Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Synthesizing Cymbals (909 High-hats) on the V-synth



It is quite hard to get a good cymbal sound by subtractive synthesis alone. A lot of tutorials will use mainly a noise oscillator and a triangle, but you can go a little bit farther. This will not be a full tutorial, but I will give some nice hints. This setup makes a slightly 909-ish high hat sound.

This is my chain for high hats.

Juno OSC with octave oscillator up + Noise OSC -> FM Modulation -> Comb Filter -> Resonator, Resonator Guitar model.

Explanation:

The Juno Osc seems to make a nice cymbal sound. It is sort of like triangle but has extra waves. With the extra oscillator engaged you can tune it a little. Turn the pitch up very high. Next, the Noise Osc can actually be tuned slightly with the PWM control. The FM modulation enaged seems to make more sharp noise. You can try it on or off. The comb filter, tuned up seems to channel the energy, and you can adjust the tone. Lastly, the metallic guitar resonator  gives it all that 909 sample cymbal sound if you balance it right and tune it up high. (I also found the resonator works better than the frequency shifter for snare drums and toms, but thats a different tutorial).

You will have to find the right tunings and timings yourself. I'm not going to go into the envelope settings because they are either long or short for open or closed high hat. You can also change parameters dynamically with velocity. Copying the sound into zones allows you to make the open & closed sound. Remember to make the pitch scale flat of the oscillators so the sound doesn't change.

Good luck. If you have a better formulation, leave it below.

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

How to get PCSX2 working with Wineskin on Yosemite



The mac is not the best system to run the latest batch of emulators. I can promise to get the emulator program working, but not every game. Its still better to buy an actual PS2 and the actual game, but this is a start up tutorial to help you get tinkering. Below is some text instructions that will help.
 Requirements:
Install:
  1. Open Wineskin Winery. Create a wrapper. Name your app PCSX2. View wrapper in finder.
  2. Open the app's package by right-clicking "show package contents" Double click Wineskin.
  3. Install PCSX2 software. Choose setup executable (the PCX2 exe installer). Quit.
  4. Back out of the folders. Double click the actual application PCSX2.
  5. PCSX2 settings. GS: ZeroGS. SPU2: Configure. Select PortAudio.
  6. Put your PS2 Bios files inside the Bios folder in the OSX user document's folder! Overall its pretty annoying finding the right directories, and I'm not going to go into it further. I left it default because the program crashes and gets confused sometimes.
  7. Select the bios and hit Finish! The PCSX2 is running. You can run your ISO rom files with fast boot.
  8. Recheck your graphics and audio settings, like the PortAudio, and make sure its configured to the default audio device.
Overall I got some games to boot up, but there were slow downs. I'm not promising you can play the games. I was able to get a bit into Monster Rancher 4. I couldn't get Ridge Racer 5 to run right. If you have extra tips on settings please post them. I will not answer any questions or provide other links. This was the best method I found to get the application to work sadly. Hopefully the programmers make a real mac version that runs games. The state of PS2 emulation is pretty poor compared to Genesis and SNES.

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Anouncing V-synth Ultimate Pack 2



New for 2015, this is the second V-synth Patch Bank with 300+ more presets from our website. If you are a previous customer of the first V-synth bank, you'll want to purchase this Ultimate Pack 2! You can have a preview of it's synthesizer category here: https://soundcloud.com/stealthgear/vsynth-ultimate-pack-2-synths. This is a serious fill-up!

It features more great sounds, piano, guitar, FX, dubstep sounds, the best basses, ambient pads, and 70s & 80s synths. Its $99 and is the culmination of a year's work of making presets. These are specifically developed for this website and are not copies. More useable and more mixable than ever before.

Thursday, January 29, 2015

ProTip: Interesting Harmonic Distortion on the V-synth

If you want to emulate another piece of gear's harmonics, you can attempt to do so with the V-synth. With an FFT program, (I recommend SigScope) you can determine the harmonics of the amplifier distortion MFX on the V-synth.

1. Select a sine wave.
2. Play the note that closely relates to a FFT graph you are emulating. (In my case a 1k sine wave)
3. Use the Guitar Amp Master Fx and scroll through different settings to see the output.
4. Find someone else's FFT test graph for whatever piece of gear you are emulating.
5. Adjust the Gain & EQ to match the graphs. The harmonics are the lines after the first large spike. The spacing and height of each determines the change. You can just guess or do the best you can. You might not be able to match it at all, or you might find a new sound you like.

With the V-synth you must use really low gain both on the OSC and the MFC volume. If you hear the sinewave overdriving, you are a little too loud.

I was able to match Neve 1073 channel strip with two Marshall amplifiers, one in the COSM, and one in the MFX. Both had low gain. I used a LPF on the first COSM slot to have a bit of roll-off. You can also introduce noise into the mix on the second OSC.

Basically, it is "british EQ" on the V-synth!Does it sound the same?  I'm not sure I even care, I'm just exploring the sound pallette everyday with this keyboard. I'm sure I've done things the designers hadn't thought of.

So what can you do with all this? You could run audio through the input, or use the LPF for different synth sounds. SigScope pro can also check the waveform shapes if you want to explore more. If you have this set up, you will probably run out of slots for creating synth sounds, so maybe use a sample. If you have a JP-80 you could probably go wild, as it has more FX combinations. If you are going old-school, you could probably use a plate reverb.

So thats my tip for getting slightly different distortion textures! No matter what you do, you can never get things perfect, but its fun to try and explore the endless possibilities.

Monday, January 26, 2015

Roland Promars Plug Out

I think this one sounds a lot better than the System 1 original! Roland is going to be king of digital synthesis again.

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Namm 2015 Roundup: Roland JD Xi, JD XA, Dave Smith Prophet 6

Roland JD Xi

This one looks pretty good, except for the small keys (you can play triplets, but still my hands are too big for it). Its pretty much an analog / digital, all-in-one, groove keyboard. I haven't seen a demo from the digital side except that it has supersaw. I really hope these voice well and combine the oscillators in a patch. But whats even better is the Roland JD-XA!

If you are into keyboards, this is obviously the one you will want to wait for.

What else?

DAVE SMITH PROPHET 6!





It sounds great again and is packed with features! It looks like a revisit to the Prophet 5.  Its really good looking! Listen to it here on soundcloud. I like it when these companies are fully ready to show everything off.

Where is Yamaha? I don't know yet...

So far I think these are the best products to post up. Korg has some nice new replicas, and there are some other analog monophonics, but those are not things I'm into...the tech is just too old! I need patch memory.