Self-playing synths — a batch of interactive synths

Two are based on piano roll style sequencers (Drone Singer and Music Box); the other two are based on sine wave banks (Anti-fun and Anti-fun 2).

Drone Singer — this synth uses a 32-step, four part sawtooth synth voice that functions as a piano roll-style sequencers

There are controls for each of the oscillator pitches (colors correspond lane of the piano roll), as well as the attack/decay parameters for the envelopes, which affect both VCAs for the oscillators and a shared filter; when more voices play at the same time, the filter opens more. There is also a time control for a (very) basic delay, which goes to the right output, and an LFO to control the speed of the sequencers.

Music box — this synth also uses a piano-roll style sequencer, but its voice is derived from resonant low-pass filters, pinged by a sawtooth oscillator

There are controls for decay (filter resonance) as well as pan spread (voices 1 and 3 are panned right, voices 2 and 4 are panned left). There is an LFO to control the speed of the sequencers.

With both synths, you can place gates on the sequencers’ green tracks to change the length of each individual sequence, allowing for evolving polyrhythms.

Anti-fun and anti-fun 2 both use eight sine wave oscillators. (The original inspiration was the Dreadbox Antiphon, but I ended up developing the concept in a very different direction.) Each has controls that allow you to set the individual pitch and level for each oscillator; additionally, each has (non-resonant) low- and high-pass filters, and a reverb lite controlled by a single “reverb” parameter that sets both the length and the mix.

Anti-fun — has “mod” buttons for each oscillator; when engaged, the oscillator’s volume will be modulated. The “mod” is a sine wave modulation with a randomly determined (and generally quite slow) rate, which will cause the oscillators to fade in and out. The modulation can be randomized with the left stompswitch. Additionally, it has an aliaser and bit crusher at its output, prior to the filters.

Anti-fun — 2 has “seq” buttons for each oscillator; when engaged, the oscillator’s pitch will be modulated. The “seq” is a four-step sequencer at the top of the front page; it has a rate control, but its rate is also somewhat randomized. There is also a delay; with each new step of the sequencer, the delay time is randomized. At short times, this creates flanges, resonance, and doubling effects; as the time is increased, the delay becomes more pronounced and, for want of a better word, “jerky” or “elastic.” The delay can be bypassed with the left stompswitch.

Additionally, when the sum of the two right-most oscillators’ pitches drops below A0, they will begin to ring-modulate the other oscillators.

A special thanks to my patrons on Patreon for their support: Rob Flax, Stepan Grammatik, brockstar, Mats Unnerholm, D Sing, Will Scott, drew batchelor, Miguel, Steve Bragg, Joab Eastley, Tomi Kokki, Mitch Lantz, Ben Norland, Roman Jakobej, Mark Crosbie, Steve Codling, Timothy Cleary, Soren Made, Ken Luke, Mike Ryan, Vilis Klavins, Nick, Eric Peterson, Joseph August, Jonathan Carp, Liam Britten, Jakob Fryken, Nick Ruck, and Simon Provencher!

If you would like to support my work on ZOIA, please visit patreon.com/chmjacques

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  • Category: Composition Sequencer Synthesizer
  • Revision: 1.0
  • License: Creative Commons Attribution Share Alike 4.0
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  • Modified: 2 months ago
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