You don’t have to play synths or ‘real’ instruments to make music: embrace the experimental, and you could use almost anything...
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Techniques: Synthesis / Sound Design
Cult TV series Stranger Things has become essential viewing — and essential listening. We talk to the previously unknown composers behind its hit soundtrack.
Vintage synths are objects of fascination to musicians and collectors alike. But keeping them alive takes a special kind of expertise...
Ah, the 80s... Fluorescent socks, marble-wash jeans, and naff-sounding synth pads! You might not want to resurrect the first two, but subtle use of pads can improve even the most contemporary-sounding mix.
No longer the preserve of men in laboratories or capes, the modular synth business is thriving, and i'ts now easier to go modular than ever before. Read on and we will show you how...
Granular synthesis is the core technology behind the latest time-stretching and pitch-shifting algorithms, but it can also be used to generate extraordinary evolving soundscapes. We explain how the process works and show you how to get the best from the software that uses it.
Although the Ion is already well-respected for its sound quality, its synthesis architecture is also surprisingly flexible. We show you how to get the best from this little beast in your studio.
Although the Access Virus features one of the most knobby control surfaces amongst virtual analogue synths, there's a lot of programming flexibility available which isn't immediately obvious. We show you how to uncover the hidden possibilities?
After more than five years, Synth Secrets reaches its conclusion (and conclusions!). Will we ever look at synthesis in quite the same way again?
In the penultimate instalment of this long-running series, we delve deeper into what can be achieved with just a few delays and some creative routing...
In this final instalment of our series of XG programming tips, we take a look at how the advanced modulation parameters can bring your layered sounds to life.
Layering voices is one of the best ways to maximise the potential of your XG sound module, so here are a variety of ingenious ways you can use this technique — you can even turn your synth into a high-spec step sequencer!
Effects can play just as important a role in sound creation as the elements in a synth's signal path — provided you have access to their constituent parts. We take a closer look at effects synthesis using simple delays.
There are lots of XG-format synthesizers in home studios, but their General MIDI heritage discourages many owners from using them. However, there's life in your XG module yet if you're willing to explore its hidden depths.
When synthesizing sounds, the effects you place after your synth's output are often as important as the synth itself (just think of last month's Leslie). As we near the end of Synth Secrets, we consider how a digital effects processor works.
We conclude our analysis of the fabulously complex beast that is the Leslie rotary speaker.
In the final part of our series on Roland's family of sound modules, we show you how the more advanced synthesis parameters can breathe life into your patches.
As with so much surrounding the Hammond organ, there's much more to the Leslie rotary speaker than meets the eye, and synthesizing its effects involves considerably more than just adding vibrato, as we find out in this installment.
We show you how to edit and save your synth's Patches, and helps you maximise the effects potential of your multitimbral setups. Plus there's advice on troubleshooting thorny panning problems, and tips on automating levels without changing your individual sounds.