For questions about electronic keyboards and other synthesizing instruments and equipment.

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22
votes
2answers
1k views

Do different synthesizers produce the exact same sawtooth (and square, etc) waveform?

All basic synthesizers can produce the basic waveforms: sawtooth, square, triangle, and sometimes sine. Does each synthesizer "injects" its own character to the waveform? Are all sawtooths the same, ...
14
votes
6answers
1k views

Synth sounds that make good solo instruments but don't mimic pianos, organs etc?

I have played a lot of piano, some organ and a fair few synths in my time, and have yet to ever find a synth patch that makes a good solo instrument (i.e. like a piano, you can play an entire ...
12
votes
6answers
3k views

What's the difference between two notes played on strings of different thickness?

I'm working on this piece of music on a sequencer, and I'm trying to emulate the effect of playing the same note on different strings of a guitar, say, an E3 on the 5th fret of the B string and an ...
11
votes
4answers
1k views

Why were sound effects like the gunshot included in the General MIDI (GM) standard?

I recently learned about the general MIDI standard and one thing that I cannot understand is the last sound effect is always a gunshot. Most of the other effects like applause, telephone ring, and ...
10
votes
5answers
4k views

How to recreate a sound on a synth

Is is possible to recreate any sound you hear in a synth? Think of it like ear training, but with a synth. Being able to deconstruct a sound with your ear, know what type of waveform is being used, ...
10
votes
2answers
857 views

Can I produce all the sounds on my computer that external synths can?

I want to start making music on my computer. I already play a bunch of real instruments, but I imagine I'll want to also use synth noises and such. Intuitively I don't see why I can't just produce any ...
9
votes
6answers
743 views

What are the practical advantages of keyboards with non-weighted keys vs. weighted hammer action?

This is not a question about what type toy keyboard a beginning piano student should learn on if a real piano is not an option. I am talking about professional quality keyboards in the above (to well ...
8
votes
2answers
159 views

Learning to Patch Synthesizers - “Synth Theory”

I'm currently in the process of learning to produce music, and one thing I'm finding absent in any of the resources I come across is what I guess I'd call "synth theory". For someone who's very ...
8
votes
4answers
909 views

How could you make instrumental sounds come out of a computer?

I've been working on some music generating software, and have laid out the basic algorithms, now all I need are actual instrumental sounds. By instrumental sounds, I mean the sound that comes out of a ...
6
votes
8answers
583 views

What is needed for an electric woodwind?

My wife is a music teacher. She's a classically trained saxophonist, and has been playing almost all of her life. Recently she saw a video which included an electric woodwind, and she just about went ...
6
votes
2answers
103 views

What would happen if I played two or more notes on a monophonic modular analog synthesizer?

Say I had a monophonic modular analog synth patched. If I played two or more notes, would it mess it up or would the MIDI to CV module just send one note through?
6
votes
1answer
415 views

Duration of a quarter note with a 3 written beside it (on a synth display)?

I'm currently reading the manual to my old synthesizer (Roland MC-505) and for setting the quantization level amongst other settings it displays the note duration on the LCD using the symbols for the ...
6
votes
1answer
254 views

Dealing with synthesized sounds where only a subset of tones sound good

I created a heavily modulated and filtered bass sound on F-1 but cannot play anything other than the F-1 itself and its # as the rest have too many conflicting frequencies. How can these two keys be ...
6
votes
2answers
277 views

Production techniques for adding electronic elements to rock

I've been working for a year on home recording and I kept all my sounds "pure" so I didn't mix my songs a lot. However, I notice that a lot of bands use synthesizers or even complete electro mixes as ...
6
votes
1answer
116 views

How the multiple analog synthesizer voices work together?

Many synthesizers that are marketed as "four voice" instruments visibly feature four similar, independent sets of controls, giving impression that each voice could be tuned separately. However this ...
6
votes
1answer
1k views

How can I regulate tempo on a Roland sh-101?

I have a Roland SH-101, an analog synthesizer made in 1983. I'm trying to recreate a song, but I can't ever seem to get its sequencer to play at just the right tempo using the LFO/Clk Rate slider - ...
5
votes
1answer
181 views

How does a “Talk-Box” differ from a Vocoder?

Both the Talk-Box and Vocoder combine instrumental sounds with vocal sounds to create a Singing Instrument (or a more precisely-controlled Singer). How are they different, beyond "One's for guitar and ...
5
votes
2answers
581 views

Achieve samplepad/keyboard synth sound with a bass guitar for playing live?

I play bass in a pop band and for a new song we want to add a synth bass similar to the one in this song: The estudio recording part is easy, so the question is if ...
5
votes
2answers
2k views

Electronic keyboard terms: Aftertouch vs Pressure-sensitive

I was reading a review of the Akai Miniak which said The 37 half-weighted keys are velocity and aftertouch but not pressure sensitive. I thought aftertouch was MIDI signals of continuing ...
4
votes
8answers
663 views

Why does software-synthesized MIDI music sound so bad?

It seems like converting MIDI into sound should be simple enough: record all possible notes, and then just superimpose the individual sounds according to the MIDI data (offsets, duration and volume), ...
4
votes
5answers
316 views

MIDI: How do I refer to (and search for) software that will play audio from a MIDI piano?

I have a MIDI digital piano that connects to a computer via USB (it also has a normal MIDI out port too) and I'd like to browse for software that lets me play music through my computer's speakers. I ...
4
votes
3answers
535 views

Tutorials or advice on layering synths

so I have been into some music production for a few weeks, and I feel like I am improving gradually. The problem I am having currently is layering synths. If I listen to a track, I can sort of make ...
4
votes
3answers
287 views

How do I play the synthesizer on my own?

I recently bought the Novation Mininova and now I would like to practise playing it. In my mind a synthesizer like this is hard to just play around with, without any other instruments playing. I would ...
4
votes
1answer
45 views

What is filter automation?

I know what the effect of a filter on the sound of a synthesizer is, but I don't get wat the difference is between using a filter and filter automation.
4
votes
3answers
418 views

Very portable MIDI synth

I was planning to buy a very small MIDI keyboard (akai lpk25). Of course to make it produce sounds, I would need to connect it (via USB) to my laptop. Question: say one day I want to go to the park ...
4
votes
1answer
232 views

Is it possible to move patches around on the microKorg?

I've so far just used my microKorg to play around with creating sounds, and am using it for the first time on stage in a few weeks. When practicing, I've noticed that it's very slow to move between ...
3
votes
4answers
181 views

Are some synthesizers and keyboards able to interchange sounds?

Synthesizers create new sounds, and many keyboards have thousands of tones to choose from; sometimes a musician may want a sound heard in a recorded song - but it is difficult to find. This may be ...
3
votes
2answers
211 views

Basic synth performance in Pop-Rock songs

I am pretty new to the keyboard and synth (but not to piano). I have been starting to play in a rock band as a keyboardist recently. However, the lines I was given to play was just some simple chords ...
3
votes
3answers
2k views

What options are there for cheap synthesiser/synth modules to get for gigs?

I have an electronic piano with nicely weighted keys and a midi out, but I want to play 80s music with my band and it doesn't have the right sounds. I need a fairly cheap (sub £300) synth/synth ...
3
votes
2answers
281 views

Driving a Novation UltraNova synth via a Yahama synth guitar (G10 ?)

Would it be possible to play on a Yahama syntheziser guitar, and get the sounds and instruments to actually come out of the sound bank of the Novation UltraNovation synthesizer ? (please feel free to ...
3
votes
1answer
333 views

Find LSB/MSB values for voices in Yamaha CP5's MIDI implementation

I got Yamaha CP5 and I try to define banks so that I can use its instruments from the computer (using the Rosegarden sequencer). Each bank should be specified by a MSB/LSB combination. The data list ...
2
votes
4answers
2k views

How to synthesize grand piano sound

I'm using MIDI keyboard with an external software synthesizer that runs on a computer. I want to make it sound like a grand piano. I want something like this. This example shows that it's possible to ...
2
votes
1answer
725 views

Piano/keyboard versus synth

I've been aiming to buy a keyboard for quite a while now, but just recently, I've been interested by synthesizers due to some new band I've been listening to. I don't know much about these two ...
2
votes
2answers
118 views

Methods in Singing Synthesis

I want to know more about the latest attempts to create synthesizers for singing. I would ideally like to know more about both the most widely respected algorithms/models as well as mainstream ...
2
votes
1answer
99 views

What are some resources/techniques that will help me understand how to create synth sounds?

I'm both the pianist and synth player in a (amateur) band, but mainly a pianist from training and experience. I'm pretty decent at piano, so technique isn't really a problem. However, when I play ...
2
votes
1answer
228 views

How to obtain Franz Ferdinand - Bite Hard synth solo sound

I am trying to obtain this synth solo sound: (solo starts at 1:24) I have a Korg R3 but in the best case I found something just remotely similar in the presets. I ...
2
votes
1answer
409 views

wet/moist sounding effect, replicating effects or sound. electronic music

I was listening to the group Terravita's song and heard a awesome sounding synthesizer with what sounds like it has heavy effects. It sort of sounds like a flanger, but with an almost wetness or moist ...
2
votes
1answer
341 views

Before Vocaloid — Early history of voice synthesis?

Vocaloid is a modern musical voice synthesiser package from Japan. It's getting pretty close to a human voice: Compare GUMI (Vocaloid) and Megumi Nakajima (GUMI's voice sample provider; human) singing ...
2
votes
1answer
605 views

Are lead synthesizer notes in trance typically single notes or chords?

Sorry, I am a n00b and don't know anything about music theory. Are typical lead synthesizer notes in trance played as single notes or as chords?
2
votes
2answers
121 views

Electronic Wind Instrument technique resources

I have a EWI that I use with a DAW, nothing professional just bedroom home recording. I have found my techniques to be terrible on the EWI, I was wondering what are some of the things people do to ...
1
vote
2answers
3k views

How do you actually practice playing an electronic keyboard?

Certain electronic keyboards look like pianos, but their keys are weighted totally differently. For someone who has never learnt playing the piano, what would be the best method of taking the most ...
1
vote
2answers
212 views

How can I reproduce the choppy synth in “Come on Home” by Franz Ferdinand?

I want to prepare a base so we can play with my band a cover of this song: I have a Korg R3 and Garageband. Can you hear the "choppy" synth at the beginning? How ...
1
vote
3answers
438 views

What is the cheapest hardware synthesizer, or where are schematics for DIY?

I have been looking into hardware synthesizers a lot, but have no where NEAR enough money to buy the MIDI to CV (already have a MIDI keyboard I got a while back ago), VCO, VCF/VCA, and then stuff for ...
1
vote
1answer
69 views

Can acceptable trills be played on an old M1 with unweighted synth action?

So I have a Korg T3 (basically an M1 with some extra ROM samples). I am deeply deeply unsatisfied with my trills because they just don't have that smooth, singing, "trilly" quality. They are on time ...
1
vote
2answers
93 views

Would it be possible to use the sounds stored in a Novation UltraNova by plugging a Yahama V50 to it? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Driving a Novation UltraNova synth via a Yahama synth guitar (G10 ?) So I have this one : http://www.vintagesynth.com/yamaha/v50.php and that one : ...
1
vote
1answer
76 views

Scotland the Brave - advice for newbie painist

I recently bought a synthesizer and my dream is to play Scotland the Brave. What is the quickest way to achieve this goal? (e.g. should I just learn to play the keys and not the chords; is there a ...
1
vote
3answers
329 views

Keyboard + laptop or synthesizer?

I am on a budget of about £150 and need a portable keyboard to take to gigs with both realistic-ish piano sounds and some synth sounds too. I have a laptop but no keyboard, would it be best to get a ...
1
vote
1answer
34 views

Modulation in synthesizer using a separate device

Are there any analogue devices that can be connected to synthesizers like yamaha psr S550b to modulate sounds and get an output back from my synth's speakers? (Basically I want to minimize the use ...
1
vote
1answer
70 views

Make different ranges across a midi keyboard play different voices?

Without using a laptop (since I don't have one and will be playing live) is it possible to make the top half of a midi keyboard play sax while the bottom half plays a different synth sound? My low ...
1
vote
1answer
521 views

Does the MicroKORG XL+ have internal speakers?

I just bought a MicroKORG XL+ and have plugged in the power adapter and turned this on. The volume is up but it makes no sounds. Does it have its own speaker? Or do I need to have this connected to an ...