First of all, our apologies to Martyn Phillips, the creator, and to all DX7 owners who attempted to use his patch we printed in last month's issue. Due to circumstances beyond our control several parameter values were printed incorrectly, while others were omitted altogether. The correct patch reads as follows:
Patricia McGrath, E&MM
The Korg Polysix is capable of providing fat bass synth sounds in the Unison mode (where its six voices are assigned to one note ie. playing monophonically), and an even thicker sound can be produced by selecting 8' Octave and using the Sub Oscillator to provide the lower 16' frequencies.
The Cutoff Frequency is set quite low to give a rounder sound, so it may be necessary to store this patch with the Attenuator at around +6dB in order to balance its level with previous stored programs. Envelope settings (particularly the release time which can vary depending on the bass riff being played) and the Cutoff Frequency controls are best fine-tuned to taste, and bass lines constructed over the lowest octave and a half of the keyboard.
The (non-programmable) Pitch Bend should be set to bend a precise semitone for a realistic 'fretless bass' effect (see Guide to Electronic Music Techniques, E&MM Feb '83, for a guide to Pitch Bend and performance control technique), and the MG Frequency (LFO) control programmed at a moderate speed if use is to be made of the VCO Modulation Wheel. Remember that bass players cannot bend thick bass strings easily!
Continuing the DX7 theme (will owners of other synths break the domination next month? We ask ourselves) an interesting patch from reader Ken Campbell:
This is a good demonstration of the purely synthesiser capabilities of the DX7, rather than the imitative ones which have been used to form the vast majority of the presets. It is neither a string sound nor a bell sound, but displays characteristics of both plus some of its own.
Algorithm six consists of three pairs of modulator-carrier configuration each with a different fundamental and a different frequency ratio. All the carrier envelopes have a fast attack which provides a chime-like quality to the start of the sound. Looking at the modulators, although 4 and 6 have the same attack as the carriers, the attack levels are quite low, and it is the climb up to level two which provides the rush of different harmonics that give the sound its main character. The late entry of operator 2 gives the impression of movement within. As the sound settles on level 3 it leaves a hollow harmonic sound that almost, but not quite, obliterates the fundamental.
If you use a sustain pedal with your synth, you will find that occasionally, depending on how you pedal it, a second wash of sound rolls after the first couple of seconds later. It does not work if you merely hold the pedal down continuously. I have no explanation for this, but would be interested to hear one.
Also try this sound an octave up and/or with operator six frequency set to 0-75.
Finally, and most topically, a patch for Sequential Circuits' latest polysynth, the Six-Trak, like the Polysix patch above, makes use of a polyphonic keyboard's unison mode.
Program six different voices with identical parameters except for Parameter 01 (Fine Frequency). Set Voice 1 at 00, Voice 2 at 01, Voice 3 at 02, and so on up to Voice 6 at 05. This means that when you stack all six voices together, the maximum richness of sound is obtained from the 6 oscillators all slightly de-tuned from each other. Other things which make this sound MiniMoog-like are the bit of noise added (Parameter 18), Ring Modulation (Parameter 29), Pulse Width Mod (Parameters 13,14,15,16, and 17) and the hint of Glide (Parameter 2). Liberal use of the bend wheel is suggested, along with legato playing over the whole keyboard to bring out the gliding.
Gear in this article:
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