Sound Theorizing, Design, Synthesis & Composition

The TECH TALK pages of my website are just a collection of topics that I have put together and happy to share. A collection of information gathered from many sources on the topics of synthesizers, electronic music & musical composition development. I am not a theorist or physicist; I am only piecing together what is available knowledge and participating with that knowledge at my level. This effort of mine is to build a basic manual for my own practice of sound synthesis, design & electronic music composition. I hope you find it interesting and possibly helpful towards your own musical pursuits.

On these pages you will find that I have broken-down sound for what it is & established an understanding of the various methods of synthesizing sound in order to propell my own education into new forms of composition. There is a mathematical world behind everything we do, and it would be naive of me to not spend some time investigating it. The introduction of mathematics in sound and composition is nothing new; it has been the subject of study for more than two centuries. It has a been a driving force behind many of the instruments and software instruments that are used by today's musicians. The mathematics of sound still has the potential to break new ground in the future of music.

The sections of my website study are as follows

sound design through commercial synthesis

The art of synthesizing tones from one sound into another or the generation of totally new sound structures is a field of study that is always changing. On this page I will define the known primary developed forms of audio synthesis. The practice of synthesis is more scholarly & more scientific than the simple exhibition of patches and sound waves arrived at from playing on a synthesizer. All synthesizers are palates, from the analog to the monophonic, from the digital to the polyphonic, and certainly one should have a well-rounded collection of these devices before you can start down the road of practicing synthesis or sound design. There are other tools which are also necessary; oscilloscopes, samplers and various forms of storage used for studying and recording waveforms as they are created. I want to restate that I am more of a composer, but the sonic structure of sounds has always interested me, how was a sound wave created and what the sound wave is composed of? I still have a long way to go in understanding sound and there is so much more yet to be heard. So I will start by understanding the various forms of sound and synthesis types that are currently known to be in use, and make note to some of the commercial synthesizers that employ the technology.

mathematics of sound

Sound, first off by any listener should be broken up into two concepts. The physics of sound, called the acoustics of sound, and the way we perceive that sound, called its psychoacoustics. Understand these two as separate study’s and observations will help you to achieve a better result in understanding a sound from one wave to another, or even in applying these two concepts towards creating a new sound. Easier in fact, because with say a commercially bought synthesizers, you can quickly get access to the various tones and patches that have been put together to create a sound, the acoustics, and then listening to either that sound or an alteration to that sound can be heard on the fly, as you change it, the psychoacoustics. No two people will perceive a sound the same, we all listen to everything in a different way. Is psychoacoustics the determining factor to whether some wave has been synthesized correctly or not? Who knows, one person will like the sound clean, while the other will like it distorted. It's a matter of taste.

Breaking sound down into its components and the relevant math, has yielded two areas of study that I have found myself compelled to work; sound design through commercial synthesizer synthesis and computer generated music.

computer generated music

More than mere lines of counting or charts of numbers pointing to statistical data, computer aided design in music composition has found a home in today's music. Like in all forms of art, we have the classical, the contemporary and the improvised. With computers we have been able to investigate all three. Our ear respects the classical, we live in the contemporary and we listen to improvised. Computers are a tool at our disposal to do our business; they are everywhere, helping us in so many areas of our productivity. Computers can be directed, motivated or they can create all on their own. The journey into computer generated must be made by the open listener because what you are hearing is the computer’s ability to be creative, to be motivated and to be individual. The mathematics of sound's outer boundary lies here by manipulating math and equation to create composition and even evolving sound. The timing can be absolutely perfect or the flow can be individual and can arrive at conclusions not thought or composed out in the classical fashion, whether; orchestrated, jazz, tribal or pop.

history of the electronica

A timeline of artists & musical compositions that shaped a genre of music filled with electronic invention.

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