Re: What is fm synthesis like on other synths (non yamaha dx
Posted: Sun Apr 07, 2013 9:34 pm
Nice textures and patches vinyl junkie
Synthesizer Discussion Forums
Cheers manJabberwalky wrote:Nice textures and patches vinyl junkie
ThanksTiger Jackson wrote:^nice, are those tracks completely 4-op?
Wanna sell it?tekkentool wrote:Casio PD = Phase distortion = CZ-101, CZ-1000, CZ-3000, CZ-1.
I actually have a CZ-1 sitting around but I have to say it doesn't get too much use, sound is cool but it's shite to program IMO.
Thanks for this very informative post!CZ Rider wrote:The Synclavier II has CV outputs on the back for interfacing with external CV filters. The outputs could track at 1 volt per octave, and the CV's were part of the saved patch.Tiger Jackson wrote:Why didn't the dx's have a filter?
Pic of the many CV outputs on back of the Sync 2:
There are dedicated buttons on the front panel to select the ammount and tracking. These could be used for any preset CV needed, but were designed with external analog filters in mind.
The original Synclavier 2 is a strange digital FM synth that was around before MIDI. So many of the settings have very fine increments and not limited to the common MIDI 128 steps. While it was not "knobby", it did have a dedicated button per function. Tweaking the functions done by a single spring loaded knob, and had two real-time CV pedal inputs. The FM voices are made up of an additive type fixed oscillator with 32 harmonics. This can be used alone or FM'ed with a seperate sine via an envelope generator. Each voice can contain up to 4 parts called partials. Depending on how many voices, mine had 16 voices, a 4 partial voice would have a 4 note polyphony.
Here is a sample of a violin voice made up of 4 partials. In the sample I first play all 4 together, then each individually. I did set each voice with different LFO rates to fatten up the sound. Played at the end of the sample with effects like delay and chorus.
You can hear the oscillators "whine", kind of like a turbine engine sound when they go to lower frequencies. The Sync 2 has a full/large sound due to all the sound cards making the tones. For each set of 8 voices there are five large cards. One is a controller and the other 4 each contain 2 voices. So compared to a DX type synth, this would be more like a TX816, where you have seperate digital generators being mixed via analog audio together.
Here is another sample demo of the oscillator range. All done via the large front panel knob. I think it was playing a Cmin7 at first to show how there is no sidebands/artifacts when the oscillators go into the high range. A little polyphonic glide at the end. (Any sidebands/aliasing is from the MP3 conversion.)
It really does sound strange and has a sound all it's own. You can play the keyboard and transpose an entire sequence while it is playing for some really crazy fun. Sounds like tape slowing down.
Here is a sample of transposing a playing sequence.
A real advanced FM synth in it's day. The DX took FM a step further, but the Sync 2 was out years before Yamaha licenced FM from Stanford University.
The Casio Phase Distortion synths had an interesting way of getting around that license. The Yamaha is actually Phase Modulation, and Casio's take was to read the phase of a sine wave faster and slower. To distort the sine wave into shapes by clocking the reading of the 360 deg. phase at different rates. It does basically the same thing, just a different way of getting there.
I always like the Casio method, and is was more of a subtractive approach. Had three 8 part envelopes, first one for pitch the DCO. Next one for the wave shaper or phase distorter called DCW, and another for amplitude DCA. The numbers assigned to the envelops were a bit strange. A zero time was the longest and 99 the shortest. I found it best to think of these numbers as angles where zero equaled a 1 deg angle, and 99 equaled a 89 deg. angle. Imagining drawing the angles that way gave a better visual of what was going on with the envelopes. There is also anassignable sustain and end point, making these 8 part envelopes the strength of the CZ.
The battery operated model CZ-101, 1000, 230s always sounded different to my ears. Must be the 9 volt rails those models have limiting the headroom, creating a distortion. The 15 volt rail models CZ-1,3000,5000, seem to be lacking that same grit. They seem to just sound clean and loose something.
My favorite patch on the CZ-101 is the guitar one. As the tone settles back to the original sine wave, almost sounds like feedback. Very expressive and a fun sound to play.
Casio CZ-101 lead guitar sound. (Moog modular bass and Simmons drum backing)
The CZ-101/1000 were the originals, with the other models following later. The CZ's popularity was due to being the first affordable MIDI keyboard many owned. Casio later followed up with the iPD, or Interactive Phase Distortion line including the VZ-1, VZ10M,VZ8 and the iPD synthesizer guitar models like the PG-380. The iPD was a little more like the DX series with 8 operators, and sounded different from the CZ series. Casio left the professional synthesizer market after these. Too bad, really!
Also, today everything is already EQ'ed and effects-laden. The early Casio's didn't have external effects. So to today's perspective, those synths are "c**p," but they are actually the "real thing," not the pumped-up stuff you get today.Bitexion wrote:Yeah the XWP1 seems like a decent synth at a low price point. Seems like they're moving away from the cheap "piano tutoring" synths of the past 20 years. We'll see. The synth market is pretty full already.
Those plastic casios may be "c**p" in our eyes, but they're the highest selling beginner's keyboards usually, parents or grandparents wanting a cheap "piano lesson" keyboard for a kid for xmas. I casually said that "those casios are s**t" to a store owner and he told me those s**t keyboards are his highest selling items, actually. People don't buy those $2500 synths all that often, compared to $200 keyboards that everyone buy.
Aiui, it's not that there's "a lot" to program, only that settings change drastically with very little modification, and perhaps in some unpredicable ways. Kind of like searching for a needle in a haystack.pflosi wrote:Well it's not like programming a DX7 is that complicated, is it? It's just like four things: algorithm, operator frequencies, operator levels, envelopes - done...
It isn't complex if you've ever worked with a routing matrix. It's the fixed algorithms in the DX-line that make things complex. In one algo an operator 'changes' brightness, in another it changes volume, in another it changes brightness (but no ordinary brightness, a special kind of brightness because another operator is changing brightness in another way), and in another algo one operator affects both volume and brightness. If you don't know about operator routing and are just doing trial 'n error, you won't get any idea as for which does what and you probably end up tweaking existing sounds with sheer luck 'n guesswork. And then I haven't even mentioned using an operator as wave shaper yet! If there had been knobs for everything (like that big blue thing), maybe it'd have helped. But alas, a two-line display with membrane keys isn't that inviting at all.pflosi wrote:Well it's not like programming a DX7 is that complicated, is it? It's just like four things: algorithm, operator frequencies, operator levels, envelopes - done...