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 Forum index » Instruments and Equipment » Nord Lead and Nord Wave synths
Creating sound on the NordLead: tips and tricks
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fischek



Joined: May 07, 2007
Posts: 81
Location: Belgrade

PostPosted: Fri Oct 10, 2008 11:24 pm    Post subject:  Creating sound on the NordLead: tips and tricks
Subject description: Updated 14-05-2010
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For the update, see http://nm-archives.electro-music.com/020_NordLead2/Red_Lady/

It's still an un-edited text, so any comments are welcome.
Click the name!

[Wout]


hey Wout,

As we've discussed in the previous thread, this one is for some tips and tricks in sound creation you would be willing to share with us Smile Thanks!
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Wout Blommers



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PostPosted: Sat Oct 11, 2008 2:26 am    Post subject: Talking about the red lady 1
Subject description: Intrada
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As fischek wrote this thread is created special to the NordLead, NordLead2 and NordLead2X family, both in key and in Rack version. Some side steps could be taken towards the NordLead3 and the NordModular Classic and G2, if needed to explain.

Everybody is invited to chime in and write about things which come up in this thread, like how to use and play this synthesizer. Every opinion, critic, question and other kinds of contribution to the topic is welcome, allowed between the legally drawn lines, specially concerning copyrights. Text and audio examples are still the copyright of the rightful owner who shared the information with this community.

The forum is the normal place to ask question and discuss about the normal topics.

Here are some things to discuss about:

interesting ways to play,
strange things, like poly sounds in Mono mode Shocked,
how to create blibs-and-blobs,
FM (8 operator synth) and RingModulator,
the SecretFilter,
the Arpeggiator (like BPM),
what is the use of those extreme LFO values?,
analyzing Programs and Performances,
Percussion mode (also using the Arpeggiator in there),
the sound changing when using the SemiTones knob,
Sync,
syncing to an extern MidiClock (what is possible and what not?),
KeyBoardTracking Osc2,
and what else which is able to be shifted underneath the front door...

Wout

Last edited by Wout Blommers on Mon Oct 20, 2008 10:55 pm; edited 2 times in total
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Wout Blommers



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PostPosted: Sat Oct 11, 2008 2:31 am    Post subject: Talking about the red lady 2
Subject description: How to exchange files
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Talking about the NordLead is talking about a Classic. Released in the beginning of 1995 as NordRack the NordLead2X is in concept over 14 years old and in 2008 still in production, which is rather a long time. Some features are dated and seems rather odd, like using a sequencer as a tool to store Patches in SysEx format on a computer. The reason why to design it this way is obvious: most musicians using the computer were already using a software sequencer and creating a special designed computer tool would be a hassle because of all the different computer platforms used in those days: in 1995 the Atari was still very popular Smile

To optimize the exchange of SysEx data I like to describe two different ways:
1 using a software sequencer and
2 using Lars Borndahl's NordGen, which has also a nice graphic interface, because... Let face it! One of the most annoying things of the NordLead when studying its parameters the Panel knobs won't reveal anything! See attachment...

Download able at
http://nm-archives.electro-music.com/020_NordLead2/023_Miscellaneous/NordGenerator_Editor/

Wout


NordGen.jpg
 Description:
How NordGen looks...
 Filesize:  134.98 KB
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NordGen.jpg



Last edited by Wout Blommers on Tue Dec 16, 2008 11:21 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Wout Blommers



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PostPosted: Sat Oct 11, 2008 2:35 am    Post subject: Talking about the red lady 3
Subject description: Sequencer program as uploading and downloading tool
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In most of my project I still use CuBase V1.10 Smile
After checking all the Midi cables and if the program reacts to any action send from the synth, I create a small track in which the SysEx data will be recorded. In CuBase there is a Midi Filter, in which SysEx is enabled by default, so this filtering has to be disabled when it will be used sending the data to the synth (or controlling if any data is recorded).
After starting the recording I press [Shift+Dump One] on the NordLead and 'Export' the file to a special folder, so it can be used in any Midi tool, like Logic, AbletonLive and NordGen, the later only accepting single Programs, no Performances.

Uploading using a sequencer is the other way around. 'Import' the Midi file and play it. When using single Programs or single Performances the file will be uploaded in the synths 'buffer' memory. When using a Bank it will replace the internal Bank in the synth, so make a BackUp first! This is done By recording [Shift+Dump All]. In the NordLead and NordLead2 this results in only recording the first 40 locations of the RAM. When [Shift+Velocity] is used the synth will dump all data from that particular card. In the NordLead2X things are organized different. I strongly advise not to try to find out, because I've lost my 40 RAM files many times, so I don't know the effect on the 2X!!! Shocked

These Midi files can be attached in any post on this forum.

Wout


CuBaseExport.jpg
 Description:
Export in CuBase V1.10
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CuBaseExport.jpg


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Wout Blommers



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PostPosted: Sat Oct 11, 2008 2:39 am    Post subject: Talking about the red lady 4
Subject description: NordGenerator as uploading and downloading tool
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This shareware tool is only Windows based. Its best feature is the graphic interface: all the knobs are there. Pointing with the curser arrow on a knob reveals its value in the red figure in the down left corner. To copy this value (BTW Sending the whole Patch is easier Smile to the synth press [Shift+LFO1-Waveform] and turning the real knob shows the value in the LCD screen. But to see all parameter settings is a good thing of its own!

When receiving (NordGen SysEx has to be set to 'receive') a Program the Patch counter will rise to 2. It means there are two Programs loaded in the tool at that moment. Every new uploading in NordGen will increase that number. When saving all these Programs will be saved in that one and only file. After some time working this way I ended up creating files over 10 Mb big! And NordGen can't send Banks, only single Programs, BTW no Performances either: you'll have to use another way, like the sequencer method.
To avoid this strange behavior it's best to 'Explode' the 'Bank' in the folder in which NordGen is located (I always copy&paste the tool in the folder in the first place) The result of this explosion contains two files, one named nord0.ngf and the other one called nord1.ngf. The later one is the file you wanted to save, so delete nord0.ngf and rename the remaining file as you like. (I rename the suffix also from *.ngf into *.syx, because other Midi tools, like SendSysEx won't recognize *.ngf, which stands for NordGeneratorFile, of course)


NordGenExplode.jpg
 Description:
How Explode look like...
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NordGenExplode.jpg



Last edited by Wout Blommers on Sat Oct 11, 2008 1:19 pm; edited 2 times in total
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fischek



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PostPosted: Sat Oct 11, 2008 3:07 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Thanks for the information...I am looking forward to reading more about the things you've mentioned.

I guess this thread will be useful to people who don't know the synth that well, but can't read about it anywhere else...there are all sort of tutorials about subtractive synthesis, but I wasn't able to find one which talks about the Nord Lead specifically.

The best way to learn is to read and use the device. Thanks again!
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Wout Blommers



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PostPosted: Sat Oct 11, 2008 11:10 am    Post subject: Talking about the red lady 5
Subject description: Frequency Modulation 1
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For the first object to discuss I like to choose Frequency Modulation. When the synth was introduced in 1995 most critics were surprized it featured Frequency Modulation, which was almost impossible on an analogue synthesizer and very well and easily implemented in a digital one. In the FM set up of the NordLead Oscillator 2 is modulating Oscillator 1. In FM speak Osc1 is called Carrier and Osc2 Modulator. A significant difference between the Yamaha DX7 set up is the ability to use the Modulator also in the final sound by using the OscMix. To make it a 'pure' FM the Mix has to be set totally anti-clock wise, to Osc1.

There are several controllers dedicated to the FM sound. First of all there is the FM knob, which produces a constant amount of the FM, so the sound will not start at a 0 FM level. The same can be done by setting the ModulationWheel to FM (Can be very useful when also applying RingModulator in which setting the FM knob is used to tune the RingModulator).
When set to FM the ModEnv is able to create a dynamic FM amount control to the output of osc2. This can be done positive or negative (horizontal mirrored) The output of the Carrier can be dynamically controlled by the AmpEnv, of course.
Also LFO1 can do something with the FM. In the first place it can control the Amount of which Osc2 is modulating Osc1, but it can also control the frequency of Osc2, which results in a different sounds. In my opinion this kind of modulation must be used with care. At the other hand a slow Pulse can be tuned so a rhythmic effect can added to the sound. (A favorite of mine Smile

Another thing which is not available on most FM synths is the Filter. I use it mostly to trim down the typical digital side effects (noises) in the sound. The only parameter I still haven't found yet any use is the Resonance.

In my experiences I can't detect any difference between the FM and the RingModulator. Using the tuning feature of the FM Amount knob it surely works, but when I toggle between RingModulator and no RingModulator, I hear no differences between the two sounds, although Sync makes it a little hard for concentrating hearing.

In this simple form the two Operators (Osc1 and 2) can use all the wave forms available, although synced waves will sometimes give real surprizes in FM Smile

Wout


2701FM-init.syx
 Description:
A 'init' Program to set up FM

Download
 Filename:  2701FM-init.syx
 Filesize:  139 Bytes
 Downloaded:  208 Time(s)


Last edited by Wout Blommers on Sat Oct 11, 2008 12:47 pm; edited 3 times in total
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PostPosted: Sat Oct 11, 2008 11:15 am    Post subject: Talking about the red lady 6
Subject description: Frequency Modulation 2
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Here are some audio and illustrations examples how the FM is made on the NordLead, in a way as John Chowning heard and saw it for the first time. The first audio (*.wav no mp3) is a little bit of FM Amount and Osc2, set to Kbd disabled, is turned slowly up.

Wout


Amount-SemiTone_example_01.wav
 Description:
Audio example 1

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 Filename:  Amount-SemiTone_example_01.wav
 Filesize:  3.34 MB
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PostPosted: Sat Oct 11, 2008 11:19 am    Post subject: Talking about the red lady 7
Subject description: Frequency Modulation 3
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This second example has much more FM Amount.

Wout


Amount-SemiTone_example_02.wav
 Description:
Sound example 2

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 Filename:  Amount-SemiTone_example_02.wav
 Filesize:  3.85 MB
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Wout Blommers



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PostPosted: Sat Oct 11, 2008 11:24 am    Post subject: Talking about the red lady 8
Subject description: Frequency Modulation 4
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The third and last example. These were attached as *.wav, because a lot of distortion turned up using mp3.

Wout


Amount-SemiTone_example_03.wav
 Description:
Audio example 3

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 Filename:  Amount-SemiTone_example_03.wav
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PostPosted: Sat Oct 11, 2008 11:29 am    Post subject: Talking about the red lady 9
Subject description: Frequency Mordulation 5
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For those interested in some visualization, here are some pics of what is going on.

Wout


Sonogram01.jpg
 Description:
Sonogram of the second example... Looks like New York at sea :)
 Filesize:  21.6 KB
 Viewed:  17457 Time(s)

Sonogram01.jpg



View_Last_AudioFile.jpg
 Description:
Scope and Spectrum analyse of the third example at four fixed points
 Filesize:  199.13 KB
 Viewed:  246 Time(s)
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View_Last_AudioFile.jpg



Last edited by Wout Blommers on Sun Oct 12, 2008 4:10 am; edited 1 time in total
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PostPosted: Sat Oct 11, 2008 11:34 am    Post subject: Talking about the red lady 10
Subject description: Frequency Modulation 6
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In the opening of this thread I suggested the NordLead is capable of performing as an 8 Operator FM synth. Knowing there are 2 Operators in each Program and there are 4 Slots, which means it looks like Yamaha's Algorithm 5 or 6 with an extra Modulator-Carrier and the ability to add the Modulator as a normal Oscillator. It looks like this...

Wout


FM_Algorithm_NordLead2.jpg
 Description:
Algorithm drawning of FM on the NordLead
 Filesize:  44.02 KB
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FM_Algorithm_NordLead2.jpg



2705INIT.MID
 Description:
This Midi file loads the Init Patch in all 4 Slots of a Performance

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 Filename:  2705INIT.MID
 Filesize:  772 Bytes
 Downloaded:  229 Time(s)

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Wout Blommers



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PostPosted: Sat Oct 11, 2008 12:35 pm    Post subject: Talking about the red lady 11
Subject description: Frequency Modulation 7
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The next FM Performance is based on the infamous Carillon Sound of the Yamaha DX7 series. The extra modules are set as a RingModulator to produce more harmonics.

Wout


Sonogram02.jpg
 Description:
And the sonogram looks a carillon for sure... At least the birds who were frightened by it...
 Filesize:  25.56 KB
 Viewed:  17447 Time(s)

Sonogram02.jpg



FMCARLLN.MID
 Description:
Performance Midi file

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 Filename:  FMCARLLN.MID
 Filesize:  772 Bytes
 Downloaded:  236 Time(s)


FMCarlln.wav
 Description:
Audio file

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 Filename:  FMCarlln.wav
 Filesize:  1.4 MB
 Downloaded:  449 Time(s)


Last edited by Wout Blommers on Sun Oct 12, 2008 4:07 am; edited 1 time in total
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PostPosted: Sat Oct 11, 2008 2:36 pm    Post subject: Talking about the red lady 12
Subject description: Frequency Modulation 8
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In 2708FMRhythm Patch LFO2 produces a downwards Arpeggio in a Rate value of 56, which is 120 BPM. To set this value one has to press [Shift+LFO1-Wave] and moving a parameter is shown in the LCD screen. A list of settings and the BPM is given a an attachment. The comments about usefulness are mine and therefor for discussion open Smile
This Arpeggio delivers a kind of rhythm or pattern, helped by the Decay of the AmpEnv and FilterEnv. The FM is controlled by the ModWheel.
LFO1 is set to the same Rate as LFO2 and a pulse (full Amount) controls the frequency of Osc2, which is set to the lowest frequency possible with the Kbd disabled.
There is also some Unison (I use mostly the setting 1, just to obtain a stereo effect)

When playing the sound without FM Amount the Arpeggio runs down the hill, but when opening the FM suddenly the Arpeggio feels to go up! Very Happy

Wout


The Extension 'htm' was deactivated by an board admin, therefore this Attachment is not displayed.


2708FMRhythm.syx
 Description:
The SysEx file

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 Filename:  2708FMRhythm.syx
 Filesize:  139 Bytes
 Downloaded:  197 Time(s)


2708FMRhythm03.wav
 Description:
Sorry, uploaded the wrong file earlier

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 Filename:  2708FMRhythm03.wav
 Filesize:  3.03 MB
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Last edited by Wout Blommers on Tue Oct 14, 2008 11:55 am; edited 1 time in total
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Wout Blommers



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PostPosted: Sun Oct 12, 2008 4:05 am    Post subject: Talking about the red lady 13
Subject description: Manuals
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It could be very useful to have the latest Manual...
(later on these will be published in the archive)

Wout


NordLeadV2_XManual.zip
 Description:
The latest version of the NordLead(1)

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 Filename:  NordLeadV2_XManual.zip
 Filesize:  822.43 KB
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NordLead2Book.zip
 Description:
NordLead2

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 Filename:  NordLead2Book.zip
 Filesize:  1013.57 KB
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NordLead2XV1_0manualEng.zip
 Description:
NordLead2X
(note the confusion with the name of the Manual of the NordLead1)

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 Filename:  NordLead2XV1_0manualEng.zip
 Filesize:  2.62 MB
 Downloaded:  291 Time(s)


nordlead3_1_2xEngPrint.zip
 Description:
The latest version of the NordLead3

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 Filename:  nordlead3_1_2xEngPrint.zip
 Filesize:  7.7 MB
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Wout Blommers



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PostPosted: Sat Oct 18, 2008 3:01 am    Post subject: Talking about the red lady 14-a
Subject description: Frequency Modulation 9-a
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As said in the beginning of this thread I was wondering what is possible using the LFO's other wave forms. Mostly a triangle is used as a sinus like modulation signal, but what could be a musical use of the pulse wave form, specially directed to the Oscillators? In this example Frequency Modulation is used.

I like to use rhythmic modulations as a specific element in the music. At first one would look at the Arpeggiator to create a constant rhythm, but the effect can’t be made it, simple because the Arpeggiator can’t play chords which had also to be played in a rhythmic way: the music has to be jumpy and rich sounding, specially in the chords.

The basic material is a mix between two Pulse waves, Osc2 tuned one octave higher and lesser volume then Osc1. The Filter, FilterEnv and the AmpEnv are set in a fixed setting in all examples given here, a little cheating in the last example, though.

Wout


Ex01_01_Plain.mp3
 Description:
Basic sound

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 Filename:  Ex01_01_Plain.mp3
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Wout Blommers



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PostPosted: Sat Oct 18, 2008 3:06 am    Post subject: Talking about the red lady 14-b
Subject description: Frequency Modulation 9-b
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I added some specialities to this basic.

In the first sound Unison, set in [1] is added, just to give the sound more ‘room’.

Beating is the next addition to the sound. By setting the FineTune out of the middle position the sound is much more ‘moving’ and more ‘lively’. Note the beating is not the same over the keyboard range: the higher the notes are in pitch, the faster the beating will be and, of course, reversed concerning the lower pitched notes.

Wout


Ex01_02_Unison.mp3
 Description:
Unison

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 Filename:  Ex01_02_Unison.mp3
 Filesize:  182.57 KB
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Ex01_03_Beating.mp3
 Description:
Beating

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 Filename:  Ex01_03_Beating.mp3
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Wout Blommers



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PostPosted: Sat Oct 18, 2008 3:12 am    Post subject: Talking about the red lady 14-c
Subject description: Frequency Modulation 9-c
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Next is creating the rhythm into the sound. To make the jumping effect LFO1 is set to the Pulse wave form and directed to the FM. Only Osc1 will has this effect. Besides making the sound wider, the setting of Osc2 has also an effect on the FM of Osc1 (FM-Index). If you’ll load the SysEx into the NordLead you can change the setting of Osc2 and note the changing of the sound. LFO1 Rate is set to [56], which means 120 BPM, see the Rate>BPM list, published here above.

Wout


Ex01_04_FMmod.mp3
 Description:
Frequency Modulation

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 Filename:  Ex01_04_FMmod.mp3
 Filesize:  168.9 KB
 Downloaded:  412 Time(s)


Ex01.syx
 Description:
SysEx

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 Filename:  Ex01.syx
 Filesize:  139 Bytes
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Wout Blommers



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PostPosted: Sat Oct 18, 2008 3:15 am    Post subject: Talking about the red lady 14-d
Subject description: Frequency Modulation 9-d
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Another important modulation is the changing of the Pulse width made by the ModEnv. To make it better audible, the FM modulation is left out in this audio sample.

Wout


Ex01_05_PWmod.mp3
 Description:
Pulse Width Modulation

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 Filename:  Ex01_05_PWmod.mp3
 Filesize:  178.7 KB
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PostPosted: Sat Oct 18, 2008 3:21 am    Post subject: Talking about the red lady 14-e
Subject description: Frequency Modulation 9-e
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All this together results in the following sound...

Wout


Ex01_06_Complete.mp3
 Description:
Total

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 Filename:  Ex01_06_Complete.mp3
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PostPosted: Sat Oct 18, 2008 3:26 am    Post subject: Talking about the red lady 14-f
Subject description: Frequency Modulation 9-f
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Creating this example it showed me the power of FM modulation. The changes are in the timbre of the sound, which is mostly obtained using the filter, so I wondered what a filter could do. Filters are the basic of subtracting synthesis, so something is taken away in opposite of Frequency Modulation, where two wave forms are multiplied, so there is something added to the sound. The next example illustrates my opinion.

The same modulation signal as the one used in the audio files above are here used ti the filter. It surely isn't the same...

Wout


Ex01_07_Filter_Pulse.mp3
 Description:
Filter instead of FM

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 Filename:  Ex01_07_Filter_Pulse.mp3
 Filesize:  168.7 KB
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Audio files: 123
G2 patch files: 12

PostPosted: Sat Oct 18, 2008 3:31 am    Post subject: Talking about the red lady 14-g
Subject description: Frequency Modulation 9-g
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Changing the Pulse wave into a Saw wave form, while adjusting the LFO1 Amount, the Filter Cut Off and the Resonance, makes it more powerfull, only the rhythm almost disapears into the stage where LFO1 almost shuts down the Filter…

Wout


Ex01_08_Filter_Saw.mp3
 Description:
Saw instead of pulse

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 Filename:  Ex01_08_Filter_Saw.mp3
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Wout Blommers



Joined: Sep 07, 2003
Posts: 4511
Location: The Hague - The Netherlands
Audio files: 123
G2 patch files: 12

PostPosted: Sat Oct 18, 2008 3:36 am    Post subject: Talking about the red lady 14-h
Subject description: Frequency Modulation 9-h
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Just a note about using this Patch… The LFO ‘sequence’ (rhythm) starts with the positive value of the Pulse, followed by the negative part, which results in a ‘high’ sounding FM followed by a ‘low’ one. Our mind hears the low part as more important, so this feels as the first beat of the bar. When synchronized to a MidiClock of a sequencer the rhythm sounds like if it is out of time… For the same reason the music fragment starts playing the bass, so the performer as the audience can adjust to the rhythm.

What stays is how the music would sound. All is done using a single NordLead Program. Note the intro melody uses a glide, which doesn’t effect the LFO1 modulation. The ‘lower’ part of the Pulse sounds here being another instrument. The melody part and the glide are silenced using the Morph controlled by the Wheel.

Wout


Ex01_LittleSong.mp3
 Description:
Example of the song...

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 Filename:  Ex01_LittleSong.mp3
 Filesize:  468.7 KB
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Wout Blommers



Joined: Sep 07, 2003
Posts: 4511
Location: The Hague - The Netherlands
Audio files: 123
G2 patch files: 12

PostPosted: Fri Oct 24, 2008 5:42 am    Post subject: Talking about the red lady 15-a
Subject description: Playing a rhythmic pattern using FM and the Keyboard
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Using the pulse wave in LFO1 this produces a a low and a high part in the modulation, set by the LFO1 Amount. When playing the Keyboard the musician can trigger the sound on the exact moment in this two way modulation. In a very simple way a kind of FilterPedal effect is obtained.
To set the desired speed use the BPM list mentioned above.
Note when the Arpeggiator is set to the same value [Shift+LFO1 wave > LCD shows value] LFO1 'sounds' like it's running twice as fast.

The first audio example is trying out some patterns, the second is a part in a song.


Rhythmic01.syx
 Description:
The SysEx file

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 Filename:  Rhythmic01.syx
 Filesize:  139 Bytes
 Downloaded:  180 Time(s)


RhythmicEx.mp3
 Description:
Try Out

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 Filename:  RhythmicEx.mp3
 Filesize:  396.66 KB
 Downloaded:  361 Time(s)


Rhythmic01.mp3
 Description:
Rhythm

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 Filename:  Rhythmic01.mp3
 Filesize:  418.9 KB
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Wout Blommers



Joined: Sep 07, 2003
Posts: 4511
Location: The Hague - The Netherlands
Audio files: 123
G2 patch files: 12

PostPosted: Fri Oct 24, 2008 5:45 am    Post subject: Talking about the red lady 15-b
Subject description: Playing a rhythmic pattern using FM and the Keyboard
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Just an other example...

Surely the sound has to fit the rhythm... Slow attack strings won't work, although Wink

Wout


2205Electro05Key.syx
 Description:
The SysEx file

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 Filename:  2205Electro05Key.syx
 Filesize:  139 Bytes
 Downloaded:  185 Time(s)


2205-2ndVersion.mp3
 Description:
The audio

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 Filename:  2205-2ndVersion.mp3
 Filesize:  235.43 KB
 Downloaded:  393 Time(s)

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