Theo Hogers t.hogers at
Wed Mar 8 01:38:51 CET 2000

Hi Jason,

I don't know anny books but maybe this helps you on the road.
Before we begin, you need to draw a pentagram on the ground
and have some fresh!! (this is important) chicken blood at hand.

-VCO: Voltage Controlled Oscilator,
            a unit that generates a tone, mostly a raw simple wave form
            like a sine wave, "square" wave or "sawtooth".
            These wave forms are named after the way they look and
            don't sound very musical yet...quite boaring mostly.

(please put three drops of chicken blood in a glass of  water, then read

-DCO: Digital Controlled Oscilator, same as a VCO but digital.
-WG: Wave generator, just another name for the same thing.

-LFO: Low Frequency Oscilator, Same idea as a VCO only the
            frequency is verry low, it is used to generate vibrato like
            you know: like a police sirene "peeeweeepeeeweeep...."

-ADSR: Stands for Attack, Decay, Sustain and Release.
            The most difficult of all, and even this one is simple.
            These terms are used to describe a sound over time.
            Simple example: the sound of a piano.
            A piano has short Attack, and a long Decay.
            Play a piano sound backwards and you've got a long Attack and a
short Decay.
            A piano has no Sustain, the note dies after the decay.
            The tone of a organ or fute starts (Attack) then stays at the
same level,
            so it is Sustained.
            Realease is the same as Decay, but after you lifted your finger
form the keyboard.

-EG or ENV: Envelope (Generator). Same as ASDR.

-VCA: Voltage Controlled Amplifier, A amplifier yust as in your HiFi set,
only the volume
            can be changed by a ADSR or LFO.
            The signal that is used to "controll" the unit is called the
Control Voltage.
-DCA: need I say more?

-VCF, DCF,.. You get the hang of it don't you?
                      This time it is a filter, think of it as a advanced
tone control.
                      Indeed the filter can be controlled by a LFO or ADSR.
                      To simulate the sounds that it produces, say "OUWW" or
-LP, BP, HP: stands for Low Pass, Band Pass and Low Pass, these are
different kind of filters
                    each has its own character.
-Resonance, one of the controlls on the filters, used to make synthetic and
often screaming sounds.

KOV: Keyboard Offset Voltage, The control voltage generated by the keyboard
usually fed to the VCO.

Gate: A signal from the keyboard genarated when a key is pressed.
            This signal is used to start the ADSR, and to switch it to
Release when the key is lifted.

If your a musican take a look in some back issues of Keaboard or Future
music (GB).
Both have synths for beginners stuf in it that explane how to use a synth.

Cheers Theo.

PS.1 let's keep this simple.
PS. 2 just practising my english ok?

----- Original Message -----
From: <BonoVox9 at>
To: <synth-diy at>
Sent: Tuesday, March 07, 2000 4:42 PM
Subject: Books

> Hello
> I'm very inexperienced with synths, and I am very curious. I am planning
> buying the Paia Fatman kit to build, and to start with. I keep reading
> terms such as LFO, VCF, VCA, Gate, etc.. and I do not know what they mean,
> and I would like to know very much.
> Does anyone know of any books that are in print that could explain some of
> these things to me? It would help me very much.
> Please reply to
> bonovox9 at
> Thank you
> Jason.

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