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a great way to learn how to model a sound on the OP-1 is to try to create a specific sound from real life. it might be a fat bass sound, a police siren or singing birds.
the goal here is not to create a perfect ultra realistic replica, rather to learn how to combine different modules and understand their functions.
before you do the exercises here, remember to set all modules in the mixer to clean settings and to turn off any sequencers:
then you can enter synthesizer mode by pressing the synthesizer key.
start by setting the master volume to a comfortable listening level.
1. select any sound (from
1-8) and press shift + T1 to enter the synthesizer engine browser. select digital from the list and press any key to exit (except the musical keyboard). the digital synthesizer engine is simple but very flexible and good for all-round synthesizer sounds.
2. when in synthesizer engine screen, turn any encoder until you get a noisy sound. to get a clean noise without any tone you need to set the octave to +4. do this by pressing arrow key > until the octave pop-up says “octave +4”.
3. set the envelope to long attack by turning the blue encoder until you get a sloped curve. turn the orange encoder counter clockwise to get a mid- to long release. set both the green and the white encoder to maximum by turning them clockwise.
4. enter the effect screen by pressing the T3 key. now set the effect to punch by entering the effect browser (shift + T3) and choose punch from the list. press any key to exit.
5. the punch effect is great for adding punch to drums and final mixes, but also as a multi purpose resonance filter as used here. set the punch effect like this: blue parameter to middle, green to around 50-65, white to 24 and orange to 99.
6. now play a note on the musical keyboard and turn the blue encoder simultaneously. you will now hear the noise going through the filter and when you turn the blue encoder clockwise you open up the filter and let the sound through. the next step is to control the blue parameter (equals to the blue encoder) and make it automatically increase and decrease at a certain speed. this is done with the parameter LFO.
7. press T4 to enter the LFO screen and the press shift + T4 to enter the LFO browser and select value from the list. press any key to exit.
8. the value LFO is made to modulate one parameter value only. to control the blue parameter in the punch effect set speed to mid (3 o'clock), amount to 50-100, destination to FX and parameter to blue.
9. now play the musical keyboard and you should hear a helicopter type of sound.
if you now go back to the effect screen you will actually see that the blue parameter is moving up and down. try to turn the blue encoder as you play a note and you will be able to set the range for the blue parameter to act within.
to create a sound like singing birds, start with the FM engine which is good for metallic and distinct sounds but also clean sinus wave sounds when the FM level is turned down. here we also use the tombola to play the notes in a natural and random way and add some portamento to let the notes glide. sometimes using a sequencer as tool for shaping a sound can be very useful.
1. select any sound from 1-8 and change it’s engine to FM.
2. turn the blue encoder counter clockwise until you get a clean sinus wave sound.
3. set the octave to +3 (use arrow keys).
4. set the envelope to very short attack, short decay, low sustain and mid release.
5. by pressing shift in envelope screen you enter the play mode settings. set play mode to mono and portamento to 60.
6. choose the spring effect and set the tone to bright (white color), mid amount of turns, maximum damp and mid level.
7. choose the tremolo LFO and set the speed to 3 o'clock, pitch to 20-30, volume to 20-50 and envelope to straight.
8. now press shift + sequencer key and select tombola. press any key to exit.
9. drop some notes into the tombola and set the speed to 2.
as mentioned earlier, using a sequencer as one of the key elements can be very useful when creating melodic type of effects.