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Sick of sample-based "synthesis"!

Discussion in 'General Electronics' started by Radium, Oct 16, 2003.

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  1. Radium

    Radium Guest

    You're correct.
  2. Radium

    Radium Guest

    FM synthesis is a digital method. Anyone who thinks different need to
    read more about FM synthesis.

    I find so many comments from newsgroups saying that sample synths are
    better than FM synths. How so??

    All "synth" type of instruments (e.g. pads) sound horrible when
    sampled. The tone of synth pads was generated on a FM synth. Sampling
    this type of sound only makes it less realistic.
  3. Randy Yates

    Randy Yates Guest

    I think that when you say "sample synths," what you really mean is
    "wavetable synthesis."

    They're just more realistic. The timbres produced by FM sound "nice"
    (i.e., clear, good high-frequency content, etc.), but just aren't as
    realistic as wavetable synthesis. At least in my opinion.
    It's business. If you look into the software development effort, it's
    much easier to spend all your time and effort getting the wavetable
    synthesis working rather than having to build both a wavetable synthesis
    and FM synthesis engine (so that FM sounds could be generated instead
    of reproduced through the wavetable).
    % Randy Yates % "...the answer lies within your soul
    %% Fuquay-Varina, NC % 'cause no one knows which side
    %%% 919-577-9882 % the coin will fall."
    %%%% <> % 'Big Wheels', *Out of the Blue*, ELO
  4. Andrew Mayo

    Andrew Mayo Guest

    Well, yes, I agree. Your dream machine exists, btw. It's called the
    Yamaha FS1R. It has 64 operators, each with its own independent
    amplitude envelope. 32 of these operators can do sine, square or
    sawtooth waveforms (and formant shape them, either statically or
    dynamically). The other 32 can do pitched or unpitched noise (you can
    go from a sinewave right out to white noise, depending on bandwidth
    settings). (compare with the original DX7, which had only 6 operators
    - so this is 10 DX7's in a box!)

    It is four-part multi-timbral with three independent effects units and
    a comprehensive range of filters. It can do formant synthesis. It
    produces utterly beautiful sounds which respond to every nuance of
    your playing.

    Faced with such a beautiful piece of hardware, Yamaha marketing then
    did their best to screw up, first with an inadequate manual, then,
    panicking, they took it off the market after only a year or so, when,
    understandably, buyers balked at the complexity of programming it
    themselves. (it did not, originally, come with a PC-based programmer,
    which didn't help).

    At which point they became collector's items. I drove 300 miles to buy
    mine second-hand. I will never ever sell it. It is, undoubtedly, the
    deepest, most powerful hardware synth ever made. And not a single
    sample anywhere in it (except, I guess, a sine wave).

    I don't understand why Yammy don't bring them back now that FM is back
    in vogue. With a better manual and more sample patches they really are
    something else.

    Anyway, see if you can get hold of one. I think it will answer your
    prayers, but be warned; it is deep and complex.

    (another, software-based, alternative is NI's FM7 but this lacks the
    raw power of the FS1R, though in theory you could run multiple
    instances on a sufficiently powerful PC).
  5. Radium

    Radium Guest

    Samplers don't sound too realistic either given the annoying aliasing.
  6. Radium

    Radium Guest

    Then why not build the FM synth engine without a wavetable synth?

    In "real" FM synthesis no wavetable should be needed. Right?
  7. Radium

    Radium Guest

    What type of synthesis is this?
  8. It is possible to design a sampler that does not suffer
    from aliasing.

    Erik de Castro Lopo (Yes it's valid)
    The Earth is around 70% water. Fish rule the seas.
    Humans are over 90% water. It's only a matter of time.
  9. Randy Yates

    Randy Yates Guest

    Usually it's not aliasing that occurs but psychoacoustic entropy loss. PEL
    results in less harmonic convergence and at the same time causes your
    energy bill's balance to decrease.
    % Randy Yates % "...the answer lies within your soul
    %% Fuquay-Varina, NC % 'cause no one knows which side
    %%% 919-577-9882 % the coin will fall."
    %%%% <> % 'Big Wheels', *Out of the Blue*, ELO
  10. Jerry Avins

    Jerry Avins Guest

    You miss the point. It's assumed that you need wavetables no matter
    what. Your "real FM synth" is extra.

    Please explain again why a wavetable synth can't reproduce the sound of
    an FM synthesizer as well as a CD can. I missed that the first time

  11. Yes. The only thing after the D/A was an amplifier. A cheap one from Radio
  12. Radium

    Radium Guest

    The point is not to reproduce an FM synth's sound but to listen to it
    while producing it. That is, listen to an FM synth actually generate
    its musical tones, rather than recording those tones from the FM synth
    to another medium and then playing them back.
  13. Consider the Waldorf Q, here FM can be applied to all waveforms, including
    wavetables. FM Sources are selectable, any OSC, noise or external input.
    FM can also be applied to filters.

  14. Jerry Avins

    Jerry Avins Guest

    If there's no audible difference, why should I care?

  15. I think Radium's main point that is not quite getting through, is the
    following (perhaps somewhat softened by me):

    From the point of view of the author of the music, if you use a sampler,
    your choice of the synthesizer sound is limited by your sample library, to
    an extent defined by your ability to modify these samples, inside or
    outside the sampler. If you instead generate the synthesizer sound in
    real-time, using FM or any other technique which allows you to change the
    sound drastically using just a few parameters, you can adjust the sound
    until it is exactly what you want. Moreover, repeatedly hearing the same
    "good" samples can be boring - be the cause a lack of imagination or not.

  16. Jerry Avins

    Jerry Avins Guest

    Thank you. Now I get it.

  17. Radium

    Radium Guest

    Exactly Olli.

  18. What albums by what artists can it be heard on?
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