October 19, 2012

More Deviations From The Plot


The Korg EX-800. I found one at a local pawn shop when I was about twelve or thirteen years old. At the time I thought it was interesting, but not any more so than any other synthesizer. At that age reading a manual wasn't really something I cared to do, and it's a good thing because they were a lot harder to find back then! Eventually I came to really love the sound of it. I didn't really know what any of the parameters did, I just scrolled through them and adjusted their values until I liked the sound. I realize now the reason I liked it's sounds, the reason it sounded a little more interesting to me than some of my other synthesizers, was because not only did it have separate envelope generators for the oscillators (well, the loudness of them going through the VCA) and the filter --which is fairly common, but it also had a separate envelope generator for each of the two oscillators. Now, this is something I've never seen before, save for other Korg products from this era.  



So, that is interesting but it gets slightly more interesting. The envelope generators are not the typical four stage ADSR's that we all know and love. They have six stages. Along with attack, decay, sustain and release, they also have break point and slope. What would this look like if music was a visual art you ask? Well, something like this:



What does it sound like? It can sound like sounds that are fading out then fading in again before they eventually and finally fade out. Which can sound even more interesting when you imagine that the two separate oscillators and the filter can all uniquely fade in and out in their own times. It means that you can synthesize your own delays. It means all sorts of things, but there's no audio demo to be found, and I don't own one anymore so I can't show you myself. You'll just have to trust me on this one. This little guy is built like a tank --sold metal casing. Nice little non-nonsense sequencer. Nice. Trust me. 


Amendment I: Also, I'd just like to say, and I don't normally say this, but yes, this does have digital oscillators... it also has digital envelop generators, and for whatever reason, I don't mind. There's something more solid, more sturdy about this thing than most synthesizers with DCO's. Is it just the solid metal casing tricking my mind into thinking the sounds and thicker than they actually are? Perhaps. But I don't think so! I don't...

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