When it comes to electronic music production, the synthesizer is a vital tool in the arsenal of any producer. The synthesizer allows producers to create a wide range of sounds that can be used to create entire tracks. However, to understand how a synthesizer works, it’s important to understand the sound source of a synthesizer, which is an oscillator.
What is an oscillator?
An oscillator is an electronic circuit that generates a periodic electrical signal. In the case of a synthesizer, the oscillator generates an electrical signal that is then converted into an audible sound wave. This sound wave can be manipulated in various ways to create different sounds.
Types of oscillator waveforms
There are various types of oscillator waveforms that can be used to create different sounds. The most common oscillator waveform is the sine wave, which produces a pure tone. Other common waveforms include the square wave, sawtooth wave, and triangle wave. Each waveform produces a unique sound that can be manipulated to create different tones and textures.
Frequency and pitch
The frequency of an oscillator determines the pitch of the sound it produces. A higher frequency produces a higher pitch, while a lower frequency produces a lower pitch. In a synthesizer, the frequency of an oscillator can be adjusted to create different pitches. This is done using a control called a frequency knob or pitch knob.
Modulation is a technique used to manipulate the sound produced by an oscillator. In a synthesizer, modulation can be used to create complex sounds by altering the frequency, amplitude, or phase of an oscillator. There are various types of modulation, including frequency modulation, amplitude modulation, and phase modulation.
Filters are another important component of a synthesizer. A filter is used to shape the sound produced by an oscillator by removing certain frequencies from the sound wave. This can be used to create a variety of effects, such as making a sound brighter or darker. There are various types of filters, including low-pass filters, high-pass filters, and band-pass filters.
Envelopes are used to control the amplitude of a sound wave over time. In a synthesizer, envelopes are used to shape the sound produced by an oscillator. The most common type of envelope is the ADSR envelope, which stands for Attack, Decay, Sustain, and Release. This envelope allows producers to control how a sound starts, how it decays, how long it sustains, and how it ends.
The oscillator is the sound source of a synthesizer, and it is responsible for generating the electrical signal that is converted into an audible sound wave. By manipulating the oscillator waveform, frequency, and modulation, producers can create a wide range of sounds that can be used to create entire tracks. Filters and envelopes can also be used to shape the sound and add complexity to the final product.