Share this Page URL

Creative Uses for Dr:rex with the Reason... > Write Your Own Grooves - Pg. 192

Of course, this is a simplified explanation of a complex synthesis process. Understanding and using subtractive synthesis with hardware synthesizers was a constant challenge for those who desired the ambience and textures that were possible. In the old days of synthesizers, a musician would have all of the required synth parts (oscillator, filter, and amplifier) in separate hardware devices encased in a modular apparatus, and the signal had to be physically "patched" or routed from one hardware device to another. As an example: 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. You began with the oscillator by selecting a waveform. That signal would then be routed to a filter to manipulate the frequencies of the oscillator. That output of the manipulated signal could then be patched to an envelope that could adjust the Attack, Decay, Sustain, and Release of the filter. The output of the envelope would then be routed to an amplifier with an envelope that would adjust the Attack, Decay, Sustain, and Release of the amplitude. That signal would then be routed to a hardware mixer. There are many other factors and modifications that can be introduced along the signal flow, all of which make analog synthesis a lot more fun to program than it sounds on paper. Additionally, you will find that Subtractor does a good job of taking away the mystery of patch programming. PHYS ED 101 When I was new to this whole game of virtual synths, I was quite confused by the use of the term analog synthesis within the confines of the digital realm. Think about it. How can anything "analog," which is comprised of physical parts and patches, such as a Moog or Oberheim synthesizer, exist in the digital world, which relies on just 0s and 1s? The answer is physical modeling. Physical modeling is a form of programming that uses sets of equations to emulate the inner workings of an instrument. In the case of subtractive synthesis, physical modeling is used to emulate the oscillators, filters, and amplifiers. The benefit of physical modeling is that the performance characteristics of the modeled instrument can be accurately reproduced. A good example of this is a guitar string that's picked too hard, causing the produced tone to play sharp. Physical modeling is a simple enough concept to understand, but a lot of thought must go into formulating and creating the equations, and then they must be programmed. If you want to learn more about the inner workings of physical modeling, you can read all about it at this website: A Guided Tour of Subtractor It's time to take a look under the hood of this powerful synth. After the tour has finished, be sure to read on and learn how to create your own customized Subtractor patches and learn how to use the Subtractor with the Matrix Pattern Sequencer.