Subtractive Sythesis

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The opposite of subtractive synthesis is additive synthesis.

This method involves building the sound you're looking for using multiple sine waves.

The Yamaha DX7 synthesizer is probably the most popular FM synthesizer and also holds the title of the first commercially available digital synthesizer.

Figure 6.20 shows an example of an FM synthesizer from Logic Pro.

This synthesis method is not very good at mimicking acoustic instruments, but it's very good at creating artificial sounds that are constantly in motion.

Other synthesis methods include granular synthesis, physical modeling synthesis, and phase distortion synthesis.Typically this is a sawtooth, triangle, or square wave.The idea here is that the sound you're looking for is hiding somewhere in all those harmonics.These two oscillators are called the modulator and the carrier.Some really interesting sounds can be created with this synthesis method that would be difficult to achieve with subtractive synthesis.Next week, we’ll look at the process of achieving a sound through additive synthesis.There are several different methods for synthesizing a sound.A filter is a good example of the same; we use a filter to shape the sounds brightness to start with.Turning the filter knob counter clockwise reduces the overall brightness of the signal.A longer attack would mean that the filter takes that much longer to act on the raw signal.The amplification envelope shapes the onset and the fade out of the volume of the signal through the common ADSR envelopes, which we discussed in our previous properties of sound articles.

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