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Synthesis Tips

#1
It's about time some of you bods relinquished some great info on programming synths. The basics, the important stuff, the "just twiddle knobs" section etc.

My problem comes with creating sounds from scratch. Brand new sound, say in a 2 osc Surge / Massive type synth. My sounds never even get close to sounding anything like a good sound. Messing with presets are fine and I understand pretty much what everything does and what it does to the sound with filters, modulation, lfos, etc etc etc.

Let the battle commence.
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#2
Great idea. I know nothing.
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#3
Great idea. I know nothing.
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#4
What do you know about superposition of waves? Smile
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Don Cherry Wrote:Every human is blessed in her or his life with one love (passion), no matter how long it may last. This Absolute love will last in one's heart and soul forever.
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#5
hmmmmm. About that much.
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#6
Thats a bit word Macc Teef

I've never read into the matter no.
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#7
Switch of all crappy internal fx and keep sounds simple.
If you want to create something fancy it's easier to do with post-processing.
Lyrical theme(s): War, Freedom, Glory, Honor, Heavy Metal
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#8
The principle of superposition of waves is possibly the single most important concept when talking about music production in general - be it eq, compression, synthesis, anything.

It's particularly true of synthesis though Smile

You don't have to understand it to make good music etc etc of course, and it won't give you hit records etc, but you WILL learn to understand why things sound like they do, why waveforms look like they do (generally speaking) and how to steer things more to the sound you want.

Let me ask another question;

Do you know what FFT/(Fast) Fourier Transformation is?
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#9
i beg to differ. sometimes the internal fx can be the thing that make teh sound, especially if the fx can influenced by modulation
also take albino3 for instance, great amount of routingpossibilities tru the 4 fx-slots.
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#10
Getting the sound as good as possible as soon as possible is best 90% of the time, in pretty much all music.

The other 10% is 'sound design' ( Roll Hahaha ), ie absolutely fucking up existing sounds to make new ones.
[Image: protabl3.gif]
Don Cherry Wrote:Every human is blessed in her or his life with one love (passion), no matter how long it may last. This Absolute love will last in one's heart and soul forever.
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#11
Every sound can be made up of sines Baffled Don't really know. Feel affa stupid.
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#12
titanium Wrote:modulation
.

Homerdrool
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#13
Macc Wrote:Do you know what FFT/(Fast) Fourier Transformation is?

Not a clue, sounds far too complex and in depth. But please do explain.
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#14
WiLSHY Wrote:
Macc Wrote:Do you know what FFT/(Fast) Fourier Transformation is?

Not a clue, sounds far too complex and in depth. But please do explain.

yes macc, plz explain, preferably in high detail Teef
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#15
titanium Wrote:
WiLSHY Wrote:
Macc Wrote:Do you know what FFT/(Fast) Fourier Transformation is?

Not a clue, sounds far too complex and in depth. But please do explain.

yes macc, plz explain, preferably in high detail Teef

Hyper
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#16
What all this depends on is the principle of superposition of waves. I would go and explain it, but there's a much better site here.

http://www.kettering.edu/~drussell/Demos...ition.html

The animations show things perfectly. Ignore the complex maths - what you need to know is that AT ALL INSTANTS, all the waves we're using add up. So if the signal is below the line, you are adding a minus number (ie subtracting).

What's important here is that in all cases the frequencies are the same, apart from the last one regarding 'beats'.

Anyone who has ever tuned a guitar a few times knows this idea - you tune them until the 'pulsing' disappears, as that means they are perfectly in tune. When they are out, the two waves are going in and out of phase - so sometimes they 'pile up' (constructive interference, sometimes they 'defeat each other' (destructive interference). But what if we want things to be a little bit 'wobbly', the opposite of this?

Well, you turn that around - say we have two oscillators in our synth, both sine waves. You can create a modulating sound simply by detuning them against each other. This gives you a wobbliness - great for starting off some sort of sound for a tune.

This wobbliness is at a constant rate - sometimes desirable, sometimes not.

Question - How do we change the 'wobble rate'? And how can this be useful for synthesis?





This is just sine waves adding up/subtracting. What about waveforms that have more to offer?





dionysus Wrote:Every sound can be made up of sines Baffled


IS made of up sines. Wink This is Fourier's theorem.

Believe me, the maths is FUCKING HARDCORE, so we won't go there (I can't do that shit any more Hahaha ).



What a thing like Voxengo SPAN or Waves PAZ analyser does (theoretically) is split the signal into its constituent frequencies - which are all sine waves - then display the amplitude/strength of each sine wave as a graph.

In practice it's not quite like that, due to various complicated physics issues, and also the fact that splitting it up into 22050 individual bands requires a LOT of CPU power and a fucking huge monitor if you want to see every individual band Hahaha It's also pointless as no eq I know of can boost a single specific frequency. And THAT is disregarding anything but integer Hz values... you get the drift Teef




Anyway - I am aware I am going round the houses here btw - the point here is that when you analyse any sound, it is made of lots of sine waves of different frequencies added together. This is a very useful fact!!


Let's turn this around.

If we want to achieve/create a specific sound, it must be possible to 'pile up' sine waves of certain frequencies in order to achieve the spectral distribution we want, right?

Well, yes pretty much. This is how additive synthesis works, simply speaking. Smile Obviously some sounds are extremely complex, with certain 'partials' (bits of the sound being added) going in and out and up and down and so on - and there are limitations to what technology can do.



FAR more common is the opposite - subtractive synthesis.

What this does is start with a wave form that has lots of sine waves contained in it, all added up. Prove it to yourself - get your fave synth and turn everything except the oscillators off. Set those to a triangle or square wave, and view the output in a spectral analyser. Lookee there - it's made up of lots of frequencies. These are known as harmonics as they are related to the lowest (or fundamental) frequency by a strict mathematical formula.


Here's a sawtooth wave;

[Image: Synthesis-SawHarmonics.jpg]


Then what we do is filter away the component frequencies we don't want. So if we want a 'darker' sound, we use a lowpass filter to remove the higher frequencies, or a highpass to take away the lows if we want it 'thinner'. We can also have the filter change in frequency throughout the note, giving an 'evolving' sound (wwwooooowwwww Hahaha )

Now a sawtooth wave through a filter is - frankly - not very exciting Hahaha The trick with subtractive synthesis is to put a very interesting sound in in the first place.

One way of making the initial sound more interesting is by - you guessed it - detuning two of them! Then they add up and subtract all the time, giving a wobbly variation to the sound.






This is some (fairly unfocussed, sorry) basic background on things to take into account when synthesising. In short;

1) Waves add up - any wave is made of constituent sine waves (Fourier's theorem)

2) We use this fact to our advantage

3) We subtract what we want to


2) is where the action is. We'll get more into that when I don't have to go and practice my cornet. Grin
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#17
Macc Wrote:Believe me, the maths is FUCKING HARDCORE, so we won't go there (I can't do that shit any more Hahaha ).

damn!! i hoped you could give a hint. i once passed an exam about this, but have no fckn clue what it all involved anymore Icon_sad
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#18
Macc Wrote:I don't have to go and practice my cornet. Grin

Gurkin

Cheers Macc. Yeah that website was really good. Never really understood the last one regarding hte beats.

I have a question.

Soemtimes when i put my bass through a filter it comes out nearly all in the negative (below the line). This seems odd to me. What do you think?
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#19
titanium Wrote:damn!! i hoped you could give a hint. i once passed an exam about this, but have no fckn clue what it all involved anymore Icon_sad


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fourier_transform


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Don Cherry Wrote:Every human is blessed in her or his life with one love (passion), no matter how long it may last. This Absolute love will last in one's heart and soul forever.
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#20
dionysus Wrote:Soemtimes when i put my bass through a filter it comes out nearly all in the negative (below the line). This seems odd to me. What do you think?

Sounds like a shit filter putting DC offset on the signal to me. Not related to what I was saying about above really.

What filter is this?




And is anyone going to answer the question in my post? Smile
[Image: protabl3.gif]
Don Cherry Wrote:Every human is blessed in her or his life with one love (passion), no matter how long it may last. This Absolute love will last in one's heart and soul forever.
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#21
macc Wrote:Question - How do we change the 'wobble rate'? And how can this be useful for synthesis?

put an lfo on the oscillator volume
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#22
Macc,...Filterscape. I use the filter to create the 100hz> 'bass'. You know the sound that sits on top of the sub.
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#23
Wish I'd never asked now Teef

Saying that, I remember learning Fourier thingy in my networks & telephony course, all coming back to me even though it meant very little then.

Ok so now... what I think we all need now is some tips on how to create certain sounds, ot just tips to make fairly standard sounds come alive or you ways of twisting sounds into "ur kinda ting blud"
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#24
titanium Wrote:put an lfo on the oscillator volume

No

dionysus Wrote:macc,...filterscape. i use the filter to create the 100hz> 'bass'. you know the sound that sits on top of the sub.

and when you do this it gives you the dc offset? if you are happy with the sound it gives you but on average it sits well below/above the line, then once you have that sound, use a sharp highpass at 25hz or so (ie below audible) to remove that.

or use a filter that doesn't do it in a way that doesn't do it Teef


wilshy Wrote:ok so now... what i think we all need now is some tips on how to create certain sounds, ot just tips to make fairly standard sounds come alive or you ways of twisting sounds into "ur kinda ting blud"


i disagree completely Smile

if you just want me to tell you what knobs to twiddle, then we're on a hiding to nothing. and besides which, it would be fairly specific to a certain synth or group/type of synth. what you need is to understand the principles behind it all, meaning that you will be able to have some idea of what parameter will do what when you open any synth. 'give a man a fish and he can feed himself for a day, teach him to fish...' and all that.

yes i know i am a hippy idealist, but it is better to show you one how to find their own answers than give them the answers unquestioningly.

so there.


i'll write more - in a more focussed way that will still help you, wilsh - when i can. but i seriously advise rereading it properly a few times and also having a go at answering the question i asked bearing in mind that the answer is implicitly stated in the paragraph or two above.

Smile
[Image: protabl3.gif]
Don Cherry Wrote:Every human is blessed in her or his life with one love (passion), no matter how long it may last. This Absolute love will last in one's heart and soul forever.
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#25
Yeah Macc thats right. Thanks for the tip Smile

What is the difference between negative and positive amplitude?

___

Answer to Q: increase/decrease phasing
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