Use Arturia Modular V—a realistic emulation of the original Moog modular synths of the 1960s and 1970s—to "patch" a modular synth to create your own sounds.
- Hi, I'm Chris Meyer of Learning Modular, and welcome to Learn Modular Synthesis with Arturia Modular V. Now, modular synthesizers are enjoying a huge resurgence right now. A modular synth is basically something that takes the internal building blocks of a synthesizer, the oscillators, the filters, the envelopes, etc., and breaks them into individual components, or modules, and exposes them to you, the user. Then you get to choose how those modules interconnect by routing their control voltages and the audio signal throughout the synth. This way, not only do you get to create your own sounds, you get to create your own instrument, and that's very powerful and a lot of fun.
Now, a real modular synth can be a bit of an investment in time and in money, and a lot of people are computer-based, that's where they prefer to actually make their music. As a result, there's a lot of good software emulations of synthesizers, including modular synths, and one of the oldest and most respected is Arturia's Modular V. Therefore, I'm going to be using that software to teach you modular synthesis in this course. Let me explain to you what we're going to be covering. In the next movie, I'm going to cover a fundamental concept that anyone who uses a synthesizer should understand, and that's how harmonics work to build a sound, just like individual notes build a chord.
Then in the next chapter, we're going to discuss how you actually run Arturia Modular V on your computer. We'll cover installation, including connecting, audio, and MIDI. Then we'll go over the user interface, how you route patch chords between individual modules and how you edit its parameters. And then we're going to actually go all the way through creating your first patch from scratch using Arturia Modular V. This will help you become familiar with patching a modular synth, as well as using the software. Then the chapter after that's going to cover basic synthesis techniques and go into each module in detail.
I'll show you how to use multiple oscillators together, discuss the individual analog waveforms and describe what their individual harmonic structure is like. We'll cover envelopes, lots of different filters including low-pass, high-pass, the filter coupler, and the two-pole multi-mode filter inside Modular V. Then we'll spend a lot of time talking about LFOs, their individual wave shapes, and how to use them for pulse with modulation, tremolo, vibrato, and how to control their amount with the mod wheel. Then in the chapter after that, we're going to get a lot more complex and cover advanced techniques like oscillator sync, frequency modulation, including using FM to create drum sounds or to create edgy sounds by modulating the filter.
We'll demonstrate amplitude and ring modulation, go into some advanced filters including the fixed filter bank and the format filter, show you how to use noise, both for percussive sounds and to add a bit of breath noise or noise shift to the start of notes. How to harness randomness, including using a sample on hold, two different types of delays, a trigger delay to delay individual notes and the dual-audio delay in Modular V, and then two other effects, a stereo course and the famous moog 12-stage phaser. So we have two goals in this course, making you comfortable with using a modular synthesizer and also to show you how to get around the very powerful Arturia Modular V software.
But first, let's talk about harmonics, because once you understand those, you understand the secret to synthesizing the sounds in your head.
- How harmonics combine to create unique "timbres" or tone colors
- How to configure and navigate Arturia Modular V
- How to combine oscillators in series and in parallel to create thick sounds
- The aural differences between oscillator waveforms as well as filter types and slopes
- Different ways to apply and control LFOs to create tremolo, vibrato, and wah-wah effects
- How to use noise as a sound source as well as a way to introduce randomness into a patch
- What the individual controls in the delay, chorus, and phaser effects do