ここから本文です

Synth Lesson for novice ~ep.2~

2020-03-04

Theme:Keyboards

Now, let’s start making some sound. ※episode 1 → 【Synth Lesson for novice~ep.1~】
I chose the KORG MS-20 mini for the training for the following reasons.

  • You can learn how to create synth sounds intuitively
  • Sounds good even when used on stage
  • And it comes at a good price

MS-20 mini is mono-phonic synthesizer, therefore it is limited to bass or lead, but allows you to play powerful, fat sounds using the patching jacks on right side of the panel.

KORG / MS-20 mini

There are not as many synthesizer parameter knobs as you would expect!

You would expect there to be a lot of knobs as there are a lot of functions in one product. But that isn’t the case.

Think about a guitar or bass player’s pedal board.

For those who do not use effectors, this may not mean much, but basically, it is common to require "2-4 knobs" to make changes for "one kind of sound change". In other words, even if there are many knobs on the synth, many of the knobs are used together to create one sound, rather than having totally unrelated functions.

In the case of synths, it may look more difficult because the knobs are all the same color. To make this easier to understand, let's add some color to the MS-20 mini.

Furthermore, "timbre and pitch" on the left are not really that important in sound creation, so only the onomatopoeic sections in the center are actually used for sound creation. Compare the color-coded image with the image of the main unit, and try to imagine. As you can see from the number of knobs, there are not really that many functions.

Other synths have basically the same structure as the MS-20 mini, so if you can learn to use this, and you will be able to play other synths as well.

Let’s get started! – Initialize -

Let’s get started! – Initialize - Let's start making sounds! First you need to learn to "Initialize" before anything else.

Initialize is like a "Synth makeup remover". Every synth has sound with "no makeup". But if you don't understand this, then it’ll be hard to imagine what kind of makeup you should apply.

MS-20 miniのイニシャライズは、以下のとおりです。

Software synths and digital synth initialization is often registered under the name "Init", but since the MS-20 mini is an analog synth, you actually need to turn the knob to initialize it. If you can initialize the MS-20 mini by yourself, you will be able to initialize other synths without having to read the manual. The below is cheat sheet for MS-20 mini initialization.

You can memorize the knob positions at first. However, if you initialize all the knobs at once, you will miss the opportunity to sharpen the sensitivity of your ears. In other words, if you turn one knob you will hear the sound and feel how the sound changes while initializing. The process is below: 「Initialize」→「Make」→「Initialize」→「Make」→……

With this repetition, your “ear for synth” will grow steadily. As you deepen your understanding of sound making, you will be able to create new sounds by instinct without having to think. So make various sounds, play with them, and refine your senses.

ENVELOPE GENERATOR

This time, I'll finish by playing around with the envelope.

We’ll use the "Floaaaaat" section for this. At the top is the word ENVELOPE GENERATOR, which simply means "envelope making device".

But what do you do this envelope? The only way to know how it works, is by listening to what is changing when you adjust the knob.

As for the mechanism, I will explain that next time, so first just remember the "type" and then learn with your "ears"! The envelope is made up of specific "patterns" and is roughly divided into the following five.

Percs

Kick, Snare, Hat

Tines

Piano, Guitar, Clav, Bass, Pluck

Chords

Lead, Bass, Organ, Chord

Reeds

Lead, Brass, Strings

Pads

Pads, Strings

上記の分け方は、私が勝手に命名・分類したものですが、この5パターンだけ解っていれば、基本的に「どんな音でも作れる」と思って大丈夫です。 以下に、ツマミの位置を画像で載せますので、それぞれの音を弾いて聴こえ方を比べてみてください。 ※すべて、鍵盤をまったく同じ時間押していますが、聴こえ方が違います。

Percs Tines Chords Reeds Pads

bonus

For each envelope pattern, try changing tone 1 & 2 and the mix of the tones.

This is not enough to create "any sound", but I think it will be possible to produce quite a variety of sounds. If you find a sound you like, make a note of the positions of each knob

Even with the same synth, if the user changes, the sound will naturally change. That is “your sound” and from this you may find your “favorite sound”.

Next time, we will dig deeper into envelopes. Bye

Yamauchi

作編曲を勉強している内に楽器の習得が趣味になってしまい、10種類以上の楽器を演奏するようになった楽器オタク。楽器を買いすぎて、生活空間が非常に圧迫されており、泣き泣き売っては買い戻すというのを繰り返している。音響機器にはあまり興味がなかったが、サウンドハウス入社後に目覚め、さらに部屋を圧迫中。ジャズをやるためにAbleton Live Suiteを買う、という謎の感性を持っている。

KORG / MS-20 mini セミモジュラーシンセ

KORG

MS-20 mini セミモジュラーシンセ

¥36,800(excl. tax)¥40,480(incl. tax)

Analog synthesizer

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