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Article from Electronics & Music Maker, August 1984

Readers' favourite synth sounds and the means to reproduce them. Instruments featured this month include the Roland JX3P and Korg Poly 800.

This is where E&MM hands over the controls. Although we continue to receive a great many different patches for a variety of synths, we are definitely missing a few (eg. the OSCar, SCI Pro One and Six Trak, Korg Polysix, Kawai SX210, Yamaha CS5/10/30, etc), so if you're the proud owner of one of these synths (or indeed any of the more regularly featured models), send your favourite patch (preferably on an owner's manual patch chart including a blank one for artwork purposes) to: Patchwork, E&MM, (Contact Details). Meanwhile, back at the ranch...

ROLAND JX3P - 'Marimba'

Steve Clarke, Surrey

This patch can be entered by the JX3P's internal edit A & B buttons, allowing the instrument to be programmed without the aid of the PG200 programmer. Steve says he finds this sound particularly useful for arpeggio-type patterns and that, as always, you should feel free to experiment with the settings given.

(Click image for higher resolution version)

KORG POLY 61 - 'Steel Drums'

Derek Kelly, Stockport

Although the Poly 61 has recently been to some extent overshadowed by the 800 in Korg's polysynth range, it's still a popular synth and should be around for some time to come. We found this 'Steel Drums' patch to be reasonably metallic, but at the same time it's 'musical' enough to double as a useful synth sound. It's worth experimenting with the envelope values (we quite liked an ADSR setting of, say, 6/11/6/12). Finally, Derek suggests playing the keyboard as if you were using sticks on the real thing!

(Click image for higher resolution version)

KORG POLY 800 - 'Synthe Bass IV' & 'String Duet'

Petras Saduikis, Nottingham, & Robert Crozier, Lancs

The first settings list below (#1) is derived from the Poly 800 factory preset 'Synthe Bass III', and provides a sharper bass sound that Petras considers especially suited for use with the Korg's built-in sequencer. Robert's patch (#2) simulates two stringed instruments (violin and cello) in 'duet', and a more dramatic effect can be achieved by altering the interval between the two DCOs.

(Click image for higher resolution version)

YAMAHA DX7 - 'Funkmaster'

Martin Russ, Ipswich

Martin describes 'Funkmaster' as a 'fast, funky-feel twang with lots of thump'. (Quite.) The timbre has some of the elements of a detuned clavinet combined with a plucked bass sound, and some touch-sensitivity is included to give a brighter sound when pressing the keys faster.

Algorithm 16 is used in this voice. Operator 1 is the only carrier and is modulated by three sources. Operator 2 is used as a low frequency vibrato oscillator, and serves to give some movement within the sound. Operators 3 and 4 give the main thump/twang sound as well as giving a heavy bass bump. The velocity sensitivity of Operator 4 gives a brighter metallic sound with increasing key velocity.

Operators 5 and 6 give an additional bright fill effect which can sound like reverb at certain settings of Operator 5's output level. For an output level of 73 there is almost no effect on the final sound, at 83 the twang is brighter and at 93 has a hard cutting edge, but by 99 the contribution from Operators 5 and 6 is not only very marked but also quite intolerable!

In performance the touch-sensitivity resolves into two levels: soft = muted sound, hard = bright. Staccato playing brings out the percussive nature of the sound, and heavy left-hand octaves emphasise the bass thump. Legato playing reveals an unexpected sustain, giving away the non-acoustic nature of the instrument. In fact, the combination of heavy click/twang and a silky sustain sound gives a sort of manic Hammond organ!

(Well, he did try to keep it brief.)

(Click image for higher resolution version)

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

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Electronics & Music Maker - Aug 1984


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> Modular Synthesis

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> Editorial

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