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How To Make This Synth Sound?

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The JV2080 is a synthesizer that has 4 sample-based "oscillators" - each has their own multimode filter, LFOs and envelopes. This helps because it means that you can deconstruct such a sound in 4 layers or fewer.

So, layer by layer: the ttch ttch is noise - an open hihat sample would work - that's been cut and it gets played at progressively lower pitches at a tempo of 16th notes.

Another layer is a pulsating triangle or sinewave. A square wave LFO is routed to the volume and the modulation amount is 100%. That one is tempo-synced but it's playing 8th notes (on the 2nd and 4th). Below that is a more constant note without pulsation, probably a low-pass filtered string quartet or something.

One layer is a high-passed sample of a piano. Not hi-fi gigabytes of library, but a cheap piano; if you have Korg's M1 in plugin form, that'd help.

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So I happen to have an XP30, which is a JV1080 in keyboard form. The JV2080 is virtually identical, except that it has more expansion room, a bigger display, and 3 insert effects instead of just 1. The sound is called "Temple of JV" (PR-E 078). I've opened the on-board editor to find out what makes it tick. Note that this is the first time I'm seeing this - my previous analysis did not have the machine switched on.

INT A-254 Org Vox C (that's the sound you're after)

INT A-013 MKS-20 PR B (the cheap piano)

INT A-151 Mini Bs 2 (the pulsating tonal sound)

INT A-219 Soft Pad A (the constant note)

I also noted now where I was wrong; I was right about pretty much everything except for Org Vox C. It's not just noise; it's actually a tonal sound! The noisy part is part of the multisample - and there also lies the problem. You can't further split up a multisample anymore.


Here's the wave file with that single sound for yours to analyze. First I play the unfiltered notes, then I enable the filter and let the envelope modulate it (it's a simple ADSR - 0 7 0 0 long decay shape). Resonance is turned up a bit - it gives an edge to the noise. Then I enable the downwards saw wave LFO.

So, then the question turns into - "how would you synthesize that sound"? I wouldn't - I'd run it through a resynthesizer like Morphine or Serum. It's going to be pretty damn tricky to synthesize it from scratch if you want the identical sound because it's not just noise, but pre-filtered (bpf?) noise.

An alternative would be to sample it. Sing a single note close to the microphone and add enough "breath noise". Then, cut out a small bit and loop that seamlessly; after all, that's also how they did it with the famous Fairlight vox sound. Alternatively, EQ the hell out of it to remove the tonal part, then reintroduce the tonal part with another short loop sample at the correct pitch.

You have to keep in mind that these machines have limited memory, and that everything is allowed when you're not dealing with real instruments. Very short loops that only take a few kilobytes gain character by being pitched up/down all over the keyboard. The layering takes care of the rest, and by using synchronized LFOs you can let it play entire melodies.

See also :


Just keep in mind that there is zero difference between:

using an LFO with the correct waveshape

using an envelope with an arpeggiator

drawing all automation by hand

Well - not zero. The first and second are harder to set up, but you can play melodies without jumping through hoops and copy-pasting several lanes of automation.

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