Sound Design Intro for App Synth Users

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bpr103
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Sound Design Intro for App Synth Users

Post by bpr103 » Tue May 03, 2016 8:48 am

Ok, I'm a little confused and need some guidance. Sorry for the lengthy post.

Most of my experience is with Roland romplers from the 90s (jv-2080, xp-30). I have a Bass Station Rack (the only analog that I have ever played) and logged probably an hour on it in two years, as I just haven't had the time for it. I spent dozens of hours refining sounds with a beat-up old DX7 with some really great results (totally by accident), but found the noise level too high and never found it really useful for either gigs or recording.

As a gigging musician, the XP-30 was perfect and I have comfortably replaced it with the Roland Sound Canvas iOS app, which is a great place to start but doesn't really offer any sonic capabilities beyond the included sample sets.

So, I'm looking at iPad synths and they all seem insanely powerful, but am I looking at the same thing through different lenses/interfaces?

In other words, it seems to me that Sunrizer and, say, Magellan or Thor are still working with the same basic structures: square, triangle, saw wave (all digital emulations)... and the interfaces are essentially the difference between them. As I've only played a Bass Station in the analog world I have little reference to the "real thing". Basically, though, I could likely wind up with the same sounds from any of them, though, right?

I'm asking because I'd rather master one than toy around with many, and it seems to me that any one of these apps could meet just about any sonic requirement.

TIA

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desmond
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Re: Sound Design Intro for App Synth Users

Post by desmond » Tue May 03, 2016 12:00 pm

It's just analog-style subtractive synthesis - the range of sounds a subtractive instrument can produce depends on i's features, and how the various components are designed and built.

Some are simple, where you don't get very far away from basic waveforms run through a low pass fitler, shaped by simple envelopes and maybe a simple LFO.

Others are more complex, with complication modulations, frequency modulation, oscillator sync, ring modulation, multiple filter types, multiple oscillators and so on - they can go further in timbral complexity - a long way from a basic sawtooth wave.

But yes, learn one first, and you'll find the principles will translate to others, and while there will be a certain family of similar sounds, the character will differ (different envelope shapes, filter characters, the basic waveforms themselves which are never "perfect" etc), and you can explore the features specific to an instrument to see where it takes you...

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Re: Sound Design Intro for App Synth Users

Post by madtheory » Tue May 03, 2016 2:14 pm

If you've had that kind of success with a DX-7, then Native Instruments FM-8 will blow you away. It will also load your old DX-7 patches from sysex if you still have them. It's not always accurate against a DX-7, but most of the time it is. I don't think there's an iOS version. But for serious sound design an iOS device doesn't quite cut it.

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Re: Sound Design Intro for App Synth Users

Post by Bitexion » Wed May 04, 2016 1:52 pm

Basically what you need is some tutorials on "subtractive synthesis", which pretty much what every analog synth use, it's your basic 2-3 oscillators into a mixer into a filter into an amplifier, and modulated by envelopes and LFOs.

Search for that in google and you'll get plenty. Almost all the apple synths are based on this synthesis, since it's the most commonly used method in synths outside romplers.
Last edited by Bitexion on Mon May 09, 2016 4:27 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Sound Design Intro for App Synth Users

Post by madmarkmagee » Fri May 06, 2016 6:36 pm

Sounds Good. My advice is to read a basic tutorial than just muck around. I'm guessing the you already own an iPad, so the cost for a single app will be small. Just look at the reviews and buy something that is a simple analog subtractive synth. You've got nothing to lose. Though you'll probably want to work out a way of getting a keyboard connected on some point in the future for serious playin'.

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Re: Sound Design Intro for App Synth Users

Post by JeEA » Wed Jul 27, 2016 2:00 pm

Or try the Korg iM1 or iMS-20 synths
Lots of fun

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