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Transcript

Waves

ADSR Envelopes

The Low Pass Filter (LFO)

Overview of Components

Effects

1

2

4

5

Modules

4

3

Hit the keys to play the synthesiser!

Hit the keys to play the synthesiser!

Hit the keys to play the synthesiser!

Hit the keys to play the synthesiser!

Hit the keys to play the synthesiser!

There are many components to a synthesiser that all add up to create a living, breathing, sound-moving machine. In this module, you will understand the functions of the key components of the synthesiser and the interactions between them.Click the arrow below to move ahead to the video to begin your voyage into the world of the synthesiser.

Module 1 - Components of a Synthesiser

Click the icon to learn more about the components of a synthesiser. You will Be tested on your knowledge in the next section!

Multiple Choice Quiz

Take the quiz to test and develop your knowledge of the module content.You can refer to the module toolkit on the home page for a breakdown of the key takeaways and key terminology.

Glide refers to a smooth transition between two or more different pitches or notes. It's also known as portamento. When you play a note on a synthesizer without glide, the pitch changes instantly to the new note you press.

Glide

Glide introduces a smooth, gradual transition between the pitches of consecutive notes. If you play one note and then another note shortly afterward, instead of an abrupt jump in pitch, the synthesizer smoothly slides from the first note to the second.The rate or speed of the glide is adjustable, allowing you to control how quickly the pitch changes from one note to another. This feature adds a expressive and dynamic element to your playing, often used in various musical genres to create interesting and fluid melodic transitions.

Listen to how changes in glide change the charachter of the sound.

Listen to how changes to the attack section of the envelope changes the sound when applied to the low pass filter.

The background audio here was produced by a replica of Dave Smith's seminal Prophet 5. The first in the Prohet series, the synth continues to be offer producers unmatched access to extraordinary, evolving textures with an softness in charachter that gave Dave Smith Instruments their place in synth production history. You can try a demo of the synth by visiting https://u-he.com/products/repro/

The Sequential Circuits Prophet 5

Octave Range

On a synthesizer, the octave range is often adjustable and determines how many octaves the keyboard or sound generator can span. The Juno 106 has a span of 3 octaves, which means that the sound generator can produce pitches covering a span of three octaves. On the Juno 106, the octave range is measured in 'feet'. The idea of measuring pitches in feet comes from old pipe organs, where the pipes were arranged in different lengths for different pitches.

The higher the number of feet, the lower the pitch- the buttons are are arranged from low to high (left to right).

Filter LFO Amount

Listen to the filter being controlled by the LFO.

When a synthesizer has a filter LFO, it means that the low-frequency oscillator is influencing the filter. Instead of manually turning the filter knob, the LFO is doing it automatically in a rhythmic or cyclical way.

For example, if you set the filter LFO to a sine wave shape, it could gently and repeatedly open and close the filter. Instead of manually turning the filter knob, the LFO is doing it automatically in a rhythmic or cyclical way.The filter on the Juno 106 only has a triangle shape, but synthesisers have many different kinds of wave shapes; including sqaure, sawtooth and sine.

The chorus on the Juno 106 is widely-imitated and a coveted part of this vintage synthesiser. It adds charachter and depth to the sound; it's unique flavour has been copied by software and hardware manufacturers since the synth was released in Febuary 1984.

The Effects Section (and Juno Chorus)

Effects are an integral part of helping a synthsiser to fit into a mix. Modern synthesisers usually boast a wide range of on-board effects, but effects can be applied in your DAW. You will learn about this in the 'Effects' module of the course.

Listen to how chorus adds width and depth to the sound.

Pulse Width Modulation (PWM)

Listen to the pulse width of the square wave being modulated.

The Roland Juno-106 synthesizer features a Pulse Width Modulation (PWM) capability, allowing you to modulate the pulse width of the square wave generated by the oscillator.

Pulse width modulation is a classic synthesis technique that alters the width of the waveform's pulses, creating a distinctive sound with varying harmonic content. You will learn more about PWM in the 'Waves' module.

Listen to how changes to the attack section of the envelope changes the sound when applied to the low pass filter.

The VCA level on the Juno-106 affects the overall volume or level of the sound produced by the synthesizer.The VCA level control on the Juno-106 allows you to adjust the output volume of the synthesizer. By turning the VCA level knob, you can make the sound louder or quieter according to your preferences or the requirements of the synth.

VCA (Voltage Controlled Amplitude) Level

The Juno has a simple, three-stage EQ built in before the effects stage. Whilst this can be helpful for live performances, particularly, when playing with other instruments, it is probably best to use an independent EQ for more accurate mixing.

The Equaliser (EQ) Section

Octave Range

On a synthesizer, the octave range is often adjustable and determines how many octaves the keyboard or sound generator can span. The Juno 106 has a span of 3 octaves, which means that the sound generator can produce pitches covering a span of three octaves. On the Juno 106, the octave range is measured in 'feet'. The idea of measuring pitches in feet comes from old pipe organs, where the pipes were arranged in different lengths for different pitches.

The higher the number of feet, the lower the pitch- the buttons are are arranged from low to high (left to right).

Sub Oscillator

The sub-oscillator is a valuable tool in synthesizer design, providing an additional layer of low-frequency content to enhance the overall sound.

Listen to a how the introduction of the sub oscillator adds weight and depth to the sound.

A sub-oscillator on a synthesizer is an additional oscillator that produces a waveform one or two octaves below the main oscillator(s). It's called a "sub" oscillator because it generates subharmonics, or lower-frequency components, compared to the main oscillator.More on the sub oscillator in the 'Waves' Module.

The LFO on the Juno-106 is often used to create modulation effects, such as vibrato or pitch modulation. The level of the oscillator needs to be increased before you will notice the sound being affected.

The Frequency LFO (Low Frequency Oscillator) Rate and Delay

LFO RateThe LFO rate controls the speed at which the low-frequency oscillator cycles. In the case of the Juno-106, this means how quickly the LFO modulates frequency of the sound waves produced by the oscillators.DelayThe delay parameter refers to the delay time before the LFO modulation takes effect. This means that after a note is played, there is a delay before the LFO starts modulating the pitch.

Listen to how changes in the LFO rate, with changes to the delay time, creates a vibrato effect.

the low-pass filter in a synth helps shape the character of the sound by controlling the amount of high frequencies that are allowed to pass through.

The Low Pass Filter (LPF)

If you have a bright and sharp sound like a buzzing synth lead, turning down the low-pass filter will gradually remove some of the high-frequency content, making the sound warmer and softer. On the other hand, if you have a mellow sound and you turn up the low-pass filter, you might introduce more brightness and sharpness.Resonance on a low-pass filter enhances and exaggerates the frequencies at the cuttoff frequency, where the filter starts to reduce the sound. It adds character and emphasis to the filtered frequencies.

Listen to how changes in the cuttof frequency and resonance of the LPF change the charachter of the sound.

Filter Envelope Amount

The "envelope amount" control lets you determine how much the envelope affects a specific parameter of the sound. For example, if you have an envelope controlling the volume (amplitude) of your sound, the envelope amount knob adjusts how pronounced or subtle that volume change will be.

The filter envelope amount on a synthesizer adjusts how strongly the envelope shapes the sound.

Increasing the envelope amount makes the volume changes more noticeable, while decreasing it makes the changes less pronounced.

Noise

The Roland Juno-106 features a noise generator as part of its sound generation capabilities. The noise generator allows you to introduce a noise element into your sound, which can be useful for creating various textures and effects.

Listen to a how the introduction of noise adds texture to the sound.

Keyboard Tracking

This parameter determines how much the filter cutoff frequency responds to the pitch of the played notes. When the keyboard control is set to a positive value, higher notes will have a brighter sound as the filter cutoff frequency increases with higher pitches.

Positive Keyboard ControlTurning the knob towards the positive side will make higher notes sound brighter.This is useful for creating a more pronounced brightness on higher-pitched sounds.Negative Keyboard Control:Turning the knob towards the negative side will make higher notes sound darker.This can be used to create a mellower or softer tone on higher-pitched sounds.

The Juno-106 features an ADSR envelope generator that can be applied to both the filter and the amplifier sections.

The Envelope Section

The ADSR envelope on the Roland Juno-106 is used to control the amplitude (loudness) of the sound and modulate the filter. Adjusting the ADSR settings allows you to shape the evolution of both the volume and the tonal characteristics of the sound, giving you a great deal of control over the expressive qualities of your patches.You will learn more about the evelope section in the 'ADSR' module.

Listen to how changes to the ADSR (Attack, Decay, Sustain, Release) section shape the sound when applied to the filter section.

Glide refers to a smooth transition between two or more different pitches or notes. It's also known as portamento. When you play a note on a synthesizer without glide, the pitch changes instantly to the new note you press.

Glide

Glide introduces a smooth, gradual transition between the pitches of consecutive notes. If you play one note and then another note shortly afterward, instead of an abrupt jump in pitch, the synthesizer smoothly slides from the first note to the second.The rate or speed of the glide is adjustable, allowing you to control how quickly the pitch changes from one note to another. This feature adds a expressive and dynamic element to your playing, often used in various musical genres to create interesting and fluid melodic transitions.

Listen to how changes in glide change the charachter of the sound.