8 votes

Modular Synthesis and UNIX

2 comments

  1. 3d12
    Link
    Very cool post. I like the parallel that you draw between various GNU/UNIX programs and the functions of modular synthesis. I agree that they are very similar, but had never really drawn the...

    Very cool post. I like the parallel that you draw between various GNU/UNIX programs and the functions of modular synthesis. I agree that they are very similar, but had never really drawn the parallel myself. Great essay.

    Also wanted to say, that looks like a really cool system. I've only just dipped my toe into analog synthesis myself, and haven't gotten near modulars yet. It's really cool to know about some of the open source software and hardware alternatives. I got a "synth kit" from Tech Will Save Us a few years ago as a holiday gift, and I've been thinking about trying to connect the IC and breadboard that came with that to the RPi3b+ that I have lying around and trying to "open source" my own synthesis, so I'll have to look further into the links you mentioned for programs to help me get started with sending the right signals to make glorious sound. :D

    Otherwise, as you pointed out, arriving at the maths "the long way" seems very hard. (If anyone out there hasn't checked out the formula for a Fourier transform, which is at the root of all VCF functionality, take a look -- it might make your head spin, it sure did for me)

    2 votes
  2. joplin
    Link
    Neat post! Note that if it interests you, you can also pipe MIDI data through various transforms for fun and profit. In the late 90s I had a Mac program call Megalomania. (And I'm only now...

    Neat post! Note that if it interests you, you can also pipe MIDI data through various transforms for fun and profit. In the late 90s I had a Mac program call Megalomania. (And I'm only now realizing that I later became friends with the author, but had no idea he was the author!) It allowed you to do things like play any note that came through again, but at a lower velocity a beat later, for example. This is similar to an audio delay line, but because it's MIDI, you can change other features besides just volume (which is usually controlled via velocity). You could, for example, make the sound get louder on the echo instead of softer. Or you could change the pressure in addition to or instead of the velocity, which would affect each patch differently depending on how they're set up. It was a very expressive tool and a great addition to audio patched tools like the ones described in the article.

    1 vote