May 24, 2014

This Noise is Too Noisy!

We've only played a hand full of concerts in the past few months, one in South America and one in The Philippines last week, so I've only had a few opportunities to road test my new set up (including the Moog Subphatty -- perhaps I'll start calling it The Sub25, that sounds much nicer!). Anyway, I've been noticing that the noise on this thing sounds really crazy. Like, ahh!! make it stop!!! So, today I decided to crack open the manual again and just like my issues with the oscilators (see Tone Color 2) if you turn the noise knob past 6 (not very far at all!) bad things start to happen. This is what the manual says:

"Settings higher than 6 push the level beyond unity, imparting gentle filter distortion."
"gentle filter distortion" is putting it gently! It sounded like the world was ending! I was looking for wispy, gentle streams of air. But there's more...

"The Sub Phatty’s noise generator produces a signal called pink noise. Pink noise has equal amplitude in every octave, making it sound deeper than white noise—more like the sound of a waterfall. Most synthesists consider pink noise more useful than white noise."

Unfortunately I am not one of those synthesists.  White noise is the standard I'm used to and it just seems so much cleaner and sits better in a mix. Oh well, the moral of the story is to just read your manuals from start to finish. I've used so many different synthesizers in my life I was overly confident in how things are "supposed" to work. But these are new times, things are different now. Everything distorts.

1 comment:

  1. I always thought white noise was just a standard sound that was the same accross the board.

    I remember my surprise when I found out white noise can sound so different depending on the machine. I was used to my SH101's noise for a few years, then when I got my juno 60 it just sounded so much thicker, different and 'coloured'. It might be because of how many ocsilators etc.. but i dunno. Maybe it's so old that a little bit of the signal is leaking through that loud built-in chorus :)