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Moso last won the day on December 31 2017

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About Moso

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    healthcare sciences, writing, sound design, music theory, poetry, languages, world religions and culture, literature, hiking, swimming, yoga, meditation, cooking

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    Zeppelin, Debussy, Cliff Martinez, Deftones, Gomez, James Brown, Korn, Lamb, Postal Service, Portishead, White Zombie, Aphex Twin, Nouvelle Vague, world travels

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  1. Okie dokie.... I am not feeling well today, but I tried to dig into this Retro synth so that I could learn what wavetable synthesis is. I did not have a lot of fun, which at first I blamed on wavetable synthesis 'cause, you know, what a bastard, but later when I started to understand it better and actually have a little fun, I recognized that I just feel crappy altogether. I shouldn't have gotten the fish. Didn't Striker teach me anything when I was a kid? ("A hospital? What is it?") Ghetto fish. Pulled a knife on my 胃 and there's about to be a bacterial showdown. Maybe. Oh, sorry. Peut-être. French group tomorrow. I better get in character. ハク〜〜〜 First things first. I consider the Retro synth to be a journeyman synth on our little Let's-Finally-Get-to-Know-Synths! tour. Most of what it involves are things that we have already learned through the previous synths. Although, in this synth we are using graphical representations of envelopes instead of ADSR sliders, so that's cool. There are a few other minor new bells and whistles, but I'm not going to get into them as they're pretty obvious all in all when you use it. TBH, this synth is not really selling me. It took a lot of poking and prodding to find it interesting. But it has one big perk: It's a 16-voice, two oscillator synth, containing the following 4 engines: 1) analog - classic sounds (leads, pads, basses) 2) sync - aggressive sounds (leads and basses) 3) wavetable - variety of synth and simulated natural sounds 4) FM - recommended for bells, electric piano, clavinet, and spiky bass sounds We've gone over "analog" subtractive synths, and we've done an FM. There are two new ones here. What makes the sync engine interesting is its singular "Sync" knob. This knob changes the starting point of both oscillators. Fini. Now the wavetable engine... that's what we're here for. So wavetable synthesis takes an audio clip and chops it up into, in this case, 100 "tables" in a sort of circle. Each table in my understanding is a wave cycle or period sliced from that audio sample. Now these are obviously too small in respect to your original sample, so you're not going to get anything remotely like what you put in. Instead, these cycle slices are going to be used instead of the general sine/triangle/sawtooth/square/etc. waves that we've been using in the other synths. When you load up a wavetable, it puts in on both oscillator controls. Moving through the oscillator controls chooses different tables, one at a time. So, moving through these you can try to find a new and interesting waveform to generate your core sound with or mix two different waves. And that's pretty neat, I guess. There were some cool sounds here and there from it. But where it gets really interesting is when you use that shape modulation knob to route either the LFO or the envelope into the shape "oscillators". What happens then is that the tables/cycles being played will change over time, giving interesting movements. So I had a little fun with that for a while. I even tried creating my own tables from audio files. There's plenty of room to experiment. Anyway, like I said, I'm not feeling well, so let's wrap this up. Examples of using the envelope to morph through the tables being chosen for oscillation: Wavetable Sample 1 Wavetable Sample 2 Wavetable Sample 3 In this last one, I just hung on a couple notes while I manually shifted one of the shape knobs, getting it to choose different tables/cycles as an experiment: Wavetable Sample 4 And here's the synth. It's on the table engine mode, so you can't see Analog, Sync, or FM. Suffice it to say, with the exception of FM, their controls are not so different. Of course, the fundamentals of what they're doing is quite different, however.
  2. ES1 Synth

    I'm just pasting my notes in for this one. I'll organize them at a much later date. This synth introduces several new concepts from the others, but there are four big things I see: 1) LFOs and other envelopes that can modify a great variety of parameters beyond gate and volume, including modify each other. 2) Low and high arrow specific, dial-in definition sliders for several parameters that work in conjunction with velocity and the mod wheel. 3) The ability to take external signals via side chain and route them to be the sub oscillator or LFO modulator. 4) An internal feedback system for the resonance filter. Cranking up the resonance for feedback gives tones that are tuned by the cutoff. For fun, I randomized the LFO and routed it to the cutoff, killing the main oscillator, and got sounds just like you might hear on cheesy old SciFi shows. Getting slightly more musical, I created this little instrument: Digital Bubble Tones Now, the side chain input... I routed some waves in it, and also a 12-string guitar, and a violin... nothing was all that interesting, to be honest. I mean, you can put like a drum loop through that sub oscillator and play around with the filter if you want. That wouldn't be unusual. Now most work of this kind, if you're privy to it, you can just do with a regular filter. But there were a few things kind of interesting. Here's me messing around with parameters while a drum loop is side-chained in as that oscillator wave: ES1 Side-Chain Percussion Test What I find interesting about the above side-chain experiment is that you can play the main oscillator with the side-chain feed, and whatever sound changes you make to the oscillator will be copied by the side-chain audio. So... I can kinda see having a little SD fun with this one. It should be noted that I had the source track muted, and the feed from the side chain only plays when you hit a MIDI note. (In the example, you can hear me just moving between two notes, I think a 6th apart.) Anyway, here are my notes. (And remember to put a limiter on the track so as not to damage your monitors or your ears. Double it with one on the Master if you want to be extra careful. While I was jumping through modulation routings, more than once there were sudden nasty sound spikes!): The ES1 is a subtractive synth emulating analog circuitry. There are two oscillators, one of which is a sub. Note that it has an analog% option in the global parameters on the bottom left. This is actually to simulate the wear of analog circuitry. A higher percentage equals slight randomness in note and cutoff frequency. The manual suggests 0% for more percussive sounds, and higher freqs warmer analog sounds. You can change the waveform of both oscillators. It can be interesting to mess with the sub. It also has the options of generating white noise, or routing a side chain signal through. The sub square/rectangular(?) can be one or two octaves below. The pulse wave is two. (Backwards?) 5 pipe organ pitch settings Change square wave width (actually moving between different pulse waves) Can have different pitch ranges on the bend wheel, using a combo of global and extended settings. (Neg. Bender Range) Legato engages portamento. Portamento speed is set by Glide. Difference between a high voice setting and “full” is that, if you have a high Release setting in the envelope, chords and notes will not overlap as they are played and released at “full”. This automatic release cutoff can prevent messiness sometimes. Like the ES E, there are three chorus settings. The ADSR setting below gave a type of “reverse effect” feel to the notes played. It is useful to get to know envelopes better, especially as they are used for MANY instruments and effects, including those non-synth. The ES1 can self-oscillate by driving the resonance to maximum. This creates a sine wave, adjusted by cutoff, envelope, and various settings. Note that it is not dependent on musical notes pressed. To hear it in action solo, turn the sub oscillator off, but the mix all the way to sub, and put the resonance at full. (It will actually kick in around 75%) Try getting feedback as above, and then putting the LFO on the random wave, high speed, and cutoff. You will get old school SciFi bleeps and bloops. Remember that the cutoff is what really changes the feedback pitch. Experiment with intensity widths on the LFO effect. While we’re at it, with these settings, engage the sub oscillator by changing to an actual wave. You’ll get interesting effects from the LFO randomizer. The big “Filter” word in the middle is actually a draggable zone, to mod cutoff and resonance at the same time, somewhat like an XY pad. This time, the low pass filter has four types (would be beneficial to have a quick discuss and show on low-pass EQ): 24 dB classic — mimics a Moog filter. Increasing the resonance reduce low end 24 dB fat — like an Oberheim filter, it tries to compensate for reduction of lows when resonance increases 12 dB — a soft, smooth sound like the early Oberheim SEM synth 18 dB — similar to the filter of the Roland TB-303 The drive slider is input level into the filter, changing the resonance response. (Notice that in the extended parameters is “Filter Boost”. This increases the output of the filter by 10 dB, but at the same time lowers the input/drive by 10 dB. Ultimately, this gives different sonic characteristics to the filter, especially at higher resonance values, greatly increasing feedback. The key slider is like the 1/3, 2/3, 3/3 buttons from the ES E(?). On zero, all the keys on a keyboard react the same. The more you move towards zero, the more the sound follow pitch/note, similar to a real acoustic instrument. Specifically, there is a relationship between cutoff frequency and pitch. This difference is obvious when you play a single note at zero and then again at max. Parameters with upper and lower arrows: You are setting a range with the two arrows. This is useful for something that gives variable input. Most of the double-arrow sliders here are for velocity, your MIDI keyboard (or whatever instrument) note “level”. So, whatever you set the lower arrow to is the range correlating to velocity 1 (as soft as you can play). Similarly, whatever you set the upper arrow to is the range correlating to velocity 127 (as hard as you can play). The ranges in-between will match your playing styles between 1 and 127. Dragging the blue bar between the arrows moves both at the same time. Note that the lower-left slider on the LFO listens to your mod wheel on your keyboard instead of velocity. There are three buttons to select what ADSR parameters you want to affect the amplitude. Something that should have been mentioned before: Attack and Release times of zero can create pops in when you play, so it’s generally best to have them up a little bit, even if you want an immediate attack or release. Note that when playing in legato mode, whatever velocity you trigger the gate is where the gate will stay while you play in legato, no matter the velocity you hit later keys with. I think I’ve said this before in different words. The manual suggests setting the cutoff low and the resonance high, then move the ADSR via Velocity arrows around to get to know it. The FM modular routing setting creates FM-style metallic sounds on feedback. Otherwise, it’s a distorted effect. The LFO introduces a descending sawtooth. The “random” wave is actually called a “sample and hold” wave. The one next to it is also a random wave, but smoother. Setting LFO rate to zero = DC, which means the mod wheel is to control the change. However, I have yet to find this very pronounced. There are some effects, like if you have the main osc on square wave and have the LFO routed to pulse width, rate zero, at high mod wheel zones you can heard the change in pulse width. The Mod envelope form; “full” is static/off, decay is fade-out, and attack is fade-in. Small settings can be percussive. Otherwise this is set via velocity parameter definitions. From the manual: Set up a delayed vibrato Drag the Form slider to the right—toward attack. Select Pitch as the LFO target in the left column of the router. Use the Wave knob to select the triangular wave as the LFO waveform. Drag the Rate field to an LFO rate of about 5 Hz. Drag the upper Int via Wheel arrow to a low value, and the lower arrow to 0. Here's a slightly cropped pic of the synth:
  3. Racist

    I think the idea to sing this song while playing "America the Beautiful" in the background was the best so far. That idea was just plain genius! Can you hear it? You gotta flip the vox back and forth from gospel to hardcore rap: America Fake news America What is right God shed his grace on thee Along with the other whites And crown thy good Lacking With brotherhood In the past tense Oh, beautiful You're a racist For heroes proved You're a racist That's the word From sea to shining sea Etc. You could do one helluva mix-mash with these two. That was a genius idea. Freaking amazing!
  4. Things people say or sing

    Aye yay yay... Talk about a forest for the trees comment. With respect, you seem to be assuming language learners would only get to know one way or the other. In learning a language, you have to take things piecemeal, or you'll get overwhelmed quickly. Besides, I never said that they weren't learning other structures. That seems to have been an assumption on your part. And if these dear language learners were going on to medicine, law, science, etc., of course they're going to develop more formal language structure. (Btw, English formalities, beautiful (and fleeting) as they may be, can be far slipperier to codify than those of other languages.) And, if you don't mind me bringing it up, you completely overlooked my primary point --> Language changes. Like it or not, it does. And sometimes very quickly. Whatever we call the "right way" to use a language (and please understand I'm totally with you on what is good English and what is not), it is just a snapshot in time. It is not by any means an immortal, universal law. What is the rule now will not be the rule tomorrow. We can already see this in our own lifetimes. (Which brings me right back to my conditionals pet peeve.) I understand that does not mean we should throw it all to the wind and have no rules, but it does mean that we can huff and haw about certain peeves, but in the end some of them will just be that -- personal pet peeves of us older goats slinging the same antiquated story about how "it was better" or "people used to know better". Now with a fellow such as yourself who prides himself on spooning out what is a quite attractive and nostalgic diction, I can understand that it's a sort of character call to put your foot down on matters syntactic. But there is a limit to its reality, if it is being bolstered by what amounts to gilded stubbornness. Language is beautifully flexible. That's, I think, my favorite thing about it. But again, yeah, of course the aspiring language learner will learn all the ways of such that as got and have over time. Just not all once. Dude.
  5. Things people say or sing

    I noticed got being taught as part of an official EFL curriculum about... 7 or more years ago when I was running this little language and arts school. But, in their defense, you have to remember that language descriptions can be prescriptive or descriptive, and if you're trying to teach non-native speakers how to communicate with native speakers, descriptive teaches them what is reality, prescriptive might teach them what to tick on tests. Again, like it or not, this is how language changes. I've slowly come to accept this. To a degree. But face it -- some of the language you/we use now that is totally apropos may very well have been gutterspeak or something otherwise grammatically faux pas in a much farther past. Ooh... money?... hmm... Gimme me a few more years, when I have my license. (EDITED. Oh yeah. What else did I miss...)
  6. I guess I should mention that I took Paul and Alistair's idea and started a blog. And I'm loving it! It's a fun way to publicize my personal notes a little at a time. Or rather, it's fun incentive to keep making notes as I explore and rehash things musical. So, I don't know, maybe I should lock or delete this thread. It seems to have run its purpose. I'll probably do that in a couple days.
  7. Racist

    Wow, that guy is... big.... around... I think others were alluding to something like this, but your detail has turned the OP off a bit. I do agree, though, that a political piece needs to be full of not just emotion, but that you really need to think about it if you want to put out a strong message. I had a similar discussion with a friend who was putting out content like this, and the end point was that if you want to just vent or otherwise get out some feelings, that's one thing, but if you actually want other people to think, then you have to do some thinking yourself and formulate real arguments. Otherwise all you're doing is pandering to people who already have your sentiments. So a lyric like this, in its existing state, is going to be more about expressing feelings and trying to find others who commiserate. But being that it's a political piece, to have real impact, to have a real punch, it needs a lot more real thought put into it. Sky... one of Murdoch's (Fox) UK news projects, right? Man, I gotta tell ya, when I came back to the US I was agog at all the propaganda, from both left and right major news outlets. But the thin reverse psychology being employed -- never in a million years would I have thought that whole "I know you are but what am I" would work so effectively and on such a mass scale. Amazing. But it's just more evidence that critical thinking is certainly not part of the bulk culture. I think Neal misunderstood your intention in this thread. Or he's on automatic pilot to put out potential fires. Or he saw your intention, but decided he was going to nip it all regardless as a matter of function. But as I wrote above, "A lyric like this, in its existing state, is going to be more about expressing feelings and trying to find others who commiserate. But being that it's a political piece, to have real impact, to have real punch, it needs a lot more thought put into it." Just my opinion, but if you do that, I think you'll have something much stronger here that can reach more people.
  8. Things people say or sing

    "Could of" comes from "could've" as opposed to the non-contraction. But I'm sure you know this. Writers will intentionally spell for sound occasionally. Others might just goof it up or maybe copy those writers without realizing intention. Like it or not this is the way languages change. When I was a kid, things like "I got a pen" or "I've got a pen" to mean "I have a pen" were a no-no. Now, they're taught in language schools. And I've come to use them, too. And don't get me started on conditionals... I caught myself saying "was" the other day for a hypothetical, and nearly slapped my own lips off. Impregnable... lolol love it
  9. (This was something I typed up years ago when I first began writing music. I did it both as a "note to self" as also as JFL practice.) TL;DR -- Nature is super cool but freaky weird. Oh, and don’t overlap too many rich 3rds as you might accidentally generate some off-tune ghost notes that’ll kill your compositional buzz. General advice when orchestrating or arranging is that you should be careful about layering 3rds. By 3rds I mean for example in a general 1 3 5 major chord sequence, the 3. So in A major (A C# E) this is the C#. If you layer these you can sometimes create undesireable wolf notes or ghost notes - notes that can be heard, but are not being played by any instrument. 一般的にオーケストレーションや編曲を行う際に気を付けなければいけないことは「第3音」の重ね方です。「第3音」というのは一般的な1-3-5のコードの「3」の音のことです。例えばAメジャー(A C# E)では「第3音」は「C#」です。この「第3音」を重ねてしまった場合、どの楽器からも演奏されてない音が聞こえてしまう「ウルフノート」とか「ゴーストノート」と呼ばれる好ましくない音が出てしまうことがあります。 The truth is, these notes are always there, but generally blend into the rest of the sound spectrum and are not heard individually. But sometimes, they conflict with dominant notes that are being played, and this is where you have a problem. 実際にこの音はいつも発生していますが、大体は他の音の中に溶け込んでしまって、音自体は個別で聞こえることはありません。しかしながら、時折演奏した音と衝突することがあり、それが問題になることがあります。 I ran into this when I was mixing a passage that hung on an A dominant chord (A7; A C# E G) for one measure. I had a string section, an organ, and an acoustic guitar playing. Every time it came to that A7 chord, I heard this horribly grating G# sitting right in between a G and an A. I muted all the tracks and started going through each instrument one at a time to find the culprit, but none of the instruments were playing a G#. Despite this, when I put them all together, I could hear the G# clearly. 私も弦楽器、オルガン、アコースティックギターで構成された曲の1小節の中のAドミナントコード(A7; A C# E G)のミキシングに苦労していたときにこの問題に遭遇したことがあります。このA7のコードの部分に差し掛かるたびに、ひどくきしむようなG#の音がGとAの間で聞こえるのです。そこで、すべてのトラックをミュートしてすべての楽器を一つずつ聞いて犯人捜しをしましたが、どの楽器もG#の音を出していませんでした。それにもかかわらず、すべての楽器を一緒にプレイするとG#の音がはっきり聞こえたのです。 Why? It's because of the physics of sound, and what we call fundamentals and harmonics. どうしてこんなことが起こるのでしょうか?それは基音と倍音と呼ばれる音の物理学的現象によるものです。 You see, technically when we play a note on an instrument or sing it aloud, that single note contains all notes. (The universe in a grain of sand, eh?) When I pick up my acoustic and hit that E, I hear the E, but buried underneath it is a B, and another E, and more Bs and G#s and deep within D#s and deeper and deeper C#s and As - and Cs and Eb even if you wanna get down to it. 実際に私たち楽器や歌で一つの音を出した時、その1つの音は他のすべての音を含んでいます。(「一粒の砂に世界を見る」という言葉があるように。)例えばギターでEの音を演奏したとき、もちろんEの音は聞こえますが、その奥深くにはBや別の種類のE、さらに異なるB、そしてG#、さらに深いところにはD#、もっと奥にはC#やA#、さらにはC#やEbも含まれています And these as you may know are the overtones or harmonics of the note. The picture to the right (taken from Wikipedia) illustrates a fundamental (low C) and its first 7 harmonics. (Note that a lot of classical composers like to use these chords, especially on a big fat cadence.) All instruments produce overtones, and it's the different quality of these overtones that creates the individual timbre for each instrument. (I suddenly am picturing the vast field of humankind.) The first harmonic is generally the octave, then going higher is a fifth (or 12th, as it is an octave higher), then the second octave of your root, then a high third, another fifth one octave higher… and so on into an infinity that our ears and minds don't pick up on in a manner that separates them individually. これらは倍音といわれるものです。右の写真(Wikipedia から引用)は基音(ローC)とその最初の7つの倍音を示しています。(注.多くのクラッシック音楽の作曲家はこれらのコードを好んで使います。特に重厚なカデンツなどに用いられます。)全ての楽器は倍音を出し、質が異なるこれらの倍音がそれぞれの楽器の異なる音色を生み出しているのです。(世の中に色んな人がいるように。。。)一般的に最初の倍音は1オクターブ上の音で次は第5音(または第12音・・第5音の1オクターブ上だから)そして基音の2オクターブ上、2つ目の「第3音」、1オクターブ上の「第5音」・・・と私たちの耳や脳がそれぞれの音を聞き取れないところまで無限に続きます。 Try taking an acoustic instrument like a guitar or cello for example, and hitting one open string. Sit and listen to the sound of the string change and develop. Listen for other notes. Try other strings - some have stronger harmonics than others. What can you hear? 例としてギターやチェロのようなアコースティック楽器で1音だけオープンで出してみてください。耳を澄ませてその弦の音が変化していくのを聞いてみてください。もう一音試してみて、そしてもう一音、倍音の強さは弦によって違います。分かりましたか? On that acoustic of mine, I hear the 5th on the A string pretty clearly after a few seconds. And this makes sense being that the 5th/12th is the strongest harmonic after the first octave. 私のギターの場合、A弦の第5音は弾いた後の数秒後にはっきり聞こえます。それは第5音/第12音が1番最初のオクターブ上の音なので最も強く聞こえるという理由によるものです。 So let's go back to that troubling A7 chord we were talking about at the beginning. On going through the all the instruments playing the A7, I realized that there were a lot of 3rds being played. The 3rd of the A7 is a C#. Remembering what we just learned about harmonics, we know that the 5th is often strong. Well, the 5th of a C# is G#. And whenever you double any note, both the fundamental and the harmonics get stronger and louder. There was the culprit. In particular, I had the organ playing extra 3rds (C#). Organs are harmonically rich instruments, which means that their harmonics are more pronounced than those from other instruments. (While we're at it, distorted instruments, like rock guitars, are also harmonically rich.) では話を元に戻して私が体験したA7のコードの問題について考えてみましょう。 その後A7のコードを弾いている全ての楽器の音をチェックしたら、たくさん「第3音」が出ていることに気づきました。A7の「第3音」はC#です。これまで倍音について勉強したことを思い返すと第5音が強いことはわかりますね?C#の第5音はG#です。どのような場合でも音を倍にすると、基音と倍音は強く、大きくなります。ここに犯人がいたのです!特にオルガンの演奏は余分な第3音(C#)を出していました。オルガンは倍音が豊富にでる楽器で、それは他の楽器と比べると強くでます。(参考としてロックのエレキギターなどの歪んだ音色の楽器は倍音が豊富に出ます。) The solution was to remove extra C#s. I did that, and the G# disappeared. 結局解決策は余分なC#を取り除くということでした。それを行うと聞こえていたG#の音は出なくなりました。
  10. EFM1 Synth

    So now we move out of subtractive synthesis and into Frequency Modulation synthesis with the EFM1. (There is no existing EFM2 that I know of. Must be a legacy thing. Unless the 1 is because there is only one modulator operator.) Little historical note: Apparently FM synthesis, spurred by John Chowning's 70s paper, The Synthesis of Complex Audio Spectra by Means of Frequency Modulation, the patent of which was picked up by Yamaha, marked synths moving from analog to digital. Euh, whaddya know... The most noticeable difference with this mini-FM synth and the previous subtractor synths is the ability to generate exaggerated harmonics on the oscillators/waves. (It should be noted that FM oscillators are called operators. Oh… light bulb moment on Ableton’s Operator instrument…) So the basis of FM synthesis is that you have one waveform modulating/modifying the other. I have to admit when I first heard this description I was unimpressed. I mean, in the other synths for example, when we play more than one wave at the same time, they’re modifying each other. That’s how sound works. So I knew there had to be something else going on. Let’s take a commercial break so I can dig a little more into that…. ———— Introducing: Cold War UNICORNS!! It’s a Cold War showdown! This play set allows you to play out the intense struggle between two global superpowers in the majestic fantasy world of the Unicorn! Can the Commie Unicorn’s horn of classless social structure hold up against the Freedom Unicorn’s hooves of capitalist opportunity? You decide! Each hard vinyl figure stands 3 3/4-inches tall and features articulated joints for all sorts of dramatic poses. You’ll love them, they’re educational and absurd! Like the real deal! ——— /commercial break Okay, so while in the subtractive synths we were looking at before different waveforms were mixed together, in this FM synthesizer, you’re only outputting one waveform (the carrier), but that is being directly modified by another waveform (the modulator). It’s worth noting that while the EFM1 only has one modulator, more advanced FM synths will have multiple modulators effecting each other often in a chain before hitting the carrier for the final sound output. Aha! The modulator harmonic setting functions in order just like real, natural harmonics. I noticed that when I moved it up a notch, it actually jumped an octave. The next notch brought a fifth, then a fourth (two octaves from source), then a third…. It must move all the way up through natural “Pythagorean” harmonics. This was noted when the carrier was on 0, not affecting the ratio. (Note to self: write an article about fundamentals and harmonics.) (Note to note to self: Screw that, just copy over the J<>E one you wrote back in Japan.) What’s happening is that the modulator and carrier together are creating different tuning ratios. (See the bottom of the BreakTweaker post.) The harmonic settings create different ratios, and the FM intensity mods the amplitude of these ratios. (So does the mod envelope sustain.) The carrier is a sine wave by default, and the modulator is “multiwave”. Note that very small changes to these waveforms can generate wild results, unlike the subtractor synths. (Note to guitarists: Ring modulators are basically the stomp box “organic” version of FM synths, also working with a modulator (the guitar) and a carrier-sine signal.) We’re going to go straight from the manual for a bit: “The carrier frequency is determined by the played key, and the modulator frequency is typically a multiple of the carrier frequency. You can tune the modulator and carrier to any of the first 32 harmonics. The tuning relationship, or ratio, between the two significantly changes the base sound of the EFM1, and is best set by ear. You use the Harmonic knobs to set the tuning ratio between the modulator (left) and carrier (right) oscillators. In general, even tuning ratios between the carrier and modulator tend to sound more harmonic or musical, whereas odd ratios produce more inharmonic overtones—which are great for bell and metallic sounds. In this respect, you can view the tuning ratio as being somewhat like the waveform selector of an analog synthesizer. Experiment with basic tuning ratios Do one of the following: Set the modulator and carrier to the first harmonic—a 1:1 ratio. A sawtooth-like sound is produced. Set the modulator to the second harmonic and the carrier to the first harmonic—a 2:1 ratio. A tone that sounds similar to a square wave is produced.” Muchos arigatos, Mr. Logic. To make this simple little FM synth more complex, you can choose a variety of different wave forms as the modulator operator. While the full left setting is a classic sine wave, as you turn it up, the waveform changes smoothly. It actually sounds similar to tuning an old radio, which makes sense, cause I mean, you know, frequencies. Anyway, some very interesting and unexpected sounds can be generated here. I think that’s really what I find different about this FM synth over the subtractive synths—like I mentioned before, small tweaking of the settings can yield wildly different sounds. There’s a certain unpredictability to it all, and it definitely will require more tweaking to get to know it. I don’t imagine that I can try to reverse engineer sounds with this one until I spend much more time with it than the others. I think for starters I’ll just look at the presets and see what sort of ratios and modulator wave settings they are using. Oooh yeeeah… just with a ratio of 1:1, I’m getting some nasty-cool bass sounds out of this thing. (I need to map this to a MIDI knob. It sounds really cool to change the modulator waveform while you’re playing. Oh, and then turning up that big FM intensity knob in the center and continuing to tweak the modulator wave makes some really phat sounds. It’s beginning to sound a little dub step a la that Skrillex ボコボコ.) I should mention, btw, that there is a (one 8ve down) sub-oscillator built in with a volume knob. While low ratios of the synth by default create some thick basses, as you move up the harmonic spectrum, it quickly creates high pitches. Turning up the sub-oscillator can help you recover lost low end. But, well, deep low end. Getting some cheesy metal guitar synth sounds out of this thing messing with the waveform and intensity at a 1:1. I feel like I’m playing an old Nintendo action game like Metal Gear or something. The “Fixed Carrier” button is supposed to uncouple the carrier wave from being modified by anything including the keyboard, but I’m still getting pitch variation. That must be coming from the modulator operator, which is still affected by the keyboard and LFO, etc. The “modulator pitch” knob adds a pitch effect to the envelope. All this really teaches us is that, like the previous envelopes that could control both the filter gate and overall volume/amplitude, any envelope can have multiple sound parameters routed through it. Note that legato modes are specifically set up to not retrigger the envelope when playing with legato. Of course, I think we know this by now, but I just wanted to print it. Other notes: a Unison button and Stereo Detune knob can be useful to create chorus-y sounds. And like the other synths, there is a velocity sensitivity knob. I like this, personally. It allows your playing style to influence how heavily the envelopes are used. Finally, and this is kinda neat, there is a randomize button on this synth, complete with a percent control of how wildly it will randomize. Hitting this a few times yielded completely different results, including one that sounded like a bird. Okay, so… while I’m still not a big synth fan, I am more and more seeing both their usefulness and coming to understand better how to build sounds with them. We’ll get around to more of this later. Same Bat-channel.
  11. ES E Synth

    The third synth we're looking at in LPX's legacy simple synths is the ES E(nsemble). The ES E is an 8-voice subtractive synth. It's probably the step up from the ES M, as opposed to the ES P. Notes about this synth: 1) The waveform generator has three settings: sawtooth, square, square with greater widths as you turn it up. So, basically this is good to hear the changes that happen as you increase the width on a square wave. 2) If you increase the width of the square wave while you're playing, it gives a mild bit-crusher effect reminiscent of old video games. (That probably did exactly this.) ...actually, when you think about it, bit-crusher effects are essentially doing just that. When you lower the sample rate, you are sort of creating greater "width of squares" in the computer-viewed sampling of your audio. (Note to self: write blog post about sampling rate vs. bit depth. Though I'm sure you guy have it down already. If not, this article is decent.) 3) The LFO (which it doesn't seem can be completely turned off), can be set to modulate the width of the square wave. 4) Resonance seems to have no effect if the AR gate is not open. 5) There are three simple chorus effects that can be turned on/off. Playing with the width of the square wave, and also with the LFO modulating that width, is interesting to view in a frequency analyzer. While a small width setting shows a waveform with a lot of frequency "hills", as you turn it higher, those hills themselves widen and become fewer, until finally at the highest setting there is basically only one hill. All in all I gotta say I don't find this synth very interesting. Actually, the sounds it creates are exactly the cheesy old synth sounds I tend to not care for. (Although I will be quick to admit there are other artists out there who can make some really cool tunes using these "cheesy old" synths.)
  12. Old Navy Footlocker

    This is very cool. Thanks for sharing.
  13. ES P Synth

    Annnd next on the list is the ES P, which stands for... wait for it..... Emagic Synthesizer Polyphonic. Whoa... Bet ya never saw that one coming. Like the ES M, is it subtractive, so essentially you get the synth to generate waveforms and then cut/subtract frequencies from them with a low pass filter. An ADSR gate time/movement modifies how the selected frequencies are cut. There's one thing I loved when messing around with this guy. With the frequency view up, I could see and hear so clearly how each knob affected everything. I could both see and hear the differences between the triangle, saw, and square waves. I could watch the frequency viz transitions as I played different notes. I could see how wah modded the resonance and vice versa. And best of all, playing with the ADSR envelope was like writing a story. It was very clear in sight and sound how the controls affected the sound over time. Very useful training tool! So attack and decay on this one control how quickly the sound sweeps up through the frequency range (the ADSR envelope is essentially a gate on the subtractive filter), starting from the frequency set. (It also seems to affect amplitude.) The range seems to be set, which means if your frequency is low, it will only go so far, but if your frequency is high, it will go "all the way" and maybe hang there briefly before coming back down. How long depends on your attack and decay settings. Sustain controls what frequency level it hangs at after the decay. There is a direct relationship between sustain and the frequency knob, meaning that so far it seems that I can achieve with one what I can with the other, with the exception being that the sustain will also affect the sustained volume, not just the sustained pitch. Release is simply depress decay. Alright, some interesting things about the ES P: 1) It has three pipe octave settings like the ES M -- 4, 8, and 16. 2) Along with the triangle, saw, and square waves, it has -1 octave and -2 octave square waves. All waves operate on sliders so you can freely mix their sounds. There is also a noise slider. 3) An optional LFO can either affect wave vibrato or the frequency pitch a la wah wah. 4) There are 1/3, 2/3, and 3/3 keyboard follow buttons, which tell the ES P filter to follow the pitch you hit, keeping a constant relationship between the frequency and key. 3/3 turns it on for the whole keyboard range. There's also an knob for distortion and one for a stereo-spread/chorus effect. And that's pretty much it. Of course, it may not seem like much is going on, but already, there is plenty of room to create a wide variety of sounds. Party on, Wayne. Party on, Garth. PS~ Another interesting thing about these little synths is that the knobs are off in their central position. Moving them left or right has different effects. The ADSR intensity knob, for example -- moving it to the left reveres the direction of the gate, so that it cuts as it moves instead of sending a wave that opens up frequencies.
  14. ES M Synth

    I did not like the 80s. But, I mean, those were my early formative years, a time when my gut had the emotional content of liquid nitrogen. Or was it mercury? The crow's in the cupboard, Jimmy! Perhaps that's why I never got into 80s music, despite that it really seems to be a favorite of many people. It has that strong nostalgia for others that to me was always more 不味い。And the 80s was a time of the big stab. Not you, Karasu-san. I mean those cheap synth sounds that dominated. So... I am behind on learning synths. I'm more of a play-around-with-samples kind of guy when it comes to software tools. But there are some fantastic synth sounds out there, not to mention great tricks with synthesizers. The deep whisper of a throbbing, ghostly synth bass under steadily churning orchestral waters? Yes, please. I am astounded by the amount of content that comes with LPX. And it just keeps growing with all these free updates! It recently came to my attention that LPX has nearly a dozen synths built in, and several of them are really bare bones. Might be a good place to start learning a synthy thing or two. Those full-fledged ones can be a bit discombobulating for me ol' tête bête. Let's start with the ES M.... which I believe stands for Emagic Synth Monophonic. (If you guys remember, Logic was created by Emagic.) It is a subtractive synth, which is supposed to mean that you are fundamentally cutting away frequencies from the waves to create your sounds. Right? The ES M has only a saw wave and a square wave, with the square tuned an octave lower. You can blend between the two. There's also three little buttons on the left that are neat mainly because of what they signify. You must choose between 8, 16, and 32. These stand for pipe organ lengths. The longer the pipe, the deeper the sound. (Ever played a pan flute?) There is a very simple filter with low-freq cutoff and resonance. (Must be the subtractive part.) There are very simple decay and volume controls that can be affected by "intensity" knobs and velocity sensitivities. And there is a distortion knob. Fini. Pretty simple, right? Oh, I should also mention that it has portamento always on, and there is no way to turn this off that I found. So if you play legato, you'll get slides between the notes. You may want this, you may not. There is a glide setting to control how fast the slides occur. So, I just loaded up a track with this little synth, and created a looping line that had some variation in pitch, melody, and dynamics. The reason being that I wanted to just tweak the synthesizer and listen, without having to be concerned with playing lines. Also, I opened up a couple of frequency visualizers to help put things in my mind's eye. (Us upright walking, eyes in the front humans are largely visual learners. And even if you aren't part of the majority, meaning whether or not you're a visual learner, having multiple avenues for your mind to absorb information can be beneficially compounding.) So, this was a cool little synth that seems to excel at bass stuff. You can make simple monophonic lead lines with it, but I don't know, I didn't care too much for those sounds coming out of it. It's like Michael J. Fox calling me to warn me that Leonard part XVI is going to be written from a funkadelic neon-Pluto Hollywood jailhouse. Btw, as you can see in the pic below, you can have the LPX manual open and floating while you work in LPX. Very useful for learning. EDIT: Oooh... you know what would probably be a good exercise? Duplicate the tracks, then go through factory settings on one track, while you try to build / reverse engineer it on the other track, A/Bing the two. EDIT part deux: Yeah, I can confirm that A/B reverse engineering the synth sounds is a good way to learn. Mess around with it and make your own sounds to get familiar with the controls, then try A/B building. With this synth it's pretty simple, but it's still a good way to befriend nuances. Although to clarify: the whole frequency visualizer thing to learn is only useful when tweaking some parameters. When it comes to rebuilding the synth presets, use just your ears.
  15. Racist

    Btw, I think these lyrics would be perfect for aggressive, old school rap. (Although hahaha the ideological irony there might cause a spit take or two.) EDIT: Your second verse and the two sentences later on are a little confusing. Are these all stances that the Racist has? It seems like a mix of the Racist's beliefs, and accusations towards the Racist. They're a little hard to tell apart. And what strategic plan is set on a course? The Racist's, or those who think the Racist is poorly educated? (Actually, even that's a little confusing. I saw Trump at a rally called his followers poorly educated, and the rally went up in cheer. But it seems people who don't like Trump shake their heads and call his followers poorly educated, and the followers get upset.)