Chapter 9. Synthesis and Software Instruments

Unless you're working exclusively with recorded sound, you'll want to master software instruments. We'll first look at the basic synthesis methods available, both those employing recorded (sampled) sounds and those whose sounds are truly "synthetic." Then we'll delve into what those synthesis methods mean for your music, whether you're just using and editing presets and sound libraries or building your own custom sound patches.


Synthesis and Software Instruments

We'll look at the underlying theory of synthesis and how to apply it:

  • How you can create and customize sounds with synthesizers

  • Different synthesis methods: how they work, what they sound like, and which are best suited to different musical tasks

  • Working with prebuilt sounds (soundware)

  • How samples and drum kits are mapped for expressive, realistic playing

  • Analog-style waveshapes and what they sound like

  • Using envelopes, modulation, and effects for more dynamic sounds

Essential Terms

  • Synthesizers/synthesis

  • Program, patch, and preset; multi; global

  • Oscillator, voice, polyphonic/monophonic

  • Synthesis types: analog subtractive , modular, frequency modulation, additive, sample playback, physical modeling, granular

  • Sample playback: soundware, key zones, velocity cross-switching

  • Envelopes; breakpoints

  • Modulation

Where to Start

Try your hand at some basic sampling and virtual analog synthesis by following the hands-on examples for SampleTank FREE, Ableton Live, and Native Instruments Reaktor SoundSchool, all on the disc.

Real World Digital Audio
Real World Digital Audio
ISBN: 0321304608
EAN: 2147483647
Year: 2006
Pages: 96
Authors: Peter Kirn

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