Saturday, February 3, 2007

My Synthesizer Programming Trick

 Main Rolandjp8080
Today I am going to teach you how to program a synthesizer patch the easy way. Some people think that you need to know all the functions of a synthesizer to be able to program it. Some think that it is a dark art.

This is not true.

Most of the time we are searching for new sounds in our music. This technique I use lets you do that. Instead of programming it intentionally, we will program it by solely by our ear. Most people use this technique, but not to its full potential. People get frustrated when a synth they are using makes a crappy unusable sound; they screwed up the envelops OR they think they can dramatically change the character of a sound without going to the source - the original synth wave forms being used.

The instructions:

1. Find a patch that you already like and load it up on your synthesizer.

2. Start out with the synth controls on the far left of the machine. Use only controls that affect the sound. You ideally want to start out by changing the synthesizer waves used. These are the Sine waves, Square, triangle etc. Take the first control, and slide it through its full range of sound, while hitting the keyboard keys a lot to test it. Stop when you hit a "sweet spot," This meaning, a spot in the control that sounds just right.

3. Go onto the next adjacent control, that affects sound. Now we are going to do step 2 again....and again. Do this to every single control on your synthesizer.

4. Once you are done changing all the parameters on your synthesizer, you might have a usable sound. If you want a little bit more, go through step 2 again until you find a sound that is "just right." You will eventually come to something that will make you go "wow." Usually you had no idea that your synth could make this sound!!

What's nice is when you use this technique to make a lot of patches that will interact very well with each-other in your music. Sounds will be "related" because you made them off the same base patch AND because you made them at a time similar date; meaning you were in the same frame of mind.

I hope that helps anyone who is struggling with making great synthesizer patches!

On an unrelated note: Help save the TV show Jake 2.0.

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