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which synthesizer should I learn to use properly?
smas7
PostPosted: 21 September 2010 - 21:39:00 (943)  Reply with quote
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So until now, when I use any kind of sounds for my songs, I've pretty much relied on the many presets on the many soft-synths I use.
Now i've decided it's time for myself to learn to synthesize sounds properly from scratch, so that when I imagine a sound, I can reproduce it myself, as opposed to browsing through presets for hours.

So, any recommendations on good synths to learn on? it doesn't necessarily have to be a super simpl synth or anything, I just want to learn on a good versatile synth, (offcourse not too complicated), so that I can make my own sounds and get a good grip on it all.

At the moment I was considering learning on z3ta+, but yeah any suggestions?

also how should I go about learning this all? I've been trying to follow the z3ta+ user manual, but there are so many things I don't understand,, terminology I don't get etc...
I think I'm missing a lot of the assumed knowledge, so I can't even follow these user manuals..
anyone got any suggestions on where and how I could gain this knowledge?

cheers
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d4chris
PostPosted: 21 September 2010 - 22:03:10 (960)  Reply with quote
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I think Sylenth1 is a great synth to learn subtractive synthesis.

But when it comes to things like FM etc. I don't know myself ^^
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andYMkIII
PostPosted: 21 September 2010 - 22:16:42 (969)  Reply with quote
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Yeah, start out with something simple like Sylenth1, then you can work your way up to monsters like the Gladiator2 thumbsup
(for subtractive synthesis)

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jkl27
PostPosted: 21 September 2010 - 22:41:54 (987)  Reply with quote
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sylenth1 or rob papen predator,or stay on z3ta, it is old, but sounds nice unhappy(

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WarrenK
PostPosted: 21 September 2010 - 22:50:36 (993)  Reply with quote
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Well tell us what Vst's you have as Z3ta can be a little tricky getting the hang of it. But it is a great synth.

As people say Sylenth1 or even V-station very simple.
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DJCRICKET
PostPosted: 21 September 2010 - 22:52:33 (994)  Reply with quote
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This one's great for cheesy trance and it has a great supersaw:

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DJCRICKET 0/10
shapeshifter
PostPosted: 22 September 2010 - 00:22:47 (057)  Reply with quote
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after producing for a few years z3ta is the only one i know inside out ; ) the manual is very well written

edit: oh i just read that you're having trouble with the terminology in the manual.. you can look it up or ask us here on the forum and you'll have it in no time ; )
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shapeshifter is now living in Taipei :)
owarren
PostPosted: 22 September 2010 - 05:39:15 (277)  Reply with quote
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I'd say Fabfilter Twin2. It has the simplest layout, very intuitive. It's a modern synth, Armin used it for the lead in his latest production so it certainly has good sound quality. They have some great videos on it, to walk you through making a few different sounds.
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wess
PostPosted: 22 September 2010 - 06:09:32 (298)  Reply with quote
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If you don't understand the terminology maybe you should learn some audio or synthesis theory first.

I would go with Sylenth1, but don't worry, you have enough time to learn more VSTs if it's not the best for you.
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smas7
PostPosted: 22 September 2010 - 08:26:34 (393)  Reply with quote
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Thankyou all for the replies.

yes I heard V-station was good, but I don't have it...
So is subtractive synthesis one of the most common methods? (I have no idea)
I'm guessing if there is subtractive, then there is also additive synthesis? Ive also heard about FM synthesis and all but which one should I get into?

for instance on the z3ta manual:

"Any modulation option can be chosen in any oscillator. This way, the output of combined
modulations can become extremely complex. For instance, OSC1 could ring-modulate OSC2, this
output could FM-modulate OSC3, to PM-modulate OSC4, SYNC to OSC5, etc."

a paragraph like that makes no sense to me, and even if I go on the net to look up what "FM modulation" is, I can't really relate anything.

so, any suggestions one where and how i could learn the basics of synthesis (theory)?
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shapeshifter
PostPosted: 22 September 2010 - 11:52:07 (536)  Reply with quote
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I remember when I was at a beginner level, I was reading through synth manuals and feeling really frustrated and annoyed but don't worry.. You'll get there eventually!!

The reason why you can't understand that paragraph is probably because you need to learn a few modulation basics.

Cast your mind away from synthesizers for a moment and think about sending information down a telephone line or through the air to another person. I think it's easier to understand this way happy..

Signal modulation in general is where you have one signal called the "carrier signal", and one other signal called the "modulating signal", and the carrier signal "carries" the information from the other signal, i.e. your voice. You want to talk to your mate, and the carrier signal carries the information in your voice through the air or down a wire to him.

When this signal reaches your mate's end, his equipment "demodulates" it, i.e, takes the "modulating signal" i.e. your voice, out of the carrier signal, and then throws the carrier signal away just to leave your voice.

Put more simply, signal A walks up to signal B and says "hey, i wanna combine myself with you", so that signal B now contains information from signal A. The process can be undone again, to sepeate the two signals - but this is rarely done in sound synthesis, because you created a new funky sound by combining the two signals..

Perhaps this animated image from wikipedia could help you. It shows the two most basic types of modulation - amplitude modulation and frequency modulation.



Focus on the middle one for a while, and see if you can tell us how the top signal is being "carried".

Once you understand this, I think you'll be able to read the paragraph happy.


PS: At the moment don't worry too much about what PWM, ring-modulation, etc. is, just know that they are types of modulation, and know the basic concept of modulation.
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shapeshifter is now living in Taipei :)
andYMkIII
PostPosted: 22 September 2010 - 15:19:24 (680)  Reply with quote
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shapeshifter wrote:
I remember when I was at a beginner level, I was reading through synth manuals and feeling really frustrated and annoyed but don't worry.. You'll get there eventually!!

The reason why you can't understand that paragraph is probably because you need to learn a few modulation basics.

Cast your mind away from synthesizers for a moment and think about sending information down a telephone line or through the air to another person. I think it's easier to understand this way happy..

Signal modulation in general is where you have one signal called the "carrier signal", and one other signal called the "modulating signal", and the carrier signal "carries" the information from the other signal, i.e. your voice. You want to talk to your mate, and the carrier signal carries the information in your voice through the air or down a wire to him.

When this signal reaches your mate's end, his equipment "demodulates" it, i.e, takes the "modulating signal" i.e. your voice, out of the carrier signal, and then throws the carrier signal away just to leave your voice.

Put more simply, signal A walks up to signal B and says "hey, i wanna combine myself with you", so that signal B now contains information from signal A. The process can be undone again, to sepeate the two signals - but this is rarely done in sound synthesis, because you created a new funky sound by combining the two signals..

Perhaps this animated image from wikipedia could help you. It shows the two most basic types of modulation - amplitude modulation and frequency modulation.



Focus on the middle one for a while, and see if you can tell us how the top signal is being "carried".

Once you understand this, I think you'll be able to read the paragraph happy.


PS: At the moment don't worry too much about what PWM, ring-modulation, etc. is, just know that they are types of modulation, and know the basic concept of modulation.


Well written sir, you get +5 internets cheers

_________________
a'ndY pres. Timetravel on Afterhours.FM
Next Episode: Sep 22, 14 CET

a'ndY pres. Entrancing Melodies on DiscoverTrance
Next Episode: Oct 4, 18 CET
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andYMkIII R.I.P. trance.nu, thanks for everything, I had a great time here :,(
shapeshifter
PostPosted: 22 September 2010 - 16:03:31 (710)  Reply with quote
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andYMkIII wrote:

Well written sir, you get +5 internets cheers


heheh, thanks : ).
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shapeshifter is now living in Taipei :)
SecondHand
PostPosted: 23 September 2010 - 01:17:25 (095)  Reply with quote
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Well, what's this gigantic topic doing here? wink

http://trance.nu/v4/forum/viewtopic.php?t=140796
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P_Hansson
PostPosted: 28 September 2010 - 22:06:44 (963)  Reply with quote
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smas7 wrote:
Thankyou all for the replies.

yes I heard V-station was good, but I don't have it...
So is subtractive synthesis one of the most common methods? (I have no idea)
I'm guessing if there is subtractive, then there is also additive synthesis? Ive also heard about FM synthesis and all but which one should I get into?

for instance on the z3ta manual:

"Any modulation option can be chosen in any oscillator. This way, the output of combined
modulations can become extremely complex. For instance, OSC1 could ring-modulate OSC2, this
output could FM-modulate OSC3, to PM-modulate OSC4, SYNC to OSC5, etc."

a paragraph like that makes no sense to me, and even if I go on the net to look up what "FM modulation" is, I can't really relate anything.

so, any suggestions one where and how i could learn the basics of synthesis (theory)?


1. Don't get V-Station if you have Sylenth1, Sylenth1 can do most sounds of V-Station.

2. Additive synthesis = don't bother looking up that term (though yes it is a real term). Essentially you can build up any periodic continuous signal by adding sine waves, but it is unnecessarily computationally intensive. Substractive is the most common and you can assume a synth uses it unless mentioned otherwise.

3. Sure, start with substractive synthesis (Sylenth1). FM synthesis tends to be more difficult (IMO).

4. As for that Zeta+ paragraph, it demands a more than a sentence to explain (I'll explain the Zeta+ specifics as I think they work - for a musical/sound design explanation, see above post):

Zeta+ has six oscillators (labeled OSC1-OSC6). Normally, the outputs of these are ADDed to a single signal before getting sent to filter section (actually, there are two busses but for sake of simplicity let's ignore).

Since the default mode ADD adds the signals, you can get.

OSC1 + OSC2 + ... + OSC6
OSC6 + OSC5 + ... + OSC1

Of course, if adding two terms the order doesn't matter, with the default mode you can simply pick whatever oscillators you want without it effecting the sum.

Now, the PM, FM, SYNC and RING modes are different. I'm not going to explain their sounds (that's for you to discover), but rather how to correctly use them in Zeta+:

Basically, an OSC set to one of these modes will modulate the source signal immediately right of it (higher OSC numbers). A broken-up chain matters (e.g. no active OSC2 between active OSC1 and OSC3 causes OSC1 and OSC3 to behave as separate chains).

Examples (all non-mentioned OSC presumed off):
4.1. OSC1 set to SAW1/ADD. Heard: Normal saw tooth wave.

4.2. OSC1 set to SIN/FM, OSC2 set to SAW1/ADD. Heard: Frequency modulated saw tooth wave.

4.3. OSC1 set to SIN/FM, OSC3 set to SAW1/ADD. Heard: No sound because there is no signal source for OSC1.

4.4. OSC1 set to SIN/FM, OSC2 set to SAW1/FM. Heard: No sound because there is no signal source to right of OSC2.

4.5. OSC1 set to SIN/FM, OSC2 set to SQR2/PM, OSC3 set to TRI/ADD. Heard: Some sort of frequency and phase modulated triangle wave.

4.6. OSC1 set to SIN/FM, OSC2 set to SAW1/ADD, OSC4 set to SIN/PM, OSC5 set to SAW1/ADD, OSC6 set to SQR1/ADD. Heard: Frequency modulated saw tooth added to phase modulated saw + square wave.

Generally, don't go overboard with the number of modulation stages, it's very easy to just produce noise/distortion. Most of the time, you'll probably be using the default ADD.
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