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Article from Electronics & Music Maker, November 1984

Multicolour patches for the Korg Poly 800, Roland Jupiter 8, APR Quadra and Yamaha CS5, though doubtless they can also be adapted for other synths.

Readers send in details of their own synth patches and how to play them...

Patchwork provides you with a chance to show off your best synth sounds, so if you're of a sharing nature, send your offering on a copy of an owner's manual patch chart (including a blank one for artwork purposes) to: Patchwork, E&MM, (Contact Details).

KORG POLY 800 - 'Electric Harpsichord'

T Bonney, Australia

Meanwhile, Korg's most recent polysynth found its way down under and was immediately transmogrified into an electric harpsichord. Best results are obtained standing on your head...

Seriously though, harpsichord sounds have recently found their way into the music of the eighties (listen to the Stranglers' 'Golden Brown' for instance) and can still be incorporated into even the most modern of compositions. Bonney suggests swapping waveforms in DCOs 1 and 2, increasing the Cutoff Frequency, and trying different Trigger settings (ie. multi or single) to provide personal variations.

E&MM Contributor Jay Chapman adds that this patch benefits from a staccato playing technique as this allows the synth (especially when being used to play chords) to cut through a band line-up. Also, he felt DCO Mode (18) set to 1 (instead of 2) gave a more authentic harpsichord, and if the VCF Cutoff (41) is reduced from 54 to 20, the top octaves provide the makings of some steel drums.

(Click image for higher resolution version)

YAMAHA CS5 - 'eCStasy 5'

Steve Bell, Portsmouth

Ever since the Mellotron rendered the Choir of Worchester Cathedral practically redundant (!) synths have been constantly called upon to try to emulate the human voice. Steve's patch for the budget CS5, although intended to be a female voice singing, is perhaps more like the 'Ecstasy of Gold' (theme) from The Good, the Bad and the Ugly by Ennio Morricone.

(Click image for higher resolution version)

ARP QUADRA - 'A Clear Lead'

Martin Straw, Southampton

Another newcomer to these pages, the Quadra was the last (and only programmable) synth produced by ARP before their amalgamation into CBS-Fender. Martin has supplied a lead sound that makes use of each of the Quadra's four sections, and adds that 'lead VCO 2 is off, while the programmable scale for VCO 1 is given by interval write and C2'.

(Click image for higher resolution version)

ROLAND JUPITER 8 - 'Good Vibrations'

Paul McGeechan, Glasgow

The 'ole Guvnor' of the Roland range, the Jupiter 8 is capable of a multitude of analogue sounds that never seem to date. Paul's vibraphone patch 'uses VCO 1 set at 8' (triangle waveform) to give a low body to the sound, while VCO 2 (pulse waveform) gives a higher, more percussive edge to the sound.'

'Fine setting of the Cutoff Frequency and the Resonance controls is needed for a full-bodied result, usually just over the first marker. Note that there is also a slight difference in Envelope 1 and Envelope 2 decay settings, and that the LFO can be set to the desired frequency, simulating the part played by the motor on a vibraphone. The Delay applied to the LFO is designed to imitate the initial strike of the hammers, but need not be as high as illustrated.

'Note also that the LFO Modulation to the VCF can be removed and the Filter and Resonance values changed slightly to obtain a sound more akin to that of a glockenspiel'.

(Click image for higher resolution version)

Available files:

  Good Vibrations JPV3.mp3 (445 KB)

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Publisher: Electronics & Music Maker - Music Maker Publications (UK), Future Publishing.

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Electronics & Music Maker - Nov 1984

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