What is Synthesis? (2)
Additive synthesis can be thought of as an approach opposite to subtractive synthesis. The principle of this method is based on the theory discovered by Jean Baptiste Fourier in the 19th century. Fourier's theory is that "all complex sounds consist of a combination of a sine wave with its own pitch and volume." It is a method that most of the initial synthesizers employed by making a desired sound by combining a lot of sine waves. You can find these Additive Synthesis in Hammond organ. It can be seen in K5 of Kawai, K150 of Kurzweil, and softsynth of Digidesign.
Many Analog synthesizers use subtractive synthesis to make sounds. The principle is usually to filter a very complex wave made in one or two VCOs (Voltage Controlled Oscillators). This complex wave requires the removal of unnecessary ingredients to make the desired sound, which is handled by VCF (Voltage Controlled Filter). VCF is the most important element of Subtractive Synthesis. Filter removes a specific harmonic, which is in fact a key secret and technology for engineers who employ Subtractive Synthesis. This is because the characteristics and performance of the filter used in this process become a characteristic of the synthesizer and further functions.
The core of FM Synthesis is Operator, which plays the role of the so-called Oscillator and becomes a fundamental sound source. Acoustic's source includes piano, string instruments, and trumpets, but the source of the synthesizer is an electrical element with an oscillator, which periodically generates electrical signals. Analog synthesizers are typical analog oscillators, but in digital synthesizers such as DX7, digital oscillators become source of sound sources. Unlike analog oscillators, digital oscillators generate numbers on a regular basis. Operators consist of two elements. As you can see in the picture below, there are Amplifier and Envelope Generator. The oscillator generates numbers continuously, and these numbers are sent to the amplifier to make volume bigger or smaller. This is how a series of numbers are made periodically:
0, 2, 4, 6, 8, 10, 8, 6, 4, 2, 0, -2, -4, -6, -8, -10, -8, -6, -4, -2 ..
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