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Topic: Synths and notation?

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  1. #1

    Synths and notation?

    A question!

    Does anyone have experience with writing scores with complex synthesizer parts? Let's say a Minimoog or Prophet-5. How do you get the performer to achieve exactly the sound you desire using paper only? Would you have to add extra lines detailing the positions of each and every knob, or some abstractions (filter, resonance, waveform shape, use of oscillator sync..)

    I know you can always spend personal time with the performer to get your ideas across (which is desirable even when scoring for classical instruments) but the point of a well-thought out score annotations should be to minimise that time, I believe.

    Any ideas greatly appreciated.

    Regards Matt

  2. #2

    Re: Synths and notation?

    Quote Originally Posted by Aziraphal
    A question!

    Does anyone have experience with writing scores with complex synthesizer parts? Let's say a Minimoog or Prophet-5. How do you get the performer to achieve exactly the sound you desire using paper only? Would you have to add extra lines detailing the positions of each and every knob, or some abstractions (filter, resonance, waveform shape, use of oscillator sync..)

    I know you can always spend personal time with the performer to get your ideas across (which is desirable even when scoring for classical instruments) but the point of a well-thought out score annotations should be to minimise that time, I believe.

    Any ideas greatly appreciated.

    Regards Matt
    Matt,
    I'd do that on an inside cover page, or at the top of the part, or some such. Describe as fully as possible the sound you want, including a specific synth patch if you know what it is--if the player is diligent s/he will check it out beforehand and will be prepared with exactly that sound or one that is as close as possible. If you know a website that has a tune featuring the sound, direct the player to it in the explanation. I copied a piece in which the composer did exactly that and got exactly what he wanted. Most sounds can be emulated by current gear pretty well. A sightreading situation might be different, though.

    Jim
    Jim Williams
    Professor of Capitalism
    N9EJR
    Indianapolis Brass Choir
    All Your Bass Sus&Short Are Belong to Us.

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