Tuesday, August 28, 2012

SynthX (1998)

In the mid-to-late 90's I was involved, however lamely, in the tracking/demo music scene.  I sought to remedy my relative lack of access to synthesis hardware by writing my own software synthesizer; thus was born SynthX.

The synthesis model is quite simple.  There are 16 operators.  For each operator, using a mouse, you can draw the operator cycle waveform as well as its panning, amplitude, and pitch envelopes.  Rendering simply consists of additively mixing all the operator outputs together.  Aside from the obvious application of generating samples for use in tracking, the synth enables the user to explore the mapping between sound and shape of a waveform, by drawing different waveforms into the operators and seeing what they sound like.

Though many or most of my programs made use of my home-grown graphics/mouse/joystick/font/etc. libraries, this was one of my rarer programs to make use of my SoundBlaster library, which leveraged DMA to transfer sound data to the card.



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