Something called west coast synthesis - how can i make it

Discussion in 'Working with Sound' started by samsome, May 30, 2020.

  1. samsome

    samsome Kapellmeister

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    Something called west coast synthesis - how can i make this on a subtractive synth?

    Thanks!
     
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  3. 23322332

    23322332 Platinum Record

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    Use waveshaping, FM and random modulations on all kinds of parameters (including pitch). In best case you get "sci-fi" retro sounds, in worst case - noise.
     
  4. realitybytez

    realitybytez Rock Star

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    1) travel to west coast
    2) use synthesizer
     
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  5. KungPaoFist

    KungPaoFist Audiosexual

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    It's using more additive synthesis so use functions that add harmonics like increasing "fold" function.

    I just watched a youtube video so I'm an expert now.
     
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  6. scott

    scott Kapellmeister

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    the simple answer is that you're not, west coast synthesis is built on the foundation of a complex oscillator with waveshaper passing through a vactrol based low pass gate, you could try and emulate that with a subtractive synth but the results would be less than impressive. Affordable options for exploring west coast synthesis exist is software and hardware formats
     
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  7. Olymoon

    Olymoon MODERATOR Staff Member

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    Could you give an audio example of what sounds you are talking about?
     
  8. signalflow

    signalflow Platinum Record

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    Never even heard of this. What is it?
     
  9. samsome

    samsome Kapellmeister

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    its at 14:00
     
  10. Nana Banana

    Nana Banana Audiosexual

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    Folding Waves, and then Gating ...Got it! Thanks!
     
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  11. samsome

    samsome Kapellmeister

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    can you fold waves in subtractive synthesis? i guess not.......i need wavetable right?
     
  12. wuzzle

    wuzzle Producer

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    Check out stuff like Arturia's Buchla Easel V or Madrona Labs Aalto

    Softube's Modular or VCV Rack also have some modules in the West Coast feels.
     
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  13. Mykal

    Mykal AudioP2P

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    My understanding is that West Coast synthesis is an Urban myth. Everybody that makes it forgets to hit record. so we may never know what it really is.:dunno:
     
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  14. Nana Banana

    Nana Banana Audiosexual

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  15. gizmotech

    gizmotech Member

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    If you're into Reaktor, there are a bunch of west coast synthesis based blocks as well as factory ensembles from those blocks to get you started.



     
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  16. wuzzle

    wuzzle Producer

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    Grant Richter who founded Wiard Modular and licensed some of his designs to Make Noise (and probably others) explained it like this:

    "I will try to explain a little of the philosophy behind the Wiard modules. It has to do with the "East vs. West" coast synthesizer history. This is an over simplified explaination, some "East Coast" instruments support FM for example.

    It really starts with the concept of a patch. In the "East Coast" instruments (basically all synthesizer manufacturers except Wiard, Buchla and Serge) you have a subtractive synthesis patch entirely oriented towards the filter. This is your classic VCO-VCF-VCA connection with ADSR type envelopes. The envelopes generators typically have only a single output. The oscillators usually have very simple waveforms such as sawtooth and square wave. This is what most people are introduced to and why many people are puzzled by more complex instruments like the Wiard. This patch makes sense for playing with a black and white type keyboard. It produce a limited but pleasing range of timbres and is easy to operate and understand.

    In the "West Coast" instruments, there are 3 possible synthesis modes. Additive, non-linear waveshaping and dynamic depth FM are the primary synthesis modes. "East Coast" subtractive synthesis is typically not DIRECTLY supported. It was not in the Buchla or Serge (no 24 dB/Oct. resonant filter). Good approximations of subtractive synthesis can be patch on the Serge with cascaded filters. These instruments are oriented towards controlling with a multiple output sequencer or multiple output complex envelope generator instead of a black and white keyboard. They produce a larger and more importantly, different set of timbres than the simpler "East Coast" instruments.

    The classic patch in a "West Coast" instrument involves two blocks. The first is a complex oscillator which supports both non-linear waveshaping and dynamic depth FM (Buchla 259 and Serge NTO). The second signal processor is a Lowpass Gate or "frequency and amplitude domain processor". The primary timbre generation is done directly with the oscillator, and the Lowpass Gate just tweaks the amplitude and frequency character. These two blocks are designed to be controlled by one complex envelope generator with multiple outputs routed to all the timbre factors.

    Once again this is a simplified explanation to illustrate subtle points. Actual usage involves a combination of both techniques.

    In the 1200 series we have the groundwork laid for a complex "West Coast" voice. The JAG will convert two simple ADSR envelopes into a multiple output complex envelope generator. The Boogie Filter can be used as a Lowpass Gate but also supports the "East Coast" Moog type subtractive character. The Borg 2 Filter is a classic Lowpass Gate that can also be used like the "East Coast" MS20 subtractive filter.

    The icing on the cake is the complex oscillator. The Wiard Synthesizer Mini-Wave and VCO (manufactured under license by Blacet Research) is a type of complex oscillator and non- linear waveshaper already well established. A lot of good work has been done with these Wiard designs. Improving on such a solid base is no easy task.

    It would be great if a complex oscillator could support as many timbre modes as possible. Simultaneous support for multiple non-linear waveshaping, dynamic depth PM and wavetable would be ideal. If each of these was independent, you could look at them like geometric axis. Modulating the timbre parameters then becomes a matter of "walking about" in a large timbre space with multiple dimensions of simultaneous control. This is true timbre morphing and not just simple crossfading between timbres (which is good too).

    This is where my research is currently focused. Exactly when the complex oscillator will be finished depends upon sales of the existing 1200 series modules. If the public is not interested in the extra "West Coast" synthesis methodology, it would be foolish to waste time and money on products for that purpose.

    "East Coast" designs are as common as dandelions, but I feel support for subtractive synthesis should be included in a complete instrument. That is why the Wiard designs support BOTH East and West Coast synthesis methods. For example, any Wiard complex VCO will include classic subtractive waveform outputs in addition to the complex outputs.

    I think that I need to focus on education to promote the idea of the more complex synthesis "West Coast" style. I am going to try and write manuals for the Boogie and Borg 2 modules that cover the less obvious operating modes. For the short term, I will be concentrating on that."
     
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  17. ( . ) ( . )

    ( . ) ( . ) Audiosexual

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    sounds like some tryhard shit...
     
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  18. Trurl

    Trurl Rock Star

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    Don Buchla hated keyboards from what I understand. He thought they would turn synthesizers into nothing but glorified organs. I suppose he wasn't wrong, to a large extent...
     
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  19. DoubleTake

    DoubleTake Rock Star

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    Yes, I think it is similar to Loch Ness Synthesis.
     
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  20. reliefsan

    reliefsan Audiosexual

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    Oh snap!
    i thought westcoast synthesis was was something like
     
  21. Mykal

    Mykal AudioP2P

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    Same as Texas Techno.:wtf:
     
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