What I really like about the default synth is that it sounds like the attack depends on the note-on velocity, while the sustain volume is (I believe) controlled with the pressure. This already provides some variety and dynamics, but honestly I’m not satisfied.
Here’s what I thought I’d try to implement if I had the time:
- A nasal tone similar to erhu
I feel that striso’s expressivity is a good fit for controlling a nuanced, vocal tone like that of erhu, duduk or oboe.
- A more musical filter
There is a thing called overtone singing, where the singer uses the vocal tract to amplify certain overtones, resulting in essentially two melodies at once. I want to be able to play a drone, and just change the filter cutoff to play melody on top. Which is a great combo with the next point.
I think I managed to find a patch in Surge XT that allows me to do something like that, but I was not satisfied for some reason.
- A brassy tone
In kargyraa, Tuvan throat singing, the singer sings a low drone note with lots of harmonics, and then uses overtone singing to whistle a melody on top. I love this sound so much that I have two points about it
I see lots of bass patches with rich overtones, so this tone should be very usable per se.
- The overdrive effect
This one is a bit tricky. The first caveat is that there should be almost no distortion when playing soft, and much more when playing loud. The second caveat is that the effect should be applied to all of the voices together, so that their overtones clash and result in beating.
The overdrive adds a lot to the dynamics, which I also love.
One particular sound I wanna make is the unison bend.
We have another combo–with the next point.
- A rhodes piano sound
I’ll just link a youtube video that demonstrates the sheer expressive range of the rhodes piano: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VmhgIVpxm_I
As far I understand, it’s one of the fairly easy sounds to implement, if the quantity of patches is any indication of that–but I can’t know for sure as I have almost no experience in audio programming.
- The variety
Instead of making separate patches, I want knobs that tune the attack and sustain tones, the filter and overdrive effects, so that other sounds in between the above can be achieved.
I really wouldn’t concentrate on replicating the tones exactly, but instead I’d focus on dynamics and achieving the particular sounds I mentioned above. Really, I can’t stress enough how important the dynamics are for striso–and for music.
I think these have the most character and can contribute the most to the perception of the striso as a distinct instrument–just like it was with the rhodes piano.
I’m really excited to try the synth you’re working on! Please post some details if you have the chance, I’m very curious of how do you approach the design and implementation.
I also feel honestly relieved I might not need to do this myself after all
If your synth is open-source, I’d be delighted to read the code, and maybe even contribute–if you don’t mind and I have the time, of course.