beginner questions about poly synths

Questions and discussion about building and using Max for Live devices
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n8tron
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Joined: Thu May 26, 2005 8:57 pm

beginner questions about poly synths

Post by n8tron » Sun May 25, 2014 10:09 pm

I've just delved into actually using Max to make my own synth. I'm terrible with this stuff. I've viewed a few tutorials online, particularly the 1min synth series on youtube, and I've got a mono synth built and working. I'm trying to turn it poly and I feel like I'm close, but I have no idea why it's not working. Is this a good forum to get help troubleshooting basic Max stuff?

oluf
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Joined: Wed Jun 09, 2004 5:49 pm

Re: beginner questions about poly synths

Post by oluf » Mon Jun 02, 2014 4:52 pm

This is a great tutorial about using poly in max to build a simple synth:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y0mcWhrFrEY

Regards,
Oluf

n8tron
Posts: 173
Joined: Thu May 26, 2005 8:57 pm

Re: beginner questions about poly synths

Post by n8tron » Wed Jun 18, 2014 5:19 pm

this is very helpful, thank you!

I'm trying to expand my synth by adding a selector with a few different osc shapes but when I do I lose polyphony. Same if I add a simple filter after the osc. In the video he explains at the end that the saw osc he is using can be replaced by a more substantial sound generating patch, but whatever I do it sort of works but just monophonically.

justin
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Re: beginner questions about poly synths

Post by justin » Fri Jun 20, 2014 11:50 am

The poly~ object is the way to go, but it is impossible to provide a clear answer to your question without seeing a patch (easiest) or some kind of schematic. I would also suggest posting your question on the max forums.

As a general pointer, poly~ loads up a patcher and the number of voices defines how many times that patch is duplicated, which in turn creates the polyphony required. Its important to remember that you will also need to include any modulators within the voice patch, such as envelopes modulating VCA / VCF / VCO... If you only have one envelope outside the voice patch, your synth will only be mono!

n8tron
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Re: beginner questions about poly synths

Post by n8tron » Sat Jun 21, 2014 3:19 pm

thanks Justin!

I wasn't sure if they needed to be in the poly~ patch or not so that helps out a ton. Is there a good place to learn these sorts of steps and limitations? I don't have an engineer brain so this stuff is very hard for me to figure out but I'm excited to try. I'll check out the Max forums.

justin
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Re: beginner questions about poly synths

Post by justin » Mon Jun 23, 2014 9:56 pm

You don't really need an engineer brain, but it is helpful to do some research on the type of synth you want to build. A lot of synth designs are based on having voices (think all objects inside a poly~) which can contain everything such as VCO (osc) > VCF (filter) > VCA (amp), as well as the respective polyphonic EG / LFO for modulating filter / pitch. Then you might have a few mono LFO to control the pitch of all VCO to create a vibrato effect (these would remain outside poly~ with a connection to a poly~ input). These are just examples, but hopefully you get the idea. I usually start off by drawing it out on paper. It can just be a bunch of boxes with labels for each component and its connections to get an idea of what my patch might look like.

In terms of how to get it working, you will need to learn basic synthesis stuff with MSP and some Max logic to handle the MIDI and synth user interface. It's quite a bit to figure out, but there are decent help patches for each object and the tutorials are also worth a read. If in doubt ask in the forums, although it sounds like you probably know some of this already...

It's probably going to be easier to keep the first poly synth relatively simple, so you can use it as a prototype to build on.

n8tron
Posts: 173
Joined: Thu May 26, 2005 8:57 pm

Re: beginner questions about poly synths

Post by n8tron » Fri Jun 27, 2014 5:38 pm

I browsed the max forums and found a solution (adding "@target 0" argument to poly~)

Here is the thread if anyone else comes across this!

http://cycling74.com/forums/topic/poly-headache/

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