Synth Pack Details

The Synth Pack is a collection of 6 powerful synthesisers in 'Blocks' format. The synths feature versatile internal modulations and are designed to be integrated with the other packs for expanded modulation and effects combinations. This pack is a great place to start if you want to get some awesome sounds quickly, just connect to the rack outputs.

Included modules:

  • FM Synth
  • Quad Synth
  • Dual Synth
  • Mini Synth
  • Supersaw Synth
  • Multi-Breakpoint Synth

 

FM Synth

A 4-Operator (4 oscillator) FM Synth.

Each of the 4 oscillators features a 'Warp' control that bends the waveform in 8 ways:

  • BEND+ = Bends the waveform to one side.
  • BEND- = Bends the waveform out towards the edges.
  • ASYM (Asymmetry) = Squishes the waveform from the middle to the edge in a linear fashion for 'Pulse Width Modulation' style effects.
  • SYNC = Duplicates the the waveform a number of times, simulating the 'sync' function found on older analogue synthesisers.
  • HYPER = Warps the waveform in an aggressive fashion.
  • FOLD (wave-folding) = The waveform acts like a wave-shaper to transform a sine wave. Can be used to create very bright / complex sounds with lots of harmonics.
  • WRAP = The waveform is stretched vertically and wrapped back down creating multiple jagged folds.
  • RAND = Generates random values (noise). The 'WARP' control sets the transition slope between values (fully anticlockwise = stepped transitions). The random signal output is 'shaped' according to the setting of the 'WAVE' control. The 'COARSE / FREQ / LENGTH' knob sets the frequency of the randomly generated values. With these controls a wide selection of random signals and colours of noise can be generated. Set 'SYNCHRONISATION MODE' to 'FREE' and the 'FREQ' knob to maximum to generate white noise.

The 4 oscillators also have 3 synchronisation modes:

  • FREE (wave icon) = The pitch of the oscillator can be set freely with no synchronisation.
  • KEY TRACK (keyboard icon) = You can control the pitch of the oscillator via the Pitch input.
  • CLOCK (clock Icon) = The speed of the oscillator is synchronised with the master tempo.

FM Routing Matrix

The FM algorithms are defined using a 4x4 FM routing matrix (blue LEDs) with 4 separate values for output levels (red LEDs). The circled blue LEDs indicate a feedback path (the oscillator modulating itself). The FM matrix works in a similar way to the 6x6 FM matrix found in the FM7/FM8 soft-synth.

The FM modulation signals flow down from the top of the matrix in the following order: 

And connect to the FM inputs of the oscillators by leaving to the side of the matrix in the following order:

If you imagine the circled LEDs represent each operator of the algorithm (operator means 'oscillator' in FM terminology), from operator 4 at the top left to operator 1 at the bottom right, then it's easy to visualise the connections between each of the operators.

The LEDs below the circled LEDs indicate connections from higher numbered operators to lower numbered operators, for example operator 2 modulating operator 1:

The LEDs above the circled LEDs indicate connections from lower numbered operators to higher numbered operators, for example operator 2 modulating operator 3. Operator 3 can then be heard at the output by turning up the red LED below it:

Turning up the circled LEDs will modulate the operator by itself, operator feedback is generally used in FM algorithms to give the operator a brighter or noisier sound:

Different algorithms can be stored in 8 presets and the values of the FM routing matrix for each algorithm preset can edited by dragging up and down on the LEDs. 

The algorithm presets can be recalled with the 'ALGO' knob or via modulation (up to audio rate). When 'Morph' mode is enable the values are smoothly interpolated between algorithms. The algorithms can be selected for editing by turning the knob or clicking on one of the numbers.

Each oscillator has it's own envelope which controls the level of the oscillator before it enters the FM matrix. The envelopes can be looped and used as additional LFOs or can even be set to loop at audio frequencies and used as additional oscillators. The envelopes can also be used as a modulation source using the internal modulation routing controls described below.

Internal Modulation Routing

There are controls on the 'Options Page' (cog icon) that allow a number of modulation sources to be routed to the internal A & B modulation busses for each oscillator in the synth:

Sources includes all 4 envelopes (envelopes 4 & 3 are connected to the upper control and envelopes 2 & 1 to the lower control), the 4 oscillators, a built in LFO, velocity and pitch. If 'EXT' is selected then the A & B ports are used for the modulation busses for that oscillator. For convenience if no cables are connected to either the A or B input ports then Modulation Bus A will be connected to that oscillator's envelope by default and Modulation Bus B will be connected to the built-in global LFO.

Pitch Snap Mode

There are 3 modes of operation for the coarse pitch knobs for each oscillator

  • OFF = The coarse pitch knob is not snapped and changes the frequency freely.
  • EVEN = The coarse pitch knob is snapped to even, semitone intervals
  • RATIO = The coarse pitch knob is snapped to the closest FM ratios (1:1, 9:8, 5:4 etc). The ratios are displayed below the knob.

Low Pass Gate

Each oscillator features it's own low pass gate (a low pass filter controlled by the envelope). This is useful for filtering out higher frequencies generated by more extreme FM settings. The low pass gate for each oscillator is enabled by clicking on the 'Low Pass' icon at the top of each oscillator's panel.

 

Quad Synth

A synth that combines a four-waveform oscillator, a 'ramps' modulation section, a filter and an envelope that can also function as a 'Low Pass Gate'.

The oscillator is based on a detailed sampling of a famous polyphonic hardware synth from the 1980s. The samples have been carefully recorded and matched to maintain perfect phase relationships between the 4 oscillators resulting in a very authentic sound.

The modulation section is based on the 'Ramps' module from the designers pack (see designers pack for more details).

The filter section is based on the 'Squelch' Filter from the designers pack which is modelled on another famous hardware synth from the 1980s (see designers pack for more details).

 

Dual Synth

A versatile synth that combines 2 separate oscillators, a mixer section that can combine and mix the 2 oscillators in a variety of ways and an envelope section that can also function as a 'Low Pass Gate' (LPG).

Each of the 2 oscillators features a 'Warp' control that bends the waveform in 8 ways:

  • BEND+ = Bends the waveform to one side.
  • BEND- = Bends the waveform out towards the edges.
  • ASYM (Asymmetry) = Squishes the waveform from the middle to the edge in a linear fashion for 'Pulse Width Modulation' style effects.
  • SYNC = Duplicates the the waveform a number of times, simulating the 'sync' function found on older analogue synthesisers.
  • HYPER = Warps the waveform in an aggressive fashion.
  • FOLD (wave-folding) = The waveform acts like a wave-shaper to transform a sine wave. Can be used to create very bright / complex sounds with lots of harmonics.
  • WRAP = The waveform is stretched vertically and wrapped back down creating multiple jagged folds.
  • RAND = Generates random values (noise). The 'WARP' control sets the transition slope between values (fully anticlockwise = stepped transitions). The random signal output is 'shaped' according to the setting of the 'WAVE' control. The 'COARSE / FREQ / LENGTH' knob sets the frequency of the randomly generated values. With these controls a wide selection of random signals and colours of noise can be generated. Set 'SYNCHRONISATION MODE' to 'FREE' and the 'FREQ' knob to maximum to generate white noise.

The 2 oscillators also have 3 synchronisation modes:

  • FREE (wave icon) = The pitch of the oscillator can be set freely with no synchronisation.
  • KEY TRACK (keyboard icon) = You can control the pitch of the oscillator via the Pitch input.
  • CLOCK (clock Icon) = The speed of the oscillator is synchronised with the master tempo.

The mixer section has 8 modes with which it uses to mix the 2 oscillators:

  • MIX = Normal Mixer.
  • RING A = Analog Ring Modulation.
  • RING D = Digital Ring Modulation.
  • AM A = Analog Amplitude Modulation.
  • AM D = Digital Amplitude Modulation.
  • S&H = Sample & Hold Method 1 (Hold when modulating signal crosses zero).
  • HOLD = Sample & Hold Method 2 (Hold when modulating signal is positive, pass when modulating signal is negative).
  • OR = Selects the signal with the most positive amplitude.

 

Mini Synth

A compact single oscillator synth with a built in envelope and a low pass gate (LPG).

The oscillator features a 'Warp' control that bends the waveform in 8 ways:

  • BEND+ = Bends the waveform to one side.
  • BEND- = Bends the waveform out towards the edges.
  • ASYM (Asymmetry) = Squishes the waveform from the middle to the edge in a linear fashion for 'Pulse Width Modulation' style effects.
  • SYNC = Duplicates the the waveform a number of times, simulating the 'sync' function found on older analogue synthesisers.
  • HYPER = Warps the waveform in an aggressive fashion.
  • FOLD (wave-folding) = The waveform acts like a wave-shaper to transform a sine wave. Can be used to create very bright / complex sounds with lots of harmonics.
  • WRAP = The waveform is stretched vertically and wrapped back down creating multiple jagged folds.
  • RAND = Generates random values (noise). The 'WARP' control sets the transition slope between values (fully anticlockwise = stepped transitions). The random signal output is 'shaped' according to the setting of the 'WAVE' control. The 'COARSE / FREQ / LENGTH' knob sets the frequency of the randomly generated values. With these controls a wide selection of random signals and colours of noise can be generated. Set 'SYNCHRONISATION MODE' to 'FREE' and the 'FREQ' knob to maximum to generate white noise.

The oscillator also has 3 synchronisation modes:

  • FREE (wave icon) = The pitch of the oscillator can be set freely with no synchronisation.
  • KEY TRACK (keyboard icon) = You can control the pitch of the oscillator via the Pitch input.
  • CLOCK (clock Icon) = The speed of the oscillator is synchronised with the master tempo.

Internal Modulation Routing

There are controls on the 'Options Page' (cog icon) that allow a number of modulation sources to be routed to the internal modulation busses:

Sources includes the envelope, a built in LFO, velocity and pitch. If 'EXT' is selected then the A & B ports are used for the modulation busses. For convenience if no cables are connected to either the A or B input ports then modulation bus A will be connected to the envelope by default and modulation bus B will be connected to the built-in LFO.

Low Pass Gate

The oscillator features a built-in low pass gate (a low pass filter controlled by the envelope). The low pass gate is enabled by clicking on the 'Low Pass' icon at the top of the panel.

 

Supersaw Synth

A simple synth based on a single supersaw oscillator. The oscillator engine runs in 12bits and the sample rate can also be reduced for a gritty old-school supersaw sound. The 'CHORD' control sets the note interval between the unison voices, a variety of chords and intervals can be selected. When 'SCALE SNAP' is enabled the notes in the chord are snapped to a scale (use the coarse transpose control to set the key).

Internal Modulation Routing

There are controls on the 'Options Page' (cog icon) that allow a number of modulation sources to be routed to the internal modulation busses:

Sources includes the envelope, a built in LFO, velocity and pitch. If 'EXT' is selected then the A & B ports are used for the modulation busses. For convenience if no cables are connected to either the A or B input ports then modulation bus A will be connected to the envelope by default and modulation bus B will be connected to the built-in LFO.

Low Pass Gate

The oscillator features a built-in low pass gate (a low pass filter controlled by the envelope). The low pass gate is enabled by clicking on the 'Low Pass' icon at the top of the panel.

 

Multi-Breakpoint Synth

A synth that combines a multi-breakpoint oscillator, a sub oscillator, a RAMPS section, a filter and an envelope that can also function as a 'Low Pass Gate'. The synth features versatile modulation and routing options between the sections.

 

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