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Program Your Synth Like a Pro: Introducing the Synthesizer

Submitted by on January 14, 2014 – 3:38 pm No Comment

Are you ready to take your sounds beyond the factory presets of your synth? When you know how the components of your synth work together, you’ll be able to program like a pro in no time at all! This series will help you better understand your equipment so that no matter what your level of synth understanding happens to be, you’ll be able to experiment with your own sounds.

The structure of the synthesizer hasn’t changed much since the initial synths that Bob Moog developed in the 1960’s. That includes the virtual synths that you can find on today’s leading recording and sound development software! Technology may have improved and synths can fit into the palm of your hand now instead of filling a room, but the actual components of synth sound remain unchanged five decades later.

You’ve Got To Know Your Signals!

Though most synths aren’t connected by outer patch cables today, they are still connected underneath the hood by either an audio signal or a control signal. Audio signals ultimately determine what you hear, but control signals are what control the voltage paths that ultimately control the direction of the audio signal.

Every component of your synth falls into one of three categories: a source, a modifier, or a controller. A noise generator, for example, would be a source. Once that audio sound is generated by the controlling mechanism, say the keys that are on your synth, then you’re starting a new audio path. That path has to stop at the modifiers that are on your synth, such as the various filters that you may have depending on your equipment.

An Audio Path Can Include Multiple Modifiers

Where sound generation becomes more unique and crafted to your individual tastes is when your audio path includes multiple modifiers. Starting at the audio source, you can send the sound first through a filter, and then through an amplifier, for example, to create a wholly unique sound. At the source, you can change the tone and frequency of the sound, while at the modifiers you can change the loudness of the sound, the timbre of it, or even the resonance of the sound itself.

The point is that you are always in control of your synth sound. From the start of the patch to its conclusion through a modifier [if you even choose to use a modifier], programming like a pro means that you don’t just settle for an audio path because it sounds “ok.” You can create the perfect patch, every single time!

Are You Ready To Discover Synth Like Never Before?

From manipulating the envelope generator to adjusting the base waveforms of your source sound, this Program Like a Pro series will help you to better understand your synth, the sounds it can generate, and how you can manipulate them. Practice generating sounds as you go through each article and soon you’ll be able to program your own audio paths just like a pro!

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