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

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25
votes
4answers
2k 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, ...
16
votes
6answers
2k 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
4k 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 ...
12
votes
2answers
356 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 ...
11
votes
6answers
6k 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, ...
11
votes
6answers
4k 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 ...
11
votes
4answers
2k 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
2answers
1k 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 ...
8
votes
4answers
1k 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 ...
8
votes
4answers
251 views

How can I hear what a mathematical function sounds like?

I'm working on differential equations homework right now, and I just came across a solution to a problem that has the form: I graphed the function with my computer and it has an interesting ...
7
votes
2answers
153 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?
7
votes
3answers
283 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 ...
7
votes
1answer
457 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 ...
7
votes
1answer
256 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
8answers
904 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
796 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
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 - it'...
6
votes
2answers
3k 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 ...
5
votes
1answer
239 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
1k 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 ...
4
votes
8answers
3k 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
821 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
671 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
475 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
83 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
631 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
391 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
198 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
1answer
1k 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 ...
3
votes
2answers
500 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
3k 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
326 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
54 views

It's possible to connect a usb midi controller into a midi synthesizer?

I do have an usb midi keyboard controller (m-audio keystation 49) and a synthesizer keyboard (KORG KROSS). I would like to assembly my controller to my synthesizer. However my controller only have ...
3
votes
2answers
71 views

Are there any guide with commonly used settings on sound synthesis?

I just saw the new york sound synthesis course on youtube. It's pretty good, but I wonder if there are any guide or pdf with the most common used settings in music, like a string pad on trance music ...
3
votes
1answer
403 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
5k 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
2answers
279 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
3answers
556 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 ...
2
votes
1answer
52 views

Are there any function modulators/synths?

I've been reading a book about synthesis. Part of the book talks about different synths, and one of these is the Function Modulator. Basically, you're able to mathamatically compute the sine waves ...
2
votes
1answer
138 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
263 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
536 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
401 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
706 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
1answer
74 views

Is there a key-less synth/midi controller to control and modulate my Yamaha keyboard?

Newbie here. I already own a Yamaha keyboard, which is pretty much like a piano but with all the options for DJ and change of tone etc. I want to be able to modulate pitch and such with modulation ...
2
votes
1answer
44 views

Do I need to be concerned with drum tuning when using drum samples?

I'm starting to get into writing and recording some music and am using synthesized drums for the time being. Do I need to be selecting samples based off drum tuning at all? For example, if I'm writing ...
2
votes
2answers
187 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 ...
2
votes
0answers
26 views

Using a tremolo stompbox between the swell pedal and the synth?

I'm quite new to the practical aspects of synthesizers and fx modules (I only just got my first synth a few months ago). As is typical these days, my synth has a variety of onboard effects, but it ...
2
votes
0answers
20 views

Is pitch key mapping available in any of NI Komplete Ultimate 10 synths?

I played with Sytrus synthesizer recently. It has a cool feature, where you can map pitch offset to particular oscilator for a given key. There is a factory preset named Transchorder. It has 3 ...
1
vote
2answers
5k 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 ...