Sound Synthesis


preliminary note: There are many reasons for creating new sounds. For the purposes here synthesis will refer to creating sounds to be used in music.

There are different types of synthesis. The two most notable are addative synthasis and subtractive synthasis. Addative synthasis creates sounds by adding together fundamental sound componants, like scultping with clay. Subtractive sysnthesis starts with a complex wave form and removes componants to create the desired sound like chizeling a sculpture from granite.

The main componants of a synthesized sound:

Pitch (the electronic tool that generates the pitch is the oscillator)

Tone (the electronic tool that shapes the tone is the fliter)

Contour (the electronic tool that shapes the contour is the envelope gnerator)

Control (the most common control device comes in the form of a keyboard, but rotory knobs, slidder knobs, toggles switches, antaneas, photo cells, touch strips, sequencers, and other sorts of interfaces can all be used to manipulate various functions of a synthesizer)

Other useful controls and generators:

Sequencer - A controller that outputs assignable control votages in a sequntial pattern

Envelope follower - Creates an envlope or countour from an incomming audio signal, or some other signal

Noise Generator - Outputs sound of randomized frequency

Sample and Hold - samples a control voltage at dertermined intervals and outputs that voltage until the next sampling

Low Frequency Ocillator - An oscillator that cycles at frequencies most useful for vibrato effects

Envelope Generator - The same as Moog's Contour, most commonly has ADSR controls (Attack, Decay, Sustain, Release)


This page is currently under continued development (10-13-2013)


Pictured immediately below is owyheesound's KNOTURDEL-3 modular synthesizer.