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Digital Additive Synthesis for Computer Music

A revised control panel program for the New England Digital Corporation Synclavier digital synthesizer is described, which adds a facility for additive synthesis of time-varying waveforms with additional control functions in software. The 16 oscillators are used to produce the overtones, with individual volume envelopes for each. Inharmonic overtones can be produced. In addition, a set of control oscillators in the software allow various types of modulation such as vibrato, and as a result, the capabilities of the synthesizer are greatly extended with no additional hardware. The program is now in use at several music studios. The result shows how the capabilities of the Synclavier and other digital synthesizers may be expanded through the addition o modulation controls in software, and indicates critical areas in the design of the processor and oscillators.

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