- Paperback: 128 pages
- Publisher: Fred Welsh; 3d edition (2006)
- Language: English
- ASIN: B000ERHA4S
- Package Dimensions: 10.7 x 8.2 x 0.5 inches
- Shipping Weight: 13.6 ounces
- Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars See all reviews (71 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #61,971 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Welsh's Synthesizer Cookbook: Synthesizer Programming, Sound Analysis, and Universal Patch Book Paperback – 2006
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This book covers ground that is often left untouched by other synthesizer books and was written to fulfill the wishes voiced by synth programmers. Section one explains the parts of an analog synth in detail using harmonic and waveform analysis to make clear exactly what each synth parameter does. Section two is probably the most important section added to the new edition and it explains through examples how to use freely available harmonic and waveform analysis software to analyze and recreate patches from other synths, sounds found in songs, and the synthesis of acoustic instruments. Section three contains all 102 of the original 1st and 2nd edition universal patches for ALL dual-oscillator analog synths. The acoustic patches are based on harmonic analysis and are exceedingly close to the real instruments. An included CD contains the new SCB VSTi softsynth and audio samples for synthesizer calibration as well as a full album of electronica. For more info and to view a sample of the book please visit http://www.synthesizer-cookbook.com Also be sure to check out Welsh's Synthesizer Cookbook Vol 2: Harmonic Catalog
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Top customer reviews
I wish I would have had this 20 years ago when I bought my first synth.
Well-written and thorough.
Educational and shows you how to think creatively about sound.
For 20 years, I always used the amplitude envelope for what I thought was its obvious use. Fred's suggestion of using the filter envelope instead is really brilliant in a "why didn't I think of that?!" way.
Finally, although I'm certain it won't be to everyone's taste, I thoroughly enjoyed the album he included as MP3 files. I am assuming it was created with some kind of modular synth and sequencers, but it may be all software. It's like a great lost pre-1980 Tangerine Dream album.
If you imagine that you are going to explore sound design with your DSP analog modeling synths, please buy this book. The price is a bit steep for 124 (large format) pages, BUT, as the other reviewers have attested, a better course and instruction book for analog sound design would be hard to imagine. Fred Welsh knows his stuff cold, and is a fabulously clear and engaging writer. Fascinating bits of synthesizer trivia pop up from time to time (like the patch for Dalek voices in Dr. Who!), but this book is first and foremost a teaching manual for the hands-on auto-didactic creative musician. (Most musicians I deal with are both hands-on and self-teachers!) The first 30 pages take you through all the tools--oscillators, filters, envelopes, LFOs, etc.--and this is the best survey of all these features I've seen. The second major section might at first seem a bit arcane--"Synthesis through harmonic analysis and reverse engineering"--but it is chock full of specific remarks on how certain visually detectable sound characteristics can be generated by your "weapon of choice." More than half of the book is dedicated to "recipes," "Cookbook patches" as Mr. Welsh calls them. A reader more or less on top of the tools section will have no problem recreating these tasty acoustic treats. There are even alternate patches for those who have machines that may not have "pulse width," or simply have a hankering for a different patch. What Mr. Welsh ultimately achieves (especially in the second section) is whetting the musician's appetite for harmonic composition of timbres. Something like Arthur H. Benade's "Horns, Strings, and Harmony" may well be a decent companion book here, as all those lovely harmonic diagrams included in the cookbook will come to life with Benade's careful explanations of the harmonic properties of acoustic instruments.