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 @ 6:53 PM
Chris Randall
How important is an arpeggiator on a synth that has no keyboard, honestly? Every DAW has one, and it adds an order of magnitude, complexity-wise. I'm just not a fan, I guess.


May.21.2011 @ 7:41 PM
12db hi pass filter. osc synchronisation. s+h.


May.21.2011 @ 7:45 PM
Computer Controlled
I agree with FM/X-Mod. Either a 3rd Osc for this, or a 2nd LFO that is able to reach well into the audio range. 3rd EG for modulation duty. Maybe a dedicated LFO for PWM. Portamento (if not already added), auto bend? That is kinda fun on my SH-1. Maybe the 3rd EG could be a simple A/D type. (pun fully intended)

And make it look like the Pro-One =o]

May.21.2011 @ 7:45 PM
Computer Controlled
Yes, Sync as well. Forgot aboot that one.

May.21.2011 @ 7:55 PM
Who said a DAW was necessarily involved? I figured this was for people jamming on an ipad or something. By the same token, I'd point out that if someone is using a DAW, then why bother with this hypothetical softsynth that runs on such a low cpu device in the first place? Of course, I don't subscribe to that viewpoint. Just sayin'.

Whatever. Fuck the arpeggiator, then. Carry on...

May.21.2011 @ 8:20 PM
PWM is a must . Hard sync . Multi filter flavors would be great : sem , korg 35 , wasp lp . Detune in cents , maybe a sub osc too .

May.21.2011 @ 8:21 PM
It's an iOS app ?

May.21.2011 @ 9:20 PM
I'd imagine that it's a Linux synth made for the link []

May.21.2011 @ 9:38 PM
It really depends on the quality of the sound and the intent of the synth.

The topology you describe is fine if the intent of the synth is basic 2 osc synth stuff AND if the sound is GREAT.

Simplest improvement is addition of digital waveshapes to the oscs. Maybe allow the user to draw single-cycle waves.

If the osc/filters aren't sounding AWESOME, you could improve the topology by some combination of
- Adding a 2nd LFO
- Adding multiple modulation routings (osc to osc, LFO to everything, etc.)
- Multiple waves for the LFO(s)
- As many filter variations as you can fit in (HPF, bandpass, vocal, comb, etc.)

May.21.2011 @ 10:19 PM
Another vote for sync on the good 'ol oscillators

But really it should feel very snappy and somehow 'playable' that's how good monosynths getz downz

So I suppose have a good modulation matrix on how things go around with lots of flexible options (and some nifty subtle slightly random stuff going on under the hood)

In software-land like a cross between Minimonsta & Poly Kb with less annoying interfaces (loose the wood) but with same tweak & freak factor.

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