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Slim Phatty to emulate Robert Fripp

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Slim Phatty to emulate Robert Fripp

Postby winter » Sat Mar 30, 2013 6:33 am

...or, rather, the famous (amongst guitarists, of course) sound of the old Roland GR-300 guitar synth.

I'm entirely new to the world of analog synthesis, and the only demos of Slim Phatty on the net produce some rather hideous drum'n'bass pastiches. What I'm looking for is the Robert Fripp's 80s sound (sample here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OOKVKuxWTv4&t=4m19s) or Pat Metheny's synth lead sound (sample here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uh8bpl5KCPg&t=3m44s).

Information on the sound itself can be found here: http://www.premierguitar.com/Magazine/I ... R_300.aspx

Would it be possible to do something like that with a Slim Phatty, or is the sequenced drum'n'bass the top of what you can aim for with the unit?

Thank you a great deal in advance!
Last edited by winter on Sat Mar 30, 2013 10:35 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Slim Phatty to emulate Robert Fripp

Postby GregAE » Sat Mar 30, 2013 8:29 am

A few years ago, I wrote an article about getting Pat Metheny's guitar synth lead sound using a Voyager and some outboard effects. You can see the article and hear a demo of the result on KnobTweak:

KnobTweak > Files > Voyager > Metheny_Voyager_Guitar.zip

Basically, the sound on the demo is a Voyager factory patch called "Offramp". In the article, I describe how that patch was created and what needs to be tweaked; this should give you a good starting point for creating something similar with a Slim Phatty. Don't forget to read the part about the outboard effects, which is an equally important in achieving that sound.

Good luck, and please post your Slim Phatty version of the patch on KT.

:D

- Greg
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Re: Slim Phatty to emulate Robert Fripp

Postby IgorCristo » Sat Mar 30, 2013 8:49 am

Thank you for sharing this great sound and music.
As for the sound itself, it's achieveble with some time. You can make something that sound like it in a few minutes, but to sound exactly like it will take some time to tweak the refinements.
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Re: Slim Phatty to emulate Robert Fripp

Postby winter » Thu Apr 04, 2013 7:47 am

First of all, GregAE, IgorCristo, thank you so much for your replies!
GregAE, KnobTweak is a wonderful resource, I'm really enjoying it, and I'm sure it will grow on me even more as I continue to gain experience in the field :D

GregAE wrote:A few years ago, I wrote an article about getting Pat Metheny's guitar synth lead sound using a Voyager and some outboard effects. You can see the article and hear a demo of the result on KnobTweak:

Greg, this is really a wonderful piece of work, thank you for it!

The reason for my delayed reply lies the fact that I've been digging around to see if I can parse the SysEx patches. I mean, I can't really upload the Vger's sysex into a Slim Phatty, right? And even if I can, what I'd like to do is to first test the tone on some software moog emulators.

Below are the reasons why I'm looking into it, feel free to skip it if it's testing your patience.

You see, I'd like to use the Slim Phatty unit as a part of my guitar synth chain. Currently I'm converting the instrument to MIDI with the help of a Sonuus i2m device (and it tracks handsomely) and then route the MIDI events to a piece of software called Minimogue. This program, unfortunately, has a lot of problems, there are sound production issues, delays etc. And the tone, of course, is no match for the real analog thing :)

I'm playing guitar with an ebow, which further increases tracking accuracy and also mutes the unwanted strings. The problem is, ebow playing is very fluid and most of the time converts into the pitchbend events rather than the note-on/note-off ones. Furthermore, ebow can be used to control the character of the initial attack; by gently "tapping" the guitar with it, one can create quite an interesting volume curve that reminds of a flute attack. During MIDI conversion, this curve produces CC/breath events.

Because of that, there's little value to me in the envelope thing that you mention in the article (which makes the initial attack unstable, akin to a horn). So I'm really thinking if I could just get the tone itself and then apply my technique to it in an effort to make it more horn-like... Approach it from the other end, so to speak...
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Re: Slim Phatty to emulate Robert Fripp

Postby winter » Mon Apr 15, 2013 5:48 am

Any thoughts?
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Re: Slim Phatty to emulate Robert Fripp

Postby Portamental » Mon Apr 15, 2013 8:23 am

Yes, many, too many to write in fact. But here are three of them.

- Who knows the secrets of KFC finger licking good recipe, or this burger's secret sauce? That's what it is.. a secret. You can always try to emulate, but you will end up with your own flavour, maybe a little different but delicious nonetheless. Same with music. Even if Pat Metheny was to sit with you and explain it all, you still have to own pretty much the same instruments in the first place, and even then, he is the master and you can't replace his years of experience with a couple of presets on a synthesizer.

- If you are using a pitch follower to convert a beautiful shaped sound into a midi note, that's what you end up with, a number, stripped out of all it's natural character. Pitch and envelope following is serious business. Many heads were cracked over this. Again, take the best devices, used them for what they are, and build your own.

- Last, but most importantly, don't disregard envelopes, they are the secret of so many beautiful sounds. Combine the best oscillator you can find, a nice waveform, the best lowpass filter (moog of course) and you will end up with a nice sound no doubt, but still very bland overall. The envelopes are what give so many synthesizer sounds their full character. Envelopes ARE the secret, with a bit of added modulation to make the sound more life-like.

Read about substractive synthesis, the relationship between all those controls, how sounds are shaped etc.

In one cliché : learn to walk before trying to run.
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