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Synthesizers

  • 7256 Sound Modules

    Sound Modules

  • 8198 Synthesis / Sound Design

    Synthesis / Sound Design

  • 8106 Synth Secrets

    Synth Secrets

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    Brass Synthesis On A Minimoog

    Synth Secrets

    Last month we looked at how analogue modules can reproduce the sound of a real trumpet. All very well if you own a wall-sized modular system — but what if your means are more limited? Gordon Reid adapts theory to practice with a Minimoog.

    Techniques Jun 2001
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    Synthesizing Brass Instruments

    Synth Secrets

    Gordon Reid builds on the acoustic theory of wind and brass instruments he introduced last month, and explains how to produce a convincing analogue trumpet sound.

    Techniques May 2001
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    Synthesizing Wind Instruments

    Synth Secrets

    Gordon Reid embarks on a journey to synthesize convincing woodwind and brass. This month, he considers how these instruments make their sounds in real life.

    Techniques Apr 2001
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    Formant Synthesis

    Synth Secrets

    Ever heard a synth talk? If you have, it's due to formant synthesis. Gordon Reid explores the theory of analogue formant synthesis, how it relates to the human voice and modern digital synths like Yamaha's FS1R.

    Techniques Mar 2001
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    From Springs, Plates & Buckets To Physical Modelling

    Synth Secrets

    Onboard effects may seem like a relatively recent synth innovation, but even old modular synths offered analogue effects. Although they were basic, the freely patchable nature of modular synths allowed them to be used to create convincing acoustic instrument sounds — thus effectively physical modelling. Gordon Reid explains how.

    Techniques Feb 2001
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    From Polyphony To Digital Synths

    Synth Secrets

    This time, Gordon Reid explains how various analogue synth manufacturers attempted to create workable polyphonic synths by employing digital technology.

    Techniques Jan 2001
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    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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    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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    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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    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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    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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    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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    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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    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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    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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    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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    More About Envelopes

    Synth Secrets

    Gordon Reid reveals some of the limitations of the 'classic' ADSR envelope with reference to a practical synthesis example, and explains some of the different types of envelopes found on 'classic' analogue synths, from AR envelopes right up to highly flexible digitally controlled EGs.

    Techniques Dec 1999
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    Envelopes, Gates & Triggers

    Synth Secrets

    You press a key on your synth. It plays a note. That's it, right? Wrong. We explain the role of envelopes, gates, and triggers in this deceptively simple process.

    Techniques Nov 1999
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    Of Responses & Resonance

    Synth Secrets

    As Parts 4 & 5 of Gordon Reid's series showed, even the simplest analogue filters mess with your sound in complicated ways. In this Part, he considers what happens when you make the design more sophisticated...

    Techniques Oct 1999

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