Getting to know virtual-analogue synthesis

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In the previous story, we introduced you to physical modelling synthesis. Now, it’s time to learn more about virtual-analogue synthesis. Let’s dive right in… Circuit visualisation In the same year as the amazing-but-ignored Yamaha VL1 hit the shelves, Swedish manufacturer Clavia, then best known for its drum electronic-drum system, released the first incarnation of its […]

Understanding physical modelling synthesis

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Over the last few months, our series of articles on the history and science of sound synthesis has covered a lot of ground. Starting with the earliest valve-based electronic instruments that harnessed radio technology, we’ve seen how sound synthesis has always straddled the worlds of scientific research, state-of-the-art technology and abstract musical creativity. We’ve touched […]

How to write better songs with pro advice from Jez Ashurst, Bernard Butler and more

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Bernard Butler Image: Abbey Road Institute Artist, producer and professional songwriter Former Suede guitarist and prolific songwriter and producer, Bernard now teaches songwriting and has recently conducted a masterclass at Abbey Road Studios… I think creating was always my interest and when I began to play the guitar and before that, I had dabbled in […]

The history of drum machines

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Drum machines have always occupied their own place in the history of sound synthesis and music-making, with their feet in both the synthesis and sequencing camps. They are often seen as a threat to ‘real’ musicians as a creative tool for musicians to exploit. It may therefore come as a surprise to learn that a […]

The science of wavetable synthesis

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The 70s were a golden age for analogue subtractive synthesis. The technology had matured and developed to a point where there was a wide range of instruments, from simple portable mono-synths all the way up to large, complex modular monsters. But by the end of the decade, advances in semiconductor and microprocessor technology made it […]