i find miller puckette's theory and technique of electronic music to be one of the most useful writings for synth and electronic music.. free one anyway. curtis road's computer music tutorial (book) is very good too.
Hi, thanks for posting these links, and sorry for posting late to this thread. I don't spend a lot of time on this forum, and often turn up late.
I have a G2, and frequent the electro-music forum. Rob Hordijk is very astute. I am an electronic engineer, and majored in communications theory, signal processing etc. From an engineering perspective, Rob Hordijk's synthesis observations and designs are very insightful, and also technologically very creative. He really gets it. His tutorials are fantastic, but he also posts some other great ideas in the threads at electro-music. It can be really easy to miss the crux of some of his ideas, which can use mathematical principles in rather creative ways.
I think the members there who have stood out to me are:
Wout Blommers (very friendly, knowledgable, community oriented guy)
There are a few other things I think worth looking at from there, pretty Nord Modular oriented, but contain many trasnferable principles.
I think someone may have mentioned the Wizoo book on the Nord modular? I thought it was hosted online somewhere, though I haven't turned it up just now.
I have to say that technologically, the Nord modulars are out dated these days. They are closed systems, with no further back end development. The current crop of VST modulars offer much greater flexibility for sound design. Analogue modulars also have much heartier sounding oscillators and filters. Kyma, and also synth oriented programming environments and languages, of course, are another step again. I think the Nord modular kit still has some good points though.
edit - should note, I have only skimmed through this material, not really examined it in depth yet
This is a site for beginner to intermediate users. Covers a lot of ground, daws, synthesis, production, recording, tutorials, really a great all round resource. I always recommend it to people starting out as its all written in a very easy to understand way.
I am creating this thread for few reasons.
1. because we all started once upon a time and we all know its alot easier to follow guide lines than run around like headless chickens asking every time there's something we don't understand.
2.too bring up the standard of this message board not that i think its low but hey cant harm now can it.
3.because i am heavily dyslexic and i need practice writing as the majority of the time i read and hardly write
Right lets kick things off the most under rated and least talked about thing is learning to play an instrument. Time and time again the one thing that lacks on every myspace soundcloud etc... is the fact that i can hear that some one has just penciled in a few midi notes and then trys to over compensate by using extreme amounts of modulation. tutt now i am not trying to say that everyone here wants to be the next Beethoven but a catchy melody is key to making a club banger. weather you like it or not learning to play an instrument will make your music grow leaps and bounds. as a side note i would like to point out that learning keys guitar theory etc does not happen over night but if you stick with it it does become easier
learning your daw
Ok so next thing is learning your daw you need to learn this to the point that it becomes second nature to you. pick one and stick to it like glue
all of them pretty much do the same thing.
here are a list of them
logic (mac only)
cubase (pc and mac)
ableton live (pc and mac)
pro tools (pc and mac)
fl studio (pc only)
reaper (pc and mac)
if people could please send me links to vids or fourms of each one of these
daw it would save me a lot of work thank you
synthesis this is really good video to get the basics down once you grasp the concept of subtractive synthesis the sky's the limit it also means that if you watch a video of how to make xxxx sound you start to figure out why the patch sounds the way it does anyways here we go
Thought I'd share something the FM fans over here might find interesting. You might know the Machinedrum has an EFM machine which provides 2-op FM synthesis (maybe 3-op, the manual doesn't say the number). But, then one day it occurred to me that since it has 16 independently configurable oscillators and 16 modulators, it's actually capable of a very high number of simultaneous FM synthesis operators (32 total). Plus, it has a number of the modulator types that the TX81Z offers over the DX series.
I'm still hanging on to my DX for old time's sake but once this occurred to me, the MD has been adding a lot into my FM palette.
Making Andromeda sound 'more vintage' GETTING MORE ANALOGUE TONE OUT OF THE ANDROMEDA SYNTHESIZER
tags: alesis andromeda tuning a6 background analog
Disable Background Tuning
This will provide your Andromeda with more analog FAT sound, due to too perfect routine in Background tuning (which is enabled by default). Putting all oscillators on exactly the same frequency makes the unit a little bit sterile in sound. All the vintage analogs had imperfectly designed VCOs that would float slowly in pitch up and down on a miniature scale. With Background tuning enabled this free VCO float is killed and the Andromeda becomes more cold and DCO sounding. If you're analog purist, you should disable the Background tuning. Also, according to some sources, Background tuning eats some CPU power reducing the overall performance. This is the procedure on how to disable and perform the necessary auto-tune after that:
Turn on Andromeda. Leave it on for about 30min so that the board reaches the "average" temperature. Disable Background tuning in the Auto Tune section. Now engage the auto tune (press Auto Tune button twice).
From now on, your Andromeda should be stable in pitch after the board reaches the "average" temperature to which you calibrated voltages of each voice and filter. Once about a month you can do the Auto Tune routine.
If precise pitch is not critical in your track, for even more "analog" sound, you can disable Temperature tuning as well. However, disabling Temp tuning is not recommended if you do live gigs, as there's a big chance your Andy will be way off the rest of your setup or band, to the point you won't be able to compensate it with the Tune knob. So please keep in mind that playing this synth with disabled temperature tuning is risky (though it can be amusing if you're hard core 1970's analog fanatic).
Set proper levels (the most crucial part of Andromeda!)
While checking my Andromeda i found one interesting feature that was maybe intentionally implemented but which at the same time might confuse new owners. It has to do with pre filter signal levels. For some reason, if the combined level of two oscillators exceeds 30 or if one of them is set above 30, waveshape takes place, waveform becomes clipped (cut off) resulting in somehow plastic sound. A simple oscilloscope reveals this as well. Therefore, you should never set high VCO levels i.e. 100 unless you intentionally want this clipping (which is interesting at first, but somehow becomes annoying "plastic" sounding after a while). Some users found other stages of Andromeda to have similar behavior with excessive levels as well. We will summarize them all here:
The pre filter mixer will overdrive with combined values exceeding total of 30 (i.e VCO1=15 VCO2=15; or VCO1=30 VCO2=0; should work good).
The post filter mixer will do as well with values above 50.
The VCA will overdrive with default level of 100. You should therefore set levels of volume envelope at 80-90 instead. This will also improve the envelope response (see below).
----- Original Message -----
Sent: Friday, December 20, 2002 4:06 AM
Subject: Re: [A6] Andromeda tips[/I]
>/ The pre filter mixer will overdrive with values about 30,
/>/ the post filter mixer will do as as well with values above 50
/>/ the VCAs are also overdriven a the default level of 100 in ENV1.
/>/ Setting ENV1's level to 80 or below will give a clearer and brighter sound
Yes, this seems to be the case with what I found out on my side. I usually bring the sustain level on the VCA below 90, but ~80 seems to be where I get cleaner sounds. As I said in my previous message, I like staying away from what sounds like slurred attack rates by also dropping the attack level. It seems like the VCA with a setting of 100.5 in the attack stage, coupled with 100 in the sustain stage has no real 'punch'. I get good results with a 80-something sustain, and an attack level in the 90's... I think this might be the source of some of the confusion that people have had with sounds that aren't snappy on the A6. It sure was something that bothered me when I first started programming on this synth, but I have no problem with percussive/bass sounds now. I think it's more important to shape the envelopes carefully, then to default to using engine optimization automatically.
Roland JD 800 emulation on XV synthesizers tags: roland jd800 jd990 jd-800 xv-5080 5050
Starting with model JV-1080, some waveforms from the JD-800 were transferred into JV-1080. This process continued with XV series, to the point that all of 108 JD waveforms are now available in the XV synths - seems like 7 are missing but are more likely renamed.
But that’s not all. What would be a JD without it’s special multi effect processor. That’s why Roland implemented JD’s "Effect processor A" into XV. In other words, you got a JD synth hidden inside your XV synth, and you can finally start converting favorite JD patches. There are some differences in the filter, but more on that later. I should just state that the 44.1k referenced samples points to models XV-5080 and XV-5050. I can not guarantee that model 3080 contains 44.1k playback engine at all, neither the samples in that format - it has been reported the machine is 32k. I can however guarantee than in 5080/5050 waveforms from the JD-800 are in original 44.1k format.
Table below shows us internal memory content (waveforms) of the JD-800. Starting with ‘’001 Syn Saw 1′’, ending with ‘’108 Wind Chime'’. Position of these same waves inside XV synthesizer are marked with orange color. For example if you want to load Syn Pulse 4 that on JD is waveform number 008, on XV you will find it on number 557.
JD-800 multi effect group A
With the XV synthesizer, Roland also brought us back the famous JD-800 multi effect from its section A block (note: the JD has two effect sections). On XV series it is available as MFX number "75: JD MULTI". Just like on the JD-800, it allows distortion, phaser, spectrum and enhancer effects to be connected in series in any desired order. It features exactly the same settings as available on JD-800. Here is a brief explanation for each one of them.
The first effect in the chain is obvious - a standard distortion. This effect is useful in situations when you wish to add some drive to solos or do some nasty clipping effects depending on the sound design application. There are seven types of distortion available:
MELLOW DRIVE: A soft, mellow distortion; somewhat darksounding.
OVERDRIVE: The classic sound of an overdriven tube amp.
CRY DRIVE: Distortion with a high-frequency boost.
MELLOW DIST: Sounds like the distortion you’d get from a really big amp.
LIGHT DIST: A distortion with an intense, brilliant feel.
FAT DIST: Boosted lows and highs gives this one a thick, fat sound.
FUZZ DIST: Like FAT DIST, but with even more distortion.
In typical phaser, modulation effect is created by mixing original sound with a phase shifted one. Result is a swirling effect and is best suited for backing sounds such as strings or electric pianos. Phaser will be most effective on sounds rich with harmonics, such as saw or pulse waves. Therefore it would be better to insert the phaser after the distortion or spectrum. For the best results, you should use center frequency at around 1 kHz.
Spectrum is an effect that modifies sound by boosting or cutting specified frequency areas, resulting in different tone colors. This effect might look similar to an equalizer. However, the frequency of each band has been set at the optimal location for adding a distinctive character to the sound. Rather than correcting the sound, spectrum allows you to aggressively modify the tonal character.
Spectrum will be best heard on spectral rich sounds such as white noise. There, the change will be most evident. For most expressive result use narrow bandwidth (set it to 5) and try setting all bands to max gain (positive or negative). When using wide bandwidth settings (set to 1) sound becomes less distinctive, and it starts to sound like an ordinary EQ.
Enhancer is a sort of aural exciter type of effect. Can be effective for sharpening up the vocal types of patches, flutes, guitars, etc. It will really help the instrument (patch) stand out in the mix. Its function is to generate new overtones out of the fundamental ones. With sensitivity you can set the depth of enhancer effect. While with the mix parameter you are specifying the mixture of original sound and the newly created sound overtones.
Effects setup on XV
Image below shows us the real JD-800 effect processor routing. As you can see, effects group A is connected in both series and parallel to group B. Same thing can be done in XV. The only difference is that on XV there is no effects group B, but instead there is separate chorus and reverb/delay. Since they can be configured in series or parallel, you can think of them as "group B" with only difference that you can have either delay or reverb, but not both like on the JD.
Image below shows us typical JD-800 effects setup emulated on XV. Chorus and reverb simulate JD’s "effect group B" while MFX: 75 JD Mlt provides "group A". In this example, group A is connected in series to group B. Inside group B we connected chorus and reverb in parallel (M+R), so that we get chorused signal out followed by reverb/delay (in this example i used Reverb 1, type: Delay).
It is possible to have delay and reverb at the same time, but you will lose chorus. If this setup is required, just set chorus to type 2: delay (200-1000ms). Now you will have both delay and reverb.
Filter conversion table Before starting to build or convert you first JD patches, keep in mind that JD and XV have different filter numerating system. For example, max resonance on JD is 100 while on XV is 127. Same is with the cutoff. For better conversion of your JD patches you will need this JD/XV cutoff and resonance conversion table.
which cover making various sounds, some of which have got rather popular. I cover stuff such as fx sounds, nice dubby chords, nice bass sounds and, er, obnoxious bass sounds. Whatever takes my fancy really.
I also have a paid set of tutorials on Logic's ES2 here:
Which are a bit more comprehensive, and serve as a good introduction to subtractive synthesis in general. The difference between these and (say) the MacProVideo tutes is that after explaining all of the synth's features, I go on to do 1 1/2 hours of synthesis workshop videos, which offer practical advice on making all kinds of sounds from scratch.
I felt other video tutorial series were missing this "practical application" element, so I decided to make my own.
I just came across this guide and wanted to second this recommendation. It's actually written by Howard Scarr and it's really interesting for the non-techy asides.
Check out this excerpt from his site:
Originally Posted by On the Origin of Music - Howard Scarr
As far as I know, the father of ambient sounds in western popular music was one Bernie Krause, who teamed up with organist Paul Beaver during the late 60s. In 1967 Beaver and Krause released “The Nonesuch Guide to Electronic Music”, still considered a standard reference in the annals of electronic music history. Bernie Krause is a highly interesting character who was not only instrumental in promoting the use of synthesizers in the broadcast media, but also put forward quite a plausible theory on how music-making began all those millennia ago. The following paragraph is a short excerpt from Bernie’s article “THE NICHE HYPOTHESIS: How Animals Taught Us To Dance and Sing”. I think it is worth quoting here, although the good Doctor Krause says this section is a bit out of date..
“Experienced musical composers know that in order to achieve an unimpeded resonance the sound of each instrument must have its own unique voice and place in the spectrum of events being orchestrated. All too little attention has been paid to the possibility that insects, birds and mammals in any given environment have been finding their aural niche since the beginning of time... A complex vital beauty emerges that the best of sonic artists in Western culture have yet to achieve. Like the recent acknowledgement that medicine owes much to rainforest flora, it is my hunch that the development our sound arts owes at least as much to the "noise" of our natural environments.” - Bernie Krause
Whether this really applies to Cro-Magnon bone-bashing or not, this article certainly got me thinking a bit further than usual. I came up with the following, very obvious answer to a big question that had been bugging me for many years: Because of the huge advantage of listening intently and recognising patterns in all the animal noises around us (otherwise we get eaten and/or fail to catch our prey), early humans evolved to take great pleasure in this activity - it was another survival factor like eating, sex and physical exercise. OK, that applies more or less to all animals with ears, but we humans were the only species brainy enough to develop highly structured music over a few generations (memes require intelligence). So the sonic pleasure of the whole tribe is maximised and they stick together through thick and thin. I suppose we now have “death by chocolate” type foods, porn and hooliganism for similar reasons - there are a few downsides to being an intelligent species of pleasure-seekers!
He has a v-synth guide too. I hope it's just as interesting. Downloads