synth mg

Posted on Feb 6, 2014

There are various approaches to analog synthesizer building, luckily they don`t vary too much in terms of the applied building blocks. The main building blocks are: oscilator (VCO), filter(VCF), variable gain amplifier (VCA), envelope generator (EG), and controls such as a keyboard and modulation and pitchbend wheels. VC is short for `Voltage Controlled`,

synth mg
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it means that the main characteristics of the block are adjustable by appying a voltage at some input, for instance to change the pitch of an oscilator, or the gain of an amplifier. The amount of parameter change is often standardized, such as +1 Volt per (higher) octave for pitch. Implementing the various building blocks as analog parts, such as in the earlier synths, is not an ovious task, since the demands on the circuits are that they cover fairly large parameter ranges, are stable (over time and temperature), have good audio quality or attractiv synthesis properties, and preferably would be programmable and yield well-repeatable patches. All but the latter two demands are in some way fulfilled by the circuits various manufacturers have put out, and it is an interesting phenomenon that various imperfections of relatively old circuits are actually making some of these designs musically attractive. This can be exemplified by the fact that various old analog synthesizers are sold for prices not too far from modern counterparts, and at significant fractions of their original price. Bob Moog is one of the main innovators in the (at that time mainly analog) sound synthesis area. His synths are famous for their fat and clear sounds, and contained innovative circuitry that can produce sounds that are still very popular, for instance in contemporary house music. At the risk of infringing on some copyrights, I`ve looked at some...

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