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I need some hard stuff explained.

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PotensVeneficus
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I need some hard stuff explained. Jan. 24th, 2013 @ 09:34 PM Reply

Basically I just got some DSK VSTs, and I really like some of the default stuff they've added. However, I'd like to start making my own sound/wavelength thingy (it would be nice if I would know what to call that). I tried, and the majority of the little knobs and whatnot on the GUI made me more frustrated than an ant with no legs. I've worked out what "saw, sine, and square" waves are, along with other waves. But I have no idea what stuff like "notch filters" are. I'm also scratching my head over what the pan and LFO knobs are for. And I also have no idea what the ENV/FLO section is even for. I know this is a long, arduous, and noobish question. But I really want answers. And if you have any idea how to figure things such as these out on my own, that would be appreciated as well. Thanks in advance to anyone that helps.


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The-iMortal
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Response to I need some hard stuff explained. Jan. 24th, 2013 @ 09:48 PM Reply

At 1/24/13 09:34 PM, PotensVeneficus wrote: And if you have any idea how to figure things such as these out on my own, that would be appreciated as well. Thanks in advance to anyone that helps.

Filters are basically EQ settings. Do you know how parametric equalizers work? If so, you can just Google Images "notch filter" and you'll see a graph of how it works.

LFO = Low Frequency Oscillation. LFOs basically are like automatic automation of parameters/knobs inside a synth. They can be assigned and set to operate at different intensity, speed etc.

ENV = Envelope. Sort of similar to LFOs except an LFO loops. An envelope has a start and a finish. It does repeat unless a new note is played (unless a setting in the synth is set to otherwise).

Pan is pretty simple. Left and right.

The-iMortal
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Response to I need some hard stuff explained. Jan. 24th, 2013 @ 09:49 PM Reply

At 1/24/13 09:48 PM, The-iMortal wrote: It does repeat unless a new note is played (unless a setting in the synth is set to otherwise).

It does not repeat*

midimachine
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Response to I need some hard stuff explained. Jan. 24th, 2013 @ 09:51 PM Reply

At 1/24/13 09:34 PM, PotensVeneficus wrote: But I have no idea what stuff like "notch filters" are.

just another name for a band reject filter, afaik
and "band reject" means it filters out the frequencies around the "cutoff" value, the "resonance" or "Q" value dictates how wide a range of frequencies are rejected.

I'm also scratching my head over what the pan and LFO knobs are for.

pan is for moving sounds between the right and left speaker
LFO means "low frequency oscillator" and is basically used for automatically changing the value of something (i.e. the wub wub sound)

And I also have no idea what the ENV/FLO section is even for

ENV is the sound "envelope", which is basically the shape of a sound's volume
like, whether it fades in slow or hits hard, or if it rings when a note is released or if it cuts off right away. that sort of thing


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Response to I need some hard stuff explained. Jan. 24th, 2013 @ 09:52 PM Reply

At 1/24/13 09:48 PM, The-iMortal wrote: ENV = Envelope. Sort of similar to LFOs except an LFO loops. An envelope has a start and a finish. It does repeat unless a new note is played (unless a setting in the synth is set to otherwise).

i'd hesitate to compare envelopes to LFOs
they have very different functions and are not mutually exclusive


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The-iMortal
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Response to I need some hard stuff explained. Jan. 24th, 2013 @ 09:55 PM Reply

At 1/24/13 09:52 PM, midimachine wrote: i'd hesitate to compare envelopes to LFOs
they have very different functions and are not mutually exclusive

Meh, I'm just going by what I learned with Massive.

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Response to I need some hard stuff explained. Jan. 24th, 2013 @ 10:19 PM Reply

At 1/24/13 09:34 PM, PotensVeneficus wrote: Basically I just got some DSK VSTs, and I really like some of the default stuff they've added. However, I'd like to start making my own sound/wavelength thingy (it would be nice if I would know what to call that). I tried, and the majority of the little knobs and whatnot on the GUI made me more frustrated than an ant with no legs. I've worked out what "saw, sine, and square" waves are, along with other waves. But I have no idea what stuff like "notch filters" are. I'm also scratching my head over what the pan and LFO knobs are for. And I also have no idea what the ENV/FLO section is even for. I know this is a long, arduous, and noobish question. But I really want answers. And if you have any idea how to figure things such as these out on my own, that would be appreciated as well. Thanks in advance to anyone that helps.

Community input is very helpful in situations like this. I'll try to break it down. Some of the difinitions I knew by heart, some I had to look up. I tried to make it as easy as possible to understand. Some of the provided information requires a little knowledge of other related systems.

Pan:
This little setting is adjusting which side of your audio output (speakers, for example) has the majority of the volume.
So, when you play with the pan you're choosing between L or R (left or right). Imagine the pan knob as a clock. The 12 o'clock position is neutral, so the sound goes to both left and right speakers. If you turned it counter clockwise to the 9 o'clock position, you are telling the sound to only play on the LEFT speaker. If you turn it clockwise to the 3 o'clock position, you are telling the sound to only play in the RIGHT speaker.

LFO:
This stands for "Low-frequency oscillation". This is harder to explain. You have to hear it to really connect the dots, but the technical side of modifier states that this is just a "signal" that stays below 20Hz. Wikipedia describes it as a "rythmic pulse or sweep" (source)

Notch Filter:
k.ext.ti describes notch filters as "a filter that passes all frequencies except those in a stop band centered on a center frequency ". This is one of the many knobs that filter out specific frequencies. Some that come to mind would be such as low-pass, high-pass, band pass, etc. An easier way to get a grasp of what each knob changes is to actually play with it while you have a sound playing. The three previously mentioned filters could be considered "low" filter, "high" filter, and "middle" filter, respectively.

Saw, sine, square:
When it comes to these particular sound changers, it helps to be familiar with some geometry. These same terms are used in math often to describe the state of a wave, much like on a graph or chart. Here is wisegeek's definition of a simple sine wave

"in its simplest form, is one which has a fixed frequency and wavelength and is very reminiscent of the pictures most people have seen of waves with no sharp angles. " Imagine a sound that has round edges and gently bounces from one end of the sound to the other, without strange disruptions. I imagine this as "smooth sailing" if you could see it that way.

Wisegeek also defines a Sawtooth (saw) : "Instead of having those gently sloping peaks and valleys, the ramps drop or begin sharply, becoming similar to the teeth of a saw." Imagine that sound now having sharp, defined edges.

Really, I suppose the gist is : the sound will be like the picture. You can adjust waves in many ways, such as knobs to turn or points to click. The way you draw the wave "defines" the wave, and iltimately the way you will make it sound.

The square, much like the saw and sine define the shape of the wave. Imagine the line or wave looking like a pattern of squares on a line. One square is above the line, the other beneath it.

To sum it up, I would define Saw and square as modifiers to the shape of the sine. They control how much "buzz", "hum", or "sharp" tone you get from a sound.

Envelope
More mathematics and applied sciences here. Encyclopedia Britannica describes Envelope as " [...]the attack, sustain, and decay of a sound. Attack transients consist of changes occurring before the sound reaches its steady-state intensity. Sustain refers to the steady state of a sound at its maximum intensity, and decay is the rate at which it fades to silence. "

Note:
I hope this was a decent primer for you. I suppose if the technical definitions are too overwhelming to grasp at the moment, all you need to know is that each knob has the specific function of changing the sound in some way. Usually each knob has one function, and each function isn't usually duplicated in that instance. If you use a VST that allows you to adjust, say, attack or the sound it's making, it shouldn't have more that one knob to do that. Hopefully some other members can chime in and help better define what I have here. hope it helps!


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midimachine
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Response to I need some hard stuff explained. Jan. 24th, 2013 @ 11:22 PM Reply

At 1/24/13 09:55 PM, The-iMortal wrote:
At 1/24/13 09:52 PM, midimachine wrote: i'd hesitate to compare envelopes to LFOs
they have very different functions and are not mutually exclusive
Meh, I'm just going by what I learned with Massive.

all g, if it helps him to understand it better there's no real problem with it!
i'm just being pedantic n all that


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Step
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Response to I need some hard stuff explained. Jan. 25th, 2013 @ 12:41 AM Reply

What you're trying to do is synthesis. If you have Sytrus, try out this guide. I used to use that back in 2009 when I had just started using FL and it helped me immensely. It doesn't only teach you how to use Sytrus, but it'll also teach you some basic stuff you need to know about synthesis along the way.


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SonicJ
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Response to I need some hard stuff explained. Jan. 25th, 2013 @ 08:10 AM Reply

At 1/25/13 12:41 AM, Step wrote: What you're trying to do is synthesis. If you have Sytrus, try out this guide. I used to use that back in 2009 when I had just started using FL and it helped me immensely. It doesn't only teach you how to use Sytrus, but it'll also teach you some basic stuff you need to know about synthesis along the way.

Excellent find! Thanks for sharing!


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PotensVeneficus
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Response to I need some hard stuff explained. Jan. 25th, 2013 @ 10:16 PM Reply

At 1/25/13 12:41 AM, Step wrote: What you're trying to do is synthesis. If you have Sytrus, try out this guide. I used to use that back in 2009 when I had just started using FL and it helped me immensely.

You just made things a whole heck of a lot easier. Thanks.


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