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41 votes
Accepted

Programming in early 80s synth music

'In general' is pretty hard to nail down. There is so much to say about this era I could write a book - perhaps I should ;-) Late edit - Let me add a quick TL:DR Hardware sequencers were such a pain ...
Tetsujin's user avatar
  • 27.9k
23 votes

Is it mathematically possible to create an equal temperament which matches just interval ratios?

The other answers approach this from dividing the octave and showing that equal divisions must be irrational. Another way of looking at this is to consider whether we can compose an octave by ...
phoog's user avatar
  • 23k
17 votes
Accepted

Synthesizer: why playing a second time the same note shut down the first one?

The MIDI specification says: If an instrument receives two or more Note On messages with the same key number and MIDI channel, it must make a determination of how to handle the additional Note Ons. ...
CL.'s user avatar
  • 1,607
16 votes
Accepted

Why do some synthesizers have two or more oscillators?

Firstly, a single oscillator will tend to produce rather a subjectively 'thin' and static sound. This isn't always the case (as later stages, such as the filter, or a separate chorus stage, can add ...
Нет войне's user avatar
16 votes
Accepted

What 1968 Moog synthesizer was used in the Movie Apollo 11?

It's a Moog modular Synthesizer IIIc From Matt Morton - Apollo 11 Matt wrote, orchestrated, performed, recorded, and mixed all of the original music for the film, as well as the teaser trailer ...
Tetsujin's user avatar
  • 27.9k
15 votes

Is it mathematically possible to create an equal temperament which matches just interval ratios?

As I understand the question, this is pure mathematics: No it is impossible. No matter, how many divisions you have, say n, the step width will always be nth root of two and therefore an irrational ...
guidot's user avatar
  • 11.1k
13 votes
Accepted

How can I hear what a mathematical function sounds like?

As naught101 says, your particular case here is a sinusoidal wave with a quiet third harmonic. To hear what this sounds like at an audible frequency, go to http://meettechniek.info/additional/additive-...
Нет войне's user avatar
13 votes

Can I plug a 2.5A 250V~ cable to a synth that is 100 - 240v?

The 2.5A and 250V on the cable is just the highest current (Ampere) and voltage (Volts) that it's safe to use at. Provided that your mains supply is in the range 100V to 240V then that's no problem. ...
Simon B's user avatar
  • 1,911
10 votes

Synthesizer: why playing a second time the same note shut down the first one?

This is too long for a comment, so I'll make it an answer. Let's say you have a round-robin sample program that plays a different speech sample every time. You play this: NoteOn(1,40,100) // "...
piiperi Reinstate Monica's user avatar
9 votes

How can I hear what a mathematical function sounds like?

You don't need any specific audio software to generate audible waveforms. Here's a simple C program that will generate the required data on standard output: #include <stdint.h> #include <...
leftaroundabout's user avatar
9 votes

Decay vs Sustain on synths

The ADSR envelope (and derivatives) is as follows: A: Attack - the length of increase in voltage* (or analogue) D: Decay - the length of decrease in voltage that comes after the increase S: Sustain ...
Phillip Siebold's user avatar
8 votes

Is anyone familiar with the instrument called the mellertion?

An electrical instrument built in 1933, divided into a ten-division octave, instead of twelve. Billed as 'Altogether new types of melodies, far beyond the range of our present musical experience, ...
Tim's user avatar
  • 194k
8 votes

Why do some synthesizers have two or more oscillators?

I think that the shortest and most precise answer to your question is: to produce timbres that are not possible with a single oscillator, including an entire form of synthesis (FM) that requires at ...
Eme's user avatar
  • 81
8 votes

Types of synths used in modern guitar-based music

Back in the days of yore, you'd hear about a new synth because you read the music mags, or you heard an artist who explained in some NME article what gear they had. Armed with this limited information,...
Tetsujin's user avatar
  • 27.9k
8 votes

Why are there so many models of digital synthesizers?

It may be true that every synth is "just some oscillators, filters and envelopes", but like @Tetsujuin said in the comments, that's the same thing with cars, they each have 2 or 3 pedals. So ...
Shevliaskovic's user avatar
8 votes

Electric Piano/Synthesizer that Can Play Two Instruments

It would almost be hard to find a performance keyboard that DIDN'T have this feature! 'Layers' (e.g. Piano/Strings across the whole keyboard) and 'Splits' (e.g. Bass on the lower half of the keyboard,...
Laurence's user avatar
  • 93.5k
7 votes

How to self-teach synthesizing sounds by ear

I think most people learn by mucking around with synths and seeing what sounds come out; as you do this, you learn to associate certain synth architectures (and certain parameter settings) with ...
Нет войне's user avatar
7 votes

Can I plug a 2.5A 250V~ cable to a synth that is 100 - 240v?

A simple cable with just wires and no electronics inside, as the one your photo shows, will simply forward any voltage. It won't change it. The label on the cable specifies the maximum voltage it ...
Thomas Weller's user avatar
7 votes

Is it mathematically possible to create an equal temperament which matches just interval ratios?

You can't even get an equal temperament system* in which fifths and octaves are perfect. This is simply because if you had a system of equal steps in which an octave was A steps large and a twelfth ...
Milo Brandt's user avatar
7 votes

Yamaha SY99 floppy disk drive broken. Can I use something else?

Correction: MIDI was never designed initially to transmit sample data, but it was added later as an SDS standard. [This is something I've never worked with, but apparently the SY99 can sample dump ...
Tetsujin's user avatar
  • 27.9k
7 votes

Why are there so many models of digital synthesizers?

There are hundreds of models of digital piano, and thousands of models of guitars. Their differences are sometimes subtle, sometimes not, and some differences are more about how you use it than how it ...
j-g-faustus's user avatar
7 votes

Why are there so many models of digital synthesizers?

I'll give a very simple answer relating to hardwired (non-modular) analogue and analogue-style synthesizers (which sounds like what you are describing in your question), and focusing on the ...
Нет войне's user avatar
7 votes

How to identify the optimal SoundFont for a MIDI file?

These files were originally played by web browsers, using whatever General MIDI player the web browser happened to have. This means it is fairly safe to assume that they are made for General MIDI. The ...
ojs's user avatar
  • 3,269
6 votes
Accepted

Troubleshooting Roland analog synthesizer's 'moving' dead notes

If it's anything like the archetypal polyphonic analog synthesizer (the Prophet 5), it has six analog voices (probably consisting of two oscillators, a low pass filter, and a couple envelopes each, ...
Todd Wilcox's user avatar
6 votes

Is there a way to notate synthesizer music?

This is outside the realm of what standard notation was designed to do, so you should do whatever you need to make it clear. Describing what you want with words is totally fine. What's appropriate ...
MattPutnam's user avatar
  • 22.4k
6 votes

What is the difference between a Low-pass filter and a Cut-off filter

"Cut-off" is ambiguous, since it could be cutting off either low or high-frequency material. Since the manual you quote refers to 'brightness' of sound, my guess is that it's a low-pass, high-cut ...
Carl Witthoft's user avatar
6 votes

Do Virtual Synth Softwares need any physical buttons? Do I need to have any extra buttons on my MIDI keyboard?

TL;DR Extra knobs and buttons are not absolutely necessary, but then again a MIDI keyboard is not absolutely necessary either, because you can just use a mouse. But since you're buying a MIDI keyboard,...
piiperi Reinstate Monica's user avatar
6 votes
Accepted

Is it possible to generate a perfect sawtooth wave?

No, it’s not. It might not even be possible to create one that only has undetectable differences. The truth is, each different oscillator design and even each different software synth algorithm or ...
Todd Wilcox's user avatar

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