Creating Realistic Flute Sounds With Modular Synthesizers

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This pair of videos, from AJH Synth, takes a look at creating realistic flute sounds with modular synthesizers.

They note, “A truly realistic flute is too much of a tall order – a greater amount of modules, and a more complex controller, would no doubt get you nearer, but here is a more modest way of achieving a reasonable, and nice-sounding impersonation.”

The first video, above, looks at creating a classic flute sound. Here’s what they had to say about this patch:

“Some of the early self-contained synths of the 1970’s tried to make useable impersonations of ‘real’, acoustic or familiar instruments using easily-selectable presets with a very simple voice architecture. Some sounded better than others, but whilst they were often sonically appealing in their own right, they were seldom anywhere near realistic. Among the more famous were the ARP Pro Soloist, Roland SH1000/SH2000, and the Korg 700/700S – all of which very characterful and unique instruments, with their own strengths, and much loved to this day.

This patch is a nod to those classic synths, but also exploring what is possible now with modest amount of purely analogue Eurorack modules.”

The second video takes a look at creating a pan flute sound, loosely inspired by the instrument used on the soundtrack to Aguirre: Wrath of God.

Patch details:

“It uses a single VCO, white noise, and envelope-controlled filtering to simulate the pipe and breath elements that form the sound.

The Fixed Filter Bank sculpts the noise, removing low frequencies and pushing selected highs, before being mixed into the Sonic XV’s bandpass filter along with the square wave from the VCO. The FFB’s wet/dry mix is also controlled by an envelope here, a rare feature on a filter bank. Pulse width modulation from red noise ads a subtle distortion to the oscillator, and the VCA in the Dual LFO is used to ad optional pitch vibrato and VCF frequency modulation.”

While the video features AJH’s line of modules, the patch concepts are universal.

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