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Methods of Programming a Synthesizer

Nov 16, 2007
When programming synthesizers and software instruments during the writing process, people generally tend to reach for the presets on the available plug-ins and keyboards.

Although this is a perfectly acceptable way of creating music, but sometimes it may limit the creativity and ultimately hampering the smooth flow to a truly original sound. This may be happen due to various reasons. It may happen because of the lack of know how of the synthesizer or it may also happen due to an instant eagerness for immediate gratification. Some producers may even use some tweaking methods to make it fit for their music.

Well, there are some quick methods of programming a synthesizer that will make it possible to move beyond these techniques and move towards creating your original sounds absolutely from the scratch.

Easy steps to follow while programming a synthesizer

The things which should always be remembered are that programming synthesizers is less confusing if we do things in this order.

Filter
First we need to carve away the unwanted part of the music. The filters used in the digital synthesizers cuts the sound quickly and effectively.

Envelopes
While programming the envelopes one should not forget to control the filter envelope and then the amp envelope. If there is a slight pitch variation then the pitch envelope should be programmed to set a fast attack and decay with sustain at zero, or where it is in tune after the little pitch burst settles down.

Velocity
Velocity is required to change to a different waveform to adjust a change in timbre of the sound.

LFOs or Low frequency oscillators
It is a modulator. It enables to rhythmically alter the patch in any time sequence from very slow to very fast. To get a 3 dimensional sound, slow LFOs should be used to modulate panning and volume.

Effects
Different effects and overtones are added to the music at the end of the programming. It gives an extra edge to the music which has been created. While building an effect patch, there is no hard and fast rule about what type of oscillators or envelopes to use.

This may enable to reach for any basic subtractive synthesizer, hardware or software, and mold some compelling basic sound types. We create a patch in order to use it in a composition. While making patches and use them in a test sequence, one should always keep the sequencer on.

The main form of modulation that brings the synthesizer sound effect to life is a delayed sine wave LFO routed to the filter cutoff. The delay is timed in such a way that it starts to kick in as the filter envelope drops.

Most of the time, the main oscillator needs to be turned off, although if the synthesizer supplies a noise source, some noises are sometimes useful because it is non-musical in tone.

Conclusion

While programming a synthesizer, it is just a matter of knowing which parameters are required to be changed to achieve the desired results, and once those causes and effects are learnt, we only have to patch them together.
About the Author
Victor Epand is an expert consultant for guitars, drums, and synthesizers. You can find the best marketplace for guitars, drums, and synthesizers at these 3 sites: guitars, bass guitar gears , drums, drum sets, drum kits, and synthesizers programmers, keyboards.
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