Historic Synthesizer: Roland D-50 (7)
D-50 Structure (2)
Although D-50's sound is digitally processed, there are many elements of analog synthesizers in many parts. Therefore, when using D-50, it is easy to understand how to use it by approaching the same concept as when operating an analog synthesizer. In analog synthesizers, a VCO (Voltage Controlled Oscillator) generates 'wave' containing pitches and 'noise' without pitch, which operate as a sound source. The tone is edited by the VCF (Voltage Controlled Filter) and the volume is adjusted in the VCA (Voltage Controlled Amplifier). EG (Envelope Generator) controls the change in sound level over time. The LFO (Low Frequency Oscillator) is used for generating effects such as vibrato, tremolo, and buzz, and its operation principle is to create a repetitive effect with a waveform below the audible frequency.
In D-50, the role of VCO is performed by the WG (Wave Generator). This part is where the sound begins, creating waveforms such as square waves, sine waves, sawtooth waves, and pulse waves. The pitch of WG is influenced by various controls such as EG and LFO. Analog synthesizers usually use subtractive synthesis. This is how the oscillator creates a harmonically rich waveform and removes unwanted components using a filter. The analog synthesizer's VCF in D-50 is the TVF (Time Variant Filter). The cutoff frequency of this TVF changes over time. In D-50, EG is often used to simulate the tone or brightness of a real musical instrument. The TVA (Time Variant Amplifier) of the D-50, which corresponds to the VCA of an analog synthesizer, adjusts the volume of sound over time. TVA simply controls the volume of sound, but it gives a liveliness to the tone when used simultaneously with EG or LFO. In particular, if you modulate TVA with LFO, you can create a tremolo or 'wah-wah' effect. In analog synthesizers, the response of a parameter variable cannot be adjusted depend on a specific keyboard range. In the D-50, the response value of TVF or TVA can be increased or decreased in a specific keyboard range, which is called 'Bias'. Players can benefit from different bias settings for several partials during performances. For example, a cello is set on the bottom of the keyboard and a violin is set on the high note. At this time, sound outside of each bias range may not be good.
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