Circuit-bend your Mircrosoft GS Wavetable Synth

For many electronic musicians and sound designers a couple of synths, drum machines, and VST's along with a microphone and some creative sound sources are enough to keep busy.  However, for many of us, there comes a time when the hiss of an old tape player and the crackle of an old record no longer satisfy the hipster in us desperately sniffing around for unorthodox sounds impossible to extract from prepackaged sample libraries or synths.  This is when we fall victims to circuit-bending fever.

But if you're anything like me, you may have accumulated a few toy keyboards only to find yourself procrastinating on purchasing the right potentiometers, capacitors and resistors, which would also require you to go back to college and get a minor in electrical engineering and soldering.  Okay, I may be exaggerating a bit, but the truth is that sometimes circuit-bending could be too much of a time-consuming and space-invading activity.

What I'm about to show you will not replace circuit-bending, but If you have both limited time and space it will be a great way for you to create your own new experimental sounds without having to spend any money.  You will also get your feet wet using Pure Data, which is in itself an amazing sound design-tool.

Comment: the following has been done on a Windows computer. It should work on Mac too but you may need to select a different MIDI output device.

Step 1: Download and install Pure Data Extended

Step 2: Download and open my MIDI Randomizer.pd patch

Step 3: Go to "Media"-->"MIDI Settings"

Step 4: For "Output device 1", select "Microsoft GS Wavetable Synth", and press OK

Step 5: Start tweaking parameters to your liking!


Once you get the Pure Data basics down you will be able to take this experimental patch and make it your own by adding your own features.  Feel free to modify the patch and share it--that's what it's all about!

audio, technology

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