05
Jan
10

s(M)exoscope

Before we begin to learn about the envelopes, I highly recommend you download and install this freeware plugin. s(M)exoscope is a free real time signal analyser plugin that shows a nice graphical display of the signal that is fed to it. No matter whether you laugh or cringe at the name, it’s a very valuable tool in learning synth programming.

In my previous post, I wrote about the importance of the ability to visualize sounds. This is one of the many useful tools that helps you do that. This was a tool that helped me a lot when I started learning. (Well… I’m no expert yet, and I still use it. šŸ™‚ ) Spending time on this will establish a mental connection between sounds and images, and that’s very useful. The more you use it, the more you don’t have to use it!

Let’s see this plugin in action. Load it as a VST effect, following Clearsynth. Play some notes on your keyboard, and notice the waveform that appears on the screen.

The default settings shows how the waveform behaves over a larger period of time. While this is useful in what we’ll be learning about in subsequent tutorials, for now, we need to decrease the display time to see what we’ve learnt so far. Notice the Time knob on the upper left panel.

Set the value of the Time knob to around 0.200. Now, if you play notes, you’ll be able to see the nature of the waveform. In Clearsynth, select only Osc 1 and turn off the filter. Now choose different waveforms and see the waveforms being rendered in s(M)exoscope. Add Osc 2 to the mix and see how the waveform appears. Compare the saw waveforms with the waveform diagrams in this post. Now switch on the filters and see how it affects the sound. Play different waveform and filter combinations, and watch them on s(M)exoscope, till you get an idea of how these waveforms look.

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2 Responses to “s(M)exoscope”


  1. 1 gtx
    January 5, 2010 at 1:46 pm

    Thank you for the good tutorial about the synthesizer, it’s really open up my mind about it. oh yeah some good tool that I found, if you guys does not want to use a daw for this lessons, use vsthost ( look here: http://www.hermannseib.com/english/vsthost.htm ) it is just a tool to fire up vst and chaining it with other vst, it is a very useful tool šŸ™‚

    looking for another good exciting synth lesson

    regards

  2. 2 Jay
    May 3, 2010 at 2:56 am

    Anyone get this to work on a mac. I stuck it in the VST folder but it not showing in Ableton.
    Any ideas please?


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