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PSL 027


If you purchased a digital copy of this album you can now download the digital booklet containing the liner notes.


This album is dedicated to the field of audio synthesis.

A variety of techniques are used in audio synthesis to produce sounds which are useful in a musical context. Types of synthesis include subtractive synthesis, additive synthesis, FM synthesis and wavetable synthesis. Although early types of synthesis like subtractive synthesis were performed using analog circuitry all forms of synthesis can now be simulated with modern digital computer hardware.

The attack phase of the envelope is the time the signal takes to rise from zero to the maximum value.
The decay phase of the envelope is the time the signal takes to drop from the maximum value to the sustain value.
The sustain level is the level the signal drops to after the decay phase of the envelope.
The release phase of the envelope is the time the signal takes to drop to zero after the key is released.
The waveform is the shape of the signal generated by the oscillator or the sample player. It gives the initial timbre of the sound.
Pulse Width Modulation
Pulse width modulation is a type of synthesis where the width of the waveform is modulated by another signal.
Distortion modifies the sound waveform by a non-linear transformation, resulting in a sound having more complex harmonics.
Ring Modulation
In ring modulation two waveforms are multiplied together producing a more complex waveform. It is called ring modulation because the analog circuit equivalent is comprised of diodes arranged in a ring.
In oscillator sync one oscillator (slave) is set to restart its cycle each time the master oscillator starts its cycle. This produces a particular type of sound, rich with harmonics, harsh but musical.
A filter removes a range of frequencies from a sound waveform. Typical types of filters used are low-pass, high-pass, band-pass and notch filters. Typically the filter frequency is modulated over time by an envelope to alter the timbre of a sound over time.
In compression the dynamic range of a sound is reduced by reducing the ratio between the loudest and softest parts of the waveform.
Reverb places a sound in an acoustical space where the sound persists after it is produced. This is typically achieved by synthesizing a series of delays representing the sound reflected off of various surfaces in the space.
An echo repeats a sound periodically after it is produced with each repeat somewhat softer than the previous. This represents a sound bouncing off of a single surface at a particular distance which determines the delay time.
The fast Fourier transform (or FFT) is used in music to represent and manipulate a sound in the frequency domain rather than in the time domain. The discrete fast Fourier transform allows this transformation to be calculated by computer very efficiently so that the sound can be manipulated in real time.
In analog subtractive synthesis the basis for a sound is one or more oscillators combined together. Each oscillator produces a specific waveform which can be a sine wave, sawtooth, or square wave for example.

Free Music

You can download the track Decay from the album Synthesis for free.


You can listen to tracks from Synthesis in various stages of production on SoundCloud (below).

If you don't see the player above, you can listen directly on SoundCloud.



This album was released on October 15th, 2014, and is available for purchase and immediate download from the following outlets:

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All music composed, performed and produced by Paul Rolan Perkes
© 2014 ASCAP Paul Rolan Perkes

WARNING: all rights reserved. Unauthorized copying, reproduction, hiring,
lending, public performance and broadcasting prohibited

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Attack, Decay, Sustain, Release, Waveform, Pulse Width Modulation, Distortion, Ring Modulation, Sync, Filter, Compression, Reverb, Echo, FFT, Oscillator

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