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The Synthesizer Keyboard: A Guide on How They Work

How does the Synthesizer Keyboard work?

Synthesizers are the electronic musical instruments which produce the audio signals. They are consist of the oscillator, amplifier, volume envelope, filter envelope, etc. These components essentially fit together, forming the electronic circuit that creates and modifies the sound. When you flash the lights and strips away the keyboard, you soon get that synthesizers are just electronics sets.

How the synthesizer keyboard works

Synthesizers of all sizes and shapes come with the basic components which enables it to produce the sound: a filter, the modulation function, and the oscillator. The oscillator becomes the first component which assists the synthesizers in producing the sound. You may consider it as the first source of a sound. The power voltage being fed to an oscillator generates the electrons that form one of the five types of the waveforms. These waveforms are:

  • Sine which sounds similar to the whistle and it’s the pure tone
  • Pulse, which is the wave similar to the square wave that creates the dynamic sound.
  • The square which is the wave that comes with the hollow tone and is similar to the sound of the clarinet
  • The saw tooth produces the waves with stronger sound which is similar to a sound produced by a saxophone
  • Triangle wave produces a similar sound, produced by the sine wave

The oscillators, however, can also control the sound’s frequency or a pitch level. The frequency is a speed of vibration of every waveform. It is measured in Hertz (Hz). When the frequency is faster, the pitch level will be higher. If the pitch level is high, it will help you differentiate the key of every sound produced by the synthesizers. Once the sound is produced through the oscillator, the timbre of the sound is modified through the help of the filter. The synthesizer filter blocks particular frequencies in the sounds and enables others to pass through to the sound differently from the original sound.

More on how they work

Synthesizers’ filters come with various settings: high-pass, low-pass, notch, and band. High and low-pass filters differ according to how much higher or lower frequencies should be played. The band filter can play the frequencies in a cutoff range, whereas the notch eliminates any frequencies which are beyond the cutoff range. The filters also come with additional knobs like the envelope and the resonance. Resonance influences cutoff frequency, whereas the envelope creates a pattern of ADSR or cutoff curb.

Making music with synthesizers

Other than the speed, the synthesizer can also adjust the signal of the waveform with the assistance of the amplifier. The amps can assist the users in making volume to be louder and even determine when a particular part of a sound can be louder and also how long it can stay at this volume. The ADSR function and then-then ensure when music is played as it starts to reach the fade out (decay) or sustained volume level. ADSR is the best when you want to develop particular music genres.

You may want a new synth to get to know and love, as relationships are a long journey. A guide on synthesizers and how they work could help you get to a choosing point. Thanks for reading.

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