Tag Archives: tutorial

An Additive Synthesis Tutorial

Ableton Operator might be a predominantly FM instrument but it’s ideal for getting to grips with additive synthesis, too

Getting to grips with additive synthesis at its most basic level is straightforward and, because quite a few synths have additive capabilities, you don’t even need a dedicated additive-based instrument to get started.

We’re going to use Ableton Live’s Operator, which, while essentially a frequency modulation synth, also boasts a useful additive waveform editor, handy for making waveforms from scratch and editing the synth’s library of included waveform shapes.

Operator’s implementation of additive synthesis is quite straightforward and doesn’t allow for modulation of partial levels in real time, but it’s adequate for demonstrating the fundamentals of the technique. Building up harmonically complex waveforms is easy with the Oscillator editor page, and these can be used to create rich, evolving sounds when modulated by another of the synth’s operators. In fact, modulate one additive waveform with another and you can create filth to rival the likes of FM8!

For more on additive synthesis, pick up Future Music 292, which is on sale now.

Step 1: Operator is Ableton’s bread and butter FM synth, but unlike traditional FM synths, it has the ability to create and customise waveforms with additive synthesis. Load the synth up on a MIDI track and click the Oscillator button at the bottom of the envelope display.

Step 2: In default mode, this displays all of the oscillator’s 64 available bands. Currently, the oscillator is set to a sine shape, so only the first band is active. The additive display is pretty small, so click the 16 button at the right of the display to zoom in on the first 16 bands.

Step 3: Let’s edit the oscillator’s waveform by adding some energy to the third harmonic. Play a note and drag the third column about three-quarters of the way up. You’ll see the visual representation of the waveform at the bottom right change slightly, and hear the sound become more organ-like.

Step 4: Continue adding odd-numbered harmonics that get quieter. Our waveform begins to sound and look more like a square wave with each one we add. This is additive in a nutshell! With some synths, it’s possible to vary the levels of these harmonics over time but in Operator they’re static.

Step 5: By combining Operator’s additive synthesis and FM capabilities, we can create some useful sounds. Click User under the Wave parameter and select Saw 64 from this list. This gives us a 64-band sawtooth wave. Noise up the waveform by increasing the volume of some arbitrary bands.

Step 6: Click operator B, set it to 0dB, and adjust its Attack time to 1.38 seconds. This causes operator B to frequency modulate the sawtooth, with the complexity of harmonics increasing as its amplitude level increases during the attack stage. This gives us a filthy sweep, ideal for a grungy bass sound.

via http://www.musicradar.com/tuition/tech/how-to-learn-the-basics-of-additive-synthesis-621090

Amazing guitar learning app! Slow down riffs, remove vocals, print tabs, really learn how to play!

RiffMasterProoThere’s a lot of guitar learning apps out there, but I wouldn’t give the Demonic Sweaters seal of approval to many of them. However, RiffMaster Pro is one that really offers a TON of features, and I really do think this would help just about anyone learn how to play guitar!

It has so many features it’s pretty insane. You can slow down any piece of music WITHOUT changing the pitch. This way you can learn the part note by note easily. You can loop any section of the song over and over. You can zoom in and view the detailed waveform of any song. This allows you to pinpoint the exact section you want to work on, slow it down, loop it and practice. You can transcribe tabs of any music. It also allows you to remove the vocal track from existing songs! That’s pretty amazing, you can take out the vocal to hear what’s going on behind it!

You can download the trial for free and it will work on Mac, PC as well as iOS!

They also give you some really useful stuff in addition to the software like chord books, blank tab, chord and music sheets for printing, advice on how to buy a guitar online, free jam mp3s (music you can play along with) Really all and all this is a great package and they’ve done an amazing job putting all this together.

If you’re wanting to get started learning guitar, or getting better now, check this out!


This do-it-yourself dude made some electronic drums out of 5 gallon buckets and the result is actually pretty damn nice!



Youtuber mikejl47 made this insanely awesome electronic drum kit out of 5 gallon buckets. This is by far one of the nicest DIY e-drum sets I’ve seen. Check the video above to see it in action and his webpage for full instructions!

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