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Tips on programming the Phatty

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Tips on programming the Phatty

Postby Jazzpunk » Sat Oct 20, 2007 11:50 am

I've always been a grab a preset and start tweaking kind of a guy. I would like to get better at understanding exactly what I am doing as opposed to just randomly tweaking elements until I stumble upon a sound I like!

How do you effectively 'zero out' a patch on the phatty in order to build up a new patch from 'scratch'? Is there already a preset you would consider 'pure' enough to be a good starting point for building sounds?
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Postby PHC » Sat Oct 20, 2007 4:44 pm

bleep! I just wrote A BIG post and my explorer F*&^%$ and I have to write it again. It's 2:30AM so I'll make it short.

I have a clean patch saved to my LP so I don't have to zero out a patch every time I want to start from scratch:

Osc1/Osc2 silent set to 16' and triangle, tuned to unison

Filter fully open, no resonance, no overload, no env amount

Envelopes Amp: A=0, D=0, S=100, R=0, Filter: A=0, D=0, S=0, R=0

No glide, no modulation, no sync

For basic programming I would recommend an approach like this:

1) Open OSC1 level

2) Set Amp envelope to represent a sound you want (sustaned lead, piano type attack, pucked string, fade in/fade out pad type, bleeps and bloops) This way you have the "form" and now you can tweak what's inside

3) Set OSC1 waveform and octave

4) Set filter cutoff, play with it and the waveform of the osc

5) Apply Filter envelope and play with the resonance and cutoff/maybe osc waveform

6) Open OSC2 level/waveform/octave/tune/sync

7) Apply modulation/overload/glide

8) Tweak everything

9) Apply external effects

THE MOST IMPORTANT ADVICE in my opinion is to play some melodies that you are familiar with between those programming steps so you can hear how the patch is sounding doing a thing you know, because randomly pressing keys/one key while twaking can't give you the right picture.

I'm no programming guru, so don't take what I wrote to seriously. I would like to read some tips from THE GUYS like Amos (Aaaaaaamoooooooosssssss, where are you? :-)
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Postby Jazzpunk » Sun Oct 21, 2007 9:58 am

Thanks for the response PHC. Sounds like a good approach.
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Postby Amos » Sun Oct 21, 2007 8:58 pm

... you rang? :lol:

Unfortunately it's 12:30AM over here and I'll need to save a proper reply for when I have some more time. I like the suggestion to start from a truly "zero" patch, without even any oscillators. This would allow you to create any kind of patch quickly, including ones meant for use with external audio (no oscillators needed in that case).

I create all my patches using the Calibration patch as a default. It is almost identical to the above description except that the oscillators are set to 8', osc 1 level = 100%, and filter envelope sustain = 100%. Otherwise all settings match the zeroed-out patch described by PHC.

I have found that if I start from the same known place every time (the init patch) then as I change one parameter at a time I get a better sense over time of what each parameter I change is going to do to the sound. Building up a sort of mental sonic vocabulary of what each thing you can change is going to do to the sound is a big first step. From this you can build a good mental sonic image of how various parameter changes are going to interact with each other. For example, using oscillator two to modulate the filter (filter FM) has very different sonic characteristics depending on: The waveform and frequency of the oscillator(s) that you are sending through the filter, the cutoff and resonance settings of the filter, how oscillator 2 is tuned relative to oscillator 1, and the waveform of oscillator 2 considered as a modulator (meaning, irrespective of whether or not oscillator 2 is also being sent through the filter as audio). There's also the amount of overload, the number of filter poles (which makes a major difference in the sound), and whether or not the filter envelope is changing the cutoff over time. That's a lot of stuff! :shock: However, with experience this stuff just becomes the vocabulary of filter FM and you get to know how it behaves on a given synth.

So, my advice is to start simple, get to know what all your parameters are and where you'd go to change them (on the LP, some of these things live in the Master->Advanced Preset menu). Then put in some time changing things "on purpose" meaning an effort to hear and understand what sonic changes are happening in response to your parameter changes, and how what you're hearing relates to what you're doing as you program. It takes practice to build up a mental map of the "sonic space" that your synth can traverse as you tweak the settings. Once you know the territory, though, you'll have the tools you need to start from square one and arrive at a sound you have in your head. Plus, the practice involves a lot of knob-twisting and crazy noise-making! I love that part. :)

Cheers,

Amos
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Postby Jazzpunk » Mon Oct 22, 2007 1:36 pm

I took your guys suggestions and started from a 'zero' patch. I had the luxury of spending a full day yesterday digging in and really learned alot.

It was pretty easy to tell how most parameters were interacting but I could not quite get a grasp on the Filter Envelope section. It didn't seem to be having a noticeable effect when I would start tweaking the Filter Envelope's parameters but I am assuming that has to do with the patches I was making.

Is there a patch/example I can recreate that will best illustrate how the Filter Envelope is shaping the sound of my patch?
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Postby robles » Tue Oct 23, 2007 12:11 pm

Jazzpunk wrote:I took your guys suggestions and started from a 'zero' patch. I had the luxury of spending a full day yesterday digging in and really learned alot.

It was pretty easy to tell how most parameters were interacting but I could not quite get a grasp on the Filter Envelope section. It didn't seem to be having a noticeable effect when I would start tweaking the Filter Envelope's parameters but I am assuming that has to do with the patches I was making.

Is there a patch/example I can recreate that will best illustrate how the Filter Envelope is shaping the sound of my patch?


The best thing to remember is what the filter envelope is actually doing. It is essentially moving the cutoff knob for you. The amount it moves is the envelope amount on the filter section, which can be positive or negative (halfway on the dial is zero, right is positive, left is negative). In other words, moving the cutoff knob up or down. The attack is how long it takes to move the knob to the full amount of the envelope amount. The decay is how long it takes to move to the sustain level. The sustain level is how much of the envelope amount is held. I.E. full sustain is the same as the envelope amount, half sustain is half the envelope amount to the zero position. Release is how long it takes after a key has been released to reach the zero position on the envelope amount. Keep in mind that the envelope amount will only be plus or minus what the actual cutoff knob position is. If your cutoff knob is at full to begin with, you can do a positive envelope amount all you want and get no change. It will, of course, go down if you use a negative envelope amount.
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Postby Jazzpunk » Tue Oct 23, 2007 4:26 pm

robles wrote:The best thing to remember is what the filter envelope is actually doing. It is essentially moving the cutoff knob for you. The amount it moves is the envelope amount on the filter section, which can be positive or negative (halfway on the dial is zero, right is positive, left is negative). In other words, moving the cutoff knob up or down. The attack is how long it takes to move the knob to the full amount of the envelope amount. The decay is how long it takes to move to the sustain level. The sustain level is how much of the envelope amount is held. I.E. full sustain is the same as the envelope amount, half sustain is half the envelope amount to the zero position. Release is how long it takes after a key has been released to reach the zero position on the envelope amount. Keep in mind that the envelope amount will only be plus or minus what the actual cutoff knob position is. If your cutoff knob is at full to begin with, you can do a positive envelope amount all you want and get no change. It will, of course, go down if you use a negative envelope amount.


Great explanation! Thanks robles.
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Postby robles » Wed Oct 24, 2007 7:49 am

Jazzpunk wrote:
robles wrote:The best thing to remember is what the filter envelope is actually doing. It is essentially moving the cutoff knob for you. The amount it moves is the envelope amount on the filter section, which can be positive or negative (halfway on the dial is zero, right is positive, left is negative). In other words, moving the cutoff knob up or down. The attack is how long it takes to move the knob to the full amount of the envelope amount. The decay is how long it takes to move to the sustain level. The sustain level is how much of the envelope amount is held. I.E. full sustain is the same as the envelope amount, half sustain is half the envelope amount to the zero position. Release is how long it takes after a key has been released to reach the zero position on the envelope amount. Keep in mind that the envelope amount will only be plus or minus what the actual cutoff knob position is. If your cutoff knob is at full to begin with, you can do a positive envelope amount all you want and get no change. It will, of course, go down if you use a negative envelope amount.


Great explanation! Thanks robles.


My pleasure. 8)

It took me quite a while to decide to really figure out how a synth worked. I finally did a song with the simplest software synth imaginable: the Subsynth.

It was a standalone synth: 2osc (saw or square), lowpass filter, filter envelope, amp envelope. And it would only save one note at a time as a wave file, you typed in how long to play the note. So I built a song one note at a time (copying and pasting a bit to be sure). But it really taught me exactly what was going on.

Nowadays I almost always build my presets from scratch because it takes far less time creating the sound I want than to hunt around for a preset that might somewhat resemble what I want.
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Postby FluidConcept » Tue Oct 30, 2007 3:26 pm

Jazzpunk wrote:I took your guys suggestions and started from a 'zero' patch. I had the luxury of spending a full day yesterday digging in and really learned alot.

It was pretty easy to tell how most parameters were interacting but I could not quite get a grasp on the Filter Envelope section. It didn't seem to be having a noticeable effect when I would start tweaking the Filter Envelope's parameters but I am assuming that has to do with the patches I was making.

Is there a patch/example I can recreate that will best illustrate how the Filter Envelope is shaping the sound of my patch?


Hey Jazzpunk
You may have already done this, but it's a mistake I've made before. You say you can't hear the filter envelope having any effect, could this be because you havn't set the EGR amount? Sorry if this is obvious, just thought it might be why the envelope isn't doing anything...
Joe
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Postby Jazzpunk » Tue Oct 30, 2007 5:21 pm

FluidConcept wrote:Hey Jazzpunk
You may have already done this, but it's a mistake I've made before. You say you can't hear the filter envelope having any effect, could this be because you havn't set the EGR amount? Sorry if this is obvious, just thought it might be why the envelope isn't doing anything...
Joe


Thanks Fluid. I believe that was indeed part of my problem initially as well as understanding what to listen for!
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Postby MarkM » Tue Oct 30, 2007 5:23 pm

The best way to see how a filter envelope is shaped is to have it modulate the pitch. On the Phatty you can easily do this on the modulation section by selecting the source as the envelope and the destination as pitch. Max out the amount, and put the modwheel all the way up. When you hit a note the pitch should change dramatically. This will give you a very good indication how the modulation will work when applied to the filter (or whatever.) As stated by Fluid, don't forget to adjust the EGR amount.
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Postby Jazzpunk » Tue Oct 30, 2007 9:02 pm

MarkM wrote:The best way to see how a filter envelope is shaped is to have it modulate the pitch. On the Phatty you can easily do this on the modulation section by selecting the source as the envelope and the destination as pitch. Max out the amount, and put the modwheel all the way up. When you hit a note the pitch should change dramatically. This will give you a very good indication how the modulation will work when applied to the filter (or whatever.) As stated by Fluid, don't forget to adjust the EGR amount.


Thanks Mark. I'll give that a try. :D
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Re: Tips on programming the Phatty

Postby bumusic » Mon Mar 19, 2018 1:31 pm

You guys are legends thankyou for this. Ive been wanting to learn my way around this synth for a while.
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