Monday, May 9, 2011

Early Synth Pop

I recently watched the BBC documentary Synth Brittania which documented the start of synth pop in Great Britain.  I had never heard of a couple of the bands, even though I'm sure I've heard their music.  It's a great documentary, and this is one of my favorite tracks from it, called "Only You" by Yazoo (Yaz).  Enjoy!

Building a sound: Filters

Generally, after you've selected your waveforms, the next step you find in your synthesizer is your Filter.  Most synthesizers have a low-pass filter, which is the basis of all subtractive synthesis.  Some have band-pass, notch, comb, and high pass filters, although it is unlikely you will find much more than a low pass and high pass filter on an analog synth.  The picture above shows the frequency response of a low pass filter.  If you picture this overlaid on the graph of the frequency spectrum of the sawtooth wave you can get an idea of how this works.  The low-pass filter literally means the lower frequencies will be passed through, and the higher frequencies will be filtered out.  This same naming principle applies to all filters, as a high-pass lets through higher frequencies, etc.