BEAP Analog Model Curriculum Outline

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  • What is the Analog Model?
    • Based on modular synthesis techniques.
    • Focuses on subtractive synthesis.
    • Built off of four primary tools:
      • Oscillators
      • Filters
      • Level Controls
      • Modulators

  • Why is this Important?
    • It is the basis for most modular synth techniques.
    • It is also the basis for a lot of synth-based music.
    • It provides a useful way to do sound design iteratively.
    • It sounds good, too!

  • What is necessary for this workshop?
    • A laptop with audio capability.
    • A pair of headphones.

Oscillators and Tone Generation

  • Oscillators are the way that synths make sound. They create repeated waveshapes at a set frequency.
    • Select an Oscillator from the contextual menu (ctrl/right-click, then Paste From | BEAP | Oscillators | Oscillator).
    • An oscillator by itself creates waveforms, but is not routed to our computer's output. For this, we need an Output Module.
    • Select a stereo output from the contextual menu: Paste From | BEAP | Output | Stereo
    • Connect the output of the oscillator to both inputs of the Stereo module.
    • Turn on the DSP (this might need explaining), and you should hear a tone.

  • The two most important setting of the oscillator are the tuning and the waveshape.
    • Change the tuning by adjusting the offset knob on the front of the Oscillator module.
    • Change the waveform by selecting a waveform image in the button matrix.
    • Note how the waveform changes the timbre, but not the pitch, of the oscillator.

  • More than one oscillator can be used at a time to create more interesting tonality.
    • Select another Oscillator from the menu, or copy the existing one by option/alt-dragging the one already on-screen.
    • Select the patchcord going to the right inlet of the Stereo module, then grab the top handle and drag it from the first to the second oscillator.
    • Now you will hear an oscillator in each ear of your headphones. Adjust the offset and waveform in each to verify the changes.

  • In order to have the two oscillators "mix" together, we need to use another device to combine them.
    • Add an audio mixer using the Paste From | BEAP | Mixers | Audio option from the contextual menu.
    • Connect the two oscillators to inputs 1 and 2 of the mixer, then connect the output of the mixer to the two Stereo inputs.
    • Turn up the volume of the mixer channels to hear a mix of the tones. You can alter the volume of each oscillator to create a nicely blended tone.

  • At this point, we are able to hear the oscillators, but it would be nice to change the pitch in a musical way.
    • We need a controller, and will create a virtual keyboard using Paste From | BEAP | Input | Keyboard
    • Connect the CV output to the 1V/Oct inputs of the oscillators. The terminology used here is from the modular synthesis world...
    • Lock the patch and click on the keyboard keys. You should hear the pitch change to match the keyboard notes.

Level Control/Gating with a VCA

Filtering with an LPF

Modulating with Envelopes and LFO's

Improving the Sound with Effects

Creating Material with Sequencing

Recording your Output


Based on a workshop given at the Currents New Media Festival in 2013 by Darwin Grosse