Learning synthesis

gbd

Learning synthesis
« on: May 05, 2023, 08:30:54 PM »
I've had my Take 5 for a few months now and I love it.  It's my first synth with mostly knob-per-function programming and that I'm not using just as a preset machine.  Problem is, it's just hard to dial in sounds because I don't know the fundamentals of subtractive synthesis.  What are some good resources for learning synthesis on a synth like this?  I mean for very basic sounds.
 Like, a basic electric-piano sound, or a basic flute sound, that kind of thng.
 Everything I can find online is very "draw the rest of the owl", just not very good teaching.

chysn

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Re: Learning synthesis
« Reply #1 on: May 05, 2023, 10:09:37 PM »
This might help you. Iíve been going through this book with my Prophet 5, even though Iíve been programming synths of various kinds for decades, and Iím learning a lot.

https://www.amazon.com/Welshs-Synthesizer-Cookbook-Programming-Universal/dp/B000ERHA4S
Pro 3 #1640 ∙ Prophet 5 Rev 4 #2711

MPC One+ ∙ MicroBrute ∙ MuseScore 4 ∙ Ableton

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he/him/his

Re: Learning synthesis
« Reply #2 on: May 06, 2023, 02:51:20 AM »

Re: Learning synthesis
« Reply #3 on: May 06, 2023, 01:42:24 PM »
Like, a basic electric-piano sound, or a basic flute sound, that kind of thng.
A flute sound is anything but basic. I was once determined to create a flute sound on my Hydrasynth and spent days reading about what makes a flute a flute. Ultimately I kind of managed to make a passable flute sound but it was one of the most complex patches Iíve ever created since it uses the double filter functionality of the Hydrasynth, etc. Iím not even sure thatís possible on the Take 5. Hereís the Hydrasynth patch:

https://youtu.be/9w-PoUVTaN0

I think electric piano is also tricky. You should start with more analog-style of patches such as analog pads, leads and basses and only when you feel confident to move into the territory of recreating acoustic instruments or specific sounds. Take in mind analog synthesis has its limitation and people use other types of synthesis for these sounds. Nothing can beat sample based acoustic sounds yet.

gbd

Re: Learning synthesis
« Reply #4 on: May 06, 2023, 05:22:35 PM »
Like, a basic electric-piano sound, or a basic flute sound, that kind of thng.
A flute sound is anything but basic. I was once determined to create a flute sound on my Hydrasynth and spent days reading about what makes a flute a flute. Ultimately I kind of managed to make a passable flute sound but it was one of the most complex patches Iíve ever created since it uses the double filter functionality of the Hydrasynth, etc. Iím not even sure thatís possible on the Take 5. Hereís the Hydrasynth patch:

https://youtu.be/9w-PoUVTaN0

I think electric piano is also tricky. You should start with more analog-style of patches such as analog pads, leads and basses and only when you feel confident to move into the territory of recreating acoustic instruments or specific sounds. Take in mind analog synthesis has its limitation and people use other types of synthesis for these sounds. Nothing can beat sample based acoustic sounds yet.

Nice.  The Hydrasynth looks very powerful, like you've got almost unlimited options.

Maybe my expectations are too high going for acoustic kinds of sounds.  I've got a Roland MKS-50 which is theoretically editable, but realistically it's just a box of presets, most of which are flute, acoustic bass, piano, trumpet, cello kinds of sounds.  I actually really like how they are almost-but-not-quite passable as acoustic sounds.  Play them out of context and they are just cool 'synth' sounds.  I'd like to try doing something like that from scratch with the Take5.  I've got a few patches that are ok just from trial and error but there's still a lot of head-scratching for me. 

Re: Learning synthesis
« Reply #5 on: May 06, 2023, 11:44:04 PM »
BTW, not to praise another synth on the Take 5 forum but I learned most about synthesis on the Hydrasynth. Itís both powerful but also the most intuitive and well thought synth interface IMO. While there are many synths with knob/slider per function, thatís actually not very helpful since when you load a patch those knobs and sliders are at random positions not representing the actual value. Thatís especially annoying on the Take 5 since you donít even have an indication of which direction you should turn the knob to approach the stored value (as on, say, the Novation Peak/Summit). Iíve tried analyzing patches on the Take 5 and just gave up. Maybe with the optional software editor itís better. However on the Hydrasynth you have 8 encoders with LED rings and with 8 OLED displays, so they immediately show the actual values. And you switch between the different modules: oscillators, filters, LFO-s, envelopes, etc. Abdolutely brilliant! If you want to learn synthesis, thereís no better synth IMO. At least for me it was what taught me most.

Now, the ďissueĒ with Hydrasynth is itís a digital synth and while it can be made to sound very analog if desired so, it requires some effort. Thatís where the Take 5 shines, it just sounds analog without much effort. I love them both and they are the only synths I kept (well, I also own a Behringer Model D which is excellent too). Hereís a weird warm analog PWM pad I created on the Hydrasynth that is the patch Iím most proud of and it took me like 10 minutes of experimenting around. So, it can also sound 100% analog even though itís a hardcore digital synth.

https://youtu.be/zLGUnvEk1xQ