529 - SynthesisWorkshops

synth modular Sound synthesis and sound design Music has brought pleasure and entertainment to mankind throughout the whole of history. Each person is by nature equipped with one of the most elaborate and emotional musical instruments; the human voice. Whenever people feel good music seems to fit the occasion, and it is considered quite natural to hum or sing a song. Musical instruments have brought their own moods to music and at the current moment in human evolution there is an enormous variety of musical instruments available. The twentieth century has seen the development of a range of new and exciting electronic musical instruments. These electronic instruments are very flexible, they can produce a wide range of timbres and can be amplified to whatever loudness level sounds best for the occasion. Most of these electronic instruments are played by a keyboard, but in essence the keyboard can be replaced by any electromechanical device that is able to transform a movement caused by a human interaction into an electrical signal that can drive the sound generating core of the electronic instrument. All sorts of technical and scientific developments have helped to create electronic instruments and the human interface to play them. Still, music is an art and not really a hard science, although music and sound have for a long time been subject to various scientific research. An important realization is that science can not really explain why much music is such a pleasure to listen to and such a joy to make. Which is not a bad thing, as probably no one is waiting for science to take the fun out of music by applying formalized rules and templates on what is also subject to ‘feel’. So, although this book covers techniques that lean heavily on scientific research, the application of these techniques will in general be aimed at creating fun. There are a lot of professionals working with sound and even more people that make music for their personal enjoyment. Mastery of sound synthesis is valuable to all of them. Still, it won’t be easy to please everyone with one single book, as some people will be more interested in how things work and others might want practical examples that just work. The aim of this book is that it can at least be used as a practical guide in workshops and courses in electronic music, covering some essential basics that are needed to operate the equipment used in sound synthesis in a way that makes some sense. Additionally it can be used to explore techniques to find out how they can help in the development of one’s own musical style. Sound synthesis is the art of creating sounds by using suitable electronic means, using either analog or digital electronic devices. Sound design is the art of creating particular sounds using sound synthesis techniques. The definition of sound design as used here might be confusing to some, as the name sound design is also used in the discipline in industrial design that occupies itself with how mass produced objects should sound. Examples are how the sound of cars or ladyshaves are ‘designed’ to sound pleasing while in use. Which of course has nothing to do at all with music or sound synthesizers. This book puts the emphasis on the various synthesis techniques for musical purposes and how to setup sound synthesizers to create a large range of characteristic musical sounds. The art of musical sound design is left to the artist.

2010-07-13 21:45:20

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