Learning Synthesis with Pure Data Series 1

Learning Synthesis with Pure Data series 1 title screen 240x135 In this, the first series of Learning Synthesis with Pure Data, Dr. Lawrence W. Moore begins by introducing the viewer to Pure Data and establishing some fundamental knowledge about digital audio and synthesis basics. One learns about overtones, harmonics, and partials next, and this lesson is followed by a lesson on overtones, harmonics, and partials and how they are used and manipulates in synthesis to create new tone colors.

After the first three lessons provide a background, the rest of the series focuses on building a modular synthesizer, module by module, to see how some of the basic techniques in synthesis work and hot to bid them in PD. By the end of the series, one will have a fully-functional modular synthesizer that can be controlled by a standard MIDI controller and utilized with your favorite digital audio workstation software via virtual MIDI cables.


Lesson 16 – Finalizing Series 01 & Previewing Series 02

lesson_16.zip – This package contains the updated fixes to the FAM2 synthesizer

We are going to finalize the FAM2 virtual modular synthesizer that we made in series 01 with some bug fixes and then take a sneak peek at LWM Rack, the new open-ended virtual modular synthesis system that we will be building in Series 02.

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Lessons 13, 14, & 15 – Filtering, Mixing, and Saving Parameters

lesson_13_14_15.zip – This is the download package associated with this lesson.

We will be finishing off the rest of the modules in our synthesizer in this episode with 3 lessons that focus on the last three modules in the synthesizer. We will go over the voltage controlled filter module, the mixer section, and the parameter saving section. At the end of this episode, we will have completed this first simple modular synthesizer that includes many of the basic concepts.

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Lessons 13, 14, & 15 –




Lessons 10, 11, & 12 – AM and FM Synthesis

lesson_10_11_12.zip – This is the download package associated with this lesson.

In these three lessons, we will look at what FM synthesis is and how one can make an FM oscillator module, what AM synthesis is and how one can make an AM oscillator, and finally, how these oscillators can be controlled with an envelope to employee frequency modulation and amplitude modulation in Pure Data.

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Lesson 09 – Chorusing

lesson_09.zip – This is the download package associated with this lesson.

In this lesson, we double the carrier oscillator plugin by duplicating it. The oscillator is now complete with octave, semitone, and cent-based tuning adjustments, so that you can hear basic two pitch harmonies between the oscillators, or the common chorusing effect that is often utilized in synthesis. Chorusing is the use of two or more oscillators with frequencies that are slightly detuned from one another, such that the sound becomes thicker. This is an essential tool in synthesis.

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Lesson 08 – Adding MIDI Pitch Bend to our Synthesizer

lesson_08.zip – This is the download package associated with this lesson.

This lesson focuses on implementing MIDI pitch bend. Upon completing the lesson, our synthesizer will be able to bend up and down a varying range of pitch based on your settings. The bend will sound continuous and smooth.

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Lesson 07 – A Smooth Playing Monophonic Synthesizer

lesson_07.zip – This is the download package associated with this lesson.

We now have a basic, modular synthesizer. It has a little difficulty playing smoothly. In this episode we fix that issue by putting in some monophonic synth “protection” to keep note off messages from other keys from turning off the note that is currently being played. By the end of the lesson, your synthesizer will be playing quite smoothly, and it will feel graceful and accurate.

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Lesson 06 – Making an ADSR Envelope Module

lesson_06.zip – This is the download package associated with this lesson.

In the previous lessons, we made a MIDI input module and a carrier oscillator module. Now that we have sound triggered by MIDI, it is time to control turning notes on and off with MIDI as well as providing an amplitude shape in the form of an envelope. A common envelope type in synthesis is an ADSR envelope, which controls attack, decay, sustain, and release, and that is what we are going to make in this lesson.

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Lesson 05 – Making a Carrier Oscillator Module

lesson_05.zip – This is the download package associated with this lesson.

In this lesson, we make what is the heart of a synthesizer, the carrier oscillator. A carrier oscillator is the sound signal producing oscillator that later receives distortion methods, filtering, or other forms of transformation that makes the overall complex sound. This oscillator can generate the 4 basic waveforms with easy electability. This module is designed to work with the MIDI input module that we made in the previous lesson.

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Lesson 04 – Making a MIDI Input Module

lesson_04.zip – This is the download package associated with this lesson.

In this lesson, we will build a MIDI input module to be used in a modular synthesis approach to building synthesizers. The input module will receive MIDI data from your external MIDI controller or MIDI compatible software with virtual MIDI ports. This module will then be used to channel the MIDI data into other synthesizer components that we make.

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Lesson 03 – Wave Shaping and Phasing

lesson_03.zip – This is the download package associated with this lesson.

In Lesson 03, we explore wave shaping as a way to craft waveforms. We make the 4 basic wave shapes using this technique. By doing so, we learn how math plays an important role in shaping waveforms n the digital synthesis environment. We also see how phase works and can be employed as an effect. We also look at pulse wave modulation as we will be making a square wave and see how to vary pulse width to make various pulse wave shapes.

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Lesson 02 – Overtones, Harmonics, and Partials

lesson_02.zip – This is the download package associated with this lesson.

In this lesson, we learn about a very important factor to generating unique sounds in synthesis, overtones. We learn about the harmonic overtones and the non-harmonic overtones, also called partials. In doing so, we will also learn about additive synthesis and than an easier way of working with additive synthesis in Pure Data, which involves wavetable synthesis using an additive approach.

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Lesson 01 – Digital Synthesis Basics

lesson_01.zip – This is the download that accompanies this lesson.

In this lesson, we learn some of the Pure Data basics and learn some of the digital audio and synthesis fundamentals. This is a good starter tutorial for those who want to learn about synthesis and those who want to learn PD. This video takes one, step-by-step, through the process of building a simple synthesizer and teaches one about how digital audio works, including the following topics: waveforms, amplitude, frequency, sine waves, sampling rate,, and the usage of audio and control objects in PD.

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