Readers send in their own favourite synth sounds and how to generate them. Plenty of monosynths this month, including the Moog Prodigy, Transcendent 2000 and Roland SH-101.
This new series has already proved so popular that this month we've had to extend it to three pages. Still, there's plenty of room for more so remember, if you've got a patch for a synth sound you're particularly fond of, send the relevant details to us in table form — or better still, on one of the panel outlines provided in many user's manuals, with a blank one for artwork purposes — and we'll do the rest.
This month's selection quoshes once and for all the accusation that Patchwork is a subsidiary branch of the DX7 Owners' Club, and we'd like this increased variety to continue, so don't let the fact that your synth is a trifle obscure dissuade you from writing in.
Send your patches to: Patchwork E&MM, (Contact Details).
There's no doubt that polyphonic synths have been the major growth area of the electronic keyboard industry, but almost every synthesist starts off with a trusty monophonic that usually remains on (even as the collection grows) to provide the necessary armoury of lead synth sounds. We've therefore concentrated this month on some of the most popular monophonics, as well as providing a couple of patches for the 'big guns' in the popular polyphonic end of the market, the Juno 60 and the Yamaha DX7.
Source: Mike Humphrey, Dorchester
We kick off this month's Patchwork with the versatile and inexpensive SH-101, which has been manipulated by Mike Humphreys to produce a realistic Pan Pipe in the patch below. As the layout of the SH-101 is almost identical to the MC-202, this patch could be adapted quite easily to accommodate the MicroComposer if you don't have access to a 101.
Mike comments that he finds 'the VCF Frequency setting to be the most critical, and that the Attack needs to be adjusted carefully to get the feel of Pan Pipes'.
Source: Gareth Whittock, Mid-Glamorgan
For those handy with a soldering iron, Powertran's inexpensive but versatile Transcendent 2000 produces a wide range of monophonic lead sounds. Among the patches submitted by Gareth is 'Vibes', which is effective over the full keyboard range, and he adds that 'by keeping your finger on the last note played, the decay time is effectively lengthened'.
Source: Sarge O'Hara, London N15
Although the Prodigy has since been replaced by the Moog Rogue, it proved to be a winner among synthesists looking for a cheap but powerful monophonic. Sarge, keyboard player with Tokyo Olympics, has found the Moog sound to be invaluable for those 'fat' bass-lines and his patch below makes good use of the dual oscillators, assigning them an octave apart and with different waveforms, and using the Mixer section to balance both levels. It is also worthwhile experimenting with the performance controls (Pitch Bend and Modulation wheels) for extra expression.
Errata: Regarding the patch for the Moog Prodigy, please note that the Filter Kbd Tracking selector should be set to 'Off' and not to 'Full', as published.
Source: Matthew Vosburgh, London N1
The 'Radiophonic Flute', described by Matthew as 'similar to the flute sound used in Dr Who incidental music', uses the Korg monophonic dual-oscillator synth to good advantage. He has selected Noise on VCO1 to introduce a 'breathy' sound which is then mixed low in comparison to VCO2. Further instructions entail patching MG Triangle Output to VCA In and VCA Out to Total Input (for delayed vibrato). Note also that EG1 fades in vibrato and filter modulation.
Source: Trish McGrath, E&MM
The Juno 60, soon to be superceded by the imminent arrival of the Juno 106, has proved to be one of Roland's most popular synths, and the patch below should also duplicate exactly on the Juno 6, as it features an identical layout.
The sound has been constructed for playing over the lowest second and third octaves, and decay and release times may be varied to suit. Although not strictly a bass synth sound, 'Brassy Bass' should prove useful for those deep cutting synth lines (à la Human League's 'Don't You Want Me, Baby) or for doubling up on the bass-line for that added punch.
Source: Stephen Hunter, Tayside
Yet another patch for the DX7! This month, however, we've managed to reproduce Yamaha's own Voice Data List to facilitate data input. Stephen describes 'Grand Brass' as 'almost a Brian May ensemble guitar sound in the upper range', and adds that 'heavy-handed playing in the bass (preferably playing octaves) produces a good grand piano emphasis'.
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