You are previewing Cakewalk® Synthesizers: From Presets to Power User, Second Edition.
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Cakewalk® Synthesizers: From Presets to Power User, Second Edition

Book Description

Cakewalk Synthesizers: From Presets to Power User Second Edition will show you how to operate and get the best results from Cakewalk's complete range of synths. This fully updated edition begins by diving into the general theories about synthesis and creating sounds with the featured synthesizers. From there, the chapters focus on each distinct synthesizer, its range of uses, the tools that are available with it, and how to set it up for day-to-day use. In addition to looking at all of the different synthesizers and how to use them in your productions, the book also discusses filters, envelopes, effects, the sfz format, how to make sounds and create patches, and much, much more. Also included with the book is an interview with the creator of many of the synthesizers, as well as sound design master classes from several leading synthesizer programmers. Chances are, you won't have every synthesizer covered in this book. That's okay, because this book has something for everyone, whether you own all the synths covered or you only use the ones that come with your host program. It's also useful if you just want to learn about synthesis. Simply put, this is the ultimate guide to learning about synthesizer programming and to understanding and using all of Cakewalk's synthesizers!

Table of Contents

  1. Copyright
  2. Acknowledgments
  3. About the Author
  4. Introduction
    1. How to Use This Book
    2. So Which Bits of This Book Do I Read First?
    3. SFZ and the Expression Engine
    4. The Download Package
    5. Terminology
    6. Problems?
  5. 1. Introducing the Synthesizers
    1. Triangle II
    2. Square I
    3. DreamStation
    4. Roland GrooveSynth
    5. TTS-1
    6. sfz and sfz+
    7. Cyclone Groove Tool
    8. RXP REX Player Groove Box
    9. DropZone
    10. PSYN II Virtual Analog Synthesizer
    11. Pentagon I Performance-Oriented Synthesizer
    12. Z3TA+ Waveshaping Synthesizer
    13. Session Drummer 2 and Session Drummer 3
    14. Dimension LE and Dimension Pro Sampling Synthesizers
    15. Rapture LE and Rapture Wavetable Synthesizer
    16. Beatscape
    17. So Which Synth Do I Use For …?
    18. What’s Next in This Book?
  6. 2. Getting a Grip on Synthesis and Synthesizer Programming
    1. Primary Sound Sources
      1. Sine Wave
      2. Sawtooth Wave
      3. Square
      4. Noise
    2. Unfiltered Waves
      1. Listening to the Raw Sounds Created by Triangle II
      2. Selecting Waves in Triangle II
    3. Filters
      1. Low-Pass
      2. High-Pass
      3. Band-Pass
      4. Filter Controls
        1. Cut-Off Frequency
        2. Resonance
      5. Selecting Different Filters in Triangle II
      6. Filter Slopes
    4. Modulation: A Brief Introduction
      1. Effect of Velocity on a Sound
      2. Effect of Pitch on a Sound
      3. Effect of Time on a Sound
      4. Combining the Effects of Velocity, Pitch, and Time
    5. Modulation Sources: Envelopes
      1. Volume (Amplitude) Envelopes
      2. Filter Envelopes
      3. Pitch Envelopes
    6. Modulation Sources: Low-Frequency Oscillators
      1. Volume (Amplitude) LFOs
      2. Filter LFOs
      3. Pitch LFOs
      4. Pulse-Width Modulation
    7. Other Modulation Sources
    8. Modulation Controllers
    9. Other Sound Sources
      1. Combining Oscillators for Weight
      2. Sub-Oscillators
      3. Combining Waves: Sync
      4. Other Tone-Controlling Options in Triangle II
        1. DC Burst
        2. Hard Drive
        3. Decimator
        4. Table Shift
    10. Player Controls
      1. Playing Mode
      2. Portamento
      3. Bend
      4. Advanced Bending
    11. FX in Triangle II
      1. Bass EQ
      2. Chorus
      3. Delay
      4. Reverb
    12. Master Settings
      1. Random
      2. Tuning
      3. Output Section
      4. Utilities
      5. Using Hardware: MIDI Learn
    13. Next Steps
  7. 3. Intermediate and Advanced Synthesis Techniques
    1. Sound Sources
      1. Oscillators
      2. Samples
    2. Some More Waveforms to Listen To
      1. Raw Sawtooth
      2. Vintage Sawtooth
      3. Square
      4. Vintage Square
      5. Pulse Waves
      6. Harmonic Waveforms
      7. Triangle Wave
      8. Noise
    3. Combining Oscillators
      1. Combining Oscillators for Weight
        1. Two Detuned Saws
        2. Multi Mode Saws
        3. Sub Octave
        4. Square Sub Octave
      2. Combining Waves: Key Sync and Oscillator Phase
        1. Key Synchronization
        2. Oscillator Phase
      3. Combining Oscillators for Tone
    4. Further Sound Sources
      1. Wave Shaping
      2. Wave Sequencing
    5. Ring Modulation
    6. FM: Frequency Modulation
      1. A Crash Course in FM Synthesis
      2. More Advanced FM
        1. Parallel Modulators
        2. Cascades
    7. Multi-Stage Envelopes
    8. Filters
      1. Notch (or Band-Reject) Filter
      2. Formant Filter
      3. All-Pass Filters
      4. Peak Filter
      5. Pink Filter
      6. Comb Filter
    9. More LFO Techniques
      1. Tempo Synchronization
      2. Monophonic and Polyphonic LFOs (Local versus Global LFOs)
      3. LFO Phase
      4. LFO Morphing
      5. Single-Shot LFOs
      6. Delay and Fade
    10. Effects
      1. Deployment of FX
        1. Insert FX
        2. Send FX
      2. Distortion
      3. Compression
      4. Limiting
      5. EQ
        1. Parametric EQ
        2. Shelf EQ
        3. Reduced Controls and Graphic EQ
        4. Reasons to Use EQ
      6. Simulator/Simul Mode
      7. Modulation Effects
        1. Phaser/Flanger
        2. Detuner/Chorus/Symphonic
        3. Combinations
      8. Delay
        1. Common Delay Controls
        2. Using Delay Lines
      9. Digital Quality Degradation
      10. Reverb
    11. Step Generators
      1. Gating
    12. Alternate Tunings
    13. Next Steps
  8. 4. Triangle II
    1. What Is Triangle II?
    2. Why Use Triangle II?
    3. Program Building in Triangle II
      1. Lead
      2. Bright Bass
    4. Now Create Your Own Sounds
  9. 5. PSYN II Virtual Analog Synthesizer
    1. What Is PSYN and Why Do You Want to Use It?
    2. Getting to Know PSYN
      1. Elements within PSYN
      2. Sound Sources
      3. Filters
      4. Envelopes
      5. LFOs
      6. FX
        1. The Drive Unit
        2. The Mod FX
      7. Player Controls
      8. Main Section
    3. Differences between PSYN and Pentagon
    4. Creating Sounds with PSYN
  10. 6. Pentagon I Performance-Oriented Synthesizer
    1. What Is Pentagon and Why Do You Want to Use It?
    2. Getting to Know Pentagon
      1. Elements within Pentagon
      2. An Introduction to Pentagon’s Envelopes and LFOs
      3. Sound Sources
      4. Pitch Envelope
      5. Pulse-Width Modulation
      6. Pitch LFO
      7. Filters
      8. Filter Envelopes
      9. Filter LFO
      10. Amplifier Envelopes
      11. Amplifier LFO
      12. FX
        1. Drive
        2. Chorus/Phaser
        3. Delay
        4. EQ
      13. Player Controls
        1. Portamento
        2. Polyphony
        3. Bend
      14. Main Section
      15. Render Quality
      16. Using Hardware: MIDI Learn
    3. Creating Sounds in Pentagon I
  11. 7. Z3TA+ Waveshaping Synthesizer
    1. What Is Z3TA+?
    2. Why Use Z3TA+?
    3. Getting to Know Z3TA+
      1. Loading a Program
      2. Signal Flow in Z3TA+ (before Modulation)
      3. Tweaking Z3TA+
      4. The Oscillator Section
        1. The Main Oscillator Controls
        2. The Global Oscillator Controls
        3. The Waveshaper
        4. Copying Oscillator Settings
      5. The Filter Section
        1. Filter Separation
      6. Envelopes
        1. The Pitch Envelope
        2. The Main Envelopes
        3. Envelope Curves
      7. LFOs
      8. Arpeggiator
        1. Switching Off the Arpeggiator
        2. Importing Arpeggiator Patterns
      9. Modulation Matrix
        1. Introducing the Modulation Matrix
        2. Using the Modulation Matrix
        3. Modulation Matrix: Source
        4. Modulation Matrix: Range
        5. Modulation Matrix: Curve
        6. Modulation Matrix: Control
        7. Modulation Matrix: Destination
      10. Master Section
        1. Effects
        2. Bank
        3. Limiter
        4. Analyzer
        5. Program
        6. Options
      11. Utilities
        1. Preview Ribbon
        2. Gate
      12. Using Hardware: MIDI Learn
        1. MIDI Learn and Assigning Hardware Control
        2. Controlling Hardware Assignments
        3. Removing Hardware Assignments
        4. MIDI Configurations
      13. Effects
        1. Distortion
        2. Modulation
        3. Compression
        4. Delay
        5. Reverb
        6. Equalizer/Simulator
    4. Z3TA+ Update Manager
    5. What Can Z3TA+ Do That Rapture Can’t?
    6. Creating Sounds in Z3TA+
  12. 8. Expression Engine Common Functionality
    1. Program Browser
    2. Program Handling
    3. Controlling the Synthesizer
      1. Tweaking Knobs
      2. Switching Elements
      3. Mac Commands
    4. Other Top Bar Controls in Dimension Pro and Rapture
      1. Options
        1. Transparency
        2. Sinc Interpolation
        3. Multi-Timbral Operation
        4. Use Internal Tempo
      2. Matrix
      3. Vector Mixer, X-Y Pad
    5. FX Units
      1. Controlling the FX Units
      2. Controlling the Reverb Units
    6. Hardware Control and MIDI Learn
      1. Hardware Control in the Dimensions
        1. MIDI Learn and Assigning Hardware Control
      2. Hardware Control in the Raptures
        1. MIDI Learn and Assigning Hardware Control
        2. Controlling Hardware Assignments
        3. X-Y Pad
        4. Removing Hardware Assignments
        5. MIDI Configurations
    7. Automation
      1. The Basics of Automation
      2. Recording Automation
      3. Drawing and Editing Automation Envelopes
  13. 9. Session Drummer 2 and Session Drummer 3
    1. What Are the Session Drummers?
    2. Is Session Drummer 3 Better than Session Drummer 2?
    3. Why Use Session Drummer?
    4. Getting to Know the Session Drummers
      1. Loading and Saving Programs
      2. Loading Patterns
      3. Deploying Patterns
        1. Triggering Session Drummer Patterns from SONAR
        2. Dragging and Dropping Session Drummer Patterns into SONAR
        3. Beat Length Selector
        4. Creating Your Own Patterns
      4. Loading Pads and Building Kits
        1. Loading and Unloading Instruments in Session Drummer 2
        2. Loading and Unloading Instruments in Session Drummer 3
        3. Loading and Saving Kits
      5. Auditioning Drum Pieces
      6. Other Interface Controls
    5. Kit Mapping
      1. Kit Mapping in Session Drummer 2
      2. Kit Mapping in Session Drummer 3
    6. Using the Session Drummers
  14. 10. Dimension LE and Dimension Pro Sampling Synthesizers
    1. What Are Dimension LE and Dimension Pro?
      1. How Do Dimension LE and Dimension Pro Differ?
      2. How Do Dimension Pro and Rapture Differ?
      3. Why Use Dimension LE and Dimension Pro?
    2. Getting to Know Dimension and Dimension Pro
      1. Dimension’s Architecture
      2. Program Loading/Saving/Handling and the Program Browser
      3. Working with Elements
      4. The Multi-Sample Section
      5. LoFi Section
      6. Filter Section
      7. Drive Section
      8. EQ Section
      9. Element FX Section
      10. Modulators Section
      11. Modulation Sources: Envelopes
        1. Creating Multi-Stage Envelopes
        2. Setting Sustain Points and Loop Sections in Your Envelope
        3. Scaling the Envelope Nodes
        4. Envelope Utility Functions
      12. Modulation Sources: LFO
      13. Modulation Sources: Key Tracking
      14. Modulation Sources: Microtuning
      15. Modulators’ Utilities
      16. MIDI Matrix
      17. Vector Mixer
      18. Master FX
        1. Modulation FX
        2. Reverb
    3. Creating Programs in Dimension Pro
  15. 11. Rapture LE and Rapture Wavetable Synthesizer
    1. What Is Rapture?
      1. So What about Rapture LE?
      2. How Do Dimension Pro and Rapture Differ?
      3. How Do Rapture and Z3TA+ Differ?
      4. Why Use Rapture?
    2. Getting to Know Rapture LE and Rapture
      1. Rapture’s Architecture
      2. Program Loading/Saving/Handling and the Program Browser
      3. Working with Elements
      4. The Oscillator Section
      5. Differences in the Multi-Sample Section in Dimension Pro and the Oscillator Section in Rapture
      6. DSP Block
        1. Signal Flow in the DSP Block
        2. Filter Section
        3. DSP1, DSP2, and DSP3
      7. Modulators Section
      8. Modulation Sources: Envelopes
        1. Creating Multi-Stage Envelopes
        2. Tempo-Synchronizing Nodes
        3. Setting Sustain Points and Loop Sections in Your Envelope
        4. Scaling the Envelope Nodes
        5. Envelope Utility Functions
      9. Modulation Sources: Step Generator
      10. Modulation Sources: LFO
      11. Modulation Sources: Key Tracking
      12. Modulation Sources: Microtuning
      13. Modulators Utilities
      14. EQ Section
      15. Element FX Section
      16. The Global Page
      17. Modulation Matrix
    3. Creating Programs in Rapture
  16. 12. Beatscape
    1. What Is Beatscape?
      1. How Do RXP and Beatscape Differ?
      2. Why Use Beatscape?
    2. Getting to Know Beatscape
      1. Beatscape’s Architecture
      2. The Master Controls
      3. Program/Loop Loading/Saving/Handling and the Program Browser
    3. Working with Pads
      1. Loading Loops
      2. Triggering Pads
      3. Triggering Slices
      4. Edit Page
      5. Pad Settings
    4. Messing with Loops
      1. Loop and Slice Edit
        1. Adding and Removing Slices
        2. Transforming Slices
      2. Step Editor
    5. Pad FX
    6. Working with Loops in Beatscape
  17. 13. The SFZ Format
    1. What Is the SFZ Format and Why Do We Care about It?
      1. SFZ Features
      2. SFZ Compatibility
    2. Opcodes
    3. Practical Uses for SFZ Opcodes
    4. Getting Started with SFZ Files
      1. Creating and Editing an SFZ File
      2. Elements of the SFZ File
      3. Units in the SFZ Definition File
      4. The File Header and Comments
      5. Regions
      6. Groups
      7. Global (SFZ Version 2)
      8. Control
      9. Defining and Locating Samples
        1. Defining Your Sample
        2. Locating Your Sample
      10. A First SFZ Definition File
      11. Input and Performance Controls
        1. Key Mapping: Key Ranges
        2. Velocity Layers
        3. Bend Controls
      12. Your First Real SFZ Definition File
        1. One Pluck [No Key Center]
        2. One Pluck
        3. Multi Pluck [No Key Center]
        4. Multi Pluck
        5. Multi Pluck – Octave
    5. Moving On with SFZ: Some More Opcodes
      1. Pitch
        1. Transpose
        2. Tune
        3. Key Tracking
      2. Oscillator Function (SFZ Version 2)
      3. Oscillator Mode: FM, PM, and Ring Modulation (Not Fully Implemented)
      4. Waveguide (SFZ Version 2)
      5. Filters
        1. Filter Type
        2. Filter Controls
        3. Multi Pluck with Filter
        4. Multi Pluck with Filter + Octave
      6. Filters as Effects (SFZ Version 2)
      7. MIDI CC Codes
      8. Envelopes
      9. Flexible Envelope Generator (SFZ Version 2)
      10. LFOs (SFZ Version 2)
      11. Oscillator Phase (SFZ Version 2)
      12. FX (SFZ Version 2)
      13. Splitting a Signal into Separate Busses: Process and Mix
      14. Setting Up an Effect’s Send Bus
    6. Default Settings
    7. Creating Sounds: Practical Applications of the SFZ Format
      1. Two Detuned Saws
      2. Multi-Mode Saw
      3. Multi-Mode Square Octave + Filter
      4. Cross-Fading
        1. Cross-Fade Square to Sine
        2. Cross-Fade Pluck to Sine
      5. Stacked Filters
      6. Wave Sequencing
        1. Wave-Sequencing Basics
        2. Wave Sequencing with SFZ Files: Manual Stepping
        3. Hardcore Wave Sequencing
        4. Reasons to Wave Sequence
    8. Undocumented Features in Dimension Pro and Rapture
    9. SFZ Files: Next Steps
  18. Appendix: The SFZ Format Opcodes
  19. Download Package Introduction
    1. A Brief Explanation about the Economics of Book Publishing
    2. What You Can Do with the Download Package
    3. About the Download Package
      1. Chapter 2: Get a Grip on Synthesizer Programming [folder]
      2. Chapter 3: Intermediate and Advanced Synthesis Techniques [folder]
      3. Chapter 4: Triangle II [folder]
      4. Chapter 13: The SFZ Format [folder]
      5. Chapter 19: Creating Sounds in DropZone [folder]
      6. Chapter 20: Square I [folder]
      7. Chapter 24: Creating Sounds in PSYN II [folder]
      8. Chapter 25: Creating Sounds in Pentagon I [folder]
      9. Chapter 26: Creating Sounds in Z3TA+ [folder]
      10. Chapter 27: Creating Sounds in Dimension and Dimension Pro [folder]
      11. Chapter 28: Creating Sounds in Rapture [folder]
      12. Chapter 29: Powers Users at Work [folder]
    4. Go Play