Sunday, September 23, 2012

ResolutionMag PDFs

We found an open Directory of old ResolutionMag PDFs that you can learn from. This contains many tutorials that were probably featured in their magazine. Click here to visit the directory of PDFs

Saturday, September 15, 2012

How To Make A Supersaw Oscillator In Reaktor 5

Making the Roland Supersaw in Reaktor isn't too difficult. I find it nails the sound perfectly (or good enough). I'm working on a recreation of the V-synth. That might be out in a couple months but till then I will post what I've learned. Here is a block diagram of the supersaw module. This is one oscillator. The JP-8080 and V-synth use two of these.

How it works:

There are 7 oscillators. Six of them are offset in pitch by small amounts to give a nice phasing effect. The mod input multiplies the amount of detune in the right proportion.

1. Create A Macro Module with 3  terminal inputs and one output.

2. Rename the three terminal inputs Pitch, Gate, and Mod.

3. The Mod input is connected to an external knob (or fader) with values set  min -0.7 and max 10. This is input for the detune effect.

4. Create 7 saws connected to a mixer with 7 inputs. Connect that to the terminal output.

5. Create 6 banks of  multiplication to subtraction maths and connect them as shown. We only use 6 because the first oscillator stays in tune. This math will do the work. There may be a faster way to do this, but I'm a beginner at Reaktor.

6. Create the 6 detune values. These are math constants. Use the values in the picture.

7. Next connect everything up. The mod terminal (detune knob) is multiplied by the constant values. That gives us the pitch offsets that a supersaw uses.

8. Route the incoming pitch to the subtraction math for each of the six subtraction blocks.

9. Connect up your gates. Connect anything else you may have missed so its like the picture.

You can download a beta of the project here:


If you can't understand this then you should probably learn more about synthesis or Reaktor. Reaktor really is the best synthesis GUI on the mac. I hope this helps anyone trying to recreate the supersaw.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Creating Dynamic Synth Sounds That Mix Better

What is dynamic range? It is the fluctuation of audio levels over time. Using a meter, like TTDynamic you can measure dynamic ranges. Using this tutorial we will make synth sounds that playback better at high volumes.

How to read Dynamic Range:
1. Use a Dynamic Range Meter plugin. You can also use your eyeballs on a regular meter.
2. Play your sound
3. Read the average range.

Anywhere from 20db to 8db is a somewhat normal dynamic range for a synthesizer sound. Drums and short attack synth sounds tend to have higher dynamic range. Basses and long leads may not, so consider some editing.

How to fix your sounds:
4. Edit the Envelopes.
They allow you to change dynamic amplitude over time. A short attack/decay to a low or moderate sustain instantly gives you a dynamic sound. Without an envelope, a synthesizer is exactly the same as listening to compressed audio. The waveform doesn't change in amplitude. It is a fatiguing and unnatural experience.

5. Edit the Velocity. Adding Velocity is a great way to give dynamic expression.
6. Add an LFO. Modulating parameters that affect volume is a great way to make an interesting sound.

Recheck your dynamic range reading. A higher range will sound better, but you needn't take this too seriously for every sound. The speed you play notes affects dynamic range.

Distorted sounds, buzzing synths, and compressed audio has its place, but it should not be too loud in the mix to avoid ear fatigue. If a sound has no dynamics it is probably easy to hear at a lower level on the mixer.

In general, having a dynamic sound will help you get a better final product. If you like loud compressed music, you still have the option to do that in the final stages of song creation.

I hope you enjoyed these sound creation tips!

80s Rock School Tutorial For Keyboards & My Pitchbending Tip.

My tip: Don't grab the pitch bender. If you are using a spring loaded pitch bender that works horizontally (Roland/Korg), grab the entire outer edge of the keyboard and nudge the stick with the side of your thumb/hand. Don't be afraid to shake the entire keyboard a little. You may be tempted to use your thumb and index finger, but this slows down the action. I don't believe it was meant to be used this way. Let the spring work its way back. To bend downward, just put your thumb on the other side and do the same. Don't do it like Jordan Rudess does, he uses two fingers and it takes too much energy. My way will sound a lot wilder and will still default to the base note with my method.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Should I Plug The Bass Port On My Studio Monitors?

bass port plug


Its not worth plugging your port unless you require less bass. The bass end is reduced and it doesn't affect mids or treble enough to be worthwhile. A well designed bass port is like a cheap subwoofer. Buying an extra reference speaker would be a better idea.