[LAD] Monophonic synths (was: Plugin 1/oct frequency controls)

Dominique Michel dominique.michel at vtxnet.ch
Tue Aug 28 18:23:27 UTC 2012

Le Thu, 23 Aug 2012 19:33:19 +0000,
Fons Adriaensen <fons at linuxaudio.org> a écrit :

> On Thu, Aug 23, 2012 at 01:07:31PM -0400, David Robillard wrote:
> > Since a monophonic synth is so severely limiting anyway, I make no
> > claim about being a faithful emulation of wires and capacitors and
> > such.  If analog was sufficient, I wouldn't be spending such a
> > ridiculous amount of time writing software :)
> Clearly we have different backgrounds. Straying from the technical
> into the artistic domain is a good way to end this thread, so...
> All the synth music I really love happens to be made using monophonic
> instruments. Things like Zawinul's solo 52 seconds into 'A remark you
> made' <http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DWvSr2g4U34>.
> Once synths became polyphonic they mostly turned from a instrument
> in its own right into something just used to imitate other
> instruments.

I agree with that with a bemol. The Hammond B3 was a polyphonic synth,
but with a very unique sound. The combination of vacuum tubes, an
additive synthesis of waveforms from harmonic series made by mechanical
tonewheels that rotate in front of electromagnetic pickups, and a
leslie speaker make the sound of this organ very unique.

Due to the electro-mechanical nature of the frequencies generation, the
ratio between the frequencies was constant, but they was not exact
harmonics. Due to the vacuum tubes and the pickups, it was possible to
make some very weird effects like larsen.
Also, the keyboards and the contacts (a lot of them) was of outstanding
quality. It was 2 motors to entrain the electro-mechanical generator,
one asynchronous for the start-up, and one synchronous in order to keep
a constant tuning. It was also possible to stop the synchronous motor
and use the asynchronous one instead.


Bristol give us a very good approximation of this organ. But well, the
real thing is still something else, something like a mix of an organ
and a wild electric guitar. See Emerson, Lake & Palmer
- Live Broadcasts... Collector's Rarities

For the full potential of this organ :) go around 7:30 and 21:30.


"We have the heroes we deserve."

More information about the Linux-audio-dev mailing list