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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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    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
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    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
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    Synthesizing Percussion

    Synth Secrets

    Synth Secrets turns its attention to the synthesis of percussion instruments, beginning with pitched drums.

    Techniques
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    A Final Attempt To Synthesize Guitars

    Synth Secrets

    Having proved that subtractive synthesis of an acoustic guitar is completely impractical, Gordon Reid tries his hand at the electric variety, and deconstructs some past attempts to emulate the sound via analogue means.

    Techniques
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    The Theoretical Acoustic Guitar Patch

    Synth Secrets

    Having explained last month the reasons why analogue synthesis of guitar sounds should be well-nigh impossible, Gordon Reid puts the theory to the test...

    Techniques
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    Synthesizing Plucked Strings

    Synth Secrets

    Having dealt exhaustively with the mechanics of brass instruments and how to go about synthesizing them, we turn to instruments that use plucked strings to generate their sound, taking the complexities of the acoustic guitar as an example.

    Techniques
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    Roland SH101 & ARP Axxe Brass Synthesis

    Synth Secrets

    Gordon Reid concludes his attempts to adapt an idealised analogue brass patch so that it can be programmed on real synths. This month, he looks at the Roland SH101 and ARP Axxe.

    Techniques
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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

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