In this installment of Simple Synthesis we’ll be looking at a technique that can achieve a wide variety of sonic results, while also having less computational overhead than a lot of more traditional synthesis approaches. Say hello to Wavetable Synthesis!
Posts Categorized: Simple Synthesis
Simple Synthesis: Part 13, Clock Division
How do you sync two sequencers to the same master clock while both run at different speeds? How do you generate a sub octave? In the this entry into the Simple Synthesis series you will learn about some of the various uses for gate and trigger signals, as well as a very important tool for manipulating… Read more »
Simple Synthesis: Part 12, Crossfading
A crossfader is exactly what you expect to find on any DJ mixer. It has an input on the left, an input on the right, and a fader is used to mix between them. In the modular world it’s more likely to be a knob than a fader, but its function is still the same…. Read more »
Making Music in the Browser: Web Audio/MIDI – Envelope Generator
In our first Simple Synthesis Addendum we learned how to connect a VCO to a VCA and control their ‘frequency’ and ‘gain’ AudioParams using a MIDI controller via the Web MIDI API. Good stuff! We now have a simple synth we can play. In this post we’ll learn how to shape our notes by building… Read more »
Making Music in the Browser: Web Audio/MIDI – VCO/VCA
Emmett Corman has a great introductory series on the basics of synthesis (using modular synths), called Simple Synthesis. I thought it would be of value to those without access to the hardware to be able to explore and interact with the concepts that Emmett covers directly in the browser, using the Web MIDI and Web Audio… Read more »
Simple Synthesis: Part 11, Sample and Hold
Sample and Hold modules (S&H) are sometimes overlooked, but they can be very versatile devices. Continue reading to find out how a module with only two inputs, one output and no knobs can drastically expand your modulation capabilities.
Simple Synthesis: Part 10, Frequency Modulation
When an LFO is routed to modulate an oscillator’s pitch, the result is known as vibrato. Speed that LFO up to audio rate and you’ve got what’s called Frequency Modulation Synthesis, or FM for short. Although used in digital synths like the Yamaha DX7 since the 1980’s, FM synthesis has been a part of modular… Read more »
Simple Synthesis: Part 9, Amplitude Modulation
Amplitude modulation synthesis is a counterintuitive method of creating harmonic content. How can changing amplitude (a.k.a. volume) create sound? Continue reading to learn about amplitude modulation in the modular domain.
Simple Synthesis: Part 8, Wavefolding
Wavefolding is a type of distortion synthesis where when the input amplitude exceeds the threshold, the peaks get cut off, similar to digital clipping. The difference is that in wavefolding, the curved amplitude peaks get inverted into a series of folds.
Simple Synthesis: Part 7, Oscillator Sync
Subtractive synthesis is heavily reliant on different wave types to increase the variety of possible sounds. Decades ago, when synth makers were trying to find novel ways to get more milage out of their oscillators they decided upon an interesting solution: Oscillator Sync.
Simple Synthesis: Part 6, Pulse Width Modulation
There’s a lot more to oscillators than a simple output frequency. Common oscillators generally only output a few basic waveforms, but there are several ways to expand your sonic palette.
Simple Synthesis: Part 5, Modular Sequencers
Back in the 1960s, it didn’t take synth maker pioneers like Moog and Buchla very long to realize the fun and usefulness of modules that could step through patterns of programmed voltage values. They are called sequencers and they are simple devices with powerful implications.
Simple Synthesis: Part 4, LFOs
One of the most powerful aspects of modular synthesis is the fact that almost everything can be modulated, making possible highly advanced sounds that change over time and can seem almost alive. Meet the LFO.
Simple Synthesis: Part 3, Filters
There are many ways to operate a modular synthesizer but one of the important methods of sound synthesis is called subtractive synthesis. To accomplish that you’re going need a filter.
Simple Synthesis: Part 2, Envelope Generators
At it’s best, electronic music can stimulate, energize, or hypnotize the conscious state of the the listener. To do that you’re going to need a few additional tools, or modules, to help shape your sound source into something that is more interesting and expressive.