The SYSTEM-8 PLUG-OUT Synthesizer features amazing recreations of the JUPITER-8 and JUNO-106. However, its core synthesis engine is very powerful and unique sounding on its own. Our previous synthesis tutorials had examples that are easy to replicate on most subtractive synths. The 7 synth tips in this tutorial are ones that take advantage of some of the advanced features that are available on the SYSTEM-8. Watch the examples below to learn how to take advantage of three oscillators, complex waveforms, alternate filter modes and more.
Similar to additive synthesis, modal synthesis combines many frequencies together to create a complex waveform. However, it does so in a subtractive manner. The sound starts with white noise, which contains every frequency in the audible range. A series of narrow band-pass filters are then used to remove the undesired frequencies. Watch this tutorial to see how the side-band filter can be used in place of the multiple band-pass filters in this synthesis technique.
One of the alternate waveforms in the SYSTEM-8 is a VOWEL setting that creates sounds similar to a human voice. Watch this video to see how to add modulation to the COLOR setting that can form words.
This video explains how you can use the chord memory function along with the arpeggiator to easily transpose an arpeggio by only pressing one key.
Additive Synthesis Organ
Additive synthesis is when many sine waves are added together to create a more complex waveform. This method is most often used by organs, with each sine wave having its own drawbar for volume control. Since there are three oscillators on the SYSTEM-8, it can be used to create a simple additive organ sound.
There are six arpeggio types and six arpeggio step settings on the SYSTEM-8. This provides many different arpeggio variations. However, this tutorial demonstrates how to use the LFO to add even more variety to arpeggios.
Check out this tutorial to see how you can use the cowbell waveform to create a noisy 8-bit chiptune sound.
Layered One Key Chords
The SYSTEM-8 has a chord memory function that makes it possible to play an entire chord by pressing one key. However, this is limited by the fact that only one chord can be played at a time. This tutorial explains how to set the oscillators to play an entire chord in a way that can have up to eight chords layered together.