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Timbre, Pitch and Volume of a Synthesizer

Nov 16, 2007
Synthesizer is a complex musical instrument. It is all about sound. And there are three very important things that control the sound. Those three are, timbre, pitch and volume of a synthesizer. If you do know enough about them, then your knowledge about the synthesizers will be considered incomplete. Here is some information on these to help you understand the instrument better and master it's technical aspects.

In the case of synthesizer, the timbre is controlled by one module and the pitch is controlled by another module. Controlling the volume is not very tough.

First let us talk about the pitch, which is an indispensable part among the timbre, pitch and volume of synthesizer. Normally sound is of two basic types. One is pitched sound and another one is unpitched sound. But there are lots of sounds that fall in between these two categories. So it will be better if sounds are categorized as single pitched sound with harmonics and unpitched sound. Chords fall under this category.

A VCO or Voltage Controlled Oscilattor controls the basic pitch of a particular sound. A periodic waveform is generated by the VCO with many harmonics. Most of the synthesizers have two types of waveforms. They are called sawtooth wave and square wave. There is a good reason for using two waveforms. Actually the sawtooth consists all the harmonies. But the square wave consists only the odd harmonics. They do not contain the even harmonics. If you use good quality synthesizer filters, then you would be able to subtract the unwanted harmonics from the waveforms.

Though it is good but the problem that occurs is that the instruments change the timbre constantly. This change happens in a very complex way. This is micro modulation. The filters, which are generally used, are not sophisticated enough. For this reason, some synthesizers fail to copy the original sound of any acoustic instrument. It is not that the sounds cannot be copied. But the sounds do not produce the original effect like the acoustic instruments. Sampler is the best tool to copy the original sound. If you use sampler, then the copied sound will be more realistic.

Controlling the volume of a synthesizer is easy nowadays. There are lots of volume controllers available. There are digital volume controllers also. They offer you a lot of facilities to control the volume.

Volume generators are also available for synthesizers. These generators consists a lot of modes of controlling the volume. Right offset, left offset, etc. It has also got some volume effects. These effects give the volume a different feel. And makes the instrument worth listening.

Timbre, pitch and volume of a synthesizer are one of the most important parts of synthesizers. Without them, there will not be any proper sound production by the synthesizer. The sound of this instrument is good mainly because of them.

If you really want to play the instrument well, then you must be aware of all the details about the timbre, pitch and volume of a synthesizer.
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, electric guitars, drums, drum sets, and synthesizers, synthesizer filters.
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