Define the following terms:



Polyphonic Synth





Subtractive Synthesis


Low-frequency oscillation (LFO)





About the Subtractor Synthesizer

As you might know, the Subtractor is a member of the analog(type) polyphonic synths, using subtractive synthesis. Some details:

Basically, subtractive synthesis goes through a certain circulation within the different modulation- parameters.

First, the Oscillators (VCO) create certain basic waves using subwaveforms which are layered over each other. Thus, you alter the basic character of your sound by switching through the different waveforms, provided in Subtractor (please refer to the manual for further description of each of those). But you will for sure know the basic types of waves, as there are sine, sawtooth, square, pulse and triangle.

Second, the freshly generated wave wanders into the filter- section (VCF), where according to the chosen values certain frequencies of the wave are damped/cut off by limiting oscillation.

This also provides for the basic shape of your sound.

The third step is to amplify the resulting wave oscillations as done in the VCA (or the Amp section of Subtractor). As the simple use of an amp would result in some loss of time-dynamic, we can be grateful to use envelope curves.

As you can see in the picture, there are four parts responsible when triggering a sound: Attack, Decay, Sustain, and Release. They all are sequentially setting in, a key is pressed.

So far, speaking about technical aspects of shaping the body of your sound. As next approach you can modulate this body, to get it rougher or clearer or whatever. Speaking of part four,(see pic 1 for details) there you can control how the filter build up and last, using the filter envelope; same thing with the modulation envelope. each of the according ADSR regulates in what way the specific destinations are triggered.

Finally, there is the LFO section (five), as described here. The waveforms gene-rated by LFOs are not to be heard but to modulate the sound sent off by the Oscillators. Doing so, the use low frequences to oscillate – therefore the name. At Subtractor’s LFO1 you can choose the lowfreq’s shape to be generated and in LFO2 kinda independend forms are produced. By editing the rate- and amount value, you can create tones slowly swinging up and down, or by increasing these two values get some rough and distorted sounds, depending on your filter-settings.