What exactly are voices and why do you need to know how they work? Here’s the answer…
The voice function is an essential part of a (subtractive) synthesizer that you can usually find in the oscillators area or unison section.
What are oscillators?
An oscillator is a function of a synthesizer where you can generate an audio signal. The audio signal, aka “soundwave” or “waveform”, can be shaped and tweaked to produce a unique sound. So, an oscillator is the absolute starting point of your sound design process. Thus, it’s very important to understand all the settings that come with it, such as voices.
How to use voices
When you’re satisfied with the volume and panning of your sound, it’s time to determine the number of voices it should have. The number of voices dictates how many signals the synthesizer needs to generate. Therefore, by using multiple voices, also called “fat mode”, you can create a bigger or fatter sound with the same generated signal. Simply put; more voices equal a thicker sound.
The ability to have multiple voices goes hand in hand with some of the other oscillator settings. More specifically, the detune option, stereo spread function and phase randomness setting all influence each other in combination with the number of voices you wish to use.
You will find everything in full detail in the Synthesizer Explained eBook. So, follow the link and you can start instantly.
Choose the number of voices you wish to use
For now, feel free to experiment and give your synth a few different numbers of voices. Thereby, modify some of the other settings too, so you can hear the full potential of having these different voices.
In the end, it’s your job to select the number of voices for the type of sound you wish to produce. From there, you can tweak the other settings, which we will explore next in the complete “Synthesizer for beginners” series.
Synthesizer for beginners
The “Synthesizer for Beginners” series is a huge collection of quick lessons about sound design and synthesis. Each lesson explains one part of how a subtractive synthesizer works, which is vital to know if you’re an electronic music producer.
Most people have the attention span of a butterfly and therefore miss all the important tips later in my videos and posts. Still, I don’t want you to miss a thing and that’s why you will see these short clips on Screech House. Each short clip explains a bite-sized topic from one of my longer videos. This gives everyone the chance to focus solely on what they need and thereby also saving a lot of time.
Today’s short clip is from the 4-part “Synthesizer Explained” video course. Watch the full episodes here:
The “Synthesizer Explained” video course is now finally available as an exclusive guide. This easy-to-read book is jam-packed with valuable info about the essential basics of sounds design, including practical tips and bonus cheat sheets.
Since the day of release, many people have already read it. But if you haven’t, click this link to get your copy: Synthesizer Explained.
Make sure to get it now, else you risk being too late, and I don’t want you to miss out.