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Re: What's your favorite synthesis method--

Posted: Sun May 03, 2015 6:06 pm
by Arcticflange
You are looking through the lens of your approach. Outside of that a software synth is not a musical instrument. I hope this explains why a new FM musical instrument would be welcome.

Re: What's your favorite synthesis method--

Posted: Sun May 03, 2015 6:27 pm
by Automatic Gainsay
I kind of like the idea of "modular" as a type of synthesis. First, as has been stated, even many analog subtractive synths aren't necessarily just subtractive. This is particularly so in analog modular. But these days, there are plenty of techniques used in modular setups that are not subtractive, and digital. Using the term "modular" as a form of synthesis is at least suggestive of a set of tools.

Re: What's your favorite synthesis method--

Posted: Sun May 03, 2015 8:20 pm
by CS_TBL
Arcticflange wrote:You are looking through the lens of your approach.
Meh. The main thing I wanted to pinpoint is that FM with the level of depth of - say - a DX7 requires so many controllers (hundreds of 'm) that a hardware surface would be a monstrous in size. Let alone the extended possibilities of FM8. Considering the amount of people who would buy it to actually use all these knobs, no company would ever produce it. I'm not stating that a big knob-infested FM-synth isn't nice 'n stuff, I just think it's not going to happen. Unless it's to be a generic computer-in-a-keyboard with a large display that can run anything. But alas, that would essentially be a computer running software again.
And another detail: Let's assume you want the 6 operators, noise operator, in-operator and filter in an FM-matrix (like FM8), that would have to become an area of, like, 50x50 cm. because each knob needs some room for your fingers to grab them, and because there would be an additional feedback controller (stretching up the whole area). On-screen this isn't much of a bother since you'd use the mouse to set small numberboxes, not your big eclipsing fingers.
A lot of subtractive synths can work well with a hardware surface, but mainly when they don't have lots of parameters to tweak. That's exactly why FM works much better with large mouse-controlled screens.

It could work if there's a reduced set of parameters, think DX200, but where's the fun in that?
Outside of that a software synth is not a musical instrument.
Right. Pianos are, flutes are, violins are, trombones are, xylophones are, drums are. Following that logic, synths are not (unless you think hitting its panel with a mallet counts as being percussion). But the whole statement doesn't make sense anyway; what's relevant is whether it can be used in a musical context in any kind of way. In which case software can.

Re: What's your favorite synthesis method--

Posted: Mon May 04, 2015 12:08 am
by Re-Member
Arcticflange wrote:So many people say they like FM very much in these threads, yet there are almost no new FM synths being made. This is maybe becasue noone is willing to pay top dollar for a good FM synth.
No one is willing to pay top dollar because most people simply can't be bothered to learn how to use the interface on them. The same applies to analog synths as well. You can still get a Sequential Circuits Six-Trak for less than a grand and it's a total powerhouse of a synth, yet the Pro One will sell for nearly four times as much money because it has a better interface. Not saying one is better than the other, but the knobby interface drives up the value a lot.

A knobby FM synth could work and be a total hit, but they would really need to plan out how to do it in order to keep it cost effective and not be so confusing. The DX200 didn't work so well because a lot of things weren't accessible from the front panel and required the editor. Visually, I think using the DX100's layout would work well. Just put a knob above each parameter button where it's applicable, then add an individual "operator selector" button next to the screen so you know which one you are editing. Give it a full four octave keyboard, plus add a simple set of ADSR amp sliders to shape the entire tone as a whole and it would probably sell like hot cakes.

Re: What's your favorite synthesis method--

Posted: Mon May 04, 2015 4:46 am
by calaverasgrande
huge fan of wavetable
though tbh i've never gotten as deep into it as I have with subtractive analog.
One day I'm going to pick up a hardware wavetable synth.
some day.

Re: What's your favorite synthesis method--

Posted: Fri May 22, 2015 12:35 pm
by briandc
I think FM didn't have such as success precisely because it was hard to "interpret."
Casio's CZ line (Phase Distortion synthesis) was, I think, much closer to the subtractive approach, and to me as an owner it made sense pretty much right away. I don't know if having a filter section would have made it even better, probably so. But with the various waveform combinations available, as well as an 8-stage envelope (how very few synths these days, even software synths, have this!), it was capable of a lot of unique expressiveness.


brian

Re: What's your favorite synthesis method--

Posted: Fri May 22, 2015 1:42 pm
by meatballfulton
sigment wrote:as an aside: what type of synthesis would a device like this utilize?
From their website:
8BitSynth

Description

The 8BitSynth doesn't rely on typical synthesis methods to generate sound. Rather it relies on a virtual 8bit processor evaluating an expression and outputting the result of the expression as audio. Any valid combination of numbers and mathmatical operators can be used to craft the expression, and one variable is permitted: time (t). Because the calculations are done on 8 bits, numbers greater than 256 will wrap to 0, ensuring the signal is always within a certain range. While there are some tricks to getting certain results, this isn't a synth where you set out to produce a particular sound but rather a place to experiment and to be surprised by what you create. Because the output is 8 bit, this synth produces somewhat distorted sounds suitable for chiptunes, dubstep or experimental electronica. The 8BitSynth tutorial video shows how to use this machine.
The formula creates a waveform. So it would be similar to wavetable and sample playback where waveforms are being read out of memory.

Re: What's your favorite synthesis method--

Posted: Fri May 22, 2015 3:31 pm
by calaverasgrande
for the record, I hate the term 'electronica'.

Re: What's your favorite synthesis method--

Posted: Fri May 22, 2015 8:07 pm
by briandc
calaverasgrande wrote:for the record, I hate the term 'electronica'.
Me too. Perhaps the term was coined by someone who doesn't like synthesizers...


brian

Re: What's your favorite synthesis method--

Posted: Fri May 22, 2015 9:04 pm
by Re-Member
briandc wrote:
calaverasgrande wrote:for the record, I hate the term 'electronica'.
Me too. Perhaps the term was coined by someone who doesn't like synthesizers...


brian
Me three. Although now it's been replaced with the term "EDM" which is equally vague and generic sounding. The Teletubbies theme was done electronically and kids danced to it, therefore it too can be considered EDM.