Adding “Analog Warmth” to Your Digital Synth (Reaktor 6 Primary)

Some ideas on how to add some beautiful (analog?) imperfections to your Reaktor synths in Reaktor Primary.

The definition of “analog warmth” is pretty nebulous, but it brings to mind things like tube distortion and tape saturation–imperfections to the “fidelity” of the sound. Digital sound has imperfections too, of course, but these are aesthetically different (though perhaps no less interesting). In this video, though, I talk about some ideas in how to imitate the imperfections of analog in our digital Reaktor 6 synths.

Reaktor 6 Beginner Tutorials here
More Intermediate Reaktor Tutorials here.

Making a “Krell Music” Patch in Pure Data (Generative Sci-Fi Music)

Putting together a music (muzak?) generator in Pd inspired by Todd Barton’s self-generating patch on the Buchla Synthesizer.

In my regular journeys across the internet, I came across the concept of a “Krell Music” patch–a self-generating patch created by Todd Barton, inspired by Bebe and Louis Barron’s soundtrack to the 1956 film “Forbidden Planet.” The Barrons’ soundtrack to the film is amazing, and a bit beyond what I can get into here (see links below). Barton’s Buchla patch tries to capture some of the dynamic timbres of that score.

My oversimplification of the idea is this: a note has an amplitude envelope–attack and release–and when that amplitude envelope ends it triggers the next envelope. At the same time, that trigger selects a new (likely different) attack and decay time, as well as a new pitch and timbre for the next note. So we create a continuous series of musical tones, each distinct from the one before it.

Analog. Audio Multiplication, Ring Modulation, & AM Synthesis (Snazzy FX Dual Multiplier)

I got a Snazzy FX “Dual Multiplier” the other day, and thought it might be a good opportunity to talk about audio multiplication and the difference between AM synthesis and ring modulation.

Both AM synthesis and RM can be accomplished by multiplying a waveform (the “carrier”) by another waveform in the audible range You don’t need an analog multiplier to do this! You can do this in whatever synthesis environment you’re working in–Pd, Max/MSP, Kyma, Reaktor. All you have to do is multiply your signals, being mindful of whether the signals are unipolar (0 to 1) or bipolar (-1 to 1).

More on modulation synthesis: