[sdiy] Synergy FM [was: Re: DX7 hacking?]

Veronica Merryfield veronica at merryfield.ca
Mon Jul 2 08:54:24 CEST 2012

On 2012-07-01, at 5:14 PM, Richard Wentk wrote:

> The tragedy wasn't that Synergy didn't shrink the 74xx chips into an ASIC. The tragedy was that Atari killed the AMY, which was a 64 oscillator Synergy on a single chip with FFT support:

If only!

> But additive is still a pig to program, unless you have almost endless time to spend on it. 

And that has been the rub for as long as additive synthesis has been around. Either the interface is too flexible and no one bothers because it takes too long to work it out or the interface is limiting. 

I have gone round this circle several times with my Synergy project. A GUI for the envelopes is usable but after that, about the best is some way to show oscillators connected as boxes.

> You could solve that by adding some resynthesis options, so you could throw samples at an FFT and use the output to control the oscillators. But you then have a much more complex project. It would be immensely powerful, but also a ton of work. 

But to do it justice one would have to do the FFT over the entirety of the sample. But then FFT assumes fixed frequency buckets whereas these beasties aren't limited that way so something else would be a better fit.

> It's a bit sad that all these technologies appeared and then disappeared again.

Whilst the technologies are extremely interesting, packaging them for the user, as mentioned above, was ultimately the cause of their demise as products. Most people can get something out of a DCO-VCF-VCA and can kind of predict what they need to do to get the outcome they want. 

> Nowadays you get endless softsynth variations on DCO-DCA-DCF with assorted modulators, but not so much of the really interesting stuff that used to happen back then. (There are a few exceptions, but not many.)
> Richard
> P.S. I can't remember if I've posted this before, but here's Laurie Spiegel playing the 72 oscillator Hal Alles synth:
> http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NChqEEz31eE
> How awesome is that for 1977?

Isn't it!

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