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Minimoog : Learning Subtractive Synthesis :: [??] : Learning FM Synthesis Keyboard Synthesizers
Old 9th September 2011
  #31
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Quote:
Originally Posted by blinky909 View Post
the price of n5's just doubled to 100 dollars
why are they cheap anyway? i had a look at the manual, parameters are pretty much all controlled through a menu, looks time consuming. not a knob for each parameter.
Old 9th September 2011
  #32
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blinky909's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by realist22 View Post
why are they cheap anyway? i had a look at the manual, parameters are pretty much all controlled through a menu, looks time consuming. not a knob for each parameter.
they are nothing special, just another S&S in a sea of more common (thus more supported) fish.
Old 9th September 2011
  #33
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Quote:
Originally Posted by blinky909 View Post
they are nothing special, just another S&S in a sea of more common (thus more supported) fish.
yes i don't quite get there synthesis method, i know the keyboard is loaded with samples but i don't know how it ties in with subtractive synthesis. say compare this synthesis to tyne synthesis style on a nord lead
Old 9th September 2011
  #34
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Rogue Ai's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by cantozero View Post
...the DX9 is a bit of a tank).
Yes it is, definitely the heaviest synth I own.
Old 9th September 2011
  #35
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blinky909's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by realist22 View Post
yes i don't quite get there synthesis method, i know the keyboard is loaded with samples but i don't know how it ties in with subtractive synthesis. say compare this synthesis to tyne synthesis style on a nord lead
a Nord Lead is a Virtual Analog synth that uses maths to model analog circuitry, from waveform creation to output of the amp section. the N5 plays sampled (recorded) sounds from memory as the "oscillator" and then feeds those into a subtractive model using digital circuitry.

info on VA
Synth School, Part 9: The Imitation Of Analogue


info on S&S
Synth School, Part 5: The Origins Of S&S
Old 9th September 2011
  #36
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The Nord 3 is one to consider, as well. It's not as powerful, FM-wise, as the Modular/G2. It's a basic 4-op, but there is no need for configuration. All functions have knobs or buttons. In fact, there is a "FM Init" option(as well as a subtractive initialize) to get you started. Hit that button, turn up the Mod Envelope, adjust decay to taste and you have a Donk.

There isn't an envelope per operator(waah!) and you have to sacrifice an LFO to get more than 1 modulation envelope so that's kinda limiting. But...the morph options are great for FM. It's easy to go from Donk to Front 242-ish bass just by turning the modwheel. Also, there is a helpful little display in the oscillator 2 section that can be switched to show partials, frequency, or semitones.

Not to mention, the subtractive side is pretty sweet...to me.

Just a little personal gripe
: The following has always annoyed me about that track. If you were "born in the 80's", you would be, at the most, 9 by the end of the 80's. Your musical 80's references would be more "Jem and the Holograms" than whatever he's implying. Just one of those things with me...like the first word of a song being "and".
Old 9th September 2011
  #37
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might as well drop this in here as well

Synth School, Part 3: Digital Synthesis (FM, PD & VPM)
Old 9th September 2011
  #38
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Korg nanokontrol + behringer bcr2000. I used FM8(many get something with an x, y pad if you use this) , but it should work for any of the popular FM synths. Use labels, but ones you can move. By the time you come up with a layout that works for you, you'll have learned FM synthesis. It'll give you a good goal to work towards too.

If you are still into FM synthesis buy some fancy controllers and pay someone to put them in a nice case for you.

Simple, but good sounding "Minimoog" style FM isn't of much use. Use a sampler or presets. Or if you want to blow a lot of money, setup a modular. Plus, one of the advantages of FM is polyphony.

You can still get fresh sounds out of FM. It will always be "slow" by comparison to subtractive.
Old 9th September 2011
  #39
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bil_g View Post
Just a little personal gripe: The following has always annoyed me about that track. If you were "born in the 80's", you would be, at the most, 9 by the end of the 80's. Your musical 80's references would be more "Jem and the Holograms" than whatever he's implying. Just one of those things with me...like the first word of a song being "and".
Yes, but the only people nostalgic for the 80s weren't alive then. Talking to people that lived through them (especially the british) they were quite ****. If your only frame of reference is movies....

"borrowed nostalgia for the unremembered eighties"
Old 9th September 2011
  #40
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bil_g View Post
The Nord 3 is one to consider, as well. It's not as powerful, FM-wise, as the Modular/G2. It's a basic 4-op, but there is no need for configuration. All functions have knobs or buttons. In fact, there is a "FM Init" option(as well as a subtractive initialize) to get you started. Hit that button, turn up the Mod Envelope, adjust decay to taste and you have a Donk.

There isn't an envelope per operator(waah!) and you have to sacrifice an LFO to get more than 1 modulation envelope so that's kinda limiting. But...the morph options are great for FM. It's easy to go from Donk to Front 242-ish bass just by turning the modwheel. Also, there is a helpful little display in the oscillator 2 section that can be switched to show partials, frequency, or semitones.

Not to mention, the subtractive side is pretty sweet...to me.

Just a little personal gripe
: The following has always annoyed me about that track. If you were "born in the 80's", you would be, at the most, 9 by the end of the 80's. Your musical 80's references would be more "Jem and the Holograms" than whatever he's implying. Just one of those things with me...like the first word of a song being "and".
lol but seeing as it was produced in 2007 people born in the 80s would be at the most 27 years. and calvin doesn't reference any music to people born in the 80s, he just says he has things for them and hugs etc. lol. big fan of him.
Old 9th September 2011
  #41
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Quote:
Originally Posted by blinky909 View Post
a Nord Lead is a Virtual Analog synth that uses maths to model analog circuitry, from waveform creation to output of the amp section. the N5 plays sampled (recorded) sounds from memory as the "oscillator" and then feeds those into a subtractive model using digital circuitry.

info on VA
Synth School, Part 9: The Imitation Of Analogue


info on S&S
Synth School, Part 5: The Origins Of S&S
cheers these were good
Old 9th September 2011
  #42
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bil_g's Avatar
 

foodeater,


Wha?! I lived through the 80s. They were awesome.

Totally awesome.

realist22,

Oh, I see. It's about animal testing....riiight.heh But, seriously...I know when it came out. It's just the whole presentation sounds/feels/looks like an homage to the eighties. It makes me think of things like - My god, I actually wore yellow pants in the 80s. Not - damn those 80s and their animal testing!

My apologies if I sound like a Calvin-basher. I do enjoy some of his tracks, but there are a couple of his lyrics that irk me.

Nord 3. Just to be on-topic.
Old 10th September 2011
  #43
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Quote:
Originally Posted by realist22
can you get a lot of different sounds you couldn't get with subtractive synthesis, like are the sounds actually new and a lot different?
Yes, most of the sounds are totally different. Sometimes I make a sound that remotely resembles analogue subtractive but with a strong twist. DX7 doesn't sound very good emulating typical analogue sounds. Use analogue synths for that.

Quote:
Originally Posted by realist22
DX FM synthsized sounds just have 'a sound'. I don't know quite how describe it, other than to recommend you listen to a lot of 80s pop music. I'd best describe the sound as brittle or clinical.
That's just one side of DX FM. I do not keep my DX7 because of that sound. There is another side of the DX FM beyond that presented in the 80's. It can get much warmer, organic and phat but so different from the typical analogue sound. This is the character of the DX FM I'm so addicted to.

Comparing my own patches with the original presets and famous sounds from the 80's it seems there are two different schools of programming. In the 80's they approached FM in a very analytical way, trying to recreate the nuances of real instruments using the available parameters of the DX synthesis.

I focus less on the faithful recreation and analysis of frequencies and concentrate more on the interplay between different parameter values, the quirks they produce and the effect they have on the overall sound when mixed into the whole patch. It's hard to explain in words but it's almost like my patches are mostly the result of something going on between the parameters rather than the direct effect of the actual settings.

In any case, FM is a really interesting subject to explore and I'm only using a DX7 MkI without any advanced features like free algorithms or user defined feedback loops.
Old 10th September 2011
  #44
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Teknobeam's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by blinky909 View Post
i bet you didn't get a 1600 on your SAT's

is to as is.

i second getting your hands on the DX-7 Bible.
lol. I;v never taken an SAT test. But my last IQ test scored 127. what was yours
Old 10th September 2011
  #45
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Teknobeam's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Acid Mitch View Post
I could never get Sound Diver to work properly. Had it twice and tried with various computers/MIDI interfaces but it was always really buggy.
I'm now using DX Manager available here FM-Alive for Classic Yamaha Synthesisers , for all my DX programming and patch storage needs, which works great and is still supported. It Makes progamming the DX synths pretty easy.

Why is MiniMoog in the title of the thread ?
I think the trick to Sound Diver is having the final patch for it. It's really an amazing program. The FM graphical landscape is like having an MPG800 with an MKS80. actually better in some ways. I struggled with sound Diver at first, and there are still many things I need to learn. But I also tried midi quest, and found it to be really cumbersome. I have also tried some of the software FM synths and IMHO, they just don't sound as good as the older hardware stuff even though the editing interface is much better.
Old 10th September 2011
  #46
Cool thanks for the suggestions. Looks like it's either a dx7, dx9 or nord g2.

I definitely want to start simple (eg few operators) but I want to have some room to grow as well without having to re-buy. I've seen a few dx7's go for pretty cheap locally but never considered it as the interface didn't seem too friendly (lots of buttons, only 2 knobs, a single 2 digit 8 segment LED display ... etc). But if you guys say that it's doable then I might consider it as it is a name that is almost synonymous with FM.

I understand the basics of FM as I've taken a signals and systems course in university. I also understand the basics of FM synthesis vs subtractive synthesis. I've seen an in depth tutorial on operator, read that SOS article and watched a few youtube videos including this basic one which got me interested in the first place:


Just to clarify the title of the post. It is meant to be purely an analogy based on workflow and ease of learning. There is no link between the minimoog and the FM synth I'm looking for. Just like I've read articles and tutorials on subtractive synthesis, and played with VA soft synths, I've only really 'learned' it properly by applying the theory on a voyager OS. So now I'm in the same position but with FM synthesis, so I'm looking for that same kind of hardware experience that will help me take it to the next level. So when I say learning FM synthesis I don't mean learning the theory from scratch but more learning by applying the theory in an intuitive fashion.

FM8's interface does look friendly but again, I just can't learn with software, it's just my personal taste, let's steer clear of this debate please

I will start keeping an eye open for the synths you guys recommended.

Cheers.
Old 10th September 2011
  #47
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Once you accept what FM synthesis is, the DX7 is very inspiring to learn on. At first, you can activate only two operators and discover where they will take you. The envelopes are probably the most tedious bit of FM to program on the DX7 but it's doable in reasonable time once you get hang of it - i'm talking 2-3 minutes for a complex 6-operator patch as opposed to 10 seconds on a Minimoog.

It's not knobby like a Voyager but it doesn't mean you can't change the sound drastically in real time. Mod wheel, aftertouch, velocity, foot pedal and breath controller can do way more interesting changes to the sound within the FM engine than in the subtractive synthesis.

It's got only one LFO but it doesn't mean that you cannot achieve a greater number of independent LFOs via the synth engine - fixed freq operators are a powerful tool not only for that but also for formant synthesis and other interesting modulations.

For me, the charm of Yamaha DX/TX/FS1r is in the fact that they are completely dedicated to FM without distractions like AWM samples or VA element. These synths are so low level - you start from a simple waveform - that playing them gives me a feeling of excitement and inspiration every time.
Old 10th September 2011
  #48
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Question for the Dx7 users here.

I have a Dx27, and as much as i love some of the sounds it can produce, many of them (if not all) have this weird squeaky/hissy noise when played.

I read about early Dx7's being 12bit and quite noisy and was wondering if this was the case with my 27, can't seem to find anything about it being 12bit though.
Old 11th September 2011
  #49
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Teknobeam's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Morrello View Post
Question for the Dx7 users here.

I have a Dx27, and as much as i love some of the sounds it can produce, many of them (if not all) have this weird squeaky/hissy noise when played.

I read about early Dx7's being 12bit and quite noisy and was wondering if this was the case with my 27, can't seem to find anything about it being 12bit though.
The DX7 had a slight noise floor, but nothing in your face. Very acceptable in the big picture. Sounds like you have something else going on there.
Old 11th September 2011
  #50
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Agreed, my DX7 MkI sounds very hi-fi. You need to listen really hard to notice any noise. The headphones output is quite noisy, though. This is common to all DX7s as far as I know.
Old 11th September 2011
  #51
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Rogue Ai's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by ambientbirch View Post
Agreed, my DX7 MkI sounds very hi-fi. You need to listen really hard to notice any noise. The headphones output is quite noisy, though. This is common to all DX7s as far as I know.
My DX9 is like this as well.
Old 11th September 2011
  #52
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Thanks for the replies.

I have noticed the squeak i mentioned is only on a few patches unlike i previously thought, and is fixed by adjusting the Freq ratio on the operators. The noise floor is still quite present on all patches and through both headphone and mono outputs though.

I think i will just get a dx7 if i can find one cheap enough.
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