Readers' patches for DX7, CZ101 and Bit One synths, and the Yamaha CX5M micro. Keep 'em coming...
Just as we were beginning to think everyone out there owns either a CZ or a DX synth, along come a couple of newcomers to Patchwork, in the shape of the Bit One polysynth and CX5M computer (OK, so it is just a DX synth in disguise). But there's still a lot of synth territory so far left unexplored by Patchwork - so how about all you Alpha Juno, Korg DW, Akai AX80 and Oberheim Matrix owners getting those programming fingers into gear?
Seeing as Patchwork now accommodates reviews of sound libraries (cartridges, disks, cassettes, chips and so on) for all types of synths and samplers, we'll be looking at the latest range of Skyslip ROMs for the DX7 next month.
Don't forget that if your patch gets published, a free year's subscription will wing its way to your front door with our compliments. So send us your favourite sounds on a copy of an owner's manual chart (coupled with a blank one for artwork purposes), including a good description of your sound and its musical purpose in life - and don't forget to include your full name and address on each chart.
M C Perry, Worcester
In amongst the pile of good patches for the CZ this month was this unassuming little number. It takes more than a cursory earful to appreciate the subtlety of 'Orchestral Aura', but it's a nice atmospheric patch, best suited for slow chordal movements. However, a shorter attack time (increase the rate of Step 1 of the amplitude envelope) may prove useful, and since the orchestral element is created by a combination of Ring Modulation and Fine Detuning, a bit of fine adjustment in the latter department should reap rich rewards.
Steve Butler, Kenilworth
It appears that synths supplied without patch charts in their manuals are a bit shy when it comes to making a Patchwork appearance. Rest assured, though: it's no trouble for the parameter values to be presented in list form, and 'A Soft Touch' is seen here paving the way for Bit owners. This patch uses key velocity to control the attack time of the VCA, and with a very soft touch and the mod wheel opened up, it's well suited to atmospheric backings and the like. Play normally for a faster attack curve.
Ian Taylor, Middlesbrough
It seems the neglected CX5M is getting a look-in now, and DX9 owners may be able to interpret these patches to suit their own ends as well. 'Plucked Synth' is described as a sharp sound with plenty of attack, suited to all those Tangerine Dream-type arpeggiated sequences, while 'Clear Bell' is just that - a bright clear chime, just right for Vince Clarke covers...
Avram Taylor, Newcastle upon Tyne
Anyone calling their patch 'Fairlight' has got to be ambitious. Avram's reasoning is that his sound seeks to emulate a much-used Fairlight effect, as featured on Culture Club's latest single. We're not so sure, but try it and judge for yourself.
The sound has a nasal, breathy quality - piercing, we'd call it - which Avram describes as 'effective for slow, single-note melodies or chord progressions that don't involve "fat" chords'. It's also handy for fast runs, where it acquires a delicate, almost breathless quality. Quite a versatile sound, all in all.
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