Synthesizer

Sound Production and Manipulation [SPM]  >  Electroacoustic Instruments  ]

Any grouping of electronic equipment intended for sound synthesis. Such equipment usually incorporates a combination of oscillators, filters, mixers, envelope generators, white noise generators, switches, reverberation units, etc. The term is now generally applied to digital sound synthesizers as well as their analogue antecedents.

All analogue synthesizers use the principle of voltage control to determine the values of the various sound parameters. Sequences of control voltages may be produced by a keyboard or by a sequencer where the voltages are pre-set and then generated in a fixed sequence. The abbreviations VCO, VCA and VCF are used to describe voltage-controlled oscillators, amplifiers and filters, respectively.

Digital synthesizers utilise techniques of digital sound synthesis, ranging from those which implement specific synthesis algorithms, to those (called samplers) based on reproducing digitally sampled sounds, to those which are programmable and therefore can implement a variety of digital signal processing (DSP) techniques. Increasingly, however, stand-alone hardware digital synthesizers (other than keyboards and the like) are being replaced by systems implemented in software on general-purpose computers. (Source: Barry Truax - Handbook for Acoustic Ecology CD-ROM Edition. Cambridge Street Publishing, 1999 - CSR-CDR 9901)

 

Links:

UNESCO DigiArts

- Introduction à l’histoire et à l’esthétique des musiques électroacoustiques: Session 3 - Du sonore à l’artistique: le timbre musical reconsidéré ( French )

 

Bibliography:

English - Español - Français - Deutch - Italiano

Alphabetical order - Chronological order

Battier, Marc (2002a). De la phonographie à la lutherie numérique. L’épiphanie du son artificiel
Bossis, Bruno, Couprie, Pierre (2003). Tutoriaux de logiciels musicaux
Chion, Michel (1994). Musique, Médias et Technologies
Dury, Rémi, Faber, Francis (2001). Musique électroacoustique, musique assistée par ordinateur et jeu instrumental : vers de nouveaux instruments pédagogiques
Georgaki, Anastasía (1999a). À la recherche de la voix-Protée : penser la voix de synthèse aujourd’hui
Laliberté, Martin (2004). Aux origines des “nouvelles technologies musicales” : virtuosités et archétypes
Machover, Tod, Giugno, Giuseppe di (1985). Entretien avec Giuseppe di Giugno
Merlier, Bertrand (2003). La main, le geste instrumental et la pensée créative. CG3D, contrôleur gestuel tridimensionnel
Risset, Jean-Claude (1999c). Évolution des outils de création sonore
Vaggione, Horacio (1982). Le courant et le maintenu

 

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