Computer Music: Musc 216
Subtractive Synthesis


Subtractive synthesis is often referred to as analogue synthesis because most analogue synthesizers (ie non-digital) use this method of generating sounds. In it's most basic form, subtractive synthesis is a very simple process as follows:


* An Oscillator is used to generate a suitably bright sound (usually a SQUARE WAVE). This is routed through a Filter.

* A Filter is used to cut-off or cut-down the brightness to something more suitable. This resultant sound is routed to an Amplifier.

* An Amplifier is used to control the loudness of the sound over a period of time so as to emulate a natural instrument.

In essence, this is subtractive synthesis. You start with a sound, subtract out the unwanted bits and control its loudness over time.

Check out these links:

Subtractive Synthesis

An Introduction to Additive Synthesis (from Synth Secrets, a series of articles from Sound on Sound -- an Electronic Music Magazine_

Synthesis Facts

Digital Audio Facts

FM Synthesis

Midi Note Number to Equal Temperment Semitone to Hertz (Hz) Conversion Table

Terms Index

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