May 21, 2011

The Perfect Monosynth...

by Chris Randall

While it's generally accepted as a truism that either the Korg MS20 or the Moog MiniMoog is the perfect monosynth, in this modern world we live in, both are horribly behind the times.

The reason I bring this up is that a side project I'm working on in my spare time involves creating a monosynth. The platform is fairly limited, so I can't put in every feature under the sun. As such, I have to limit it to about the same number of features as a MiniMoog, give or take a few. I've used the Source as the starting point of my topology, so two multi-wave oscillators plus a noise source through a LPF. Envelopes for LPF and Amp, and a single LFO.

What would you add to/remove from this topology to make it t3h awesome?


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May.21.2011 @ 3:29 PM
Monosynth by committee = modular synth

One of my filters (MOTM 440, their version of an SSM2040 filter) has a bass boost that happens when you increase resonance. That's a really cool feature. It's switchable but I always leave it on. Either that, or a hipass so you can make squeaky thin stuff.

Oh, and overdrive. And, and... (see what I mean?)

May.21.2011 @ 3:46 PM
Chris Randall
There's no such thing as design-by-committee in my world. I'm open to suggestions, but as I'm the one doing it...


May.21.2011 @ 3:55 PM
A 3rd oscillator, if you can swing it.

Sub-oscillators are cheap, in the analog world (not cheap digitally).

Filter FM is always nice, and is cheap in analog - a dedicated pot. Otherwise, a good nonlinear filter topology like the ms20 will cover much of the same ground.

May.21.2011 @ 4:51 PM
just so i'm clear on this.. you're building a monosynth from scratch? hardware? or is this software project in max/msp?

FM, cross modulation, ringmod.. flexible modulation routings... audio rate modulation of the filter can be cool. adds a nice bite

a hold stage on the envelope can be useful too. looping envelope? modulate the modulators?

May.21.2011 @ 5:05 PM
Jason Duerr
Is this hardware of software? (wrote this before I looked at boobs, which I am totally with)

May.21.2011 @ 5:17 PM
Chris Randall
It is software, not hardware, but the device it runs on is quite limited, CPU-wise, so I can't just put anything in that pleases my fancy. It's not a plug-in.


May.21.2011 @ 5:21 PM
No blue LEDs. Other than that, I'm with boobs.

May.21.2011 @ 5:23 PM
Oh software. Hmm. 8-bit video random pattern generator output (ala Atari Video Music) synced to the LFO?

May.21.2011 @ 5:45 PM
OK, digital:

Do you have enough memory for an ensemble-type chorus?

Also, Antti with the Finnish last name has a digital version of the MS20 filter in his MS thesis. Might be useful.

May.21.2011 @ 6:17 PM

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