complex than a miniKorg 700 monophonic synth...

    Techniques May 2003
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    Synthesizing Bowed Strings: The Violin Family

    Synth Secrets

    Following our success at synthesizing the sound of analogue string machines, we hone our techniques with a view to recreating the sound of the real thing...

    Techniques Apr 2003
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    Synthesizing Strings: PWM & String Sounds

    Synth Secrets

    Pulse-width modulation is a vital tool in achieving lush-sounding synthesized string pads — so what if your synth doesn't have it? Fear not, for PWM can itself be synthesized. Here's how...

    Techniques Mar 2003
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    Synthesizing Strings: String Machines

    Synth Secrets

    Analogue synths can't synthesize every sound, but the attempts made to replicate the sound of orchestral strings were so successful that so-called string machines became much-loved instruments in their own right. We begin a voyage into the world of synthesized strings...

    Techniques Feb 2003
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    Synthesizing Acoustic Pianos On The Roland JX10 [Part 3]

    Synth Secrets

    When trying to copy a real piano with an analogue synth, if one patch doesn't quite do it, two just might...

    Techniques Jan 2003
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    Waldorf Microwave

    Getting Creative With Waldorf Microwave Synths

    Masterclass

    The Microwave synths are complex beasts, so here are some hands-on tips to help you get the creative results you're after, without spending all your time programming.

    Techniques Jan 2003
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    Synthesizing Acoustic Pianos On The Roland JX10 [Part 2]

    Synth Secrets

    How did they make that sound on a subtractive synth? We continue to dissect the analogue 'Acoustic Piano' Performance from Roland's 1986-vintage JX10.

    Techniques Dec 2002
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    Synthesizing Acoustic Pianos On The Roland JX10 [Part 1]

    Synth Secrets

    As explained last month, synthesizing the sound of an acoustic piano is difficult, but it can be done reasonably realistically, as the 1986-vintage Roland JX10 shows. We find out how Roland managed it...

    Techniques Nov 2002
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    Figure 15: Trying to create a piano sound using a realistic number of modules.

    Synthesizing Pianos

    Synth Secrets

    Surely the only convincing synth pianos are sample-based ones? A sound as rich and expressive as that of an acoustic piano is far too complex to be rendered by subtractive synthesis... isn't it? Let's find out...

    Techniques Oct 2002
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    Figure 1: The Roland TR808 cowbell.

    Synthesizing Cowbells & Claves

    Synth Secrets

    Having learned last month how to synthesize tuned bells, we turn this time, in the last of this series on the subject of percussion, to untuned bells — in the form of the humble cowbell — and claves.

    Techniques Sep 2002
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    Figure 1: Synthesizing a cymbal using the Nord Modular.

    Synthesizing Bells

    Synth Secrets

    Having come up last month with a reasonably realistic cymbal patch, it's time to take the principles of synthesizing metallic percussion one stage further, and produce bell sounds. But there's more to this than you might think...

    Techniques Aug 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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    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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    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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    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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    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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    Bass Drum artwork header image.

    Synthesizing Drums: The Bass Drum

    Synth Secrets

    Ever wanted to synthesize unpitched membranophones? No? Well, you might if you knew that bass and snare drums are of this percussion type. We show you how...

    Techniques Jan 2002
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    Figures 1,2 and 3

    Practical Percussion Synthesis: Timpani

    Synth Secrets

    Building on the theory of what makes up the sound of timpani, this month's Synth Secrets reveals how to synthesize realistic kettle drums using a Korg MS20 and a Yamaha DX7.

    Techniques Dec 2001

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