Power Tools for Synthesizer Programming: The Ultimate Reference for Sound Design: Second Edition

Power Tools for Synthesizer Programming: The Ultimate Reference for Sound Design: Second Edition

by Jim Aikin

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Overview

Power Tools for Synthesizer Programming: The Ultimate Reference for Sound Design: Second Edition by Jim Aikin

(Power Tools). If you make any type of electronic music dance mixes, hip-hop, jazz fusion, country pop, film soundtracks, or experimental avant-garde Power Tools for Synthesizer Programming is the book for you. All too often, owner's manuals tell you what button to press, but fail to explain what's actually going on in the instrument or what it means musically and technically. This is the only book that gives you the big picture while at the same time providing you with insightful details. Even if you're just grabbing presets to play on the keyboard, you'll get to the music faster thanks to the tips in this book. And when you start editing the presets or designing your own sounds, Power Tools for Synthesizer Programming becomes an essential resource. Chapters on oscillators, filters, envelope generators, LFOs, effects, and digital audio reveal how to get the most out of your instruments. To supplement the text, dozens of new illustrations have been added, and more than 30 streaming online videos, narrated by the author, walk you through the operational details of numerous software instruments. If you've ever wanted to spend quality time with a synthesizer expert, you'll never have a better opportunity!

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781480397941
Publisher: Hal Leonard Corporation
Publication date: 03/10/2015
Pages: 256
Sales rank: 635,817
Product dimensions: 7.30(w) x 9.00(h) x 2.40(d)

Table of Contents

Foreword Stephen Fortner xi

Preface xiii

Acknowlegments xv

Chapter 1 The Map And The Territory 1

Types of Synthesizers 5

Keyboards 5

Analog Modular Hardeware 6

Software 7

Samplers and Sound Libraries 9

Beatboxes 9

DIY Software 9

Controller Hardware 10

Hardware vs. Software 10

What Are the Power Tools? 13

MIDI 13

Editor/Librarian Software 14

Your Ears 15

Your Sound System 15

Chapter 2 The Nature of Sound 17

Sound Waves 18

Frequency 21

Amplitude 23

Transducers 25

Digital Audio 27

Sampling Rate 28

Bit Resolution 30

Digital Audio Problems 33

Phase Cancellation 35

Chapter 3 Operating Systems, Edit Modes, Performance Modes, And Memory 39

Computer-Based Instruments 39

Overview 40

Plug-In Formats 42

32-Bit vs. 64-Bit OS 43

Copy Protection 44

Audio and MIDI Interfaces 45

iPad Apps 46

Hardware Instruments 46

Operating Systems 48

Preset Memory 49

Categories 52

Waveform Memory 53

Pages, Menus, and Soft Keys 55

Data Entry 57

Operational Modes 58

Performance Modes 59

Single-Voice Mode 59

Monophonic vs. Polyphonic 59

Sequencer Mode 60

Multitimbral Mode 60

Effects in Multitimbral Mode 63

Editing Presets 64

Program Changes 64

Chapter 4 Oscillators and Samples 67

Analog Waveforms 68

Pulse Width and Wave Morphing 70

Single-Cycle Digital Waves 71

Aliasing 73

Noise 74

Sound Programming Techniques with Oscillators 75

Mixing 76

Detuning 76

Oscillator Sync 79

Pitch Modulation 80

Pitch-Bend 80

Using a Pitch Envelope 81

Fractional Scaling 82

Tuning Tables 82

Random Pitch 83

Glide 84

Sub-Octaves 85

Sample Playback 85

Multisampling 87

Velocity Cross-Switching 89

Sampled Attacks with Looping 91

Sample-Playback Modulation 92

Drum Kit Multisamples 93

Sampling Your Own Sounds 94

Wave Sequencing 94

Chapter 5 Other Types of Synthesis 97

Audio-Rate Modulation 97

Frequency Modulation (FM) 98

Amplitude Modulation (AM) 101

Additive Synthesis 101

Granualar Synthesis 103

Physical Modeling 104

Chapter 6 Filters 107

Types of Filters 109

Formant Filters 112

Curoff Frequency and Rolloff Slope 113

Resonance 116

Overdrive 119

Filters and Polyphony 119

Filter Modulation 120

Keyboard Tracking 121

Envelope Modulation 122

Velocity Modulation 122

Modulaltion in Performance 123

LFO Modulation 124

Audio-Rate Modulation 124

Signal Routing 125

Chapter 7 Lfos 127

Waveforms 128

LFO Amount 131

Bidirectional and Unidirectional Modulation 132

LFO Rate 133

Delay and Ramp-Up 134

Trigger Modes 135

Phase 137

Synchronization 138

Chapter 8 Envelope Generators 141

Gates, Triggers, and MIDI 142

Shapes 144

Envelopes in Action 147

Rates vs. Times 149

More Stages 150

Inverted Output 151

Single and Multiple Triggering 152

Curves 153

Modulating the Envelope 154

Envelope Level Modulation 155

Envelope Time Modulation 156

Looping Envelopes 157

X/Y Envelopes 157

Envelope Followers 158

Unusual Contour Genetators 158

Chapter 9 Modulation 161

Control Rate and Data Resolution 161

Modulation Signal Rouring 165

Preset Morphing 168

Secondary Modulation 168

Modulation Signal Processing 168

Velocity Response Curves 170

MIDI Control Sources 171

Audio Signals as Control Signals 173

Chapter 10 Rhythm Generators 175

Synchronization 175

Arperggiators 177

Step Sequencing 179

Drum Machines 182

Loop Processors 184

Chapter 11 Effects Processing 187

Processors and Algorithms 188

Signal Routing 190

Multitimabral Setups and Physical Outputs 194

External Audio Inputs 195

Reverb 196

Convolution Reverb 198

Delay 199

Chorus, Flanger, and Phaser 202

Rotary Speaker 203

Distortion 204

Other Distortion Types 206

Amp and Speaker Simulators 206

Pitch-Shifting 206

Filter and Envelope Follower 207

Equalization 207

Removing DC Offset 210

Compressor, Limiter, and Gate 210

Trance Gate 212

Vocoder 212

Ring Modulaltor 214

Chapter 12 Controllers 215

Communications Protocols 217

MIDI 217

OSC 222

Control Voltages 222

Keyboards 223

Alternative Keyboard Designs 224

Left-Hand Control 224

Button and Pad Grids 226

Touch Surfaces 227

Other Concepts 228

Final Thoughts 229

Appendix: Online Video Tutorials 231

Index 233

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