In This Lesson: How to use the Subtractor Synthesizer
The Subtractor is a complex polyphonic synthesizer. I highly recommend you watch the video intently and without distraction.
The following Subtractor units are covered in this lesson, in the order that sound runs through the Subtractor, are:
Choose which Waveform you are using. Some common Waveforms are Sine, Square, Pulse, Triangle, or Sawtooth. There are many more available by using the "Mode" button.
Use the "Mix" knob to get more or less volume from either Oscillator.
You can change the Octave, Semitones, and Centigrade that each Oscillator produces - These are all units of pitch, so they will only change the pitch.
Unchecking the KBD track will stop the Oscillators from tracking the MIDI notes played on the keyboard, but will only track the Rhythms. This results in a single raw tone that the oscillator produces. To be honest, I can't see why anyone would do that, but it's there.
Noise will add distortion and graininess to your synth. It's a simple setting that requires only 1 minute of experimentation to understand the functionality of it. Play around.
Filter 1 changes the Frequencies and Resonance that are filtered before your sound goes to the next part of the loop.
This one is very self explanatory. I often don't use it, so to keep this already complex lesson more simple, let's just skip it.
In 3 separate Subtractor Units, you will find the ADSR Faders. Each fader corresponds with a different parameter that you can work with.
A = Attack (how quickly the note reaches peak velocity)
D = Decay (the amount of time it takes to reach the sustain level)
S = Sustain (how long will the note continue playing while you are holding down the key?)
R = Release (how long the note plays after you let go of the note)
Both the Amp Envelope, and the Filter Envelope, both use ADSR to define their properties, so there's no need to go in-depth on those settings when I've already explained ADSR.
The mod envelope uses ADSR to modulate the units within Subtractor, such as:
LFO's have been covered in an earlier lesson.
The 2nd LFO uses similar concepts that I've previously explained about LFOs, except it doesn't use a physical shape to graph how the sound will be altered. There are simply 4 self-explanatory knobs that you can use to shape the parameters of the LFO.
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