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Old 2013-05-27, 19:37
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lejalle lejalle is offline
Join Date: Jan 2001
Posts: 226
Smile The synths in Reason

Hello Reason users,

I’m a long time synth amateur and in the eighties I was dreaming of having all the synths that were available at the time but didn’t have the money. I’ve bought 2 hardware synths in the nineties but I went to Reason from V1 because :

- it provided a good VA synth for a fraction of the cost of a hardware equivalent and you could have multiple instances of it (and FXs for the same price !)

- the concept of Reason promised an endless joy as having a new synth at each version of the software
- there was no stable or CPU friendly equivalent in music software at the time

So it was evident it would be a better alternative than staying with hardware…

As of today, what do we got ?

I quickly looked at all the synthesis methods used in commercial “integrated” hardware synths (so no modular synths here, nor software synths) that I know and compared to what is available in the Reason environment. I also chose one key concept of the synthesis method and looked at what was missing in the Reason synth (and available in at least one hardware synth).

Here is the result :

Subtractive synths : Subtractor & Thor (& Malstrom)
Key concept : filter
What is missing :
- some filter personalities (e.g. korg MS20 Filter)
- some filter modes (e.g. Emu Morpheus Z-plane)

FM synths : PX7 (& Thor)
Key concept : network (or “algorithms”) of oscillators and frequency multiplication
What is missing :
- waves other than sine (e.g. SY77)

Additive synths : none
Key concept : a lot of sine oscillators and frequency addition

Wave sequencing synths : none
Key concept : a lot of waves (or samples) and a user controlled journey through them

Wavetable synths : Thor & Malstrom
Key concept : a lot of waves and a user controlled linear path through them
What is missing : I can’t see

Phase Distortion synths : Thor
Key concept : reading of an array representing a sine wave at a user variable speed
What is missing : I can’t see

Physical modeling : no
Key concept : user manipulation of physical variables which acoustically define key parts of a real instrument

I don’t know of any hardware synth which implements granular synthesis. We have Malstrom so it is a nice bonus for us who have followed the Reason way !

Some facilities found in hardware synths which are missing in Reason are :
- user waveforms (or sample) and morphing between waveforms,
- multi-stage envelopes and user controlled slopes,
- vector or morphing facilities between patches.

So what do we need ? An additive synth and some ways to travel through waves or patches, define our own waves and envelopes.

Now the question is : how long do we have to wait to be in 1991 hardware synth-wise ;-?

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