The Canyon — a drone synth for dense, distorted atmospheres

Inspired by drone synth makers such as Soma and Resonance Circuits, the Canyon excels at dark, rich atmospheres. There are four voices, each controlled by a keyboard module; each voice is composed of two triangle wave oscillators (which can be waveshaped) multiplied against a sine oscillator to produce ring modulation (everything from tremolos to metallic timbres to deep harmonics).

The keyboards are tuned to D minor pentatonic, with the bottom two keyboards occupying a bass register, set a fifth apart, and the top two occupy a lead register, once again set an octave apart. The envelopes for the voices are determined by pitch, so the bass notes have long attacks and releases, while the leads have generally shorter (or no) attacks and releases.

Any of the voices can also be set to drone.

The voices pass through a delay and reverb lite to add to the murky atmospherics.

Although generally designed for dissonance and distortion, there are certain settings that are much more harmonious and pure.


The keyboards occupy most of the control panel. Beside each keyboard is a white pushbutton, “Drone,” which will set that voice to drone.

Across the bottom are the controls for the voices:

Ring mod offset determines the offset of the ring modulating sine wave from the key being played.

Oscillator 2 offset allows the second triangle wave oscillator to be set at an interval from the key being played (one oscillator will always track the keyboard). There is also a fine tune, so you can detune the second oscillator against the first.

Shape allows you to change the shape (duty cycle) of the triangle waves. Higher values have more harmonic complexity.

There is also a noise mod that allows you to add harmonics and distortion to the voices.

Delay mod controls the depth of the delay mod. I designed it to produce pitch changes as well as warbles, so a little goes a long way.

Ambience is a macro that governs the delay feedback, delay and reverb mix, and reverb decay.

The HPF filter allows you to thin out some of the (very deep) bass the patch can produce, if you want.

The left stompswitch changes the time of the delay randomly.

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  • Category: Sound Synthesizer
  • Revision: 1.0
  • License: Creative Commons Attribution Share Alike 4.0
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  • Modified: 1 month ago
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