Anyone have a basic how to on subtractive synthesis
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Old 24-05-2016, 12:19 PM   #1
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Anyone have a basic how to on subtractive synthesis

Best I found is Brian Shepard's book Refining Sound, where some basic practical tips can be found. Guides such as using a saw LFO on Osc freq to create a whop whop effect etc.

Most texts I found go into the theory too much and leave me with few practical pointers. What I am looking for is some basic recipes, such as to make a bell sound use these settings of Osc A/B, set Env to modulate X, assign LFO to Y etc. Has anyone seen such very basic outlines?

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Old 24-05-2016, 12:28 PM   #2
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Re: Anyone have a basic how to on subtractive synthesis

Autodidacticism (I just used an erudite word)
I learned the basics with 3xosc in FL studio basic subtractive synth. And then I bought my first synth and still now tutorials. Once I started with drumsynthesis, then I really needed to look for tutorials. One tip I can give you, don't go heavy on, the different parameters, as envelope values, lfo amount, etc.. keep listening, actively, to what happens.

You might think, I didn't give you any advice, but seriously, it's a good way to learn and most definitely the most fun way.:mayonesa:

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Old 24-05-2016, 01:23 PM   #3
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Re: Anyone have a basic how to on subtractive synthesis

I don't have any specific idea of a good book on subtractive synthesis, but Xoxos' ClearSynth VSTi was made with the sound synthesis student in mind. It is free (PC) and the preset are logically and chronologically labelled/named to follow a red thread:
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Old 24-05-2016, 02:27 PM   #4
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Re: Anyone have a basic how to on subtractive synthesis

You can demo Syntorial and see if that approach works for you.
I tried the demo, got the full product and I noticed already my approach to synthesis has changed

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Old 24-05-2016, 02:57 PM   #5
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Re: Anyone have a basic how to on subtractive synthesis

Think of subtractive synthesis like a sculpting with clay. You start with a block and create by removing the clay. In subtractive synthesis, the raw waveforms are you clay and the filters are your tools to remove.

To get a handle of it, first ask yourself what kind of sound you want to create. It's vital to understand what ADSR is. Attack, Decay Sustain and Release are the principal components of any sound. Different types of sound can have different ADSR envelops. These shapes not only apply to the amp envelop of your sound but also the filters in subtractive synthesis. The power lies in how you manipulate these parameters.

My suggestion is to open up two instances of a subtractive synth. Now open up one of your favorite presets, preferably something without a ton of movement and modulation. In the other instance initialize the patch. Program identical midi into each midi lane and now recreate the preset by matching the parameters between the two instances. This is the quickest way to learn how sounds are built and how different parameters affect each other. Do a few patches a day and you'll become a lot better with this stuff.
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Old 24-05-2016, 04:19 PM   #6
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Re: Anyone have a basic how to on subtractive synthesis

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Originally Posted by liquid_air View Post
Most texts I found go into the theory too much and leave me with few practical pointers. What I am looking for is some basic recipes, such as to make a bell sound use these settings of Osc A/B, set Env to modulate X, assign LFO to Y etc. Has anyone seen such very basic outlines?
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Old 24-05-2016, 10:41 PM   #7
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Re: Anyone have a basic how to on subtractive synthesis

Ok, yes, I had this coming... practice until you have learned the trade. No argument, really.

What I was wondering were some general pointers from where to go. It is actually quite difficult to match a specific sound. I very much like the idea of using two instances of the same synth.

I guess I'll start with exercises. Apply LPF to saw sweep slowly over 1st, 2nd harmonic up. Repeat with resonance. Modulate every parameter with an LFO individually.

I guess It's just not coming to me easily when I want to figure out what I need to do to get a specific sound. Mostly it seems to be a directional exploration until I find some sound I like. That's fun. But to regenerate a sound from any given track. Frustrating.

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Old 24-05-2016, 11:48 PM   #8
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Re: Anyone have a basic how to on subtractive synthesis

Welsh's synthesizer cookbook is quite good and I like the SoS synth secrets series.

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Old 25-05-2016, 01:42 AM   #9
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Re: Anyone have a basic how to on subtractive synthesis

Quote:
Originally Posted by relic View Post
Welsh's synthesizer cookbook is quite good and I like the SoS synth secrets series.
I came across the SoS series, that looks good and I found a sample from Welsh's, which looks promising.
Syntorial looks interesting as well.

Mostly I am trying to get the most out of my Analog Four. So the constraints of hardware are focusing my attention to very basic elements again. I was pretty happy that I got fairly close to the sound that was giving me so much trouble. I suppose everyone gets frustrated at one point or another.

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