Synthesizers! Using Synthesis for Sound Design & Production | Jason Allen | Skillshare

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Synthesizers! Using Synthesis for Sound Design & Production

teacher avatar Jason Allen, Music Producer, Composer, PhD, Professor

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Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

    • 1.

      1 Introduction


    • 2.

      2 About the software we will use


    • 3.

      3 The types of synthesis we will cover


    • 4.

      4 The 4 Elements to a synthesizer


    • 5.

      5 The Subtractor in Reason Interface


    • 6.

      6 The Oscillator


    • 7.

      7 The Filter


    • 8.

      8 Envelopes


    • 9.

      9 The Amplifier


    • 10.

      10 Putting it all together in Reason


    • 11.

      11 Using Ableton’s Analog for Subtractive Synthesis


    • 12.

      13 The LFO


    • 13.

      14 Portamento or glide


    • 14.

      15 Trigger Modes


    • 15.

      16 Velocity Control


    • 16.

      17 Subtractive Synthesizer patch deconstruction No


    • 17.

      18 Subtractive Synthesizer patch deconstruction No


    • 18.

      19 What is FM Synthesis?


    • 19.

      20 Using Ableton’s Operator Interface


    • 20.

      21 Making sounds using FM Synthesis


    • 21.

      22 Adding the bells and whistels (from before)


    • 22.

      23 FM Synthesizer patch deconstruction No


    • 23.

      24 FM Synthesizer patch deconstruction No


    • 24.

      25 Whats coming up in the Part 2


    • 25.

      26 Thanks!


    • 26.



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About This Class

This classes uses the same system I've used for years in my college courses for teaching sound design: Identify and master the 4 main pieces of any synthesizer, and you will be flying when you first approach any other unit in the future.

This system keeps the technical jargon to a minimum and gets you making your own sounds quick.

J. Anthony Allen is an Ableton Certified Trainer, and a PhD in Music Composition and master of Electronic Sounds. His music has been heard internationally in film, radio, video games, and industrial sound, as well as the concert hall and theater.

He currently is a professor at Augsburg University and the CEO of Slam Academy in

Praise for other classes by J. Anthony Allen:

  • "Dr. Allen does it again with his music theory for electronic musicians series. This course really opened up everything I learned from the 1st section and now I understand more about the composition side of things for music. I highly highly recommend this course to anyone!!! Really opened my eyes to many things I wasn't aware of."
  • "The Best Teacher Ever, who makes you understand the ins & outs of Music Theory by all mean without giving what you don't want to know."

  • "I have never had any formal training in music at all. Trying to learn all the notes and how everything translated was a serious challenge. After going through this class, Dr. J has totally brought down the barriers. The content was very useful and was easy to grasp for me."

Meet Your Teacher

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Jason Allen

Music Producer, Composer, PhD, Professor


J. Anthony Allen has worn the hats of composer, producer, songwriter, engineer, sound designer, DJ, remix artist, multi-media artist, performer, inventor, and entrepreneur. Allen is a versatile creator whose diverse project experience ranges from works written for the Minnesota Orchestra to pieces developed for film, TV, and radio. An innovator in the field of electronic performance, Allen performs on a set of "glove" controllers, which he has designed, built, and programmed by himself. When he's not working as a solo artist, Allen is a serial collaborator. His primary collaborative vehicle is the group Ballet Mech, for which Allen is one of three producers.

In 2014, Allen was a semi-finalist for the Grammy Foundation's Music Educator of the Year.

J. Anthony Allen teaches... See full profile

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1. 1 Introduction: everybody. Welcome to the class. Welcome to sound design fundamentals. Part one synthesis. There will be a part two. After this, we will focus on sampling. But in this one, we're gonna focus on synthesis. And my goal for this class is for you to be able to look at any synthesizer, whether it's software or hardware, and be able to look at it on first glance and say, Okay, I know what that does. I know what that does. I know what that does. I could make some sound on this thing and to take it a step further, I have a sound in my head. I know how to make that on whatever synthesizer is available to me. I have this approach that I've been using in my in person classes forever, which is to kind of identify these four key elements that all synthesizers have and then learn those. And then whenever you see any synthesizer, no matter what software you're working in or whether if you're in front of a big, huge like analog, since you'll be able to find these four things and that'll get you up and off the ground in a snap. So you've got to learn what those are, and you gotta learn how to use them. And we'll also look at some of the other things that make a difference in this Azar's unique on why we have a ton of synthesizers because it was just these four things that we would always just have the same four things and everything was the same. So there is more than just these four things. But before things are really important to getting our feet wet, understanding kind of a good grounding point for understanding how to use any different kinds of synthesizer. So in this class, I'm gonna be using both reasons and able to live. And I'll be demonstrating. Since two main different kinds of synthesis, we'll be talking about subtracted synthesis primarily in reason, but will also look at some attractive, and this is in able to live. And also we'll be looking at FM synthesis, and I'll be talking a little bit about different kind of successes along the way. But those are the main to that we're gonna work with in this class, and that'll be a great foundation for all the different kinds of synthesis that you'll encounter. If you understand how those two work, then I think if you encounter one of the other kinds of synthesis, you'll be able to wrap your head around pretty quick and say, Okay, I get it. I'm different, kind of, and we'll talk briefly about those other kinds of services. So the goal is how to take a sound that you imagine in your head and create it in whatever tool you have available to you. So if you're using able to live, you'll be great in this class for using reason. You'll be great in this class using any other piece of software. You'll be great in this class as long as it has synthesizers. This will show you how to use those synthesizers in this class. That is what you will learn. Eso Let's dive in on start working on these four key elements, and then we'll start picking apart some patches throughout this class. What we're gonna do is we'll load up a patch that makes a cool sound that we like, and then I'm going to start picking it apart and say, OK, let's look with this elements doing, Let's look at what that elements doing kind of a reverse engineering approach, but it works really great to learn these kinds of conflicts. Okay, let's dive in. 2. 2 About the software we will use: Okay, First things first. Let's talk about the software that we're going to use to talk about sound design and particularly synthesis I'm going to use to main synthesizers, Um, one of them in reason here. And that would be the reason. Subtract er and the other one in a Bolton, which is the able to operator able to live operator. Um, the reason that I'm going to jump between these two programs and I'll talk more about this in a minute. But the main reason is because what I'm really trying to do in this class is not teach you how to use reasons. Subtract er or how to use able to lives. Operator, when I'm trying to teach you to do is understand synthesis. My goal is that you'll be able to walk up to any synthesizer anywhere, whether it be a software plug in or ah, hardware, synthesizer or, you know, like a big, huge analog sent from somewhere, you'll be able to walk up to any of those and and be able to like, dial in the sounds that you want. That's the goal. So I think with these two synthesizer soft, since if you will I will be able to kind of show you what to look for in any kind of synthesizer, right? So you'll be able to find the different sections, figure out how to make some sounds on it right away. Once you get through this class, you'll be able to see that. So we'll be bouncing back and forth between reason and a bilton. But, um, remember, the goal of this class is not to teach you how to use reason or able to life. The goal is to teach you how to use synthesizer and to find your way around. Ah, any kind of synthesizer. So that's the main software we're gonna be using. If you want to use something else, you're totally fine. If you don't have reason or able to live, that's fine. If you have any other kind of soft sense or hardware synth actually at your disposal, you still should be able to get a lot out of this class. These two that I'm using are just because they're they're handy. I really like some tractor because the the layout is really nice for teaching. Ah, certain kind of synthesis, which we'll talk about in second um, and operator as well. It kind of shows how this sounds are coming together in just ah, the right way. So if you want to use something else, you actually can. In this class, you don't have to follow Click by click What I do. Um, the main thing we're going after here is concepts not ah, where to click to make these different sounds. So I think that any software you'll be able to get a lot out of this class, so but I'm gonna focus on reason and able to live. You're welcome to use whatever you want and you'll still be able to get a lot out of it. 3. 3 The types of synthesis we will cover: Okay, so let's talk about the types of synthesis that we're going to cover in this class now. There are a lot of different types of synthesis. Um, and because this is kind of a fundamentals class, I'm not gonna go into all of them. What I've decided to do is focus in on two of them and really explore them and let you know how to find the different elements of each and program. Your sounds in those two different styles of synthesis. Now, that doesn't mean that you'll be left totally high and dry when it comes to the other kind of synthesis. Um, it's not They're not all that wildly different you'll be in. If you understand the two types of synthesis that we're gonna talk about. You'll be in really good shoes if, like someone throws a different kind of synthesizer in front of you. Um, So what we're doing here is I'm giving you really, really, really solid foundation, so that when you explore these other kinds of synthesis, you'll really understand what's going on really quick. So I'm gonna focus in on two kinds of synthesis the first time kind called subtracted synthesis. Um and we'll be using a reason. Subtract er senses. You can tell by the name that's probably has something to do with subtracted synthesis. Um, and the other kind of synthesis will be working with Is FM Synthesis FM has a little bit different sound. We'll be talking about that as we progress onward and, um has some different parameters. But I think with those two you'll be able to go in the other kinds of synthesis. And, um, at least in a general sense, really understand how the other one's work. So the other kinds of synthesis include things like granular synthesis wave tables and this is there's there's a good handful, more of them physical modelling is, and this is one of my favorites. But here to give us a really solid foundation, we're gonna focus on FM and subtract of synthesis to get us off the ground, um, and create a really solid foundation for your work with synthesis. So with that, let's progress on and let's start talking about the key fundamental elements to all synthesis, not just FM or subtracted. But when we look at a synthesizer, what are we looking for? There's four key elements. Ah, and I wanna focus in on those first. So let's do that in the next video 4. 4 The 4 Elements to a synthesizer: Okay, So whenever I look at a synthesizer, if I'm walk up to a synthesizer is the first time I've ever seen this particular synthesizer. There are four elements that I look for to kind of servers. My grounding point. Now, all synthesizers air different, whether they be software synthesizers or hardware synthesizers throughout this class, I'm going to use that term kind of synonymous. Lee. I'm just going to say synthesizers, but it applies to hardware stuff and software stuff. Everything, Um, these four kind of key elements, they're there somewhere. If it's a synthesizer, it's got these four things in it, and they're great. Way to just kind of get grounded in how it's working and how to make some sounds. If you can find these four things you could make sounds on that synthesizer right away, and you can craft them to be pretty close to what you want. You won't be taking full advantage of the synthesizer because there's always more kind of bells and whistles. But there these 1st 4 things that are really important just to get under our our belt. So what we're going to dio ah in this video is we're gonna introduce those four things, and then we'll start working through what each one of them does in the subsequent videos. So the first main thing we're looking at, let's look at some tractor here and just find these four things. The first thing is this section here, the oscillator section. So the oscillator section is really the tone generating section. It's the only part that actually makes sound. Um, usually in most sense, so the oscillator section is our first section, and again we're gonna go into more detail about what all this stuff means in the in the next video. The next section I look for is the filters. In this case, it's right here. So filters number two. So the oscillators and then the filters. The third thing I look for is the envelopes. Now the envelopes work a little bit differently, and you may have just one envelope or you may have several envelopes Here. I have three that I can see right away, right? One is called an AMP. Envelope. One is called a filter envelope when one is called a mod envelope, and that's fine. I'm basically looking for how maney envelopes do. I have and what are they doing? Um, we'll talk about all of these in just a few minutes. The last thing I look for in the simplest of all of the four elements is the amplifier. Somewhere there's an amplifier, something that boosts the signal gets it loud so we can hear it. And in our case here, it's right here. It's just a volume knob. Sometimes there's more things in the amplifier, but sometimes it's just a volume knob. Ah, and but we need that. Ah, and it's important. So So those are our four elements now, interestingly, this is what I'm talking about when I talk about how, ah, you'll be able to apply these concepts to all different software that we're gonna look at or that you have in front of you. If you're not looking at reason, how can you find these things? So I'm gonna jump over a Bilton able to live. And let's look at the operator down here, so this works quite a bit differently. Ah, but those four sections are still here. Over here, we have an oscillator section. We actually have four oscillator sections here, but they are all an oscillator section essentially, and each of these do a little more than just an oscillator. But at their core, we could call them off later sections. So what's next Filter section Right over here we have a filter section and again because this is a much more complicated synthesizer. This filter can do more than just filter, but let's keep it simple to start with. This is our filter section. Next, we're looking for envelopes right down here. We have envelopes we can see it says Pitch N V E N V. Short for envelope, and this has some more bells and whistles on it, too. But, um, it is an envelope section and last amplifier. Down here we have an amplifier. Now this has some extra stuff on it that will talk about later. But at its core, we have our main volume output. So all four elements oscillator section, filter section, envelope section, volume section. That explains the majority of what we see here. We have this LFO section that we'll talk about later. That's kind of a bell in bells and whistles kind of thing. Um, I guess you could say not all synthesizers haven't LF over pretty close I mean, LFO is pretty standard stuff. We'll be talking about LFO shortly, so don't worry. But in these this core four elements, you can find him on just about every synthesizer we work with. Oscillators, filters, envelopes, an amplifier. There's other stuff here, and we'll look at this other stuff, but those four things will get you started on any synthesizer. 5. 5 The Subtractor in Reason Interface: okay, In this section, we're gonna look at subtracted synthesis in a certain amount of detail. So first, let's start by just looking at the interface for the subtract er synthesizer. Now, like I've said before, I'm going to say probably 100 times the particular device. Your using doesn't matter a ton because all of these concepts should work in whatever send this as or you're using unless you're using, like a super weird one. But, um, I'm gonna go through the basic layout of subtract er here just to kind of get us all on the same page. So if you are working with, subtract er or so that you know what I'm looking at. So I have the oscillator section. I pointed that out before. That's thes two bars here, and I have to oscillators. Here's we have oscillator one and oscillator to in different kinds of synthesis. And in different synthesizers, you'll have different amounts of oscillators. Some have hundreds of oscillators. Some have one oscillator. Some have 48 16 whatever this one has to oscillators in the oscillator section. In our filter section, we have two filters in our envelope section. Like I've mentioned before we have three envelopes. We have an amp envelope. That's the amplitude envelope, and we'll talk more about that. Ah, filter envelope that controls the filter above it. And we'll talk more about that in a minute. And a mod envelope, which stands for modulation, which can control a number of things. Well, look at that more in a minute. And then we have our volume section over here are amplifier section. Now I want to look quickly in this video at some of the other stuff too. That will look at shortly. We have lfo is down here. LFO is what gives you a little more motion in your sound. If you have a sound and you hear like a pulsing or something like that, that's often in L f o. So we have to l a foes here lfo wanna lfo two and they behave slightly differently in some tractor. We also have some velocity controls down here. Velocity means, um it's like it's kind of like volume, but not always. It's really when we're using a midi keyboard, it's how hard we hit the note. Now, if you were at a piano, how hard you hit the note would mean volume right, but in synthesis, it doesn't have to. So we can map that that pressure, that how hard we hit that note to a variety of things, and that's what is set up here. So velocity refers to how hard we hit a note. So here we can set up velocity to control a whole bunch of different things. Like the frequency, the mix. Ah, the amplitude. That would be what you would expect the amplitude would be if we were at a piano. So more on that in the future. Over here we have some map herbal controls to the mod wheel and pitchman. If you have that on a midi keyboard, Um, and then ah, couple other settings here that will look at later polyphony is one that will look at right now, so prolific, he means how many notes can this synthesizer play at once? Right, So right now we're set up to only have one note play at a time, so let's hear that, all right, that's what it sounds like. If I play a note and then I keep holding that note down and I play another note, it cancels out the 1st 1 Signally do 100 time. If I play two notes at the exact same time, write it like you only hear one and you hear the last one played is how polyphony always works. So if I want to be able to hear two notes at once, I can turn polyphony up to two. Now I can hear two notes at once if I play third note. Three. Oldest one goes away so typically, and with prolifically, we have polyphony. Either set toe one. If we only want to hear one note at a time or eight waken here a lot of notes at the same time. Um, you might want polyphony set for one for something like a bass sound where you don't want a whole bunch of notes to ring together in a base soon, So ah, well, look more at that later. But that's basically how ah polyphony works. So that's our overall layout of subtract er up. Next, let's get into this oscillator section and start getting down to the nitty gritty and looking at how to dial in your oscillator, what the oscillator actually does and how to make some sound with it. 6. 6 The Oscillator: Okay, let's dive in and look at this oscillator section in detail now. So the first thing I'm gonna do is I'm going to get rid of this patch that we have loaded up here. You'll find that in any synthesizer, you can load up a whole bunch of presets. That's what we have here, where it says bass guitar and I can scroll through some of these other ones and use different sounds and they're nice. But what we want to really be able to do is program our own sounds from scratch. So in reason, what I'm gonna do is I'm going Teoh Control, click And then I'm gonna go to reset device. So now I have a totally blank slate of more or less blank slate. Um, we could reset this even a little bit farther and make it, you know, totally empty. But it's okay the way this. So let's focus in on this first oscillator. Now, Now I have this initialized patch. It sounds like this. It's good. A little bit lower. Okay, so that's the sound we're dealing with right now, So let's see how we're getting it. So looking at oscillator one here so our key things to look at our these four blocks up here. The 1st 1 is the wave form. Now the wave form means the type of oscillator. So first, let's talk about what an oscillator is. An oscillator is the thing that generates sound. It oscillates. It goes back and forth, Um, and it creates a wave, right? So the shape that it goes back and forth in is what generates the timber of the sound of Tambor's, a word we use to describe not the pitch of the sound the pitch would be. Is it? Low is at high, etcetera. The tambor literally means color. So the color of the sound like it's bright or its dark or it's shiny. It's We have all these kind of goofy words for this stuff, but it's all the timber. So the wave form is what creates the Tambor. So in that way, form section. There are four standard wave forms that you see on almost any synthesizer. You'll find these four standard weight forms. This one that we're looking at here is called a saw tooth waveform because it goes straight up and then down on an angle that means that that oscillation back and forth is gonna go. Mm. Uh like that. And that's going to make a more jagged sound of these goes so fast that you're not gonna really here, that you're not gonna hear it going straight up and then slowly down and straight up, it's really down. It goes extremely fast, but what it does, the way I think about it, is like the more sharp angles in a wave form, the more buzzy it gets. That's a very, very, very broad and vague rule, but it's more or less true. So in this one, it sounds like this. So that is a saw tooth waveform. Now let's switch it. This is called a square wave, because it just goes up flat down, flat, up, down, flat, etcetera. So it's just going back and forth and back and forth. It's not smooth at all. It's just here. And then here and then here and then here. It just does that back and forth very, very, very fast. And that sounds like this. So if we look at what if we alternate between those two square Sawtooth, right, so they have a very different sound even though I'm playing the same pitches. So those are two of the four standard wave forms. Let's look 1/3 1 This is a triangle. Wave it go it ramps up, ramps down, ramps up, friends down, ramps up. It's a little softer, a little more mellow. Let's alternate between those three. They have different quality of sound. Let's go to the 4th 1 The 4th 1 is called a sine wave, and this one goes smoothly up smoothly down smoothly up. So no edges to this one, Really? At all. So this is the most pure sound. This is almost like a flute. That's a really no bussiness at all. Let's compare all four really quick. Okay, so those are four way forms now, Depending on what synthesizer you're using, you may have more reason. Has a bunch more that they just labeled with these numbers and you can look up what they actually look like. But those are unique to the synthesizer. Any synthesizer? Um, any normal synthesizer will have those four standard wave forms, and then they might have some extra ones that they've designed and put into their They're oscillator section. Okay, the moving on over here. This stuff is all tuning. So what we can do here is let's pick. Um, let's do a sawtooth. Okay? Now we can decide what active it's in. So it's in the fourth octave. Now you can if you don't know these musical terms like active, you can think of active as the range like as you go lower with this number, it will go lower in pitch right, so I can switch octaves with that. And that will be even more useful in just a minute when we get to one other thing and then semi and sent. This means semi tone and this means sent, which is ah, pitch variation. So there are 12 semi tones per active, so this is a smaller division of the active that we can move it by. So here's the same pitch. If I go up by a semi tone, so basically, if you are looking at a keyboard, the semi tone would be the next key up. Or, if you're on a guitar, will be sliding your finger forward. One fret for every semi tone up you go. So this is three frets higher on a guitar or three keys, including the Black Keys and the lychees. Higher sense is a very small division of pitch, so that means that there are, ah 100 cents per one semi tone and one cent earned 12 semi tones per one active. So if you because there's 100 of these per one of these, if you move this by just like two or three, you're not even gonna be able to hear it usually. But if you go up a lot now, we're basically pulling it out of tune and out of tune oscillators air one of the most common effects that we use, right? So when Go negative with it. So I'm gonna leave it in tune for now, but we'll pull the attitude. And just second, actually, let's do it right now. So those are our main settings in the oscillator section. Now, what I'm gonna do to make something really useful here is I'm going to go down to my oscillator to oscillator To is off in my case, in reason here. So I need to turn on oscillator to with this. So that's how I know it's on in reason. Now I'm going to give it similar settings. So let's use the same way form well separated by an active and will leave the rest of the tuning the same. So now I'm gonna hear two octaves of this pitch. So I have a low octave and a high octave, so it makes it a little bit thicker sound. Now, if I really want to make it thicker, I can pull one of them out of tune by a little bit. Right now, I get that kind of flans sound to it. Let's pull it in tune, and that sound goes away, right? So it's pulling it out of tune by just a bit. I like to set these around 89 maybe 10 sense out of tune and you get So I'm just playing one note now and you get that really kind of big full sound. Now, if I pull him out of tune by semi tones, I'm gonna create a harmony. So if I go to like seven somebody tones out of tomb, that's what we call a perfect fifth. It creates, ah, harmony. If I do something like a second, it'll be a little more obvious. So we're always hearing two notes when I'm only playing one on the keyboard, actually. So I don't like to use the semi tone transposition all that much. Because if I want to hear two notes, I would rather just play two notes. Um, Semite. Oh, are the scent de tuning I do all the time on almost everything I program There are at least out of tune by a little bit if I'm using to oscillators going out of pull him out of tune now. Another thing you can do to make a nice, rich sound is due to different way forms. So let's do a sawtooth wave and a square wave an octave apart out of tune by 10 cents. It sounds like that. Try triangle wave in a saw tooth farther out of tune. It's not as big of a sound, but there's a lot of variations you can make with all of these things here. Okay, last thing I want to point out here is this mixed knob. Now you probably have a mixed knob on all synthesizers that you're going to come across. Um, it's not the most standard thing, but it's pretty typical to see the mixed knobs just adjusting between oscillator one and oscillator, too. So lets him do something pretty obvious here. Let's go back to oops. The same wave form separated by an active and at iTunes by a bit. Okay, so now, because they're separated by an active oscillator, one is a higher active than our sorry is a lower octave than oscillator to oscillator. To is higher because it's four. So if I adjust its mixed up, if I pull it all the way to the left, we hear the lower octave here oscillator one. If I pull it all the way to the right way here, the higher active oscillator to so I can adjust this, like setting it right about here, means I'm gonna hear a little bit more of oscillator to an oscillator, one on the opposite here. So you can kind of adjust this the balance between the two. If you want to do that, you don't have to do that. Okay, so that is our main oscillator section. That's everything I want to cover. There's more to it. But, um, the goal here is to get a good, fundamental grasp on what's happening here. So that's our oscillator section. Next, we're gonna move on to the filter section and see how we can really use that to shape our sound and really get into the depths of subtracted synthesis. 7. 7 The Filter: Okay, the filter. Now the filter really gets to the heart of subtracted synthesis because what we're doing with subtracted synthesis, the basic principle centers around the filter. What we're doing is we're creating a very rich sound with our oscillators and then were chipping away at it with filters to our subtracting layers of it, with filters to result in the sound that we actually want. So we're subtracting stuff out and ending up with a sound that we want to use. So the best example of how a filter works is your mouth. Imagine your vocal cords are the oscillators, the thing that are making sounds and your mouth is actually shaping the way what frequencies are getting through of the felt of the sound from your vocal cords. Um, so the filter is going to filter out certain frequencies, that's all. So the way our filter is set up here now filters all look different. It's kind of, ah, wide spectrum of just how they look. But the way this one is set up in reason is we have our our filter setting here, and this is at the bottom. We're looking at low frequencies at the top. We're looking at high frequencies. More of us. Um, let's look at this residence knob in a minute. So let's just look at this. So when this filter is all the way down, that means work. The filter is all the way closed, and we're going to be filtering out as much sounds as possible. So here's my sound right there's not much left. So I opened up the filter and we get more of those high frequencies as I open up the filter more right down here. There's not much of that, my bussiness. So I can kind of shape the sound this way now the reason that were pulling out the high frequencies as we pull it down as because we're set up over here that says LP 12 LP means low pass means we're letting low frequencies through and were closing it on the high frequencies. As we pull it down. We're making. We're letting less and less of the high frequencies in as it goes down here. Now we can flip that and change it to high pass. Right now, we have nothing but high stuff, and now we're gonna let low stuff through as we go down, right? So we're letting more stuff through as we pull it down. Now that we've flipped it to a high pass filter, those are your two main friends in Subtracted is and this is his low pass and high pass. We have some other filter types. His low past 24 is another low pass filter, but with them a steeper cut off on what that means is that it's just going to be more blunt in the way it's pulling out sounds. Band passes kind. You can kind of think of it like a mid range filter, even though it's not exactly what it kind of works that way, and not just the opposite of a band pass. It's gonna pull out certain frequencies and move them like that. So let's now look at this residence knob. What this residents knob is going to do is it's going to give the filter a little boost right at the cut off frequency. So the cut off frequency is where this is set, so I'm back to a low pass filter. Let's pull residents all the way out and just hear it. Okay, so there's my sound now, If I want to emphasize this frequency right where it starts to pull stuff out, I would give it some resonance. So no, Remember here Resonances not a function of frequency. We're not doing really anything to the frequency here. This is controlling the amount of boost of that. Right? So this is the cut off this knob. This residents knob is gonna push. How much of this cut off frequency we're gonna boost right at the cut off frequency. Now, why would we want to do that? Why would we want to boost it right at the point where we're starting to filter it out? The reason is it sounds kind of cool. So here it is with a little bit of residence. You get that little that little laser gun sound You, You, You, you, you, you, You, You, You, You, You You, You You know you Now check this out. So here, I'm going to give it a lot of it. Now I'm going to just the filter, Teoh, right? So when I adjust the residence, the pitch doesn't change of the residents. I just here more or less of it. But when I just the filter I start to hear that pitch moving around, right, cause the cut off frequency is what is the actual pitch that the residence is doing? That makes sense. So what? I'm let me do this one more time. So this is the cut off frequency. This the resonance or rez Residents boosts the cut off frequency. So this just says how much to boost it. This doesn't change the pitch when I change this. Then the boosted pitch changes because the cut off frequency is changing. This is just boosting the cut off frequency. So it makes that cool kind of laser gun sound that we like sometimes. So you've probably heard that sound before. That's how we do it. We adjust the filter with a good amount of residents on it. Now, one reason I've got two filters Must my filter to is off. If I turn it on, I've got a second filter with the same parameters frequency, which is the cut off frequency in this case and the residents. So I can do to separate filters or I can link them together with this button. And this is a button you see, sometimes in a lot of difference in deciders, some kind of link button on multiple filters. And what that does is it makes filter too tied to filter one, so it's always, ah, percentage away from where Filter one is. So I do something like this. It's gonna make filter one kind of ah, hyper filter war. Let's give this more residents crazy with, so it makes filter too tied to filter one. Let's turn that off, and that's turn filter to offer now. Also, while we move on, that's the main guts of our filter. Remember frequency and residents. You'll find that in any synthesizer anywhere, frequency and residents in your filter. If you're doing subtracted synthesis, you have to have a filter. And in any kind of synthesis, you're going to have filters at least one, probably more than one in most synthesizers that you work with. All right, let's move on to talk about envelopes 8. 8 Envelopes: Okay, let's talk about our third of the four key elements. The envelopes. Now the envelopes control other things. They're kind of like automation in a way. So let's focus in on the amplitude envelope to get us started. Then we'll look at the other ones once we understand what an envelope is. Basically what an envelope does is it opens and it closes, right? Just like if you were opening an envelope and putting a letter in it and then closing it. This is what we used to do before we had email. You had to put things in envelopes. Um, we have four parameters on an envelope. Now, if you're looking at a synthesizer and your say I don't see anything called envelope, I don't see anything labelled envelope. Here's a key. Look for this. These four letters A. D. S are. Look for those. If you see those somewhere, you're looking at an envelope. OK, that's what that means. Um, a DSR is a parameter sometimes and some synthesizers. You might see another one in there to um but the typical normal state is have an envelope with four settings, and they are a DSR. So what do they stand for Now, remember, this is something that just opens and closes. So these four letters are the four parameters of how it's going to open and close How fast it's going to open and close. So let's pull these down. Actually, let's leave them up a little bit here. My sound. Oh, so there's my sound. I'm gonna open this filter up a little bit. Okay? Now I've got a nice good sound. I want to sound that has sustained, So we can really hear this envelope. Now, this envelope is applying. The is were applying it to the amplitude so or the amplifier. Right. So this is going to control how the volume of the oscillator changes over time or the volume of the synthesizer changes over time. So we're gonna shape this sound by adjusting it over time. So let's look at it. So the a the A stands for attack. So the initial attack meaning since I'm using a mini keyboard. When I put that note down when I put my finger on the note, how does it attack? Does it attack? Slow meaning that it ramps up into its full volume or fast So right now attack is all the way down, which means that when I push my finger on the note, it's gonna be all on right away, right? It's all on. If I crank this up, that means that it's gonna take time, a certain amount of time for it to get to its full volume. So now I play the note on and it takes that long to get to its full volume. So it ramps up. So the attack is like, how quickly is it going to fade in? Is it going to open up the volume? Is it going to get to our main level? So now I have a little bit of it on you can hear it kind of ramp up, give a little bit more. So now we've got this kind of slowly opening thing, so I'm gonna set it somewhere around here. Okay, Now decay. Now, decay is a little bit trickier. Let's imagine an acoustic instrument that we may know. Let's say a crash symbol. Okay, so you've got a crash, the mold symbol on a stand. You're gonna hit it with a stick and you're gonna hit it with a would stick, it's gonna go. Right. So that first hit, like right when you hit it is gonna be the attack. Right? So the attack in a crash symbol is gonna be like that, right? It's full. Blast assumes you hit it. That thing is on. And then there's an initial sound. There's an initial decay, and that is the ending of our stick hitting this symbol, right? So it's this loud burst of sound and then it goes down fairly quickly in a crash symbol to just this resonating of the symbol that resonating of the symbol took stuff is the sustain is the s. Okay, so the D is how quickly does it go down from its initial burst into the sustained. Okay, so we have our initial attack. This is where I hit that symbol with a stick. The decay is how long does it take to get down to that point where it's just ringing, right? And that's the sustain Is the ringing okay, So in the synthesizer like this, we might have let's put our attack there and then we say the decay let's make the decay really short, can crank this up a little bit actually, let's make the attack a little bit longer. So what we're gonna here, here is the attack is going to take, you know, maybe like a second or so to get to the full volume. And then very quickly it's gonna pull down to its sustaining volume. Right? Let's turn this attack up a little bit longer so you can hear that. Okay, so it gets to its full volume and go bam, And it locks down really quick to its sustaining volume. That quick ramp down to its sustaining volume is controlled with this. So if I want to make that a little more elegant, I would turn that up. Now we're going to hear it grow to its full volume and then pull back to its sustaining volume. Okay, It's still fairly quick with that setting so we could turn it up more so that's the decay. The sustained is what is happening. As long as my finger is down on the pitch or ah, the note is on with whatever midi device you're using to control your your notes, the sustain is where it's gonna sit. So these attack and decay are a function of time How long will something happen? Sustain is kind of a volume meter, actually. If we want to sustain to be really high, we'd set it up there. So now we're at our sustaining volume, and it's pretty loud as long as I'm holding my finger down now at our sustaining volume, and it's really quiet, right so I can turn it up. So that's after the attack after the decay, where it just sits after its initial attack and decay. Where is it just going to sit and hang out as long as I have my finger on it? So that's where we set that. So this is the kind of weird one of the 80 s are envelope and are, If you think about it, you might be able to guess what AR stands for. It stands for release. Release is what happens when I lift my finger up. So if it's all the way down, let's turn our sustained volume up a little bit. Okay? Are is all the way down. That means when I let my finger go, it stops suddenly. Let's give are a little bit of time because our is a time function to put about halfway up . Now when I let go, um, it's gonna take some time before it goes all the way back down to zero with its volume. Right? So I'm gonna tell you exactly when I lift my finger. Since you can't see it. Hey, my fingers down now. I'm gonna lift it up right now. Right? So it took some time for it to get down to its ending volume back to zero. If I crank this way up on letting go right now, takes a good amount of time. Right? So that means if you were creating something like a pad which will do here shortly, a pad is a sound that is very washy sound. You're gonna wanna slow attack a slow release. Maybe not that slow. And you know something about like that, actually, So it's going to ramp up, its gonna fade out, fade in, fade out like, Oh, it goes away. Right. So that's how you would make that kind of sound. So these envelopes really help us sculpt the sound into exactly what we want. Let me get this setback to something a little more normal here. Now let's move on and look at one of our other envelopes. So now that we know how envelopes work, the filter envelope is gonna control our filter. Right? So it's gonna be how does that filter evolve over time? It opens and closes is what we're gonna do is we're gonna say, Let that filter open up slowly, right? Think so? Basically, it's gonna pull it kind of. Based on the representation we have here, it's actually gonna pull it kind of down, and you're going to see that happen. But it's gonna be happening in the back end. Let's do the attack. Decay sustain. Where does it sit? And then the release will have it go back up. Now, the release isn't gonna really We're not gonna hear the release here because the amplitude envelope the releases all the way down. So the sound is gonna be off while this is still pulling our filter out. Um, so let's pull this up. Let's just see what happens. So the release happened as the volume faded downs. We didn't hear it all that much, but you could hear the attack, right? That buzzy, swooping up sound was this attack. It was the filter opening up right, so you can hear it Moving by what we've specified here with the envelope. It's kind of fun. And then the last one that we have here in sub tractor is the modulation. Envelope modulation is a general term. So what this one means is that we can modulate a number of things and they are listed over here. We can either click on them or we can use this destination to cycle through them. So oscillator want us later to mix FM phase or frequency to. So let's set it to oscillator one. So I believe this is gonna be the pitch of oscillator one. So that means if I pull this up, it's going to ramp up, and then we need to give it an amount here to really hear it. So let's just really push it up. Seto oscillator one here we owe. So you heard it. Go the the envelope. The attack opened up, and then it went down to its sustain, which was, like, all the way down again. So it kind of ramps down because it sounds like someone shifting gears. Do it on a low note. So that's kind of cool, because and we hear two frequencies, right? We hear one that's unaffected because that's our oscillator to our oscillator. To is unaffected only oscillator. One is getting this ramp and it's pretty extreme who want to do something a little more subtle. We might do this, right? So now you don't hear the ramping up so much, you just hear a bit more of a complicated sound and we can adjust. Which one of these? The modulation. Envelope effects. So there's this is kind of ah programmable envelope. You can you can have it do a whole bunch of different things. Okay, great. So that's enveloped. The key thing to remember with envelopes are the A. D s are attack, decay, sustain and release. And if you want to take it one step further, remember that attack decay and release our percentages of what we're going after our time. Right and sustain functions more like a normal volume in amplitude. Amora. Let's not call it volume because that's only true when we're looking at an amplitude envelope. Ah, an amount right. An amount parameter would is what the sustained would actually be reflecting. How much of that parameter do we want while we're sustaining. Okay, so that's envelopes. Okay, Next, let's look at the amplifier. The most simple of all of them. This will be a snap. 9. 9 The Amplifier: okay, The final element of the big Four things that I want you to know about. Let me review them really quick. We have the oscillator section, the filter section, the envelope section and the last was the amplifier section. Now this one in subtract er is very simple. It's just a volume knob just boosts everything or cuts everything, depending on how we're controlling it. That's not always true that it's going to be so simple. There are some extra parameters we could have on their and arguably we have more parameters available to us directly on the amplifier here in subtract er namely the amplitude envelope . Because this amplitude envelope is affecting this, the overall volume of the synthesizer in the same way that the filter envelope is affecting the filter up here and the modulation envelope is affecting whatever we set it to over here . So the mod so the amplitude envelope could be considered part of the amplifier if we wanted to. And in some synthesizers you will see the envelope for the amplifier tucked into the same kind of ah section of the synthesizer as the the master volume. So there could be more settings in there. But for now, um, basically, when you're looking at a synthesizer for the first time, and this is why I include amplifier in my explanation of how to look at these four key elements when you're looking for a synthesizer for the first time, track down that master volume, make sure that you're getting some juice to it and out of it, So crank it up. Basically. Ah, it sounds simple, but it is important to know where your master volume is, where the amplifiers happening and make sure there's no additional settings that need to be tweaked on it in order for you to get sound out of it. So the amplifier section, the simplest one right cool from here, let's move on. And let's just build ourselves a cool synth using these four elements. 10. 10 Putting it all together in Reason: Okay, Now that we've seen kind of the main four elements by themselves, let's take a minute and just put it all together and build ourselves a sense using those four elements. So I've got a subtract er here, I'm going to reset it. So I'm gonna do the kind of right click reset device. Okay, so now when I reset it, I've got this kind of bland sound. Let's see if I could make, like, a nice, like, big, fat based sound. So first thing I'm gonna do is when you reset these devices in, subtract Er, um, for some reason, the filter stays halfway close, so I'm gonna open that all the way up. That's the sound we're actually getting. So we'll leave the filter all the way open for a minute, so OK, let's start with our oscillators. So we want this nice kind of fat sound. So let's use the square. Teoh saw two. Sorry. Let's use a saw tooth. Um, and let's leave it just like that. That looks fine. The fourth octave. The main thing that I'm going to do to make it kind of fat is I'm gonna turn on a second oscillator I'm gonna separate it by an active, and I'm gonna de tune it by about 10 cents. Let's hear what we've got. Okay, that sounds good. Let's go down a couple octaves and I'm just gonna play it on my keyboard down a couple octaves. I could do this and just turn these down a couple octaves like that, but I'm just gonna play it, play a lower note too low. All right, that's pretty good. Just like that. That's a pretty pretty big sounding sent. Let's keep going, though. Ah, and see if we can get it even a little bit better. So let's take our filter. Um, we like all that gritty stuff, so we might not want to close our filter too much. Um, because, remember, the way this is set up now is this is a low pass filter, so that means it's gonna let low frequencies through. And as I pull this down, the high frequencies were gonna go away. The high frequencies in this case since we're working on this low sound are all of that gritty stuff. Those are all higher frequencies. So as I pull this down, we're gonna lose some of that. So maybe I'll play a note and pull it down at same time. Let's maybe go there. So now I'm kind of tamed them a little bit. Um, let's push up our residents. Now. We we remember that our residents is gonna boost this frequency wherever this is cutting off, and that's gonna add some of that. Like what? I always call Shimmer to it, which I don't think we want a lot of because we have such a thick sound already. But let's see what happens if we dio right? I don't think I want much of that in my sound right now, so maybe I'll just put a tiny bit just for fun. I'm gonna leave filter to off. I really don't need another filter here, so let's go to our envelope. So what do we want this to sound like? Um, if it's gonna be this bass sound, I think I like the attack the way it is of the amplitude envelope, right? Like I want it really short. I wanted just to be full on right away. If I turn it up, it's gonna kind of fade in which, for this kind of aggressive sound I don't really want I want it to be just like, right on. Ah, and the decay and sustain our kind of Okay, here the release. I definitely want to be all the way down for me in this case, because when I let go of that no, I wanted to just stop, right? I don't want to fade out, which it will do if I leave that up right, That's gonna cause problems. If I play several notes at once and try to play like, Ah, baseline. With this, I have that release up. Those notes are just going to start to blend together and just create a whole bunch of mud . So I'm gonna pull those down so that I can go right, and they don't overlap on top of each other all that much filter envelope. I could give it a little bit more motion in the filter by adjusting my filter envelope a little bit so I could maybe turn this up. That kind of gets that buzzy. Ah, higher frequency motion happening in that opening of that envelope. That's kind of cool. Maybe it's a little extreme. I'll pull it down a little bit modulation envelope. Is there anything else I want to modulate? Maybe I'll set this to the mix parameter. Remember, the mix is right here, and that's how much of which oscillator are we listening to? So if it's all the way down, we're hearing oscillator. One if it's all the way up we're hearing oscillator to Okay, so I'm gonna adjust my settings like this, So I'm gonna turn the mix all the way down so that we're all the way on an oscillator on a single oscillator that I'm gonna turn the attack up, the decay up and the sustain up a bit and leave the release all the way down. Now, what that's gonna dio is we're going to slowly go from one oscillator to the other. The longer I hold down the note, So here's what it sounds like now. All right, so we go back and forth. Ah, ah, It's kind of a cool sound that way. It takes away from the kind of sudden fat sound in this base because if I play like a melody like before, it's never gonna be held down long enough to get to the other oscillator. So I pulled this down a bit. That's a little too low. That's going to go that way. I'm gonna leave it like that. And then our last of the four key elements is our level, our main volume, which we can leave just where it was. And it sounds pretty good. So there it is, putting it all together. Okay, So the thing I want to do next is I want to look at these four key elements in a totally different synthesizer so that we can kind of get a feel for, um, what they look like in another synthesizer. So they're they're all gonna be there. They just might look a little bit different. So we're gonna jump over and look at that, and then we're gonna come back, and we're going to start to look at some of these other things like the LFO is and stuff like that. So brief side note into a whole different platform. Then we'll be back on this one, so let's go forward 11. 11 Using Ableton’s Analog for Subtractive Synthesis: Okay, I'm over in able to now able to live, and we're gonna look at able tens analog synthesizer now weaken. Do some very easy. Ah, subtracted synthesis in able tens analog. And it's gonna look different. But we have those same four elements we can, um, pretty quickly find, So let's go through them. So first thing we look for is called the what? The oscillator section. Right, So we need to find the oscillators. So here we have Oscar one. So that's our first oscillator. We have the wave form, weaken, select. And then we have the tuning right. This all looks the same, actually. So I have an oscillator. Let's set it to a sine wave. Let's decide what we want to make with this. Let's let's make maybe more of, like a pad sound here, so I'm gonna set it this one to a sine wave. We'll leave the tuning, as is now. If we go down here, we have a second oscillator. We have to turn it on. We can adjust the volume for each one, which is nice. Let's said this to maybe a square wave, and we'll separate this by an active and we'll de tune it by a little bit. Let's hear what we've got. Ah, so I'm hearing Maurer of the square wave than of the sine wave? Probably just because that's just the way it is. Because the sine wave is so smooth. The square wave has so many upper partials country this one down a little bit, A little bit better, maybe up just a hair. Okay, Next thing we need to find is our filter section. If we just keep going down the line here, we have filter, fill one and fill to right underneath it. So we kind of have these two tracks going here of stuff. Let's look at our filter one. So these are different kinds of filters, so let's leave it on low pass, because that's what we use before. Here's our cut off frequency and our residents amount right, So same stuff. It's laid out a little bit differently. So filter one here is going to apply to both oscillators at the same time. Okay, so let's adjust this. Now. We're making, like, a pad sound, so I don't want it to buzzy, but a little bit. So let's go there. That's okay. now we could add filter to if we wanted, but I think we're good on filters. Now you'll notice the next thing we want to look for is the envelopes, right? There isn't an envelope section here because whenever I click on like when I click on the filter, we get an envelope down here. This is another way to look at an envelope. This is our attack. Decay sustained and release. There's are four points. We have him here as well. Attack, decay. Sustained, Sustained time and release. So they have this extra parameter in here, but it still works more or less the same, right? The envelope is inside the filter. And if we go to the amp here, the amplifier, we also get an envelope inside there. So what I want because I'm making a pad kind of sound. I want this to have a little bit of motion to it. So I'm going to do this with the filter, do something like really long here and then with the amplifier. I want a very slow ah attack in a very long decay in the end. All right. I think we're actually pretty good. Pretty good for a nice pad sound. There's a lot more we could do with it. We could just panning could in just the level. Um, we could add a second filter. We could add a second amplifier and a second envelope for it. We could do more with our envelopes all over the place, and I think we get some medical results. Um, and then you'll notice that we have this extra stuff like these lfo is that we saw in reason. Um, we have some more stuff that this is similar to what we saw in reason as well. Um, that we're going to talk about in the next section of this class. But remember, just remember that these kind of extra stuff that are not part of these main four things they existed in reason. They exist in here in a Bolton Lives analog synthesizer. So it's a lot of the same stuff, right? We have oscillators up here. Filter amplifier envelopes are inside both the filter and the amplifier, and we have a second oscillator. Second filter, second amplifier and envelopes again are inside. Great. So I think we've got a pretty firm footing on the main guts of any synthesizer, the four key elements that you'll always find in any synthesizer. Next, we're going to move on and talk about some of these extra things like LF owes noise generators, vibrato these other things that are built in to most synthesizers but are not as universal as the main four things. As I like to say, so let's press on and learn about those extra things that are in there. 12. 13 The LFO: all right. Now that we know our way around the main elements of the synthesizer, let's look at some of these extras things. So the things I'm most concerned about are things that show up and a lot of different synthesizers. Um, so the one that I want to focus on first is this LFO Now LFO stands for low frequency oscillator. So what it basically is is it's an oscillator just like these, except this one is very low. So it's a low frequency oscillator. Right? So remember, the idea of an oscillator is that it oscillates right? It goes back and forth, and it goes back and forth in this shape that we select in the way form, right? So these ones are very low way too low for us to hear. So if we were to listen to an LFO wouldn't really hear anything because it's just too low for us to hear. But they're still useful because of a thing called modulation. And we looked at modulation a little bit over here in this mod envelope. Modulation is just changing something over time, right? So what nlf Okun do is we can say OK, let's take this moving back and forth motion that the oscillators doing and instead of hearing it, let's apply that to something. Let's apply that to our filter so that instead of this oscillator just moving back and forth now are filter is gonna be opening and closing and opening and closing like that. So we let the oscillator control something else, like a filter, the cut off frequency of a filter and that will keep it moving for a long time. Right? So that's what LF owes. Do we map them, too? Another parameter And they control that parameter for us. So let's have a look at the settings here. So first setting is away form, so we have a triangle. In this case, we have a triangle. We have a saw tooth. We have the other kind of saw tooth. The opposite. We have a square wave and then we have some random stuff. So let's try. Let's try a triangle wave because that will be easy to hear. Then we have two settings here, rate in amount, so rate is basically going to be the speed. So how fast is it going? An amount is how much of it we're going to hear, so ah, amount is a little bit weird. So let me, um, explain that like this. So let's say we're gonna apply this to our filter one cut off frequency. Let's say we have it set right in the middle. The amount If the amount is up just a little bit, then this is gonna move like that, right? If the amount is all the way up, it's going to go like this, right? So that's what the amount does. It's kind of how dramatically it's going to move the parameter that were mapping it, too, That's all. Um okay, so let's let's crank the amount up. Let's put the rate up reasonably fast, and then let's let's see, where should we send it to? Let's set it to that filter frequency. I'm gonna turn off oscillator too, so we're only gonna hear one oscillator through that filter. It's gonna open and close it. Let's give it some residents so that we really hear it. Okay, so now we've got that the amount is all the way up. So this is being really extreme, and the rate is how fast that sound goes. Now the sound might be really familiar to you who is in a dub step or anything like that. This is how they get that sound right? It's like within LFO so we can adjust the speed. We can make it go faster. You can make it go slower now. Warning, Warning Warning. Right? Or we can hit this sink knob. This is really handy. And I'm almost always using this sink knob. What that's gonna do is if I leave that off and I changed the rate you see the little yellow box that comes up here that says the rate is 46 54 etcetera, not numbers that are really easy for us to grasp. But if I hit this sink now, those numbers are divisions of the beat. So if I set that too quarter note. Okay, so now it's set to quarter note. That means that that pulse is gonna be 1/4 note, right? So I could set it to be an eighth note. I could set it to be 1/16 note. Right. So that's how in a lot of that that style of music where you here like the big wobbly base , what they're doing is they're just changing this often between, like 1/16 note and eighth No, an eighth note triplet, which is what that t stands for, etcetera. So let's try something different. Let's try. Let's try the same thing with a different way for him. So let's use the Sawtooth wave. So what we should here now is the filter ago. Ah, down, Ah, down! You know it's gonna slowly ramp up and then jerked down by that rate. So it's trying. Let's slow it down so we could hear that a little bit better, right? Let's try the opposite. How right square wave is gonna be all up, all down, kind of all the extremes. So it's pretty much on off on off. If we do that fast, it's kind of goofy. Now what? We can apply the LFO two. There's a lot of different stuff. We can apply it to our oscillators, and this will depend on the synthesizer. You're looking at what you can apply it to, but we can apply it to our oscillators are frequency. The FM amount, the phase and the mix amount. Let's try putting it on the oscillators. So now we're going to hear him Ramp up our let's put it on a better way. Form here to put on a triangle. Uh, right. So it gets a little weird. But if there is a practical use for this, if I wanted to simulate vibrato, this might be one way I would do it. I might turn this down, turn the amount way down. So it's not very extreme. Oh, maybe that's turned the rate up quite a bit. Right? Maybe last on the amount. Give us a little bit of I Brad out now. I know e just a little bit of motion. They're just using this LFO concept very subtly. That's what an LFO does here in some tractor. I also have a second LFO, which is pretty much the same. Except, um, I'm limited a little bit more by what I can apply it to. And it has this delay amount here, which is handy because check this out. What Aiken Dio is let's turn this one off and let's set al fo to to be my frequency. My oscillator wanted Teoh, so I'll turn the year rate in the amount up. OK, so that's what it sounds like now check this out. Fight. Crank up this delay. What it means is that I'm gonna play the note and the LFO isn't the basically the amount is gonna be all the way down. And then after a certain amount of delay, the amount will turn up. So that would sound like this, right? So it slowly builds in the LFO. That's Ah, and even better use of, like, vibrato type situation. Because if you imagine, like a singer when they hit vibrato, when a singer uses vibrato a lot of time, what they do is they'll land on the note and then they'll sit there for just a second, and then they'll add a little vibrato even more so looking a violin, they'll play the note, and then a little bit of vibrato comes in. So this gives you that delay option to kind of simulate that. That's what L A foes are low frequency oscillator. They're just oscillators that move back and forth just like these ones. Except they're too low for us to hear. So we assign them to do other stuff, to control things, to create more motion in our sound 13. 14 Portamento or glide: Our next thing I want to talk about is portmanteau Port aumento Parlamento is, in our case, this novel over here now, in different synthesizers, you might see this called different things. Parlamento is kind of the musical term for what it is in some synthesizers. I see it labeled is Glide, Um, and it's the same thing. Port aumento or glide is the same thing. What it is is it's a function of time what this knob does. So when we turn it up, that means it's gonna take more time to get from one note to the other. And it's going to glide between the notes if you don't want notes to glide in between each other than you keep this all the way down. So here it is all the way down, right? Let's turn it up about halfway right? So now you hear like a quick little glide in between those notes, I turn it up all the way. It's taking a really long time to get to the notes. No, no, no, no, it's very slow. So this might be good in, like, halfway up kind of thing. Might be good for something like, um like a lead sound. So let's maybe dialling a lead sound here. Oh, me switch Actives here. Whoa! Theo! So with that, it's like a really sharp sound, So I put a little bit of that glide in. There has a little bit of a stylistic sound for some of the music that uses that now. Also, keep note that my prolific me is down to one in this sense. So if I turn that up, then I'm going to have a little bit of glide. But I'm also gonna be allowed to play multiple notes at once, Theo. So there's still that glide that happens. I mean to get to the new note, but the old note stays ringing. That's because we we have politically set to something more than one. So that's port aumento or glide. Fairly simple concept. Just remember that this knob is a function of time. How much time will it take to get to the new note? If you don't want any glide, be sure that sucker's cranked all the way down. That's all 14. 15 Trigger Modes: Okay, Trigger modes. So, um, I'm looking at these three things over here, actually. Only really. These two things the llegado and re trig note on here is just telling us when it gets amidi note for my keyboard. Um, so we have two settings llegado and re trig re trigger short for re trigger. So what these do is these have to do with the envelopes. So what that means is, when I play a new note, it's always going to start the envelope over. It's going to start the attack, go through the decay sustained release, right. Um, if I play several notes in a row really fast, it will re trigger the envelope for every new note. If I'm on re trigger mode Feinman llegado, that means Onley. Apply the envelope when I've completely let go of all notes and start a new note. If you're into music notation. This would be like if there's a slur over stuff. So let's look at re trigger mode. So I'm going to do the most obvious thing I could do with my envelopes, which is just to crank my attack up. So here's the sound. So, um, the envelope happens nice and slow fades on because my attack is up pretty high. So here's me playing a few notes, Okay, now, if I leave those settings the same, but switch it to llegado mode, the envelope only actually happened on the first note, and then it's continuing on for the whole thing. Uh, if I really separate each note still in llegado mode, then we'll get the envelope every time because I'm picking up my finger and putting it back down on the key. But if I slur them together way only get the envelope wants. So this just depends on how your melody is gonna be configured, whether whether you want to write it, to be in a llegado mode or in this we trigger mode where the envelope happens every time that's up to you. When you're designing your sense what you wanted to do. I could see it going either way, depending on the sound I was going after, like a lot of things. Instances this. So there you go trigger modes 15. 16 Velocity Control: Okay, let's talk about velocity control. Now we've seen Ah, couple different places. Ah, two in particular in this mod envelope and in the LFO spots where we have a parameter like the 80 s are envelope or the LFO that we can map two different things right over here. We have the mod envelope and we can set it to modulate whatever we like over here. And the LFO can do what? Everyone over here Now, the velocity is the same thing. Now, remember, velocity is how hard we hit the note. And so for this since that I've got cued up right now. Here is I'm gonna play it as soft as I possibly can. Uh, now I'm gonna play it as hard as I possibly can right now. Much difference in sound. Um, because the velocity is not mapped the volume. So to do that, I would go down here. Here it says velocity. And these are the different things I could do with philosophy. That's how hard I hit the note. So let's turn this one back straight up and let's go toe amplitude. So let's crank that all the way up. So now I have my velocity mapped to the volume, right? So here again is me playing as quiet as I can. Okay, Pretty quiet. And here's me playing cards. I can't. Uh, right. So I can, you know, I can get ah, radiant of volume now that I've applied the velocity to the amplitude. Now, in this particular scent, I can also go down to a negative value with that. And as you might guess, that flips it. So that means that, um now here's me playing as quiet as I possibly can. Ah, sorry. If you were wearing headphones and hears me playing as hard as I possibly can. Ah, I could probably play that harder if I wasn't worried about breaking stuff and I got a hammer out or something. But you get the point. It reverses it. So if you have classical pianist friends, um and you want to you torture them greatly. Get them at a full size waited keyboard like a good keyboard. Flip this to be negative so that when they play quiet, it's loud. And when they play loud, it's quiet and then have them play some of their favorite music and I'll go nuts so there's a lot of other things we can map it to. Here is, Well, let's do Let's do this mix amount. So remember the mix amount is up here. That's how much of each oscillator we're hearing, right? So let's put that straight up. Ah, and now let's say all the way. So now when I play quiet, I hear that life it hard. I hear the other oscillator. If I slowly I'll play quiet and slowly get louder. E right. So that gives me some control over like the way I play and how the sound reacts to the way that I'm playing the keyboard. It's kind of fun, you know? So there's some other things here we can do. The filter envelope here. We could do the FM amount of second frequency. We can adjust based on how hard we had at the phase the modulation envelope. There's a lot of different things weaken Dio, and this all depends on your synthesizer. You may have more things than this that you can do with Ah, the velocity and you may have less. You may just have the amplitude as a function of velocity and nothing else. Ah, but that is what velocity means. Velocity is how hard we hit the note. Um, and it's also we also have velocity. Like if we went into the actual sequence, sir, in reason and we recorded something. Let's just do it. Okay, here we have some notes and these are the notes that I just played very sloppy, and we also have the velocities down here. So it's so if you don't use a keyboard, you can still get access to the velocities and doing some interesting stuff with the velocities by adjusting these and playing around with them. So I could do that, you know, if I wanted it to be, um, changed the color of the sound based on how the velocity was played. You can always draw it in and do some fun stuff that way. So it's not on Lee for If you're playing on actual keyboard, it's also just another parameter you can mess with while you're creating sounds and working with sounds. Okay, so I think that covers everything for the basics of, um, the synthesizers that I want to look at. So what we're gonna do next is going to do like a patch deconstruction where I'm going to open up a synthesizer patch. Think I'll do one in sub tractor here and I'll do one in probably able to lie. We'll do one in a sense we haven't seen yet, so we can get comfortable finding the different things in the synth and kind of poking our head around. Looking for are four key elements and some of the other stuff. So let's move on to that in the next section Little Deconstruction Project. 16. 17 Subtractive Synthesizer patch deconstruction No: Okay, So what I want to do here is I'm gonna take a preset that's built into one of these synthesizers, and we're just gonna analyze it and pick it apart and see what makes it sound the way it sounds. This is a really healthy little exercise to do for any synthesizer paps that you find. See if you can walk through it and try to figure out what's making it. Do what it's doing Because then, um, you'll start to understand the different pieces of it. Ah, and how each little module is affecting the overall sound. So what have queued up here is called Joab later base. This is built into reason. This is just one of the patches that comes with subtract er, and this is what it sounds like. Way. Okay, so first of all, let's just talk about what we hear. So we obviously here some kind of pulsing what thing right? So immediately. I think there's something going on within LFO, right? Because that's where we generally get that. What? What, what, what, what? We also have a very distorted kind of dirty sound in the sense what? So that kind of points me to the different wave forms that could be used on. The last thing is we hear this one pitch going mirror right at the beginning, right? It's that kind of dipping down. What one? What right there's that you type sound that probably is in an in an envelope will be my guest. So let's just walk through our four key elements. So let's look at the oscillators first. So we're using to oscillators because that one's own Ah, we're using way form five and 14. No, these are some of the proprietary one. These are not our four standard ones. Thes air, just different ones that are built into reason. And they're just different wave forms. Um, so that's where we're getting that kind of dirty sound. I'm sure of it now. Interesting. Here we have seven semi tones up. That's a perfect fifth, so that one is 1/5 higher than the other one, which is interesting, so we'll see how they're using that later. And there otherwise in tune, other than just being at a different pitch. So our filter is about halfway open. It's set to low pass, which is what we kind of expect residences up just a little bit. Not too much. Let's turn up our residents to see what happens. What? Want? Want, want, want, want, want? Want what? All right, we get even more of that one. Want type sound? Um, filter to is off. Okay, Are amplitude envelope? Nothing really shocking there. The attack is all the way down. The decay is quite long, and the sustain is cranked up. So that kind of means it's gonna be a pretty flat sound like it's not gonna decay down very much. And then the releases all the way down, or actually, it's not. It was almost all the way down, so it's got a very, very, very tiny little fade out at the end of it. But it's almost inaudible. Um, let's look at the filter envelope has a little bit happening. It's gotta slow attack here. So this filter is opening up a little bit. Ah, as we attack it. But our main modulation thing is happening here in the mod envelope. So this is set to oscillator to does this one. And the attack is pretty quick. The amount is pretty high. So I think that's where we're getting that mirror sound. What? Right. Let's turn this also later off, right? And then that that motion is totally gone. That room sound is totally gone. So that's definitely where we're getting that That quick swooped down. We could make it go a lot slower by creating this up right now, it went up, up, up, up, up, up, up, up, up and then down through and then settles in on it. So that's interesting. Okay, then we've obviously got an LFO happening here. So it is set, Teoh a try and go wave, which is gonna make a nice move back and forth, back and forth, back and forth. The rate is pretty fast in the amount is just shy of half way up. So remember the rate is this speed set to on a snow trip led way could adjust the speed of it there and it's set to our filter frequency. So over here, cool. Nothing in the velocity is really happening. We do have lfo two with the amount is all the way down. So that means it's not doing anything. Eso I love too is essentially off. We're in llegado mode and we have a single note of politically. So nopal, if any, really, is what that means when it's only one note. Portmanteau is up just a little bit, so it's gonna glide between notes a tiny bit. Let's play notes really far apart. What was inactive apart. So that's pretty big jump. And you couldn't really hear much, um, of it gliding but the very slight little guide. So that's really all that is in this kind of since we've got a couple other things map to the mod wheel here that you can see. The mod wheel is something we haven't talked about yet. But mod wheel is on your any. Most kinds of controllers have a mod wheel. Looks kind of like that, and that's another element that you can. You can just kind of draw in in the ah way form down here. If you want, you can get to the mod wheel stuff in your sequencer, but more or less, we have to oscillators kind of a gnarly wave form filter about halfway up some envelopes doing relatively subtle things except for the mod envelope is a little extreme, and then an LFO that's really giving us that that chugging sound. So there you have it. Um, picking apart these sounds can be really valuable. So I encourage you to do it Every sound that you have. See if you can understand what what's making it, do the sounds it's doing and then, you know, start tweaking it and see how you're changing it. And I think that will really start to give you a really good insight into the different elements of the sound. So let's look at another one. Let's jump over to table 10 and look at totally different synthesizer and see if we can pick our way through the four key elements. 17. 18 Subtractive Synthesizer patch deconstruction No: Okay, I'm looking again at Able Tunes Analog synthesizer now. And we walked through a little bit of this before when we tried to find the four kind of key elements here. Let's just refresh our memory of where those are. So we have our oscillator section right here, and then we have a filter section. Then we have an amplifier section, and inside each of these, when I click on him, we get our envelopes are inside both the filter and the amplifier. And then we have a secondary oscillator down here. A second filter here and a second amplifier here. And then what we didn't look at before is our LFO stuff is right here. Um, So here's a sound I have queued up. This is just called filter Sweet pad. This is what it sounds like. You and what I like about this one of the reason I chose is that you can really hear the envelope, right? You know, it goes boom, you know, like it's gotta it's almost got a visual to me anyway that, like you can kind of see what it's doing. So let's have a look at it. Let's walk through it So our first oscillator we have a square wave. We're up one active from its original. Which doesn't matter all that much. Ah, no semi tones. But we're d tuned by 0.1 Sense just a teeny tiny bit. I don't even know if you will be able to hear that. Um, maybe that was they had a de tuned, then decided and let's go back. And then they got, like, close enough by getting into one bottle. Um, but I don't even think that's really audible d tuning it by 0.1 Okay, lets go. Well, let's look at our other oscillator. Here's our other oscillator. We also have a square wave. We have it down. 12 semi tones, which is the exact same is moving it down one octave. So this would be exactly the same. So why they did 12 semi talons instead of an active? I don't know, But it's fine. You can do it. Sometimes you do it that way, and it's not d tuned it all. Okay, so two oscillators both square wave one separated by an active is what we see here. Okay, filter. You have a band pass filter more or less open with a little bit of resonance. And look at the envelope, though. This is really what I think we're hearing this quick. We were hearing round, and I think that's in there. Um, let's look at the amplitude. Also a slow attack. So it's ramping up till its main point and then pulling down and then pulling all the way down on the release. So fairly slow release also. Yeah. So the release is happening very slowly. We look at the second filter, this one. Ah, the the has almost no attack. It's just straight up and then pulls down. Ah, fairly quickly. So this filter is actually pulling out pretty fast. So very. Ah. So the attack on this one is zero or close enough to it's probably zero. Actually, we can just see over here. Attack! Attack! Five milliseconds decay. Three seconds. So quite long. Sustained. Zero. Um, release one. So very slight release. Okay. Ah, amplitude, too. We have a another kind of slow attack. Although not a slow is the other one, but reasonably slow. I find that these, um a DSR envelopes that they have here are little trickier to read because they're kind of deceptive, like like this is actually pretty fast and this is pretty slow and it's a really slight difference in the the way that graphic looks. But that's OK. You can always read it over here as well. The attack do que sustain and release. And then our LFO we have ah, a rate of about Let's see 12 D. That's a dotted whole note. No half note. Sorry. Dotted. Half note is that the D stands for dotted Ah and the and we can change that That sync button that was in reason the one that changed it from like an arbitrary speed value to the note is this little note thing here So we can change that if we wanted toe back over to hurts if we wanted to change it and we see it updating there on the left over here. So there it is back we wanted and then the the rate. So we actually have two elephants happening here. We have this one and this one and then volume up there and the whole thing is de tune just to touch No. So you can hear that square wave in there once it starts resonating right there. That's the square wave that our main to oscillators are so ah, little bit more complicated one. But, um, and this is a more complicated synthesizer. This able to lives analog. The reason I like to use reason, um subtract er for a lot of this is that it's really relatively simple. Don't get me wrong. Reason has its It's complicated synthesizers. It has some really complicated ones. If you want to look at like Thor, that's a synthesizer in reason. That's very complicated, but I'm trying to stick to kind of the fundamental stuff here to give us a good picture of what's going on. So a couple things in live that you can pick apart the oscillators, the filters, the amplitude, um, and the LFO just to see what's happening and where it's happening. Ah, remember, I love the idea of just like loading up presets and then picking them apart, finding out what does what. Turning some stuff, listening to how it changes. So I encourage you to do that all the time. Okay, Next, we're gonna move on to looking at a different kind of synthesis. FM synthesis all all of those four elements of a synthesizer are still the same. We still have them. We just have a couple other things in there, too, and a couple things that work a little bit different. So let's dive into FM synthesis and see how that's a little bit different and how you can make different kinds of sounds using FM synthesis. 18. 19 What is FM Synthesis?: Okay, now we're gonna move on to a new kind of synthesis. We've been looking at subtracted synthesis before. That is where we take complex wave form or two or more, and use a filter to chip it away and end up with the sound that we want. Now let's look at FM's and this is which were a little bit different. Um, there's two ways you can think about this, the kind of really simple way that I sometimes explain FM synthesis, which isn't entirely accurate. But, uh, it's it's a starting point for thinking about it Is that in subtracted synthesis, what we're doing is where we're taking Ah, an oscillator and then another oscillator, and we're adding them together to generate the initial sound that has a lot of overtones. We're using two different way forms or the same way form, but to oscillators and generating a rich sound that we then chip away from. So if you take those two oscillators that were adding together, but instead in FM synthesis, if you take those two oscillators and you multiply them together, um, you are now creating a much more complex wave form as the result, so you're not ending up with two sounds you're adding with you're getting one sound on the output. That is a combination of both sounds. That's kind of what FM's and this is is. It's kind of like multiplying two way forms together. Um, now, when we do that, what we have is a carrier and a modulator, right? So the carrier is essentially the way form or the oscillator that we're gonna here that's gonna make it to the output. But then we have a modulator that sits on top of it that controls it and does a lot of stuff to it. So it's the one modulating the carrier, right? Those there are two. Another way to think about FM synthesis. Ah, one away. That's a little more accurate. Some? Yeah, I think. Yeah, No way. That's a little more accurate. Is we looked at LF owes before, right? So in LFO is when you have the oscillator is going and then you have this another oscillator. That's way, way too low. Its its way low for us to hear, so we map it to control something else. We let's say hypothetically that we take that LFO and we have it control something like the frequency of our first oscillator. So now our LFO is going. We're like this. It's going very slowly, so it's going like that. But it's controlling the pitch of the first oscillator. So now our first oscillator is gonna go really, really your you know, it's gonna go up and down and up and down like that. So what if we took our low frequency oscillator and we started telling it to go faster and faster and faster and it's low frequency Nature started to get up high enough for us to hear it. It got into the audio range so that we could actually hear it. Now that things cook in real fast and it's modulating this other oscillator real fast, and now what we have is a more complex pitch that's happening. That's basically what FM's and this is is. It's taking what was a low frequency oscillator and raising it to be a normal oscillator. But having it control elements of ah and another athlete, basically. So that's where we have the carrier and the modulator to. So I'm gonna be using able to an operator here, and we'll look at the details of this in a minute. But here's an example of FM synthesis that this is just a preset that I queued up so much richer sound much more dense sound. What I have here is four oscillators stack. So I have one carrier here and then three modulators that are happening. Ah, and I'll show you how to, ah, figure out what's what when we get into the details of, um, how the operator works, which will do in just the next video. But in this video, I just wanted to point out what FM's and this is is. It's It's a sound that can be really rich. It it can also be a little I don't know. Some would say it could be a little dated if you use it just right. FM said. That says was the biggest thing in the world in the eighties. Um, and if you do it just right, you can make these really awesome eighties type sounds, But you can also make some really hip sounds to ah, using FM's, and this is I use it all the time in my stuff, cause I really like the way FM synthesis sounds if you get these kind of really gnarly wave forms that can be really, um, very current sounding with it. So So let's move in and talk about how let's find our four key elements in the operator, and then we'll look at dialing in some FM synthesis. 19. 20 Using Ableton’s Operator Interface: Okay, so let's have a look at the operator. The operator is a very complex synthesizer packed into a reasonably small little interface here. It doesn't look like there's a lot here, but this is a very flexible, um, synthesizer with a lot of different stuff in it. So let's just find kind of some of the main points of it. So down here, we have an oscillator, and we have four offs later. So these are all the same. They're labelled A, B, C and D. We can turn them off by clicking on the letter. Right. So now I'm just hearing oscillator A Okay. Sounds like that. And when I click on it, we get a different ah set of parameters in this window. So everyone has their own parameters. So, inside of each of these, I have an envelope, right? An attack, decay sustained release. Have a wave form that I can select here different way forms saw square sine triangle noise . So different types of way for him. A couple other controls as well. Ah, we can draw like goofy wave forms if we want to know what that sounds like. Pretty weird. Um, let's just go back to Let's put in a sine wave. Okay, Cool. So we have a lot of parameters here now, um, coarse and fine are tuning, so these are gonna be are tuning elements that we looked at before. So nothing new there. This fixed parameter basically means that it's going to ignore the pitch that you play on the keyboard or that you input in the MIDI editor, And it's just going to always play the same pitch. So And you would dial that in here if you wanted to do something like programming drums enable two in making like drum sounds. You might want to do this. There's other reasons when you would want to do this as well. But one example would be like, You want to make a cool, synthetic like kick sound? You'd say, OK, I want the frequency to be really low and always happen. So now no matter what No, what I play, we get that same pitch. Um, let's turn that up so we can hear it. So we're always getting the same pitch, no matter what note I play, and that's just fine. Ah, I'm not going to do that because I want to actually create a synthesizer here. So key thing to remember is that all of these parameters in this window change depending on which oscillator we click on. Same thing over here we have an LFO. If I click on it, we get a new set of parameters in this window. So we know what an LFO does. We have rate in amount. We have some more settings here. If we turn it on, we can actually have an envelope for our LFO which if you remember when we were over in reason, we saw a similar thing where we had one lfo our second LFO had the ability to have a delay on it. That would be kind of like doing this right. So now that LFO is going to ramp in overtime Ah, we do have a filter here, so we only have one filter, but that's okay. We have frequency and residents we know what those are now. We also have an envelope on our filter that we get when we select it. We have some additional pitch controls here. We have transposed and the thing to remember about thes controls is that these will come. These will modify the pitch of everything. So over here this will change the pitch of this oscillator, but won't affect the other oscillators over here. These pitch controls will affect all of them. So we're if we want to, like, transpose it by an octave or something like that. Ah, and then we have our amplifier section if you want. So we have additional tone control and overall volume control. And then we have this four little blocks thing. This is where the kind of rubber hits the road with the operator. So what? This shows us when we click here is all of these up here these air different options And what we're seeing here is different ways the oscillators can combine. So remember, we have four oscillators that went from all on by clicking on him just so we can see the color a little bit better. We have a B, C and D. A is the yellow one. So when I click over here on this one, I've got all four of them in a row. This means that all four oscillators are gonna output to the amplifier, right? They're all gonna come out so I'm gonna hear four pitches or if I set them to be the same Ah, pitch by not adjusting the transposition of them at all. I'm gonna here four different wave forms, right? There's gonna be every oscillators gonna hit the output. That's what's gonna happen there If I go to the other extreme over here Now, I've got more oven FM setting right, because here oscillator were a The yellow one is modulated by oscillator Be the green one which is modulated by oscillator C, which is modulated by oscillator d the orange one. So they're all feeding into each other and modulating each other is a more complicated FM situation here. Then you've got all kinds of patterns in between. For example, let's look at this one where we have oscillator. A is the only one actually out putting. But oscillators B and C are modulating a and the way I said that wrong oscillator B and d orange are Mosley are modulating a and see the kind of teal one is modulating us later beat so it gets more complicated right? And this is where you can generate really complex and really dense sounds by using some of these other ones if we wanted to do you straight up Ah, subtracted synthesis. Like what we did in the first section of this class, We'd probably start over here. So all oscillators are coming out, and then we're gonna apply filter to them, and then we're we end up with subtracted synthesis. Nothing is modulating another oscillator, necessarily. Unless we turn our LFO on, then we could over here we could do straight up. FM's and assist in the way we're gonna do is I'm gonna turn c and D off, so we just have a and B. And now if you look over here, we have What will have here is oscillator a will be the carrier and B will be the modulator . Cosby is going into a and this will generate. Ah, nice FM sound. So remember, I started with a sine wave down here, so it's based on a sine wave, and it's being modulated by the 2nd 1 By oscillator. Be now. I could go here and do some different stuff to be toe, see if I can spruce it up my ticket out of fixed mode. Adjust the volume of it. No, I get something very different, right? Well, OK, so just to reiterate one more time are four key elements of any synthesizer. We have our oscillator section, which is here. This is all four. We have our filter section which is here. We have our envelopes which are kind of all over the place in this one. Envelopes are when we get into any of these Weiqing. Any oscillator has envelopes in it on our filter also has envelopes in it and then the amplifier section which is more than just a volume of in this case, it's also controlling How are oscillators are combining to get to the output. So those are four key elements. Okay, let's move on to actually making some sounds NF m synthesis. 20. 21 Making sounds using FM Synthesis: Okay, so let's make a sound using FM synthesis. So what I have set up here is ah, the most basic thing I could possibly set up here. So I have one oscillator on my oscillator. A pretty much nothing else on. I've got it set to a sine wave is what it sounds like. Okay, nothing special. So first thing, let's set this to a more interesting wave. Form something with a little more bite to it. Let's dio let's do a square wave. Uh, okay, let's set it there. Now, let's adjust the envelope while we're here, So let's give it, um, a little bit more of a cut off. So this is going to give us that nice off, maybe. Get a little more on that and maybe a tiny bit of attack too much. Oh, Okay. Good. I'm reasonably happy with that. Okay, Now, what I need to do first is said Well, actually, no. Let's set ourselves up with a second oscillator. But remember, I'm still in this additive mode here where I'm just adding together as many oscillators as I want. So it's set up a second oscillator, and actually, I'm gonna turn off the first outsider. So it's just here oscillator be. Let's give that a little more volume. Okay, so here we have a triangle wave form. Let's turn that up. Just that we can hear it. Better to just our our wave form to be kind of similar. Okay, that's fine. Okay, so now I have two different wave forms. Okay, Let's hear them both together. Okay, That sounds pretty good. Now, let's switch over to our F m setting. So I'm gonna go over here. We're gonna look at how my oscillators are coming out. I'm going to set it to the FM. So now oscillator B is going into oscillator. A So be is the modulator toe A. And now let's hear without adjusting anything else. That's what we've got, uh, radically different. Just by doing that, here's the before, and here's the FM, right. Very strange. So now let's let's go back and look at some of the properties of our oscillator. So this volume, remember, this is the modulator. So the volume of this oscillator kind of turns into our wave shaper like it's going to change the way form a little bit, because the more volume we give it, the more modulation that's gonna happen if I crank, it's all the way. It sounds like that if I pull this down right, so it sounds very different. The level becomes kind of the modulation amount that we're dealing with. It's kind of weird how that happens. But ah, it's interesting, right? Um, okay, lets try maybe adjusting this by an active and it's maybe pull this down. Yeah, let's pull us down a little bit. Uh, okay, So interesting. So that's the basic principle right there. That's all it is. Really is. We're just modeling you, too. So one of the key things to remember is that how many pitches are we hearing on the output ? We're just hearing one pitch, right, because we're not hearing to oscillators cause the one oscillator B in this case is modulating us later. A. The only oscillator a technically is getting sent to the output. It's being modulated by us. Later beast. We only hear one pitch, actually, and the amount of oscillator modulation is kind of governed by the level of us later be changes the tambor quite significantly if I if I had that So that's the basic principle of FM synthesis 21. 22 Adding the bells and whistels (from before): Okay, so let's now that we have the basic concept of FM synthesis, let's add some of those bells and whistles from before some of the extra stuff that we have here and see if we can make this in even more An interesting sound. So here's what we have. Okay, so I'm gonna go to my oscillator, be I'm gonna turn this into a sawtooth wave. So not a lot of change there. Let's go, Teoh, my oscillator A. Let's also turn that into a sawtooth. Okay, so that's got a little more interesting sound to a little more bite. Okay, let's add some stuff to it. Let's turn on this filter. And we all know how filters work so we can set our filter frequency can turn up the residents. Wait a little bit more of that laser gun kind of sound because of our residents. There, we can turn on an LFO amount is set to 100%. And over here we have to say the destination. So let's say destination A and B, that's pretty goofy over there. Um, by doing that, what if we just put the LFO on us later? Be kind of sounds like it has a little piece of paper on it or something. Just off later, A gets really gritty in there. You can change the shape of the oscillator here as well. And then over here let's just let's see what we can do with our pitch envelope here so we can make the pitch change Over time. Let's have it go up and then back down. See what happens. Ah, but set destination to a NB so it's you can hear it modulating it. So now I'm making much more complex sounds by modulating the pitch over time using an envelope. Let's turn that off. It's from the LFO off also, cause I'm reasonably happy with this, So that's a decent since sound and show some of the FM possibilities. Okay, up next, let's look at picking apart some FM set. This is patches in operator. So just like what we did before with subtracted synthesis, we're gonna load up some of the patches that are in here and see if we can dissect them and figure out exactly what they're doing. Cool. So we'll see you in the next section 22. 23 FM Synthesizer patch deconstruction No: Okay, let's look at a patch in. Operator, this is one of the preset patches in ah, able to live. This is FM five harpsichord. Lead is what it sounds like. Ah, okay, so it's pick this thing apart. Let's see what we've got. So first thing I'm looking at is my oscillators. So I see all four oscillators are on. Okay, that's cool. So our first oscillator levels all the way up. We have a sine wave. So now let's actually jump over and look at our the way. Are oscillators are being output. So they're in the FM formation here where each is modulating the other. And this one, this oscillator a is the only one that were actually getting the output of, but it's being modulated by everything else. So that's what let's actually just take a look. Let's turn off the other oscillators and just here oscillator A without any modulation, I suspect it's going to sound quite different, right? That's it's just a sine wave. Really simple sine wave. Nothing. Fancy envelopes wide open, right? Nothing really applied to it. Let's look at our oscillator. Be now. So if I turn us later, be on we have another sine wave The same almost the same way form or ah, envelope. I mean a little bit sharper. Um, no de tuning, nothing special. Let's hear what those two together sound like. So it adds, Ah, you know, it's obviously being modulated by the two because it's got that really kind of bright. Ah, sharp sound to it. Let's look at our 3rd 1 Similar envelope it's turning on and another sign wave. Theo gets even brighter, right? Like every layer were getting brighter and brighter and brighter. Now we go to our 4th 1 off later d we have Ah, very curious attack. Here we have our sorry envelope here. We have no attack. Quick delay? No. Ah, quick release and no sustain. So very interesting there And were out of tune by about eight cents here, so Oh, and fine out of tune by 18 cents and course attitude by eight steps. So that's Ah, try tone. That's, um, like a sharp fifth. Doesn't matter. Uh, it's attitude. So let's hear what that adds to it. Interesting. Not a ton different. Let's take off D and a D back in. Yeah, it's interesting. I don't hear a lot. Let's try pulling this out a little bit nice. So what does that tell us? That tells us that this oscillator, because the envelope is so sharp, that's really only attack. Ah, affecting our attack. Just getting us a little more punch on that attack. And then that oscillator goes away really fast. If we pull this out so that we get more of it in there, we'll hear that oscillator. And then it's going to slowly go away. As I hold the note down. Let's make that a little less extreme so we can hear a little more. Obviously, somewhere in between, right now we hear it attack and then go away gets that really gritty sound. And then it goes away because the envelope on this one is pulling it out. And we're really looking at an amplitude envelope here, and it's just pulling that oscillator de out really quick. Theo. So it's giving us that attack, and then it's going away. So that's helping our attack just a little bit to create some additional noise. So that's our four oscillators stacked on top of each other, all four from R sine waves. But even with sine waves just for sign ways. If we open this way up, we can get a pretty gnarly sound by four sign waves. Ah, modulating each other, right. Nasty, Nasty. Okay, cool. I like it. Let's see what else we've got. The LFO is off, the filter is on and pretty much all the way open Pretty close to all the way open and a little bit of residents on it. So not too much. But the envelope on it is pulling out reasonably quick. So it's got some nice, nice points on it. Teoh, shape it a little bit on the attack again. So we get a little bit more of the attack kind of similar to the way our oscillator d here is working, right. Similar envelopes there. Pitch adjustment Here. This is off. So not much there and then volume and are oscillators are straight in a line. Let's just out of curiosity here with this would look like if we put it into you this kind of additive mode where we just heard all four oscillators by themselves. Without the FM, it would sound like this. Now we're hearing all four oscillators. Mostly all three because of the 4th 1 is going out really quick. But actually let's pull this open. So now we'll hear this one offs later D as well as all the other ones. Mom. Right? So we hear that and we're basically hearing four sine waves on more or less the same pitch . But when I switch it into FM mode, it just piles on right, All of them modulating each other makes us really harsh sound. So that's the power of FM synthesis, right? Everything modulating everything else can can really get really dense very quickly. So there's, Ah, harpsichord, lead pulled apart a little bit, so let's look at one more and then we'll move on. 23. 24 FM Synthesizer patch deconstruction No: Okay, let's look at one more. Ah, here in operator here. I'm on the preset bright overtone lead, so let's hear what he's doing here, Theo. Okay, so let's have a look. So I'm gonna start over here this time with the way the oscillators are stacked. So this time we have a bit more complicated one, because it's not are purely additive or subtract Ivo system here or the FM. It's kind of in the middle. So let's kind of zoom in on this and see what they're doing here. So we have oscillator. A is just going straight out with no modulation. Oscillator B is being also are modulated by C and D, so we have kind of two separate things. We have Justin oscillator, plus an oscillator that's being modulated. So let's go over to our oscillators and let's turn off B C and D. Let's just hear a Okay, so this is cranked up really high. Um, so this is ah, several octaves high. Oops, Syria. Um, I am. It's envelope is fading in thing, so it's got a slow attack, so it kind of ramps up on the amplitude, and it's a sine wave. It's a little bit different than a sine wave. It looks like a sine wave, but it's set to one of these user. So if we go to this oscillator section, you can see it's been kind of drawn in. Um, so it's a little bit different than a sine wave, but it's close and it sounds like a center. If I play a low one, it's a little brighter than a sine wave. It's got a little more of those upper overtones in there, but OK, so now let's go to Austin Derby and I'm gonna turn us later a off. So it's here. Be by itself. Okay, let's click on it and look at it. So here we have a square wave, a type of square wave. Nothing too fancy here. So let's look at off later. See M and let's leave B and C on. Okay, let's see, what see is doing C is another one of these user design wave forums. So it's been kind of drawn in like this. The envelope is all the way open, pretty much so. No attack all the way on the decay and the sustain. All right, so let's go to D and see what D is doing. De is a straight up sine wave. It's really quiet, as is. See, I should've pointed that out as well. See, is really, really quiet. And so is D. So it's here that so we're getting a brighter sound now. Remember what happens in FM when I turned up the volume? It really influences the way form. So if I turn this up a lot way, we don't hear a lot of change. And the reason for that is that remember a little diagram down here. D is going into C, and then it's going to be so I can crank this up on D, but it's still getting stopped at sea. So let's turn see up. All right, so now I've got something really different happening here. Let's try this, Theo, right? So it's getting much more complex as I turn these up. Let's go back in turn, are a on Remember, A is pretty much unaffected by everything that happens here. Theo is just that high frequency that we hear coming through there, right, so that high one is just piercing and it's just there, um, unaffected by what's happening here so kind of a more complex thing here. Pitch is being transposed up and active. And then we have our amplitude output and our assortment of oscillators here so much more complicated. One because of the way the oscillators are being distributed, but reasonable to figure out right now that we understand what the function of each oscillator is and how we can line them up in these different patterns, There's a lot we can dio. Operator is a huge synthesizer, and you could make some really dense sounds with operator and some really simple sounds with us with operator altogether. There's really a ton you can do with it and really great, um, synthesizer to use for some of this stuff. So that's what I wanted to cover with FM synthesis. So now you understand the differences between subtracted, which is just taking the oscillators as they are, and then chipping away sounds using a filter and FM, which is kind of stacking oscillators together so that they modulate each other and generating a more dense sound that way. Okay, lastly, let's move on to a couple last things that I want to point out about what's coming up in the part two of this class, would you decide to take it? Which I hope you do, Um, where we're gonna talk a lot about sampling. So let's move on to a new video for that. 24. 25 Whats coming up in the Part 2: All right. So we looked out to different kinds of synthesis doing sound design with two different kinds. And, um, I hope this kind of has opened the door for you to maybe explore more about this. There's tons more you could do. What we've done in this class is really kind of an overview to get you comfortable on a synthesizer. What I'm gonna do is I'm gonna make a part two to this class, which is gonna focus on sampling. Sampling is a whole other different kind of sound design. Um, where essentially the only big difference is that instead of oscillators, we have samples. A lot of the concepts work the same. A lot of our filters work the same. Our envelopes work the same. A lot of that stuff. Um, when we think about sampling, we also tend to think about drums more so we'll work a little bit with drums, drum programming, designing drum sounds, but also just designing really powerful sounding synthesizers, says suit, different purposes from a sampling perspective rather than a synthesis perspective. So a lot of the same concept will apply. We'll just be focusing more on sampling in that next one, So I encourage you really encourage you to check it out. We're gonna have phone. We're gonna work on ah, all kinds of cool stuff in that one as well. So please check out that next class also. 25. 26 Thanks!: All right, everybody. That's it for this class. I hope you enjoyed it. I hope you had a good time. I certainly had a good time. I always have a good time talking about synthesis and getting through all of this stuff. It's one of my favorite things to talk about. And, um, there's it's just such a rabbit hole that you can go down when you're working with any synthesizer. But what I hope you got out of it was, um, a certain level of comfort in that. Now you can look at any kind of synthesizer, not just in reason, and not just enable tone and know how to program it. You know, find your oscillators, find your filters, find your envelopes, and then start seeing what you can get out of that synthesizer using those three things That, of course, your amplifier. Um, I think you should be able to using that concept. Walk up to any you know, big analog synth in ah, in your local synth shop if you have one. They're hard to come by these days, but if you have a locals and shop, go in there, see how it's laid out, find your oscillators. Start making some sounds. I think you'll be OK. Any new piece of software that comes out, you should be able to say OK, I get it. I see where the oscillators are, See where the filters are. I could make some sounds on this thing and then you the When you look at a new synthesizer what it really comes down to is what else can I do? You know, how can I do these other things? Even though there is something to be said for different kinds of oscillators, different kinds of filters, in particular, different kinds of filters. But there's a lot more to explore in there. So anyway, I hope you had fun. I hope you check out the next class on sampling. We're gonna have a good time in that Class two. Leave me a good comments. Ah, leave me questions. I tend to answer those as fast as I can, usually within a day or two. So ah, leave any questions on the page and I'll be happy to get to him. Thanks a bunch. See you next time 26. SkillshareFinalLectureV2: Hey, everyone want to learn more about what I'm up to? You can sign up for my email list here, and if you do that, I'll let you know about when new courses are released and when I make additions or changes to courses you're already enrolled in. Also check out on this site. I post a lot of stuff there and I check into it every day. So please come hang out with me and one of those two places or both, and we'll see you there.