December 3, 2012

Rob Papen’s Secrets Of Subtractive Synthesis

If you’re into manufacturing or engineering, then you may already understand the various engineering processes that allow materials to be transformed into the objects and machines that surround us today.  Many of these processes start with some sort of machine that takes a basic design and whittles it down into something more complex.  Examples of this would be investment casting or forging, where basic materials are changed into a different form using a variety of techniques and procedures.  New advances in machining and engineering are allowing us to create objects using an additive process, instead of taking away parts from a basic piece.  It allows complex parts to be created without the need for giant mold or extraction machines.

Music engineers tend to take the opposite approach when it comes to designing songs and soundtracks.  Most of us will load out our favorite DAW like Ableton, and build a track by layering new parts on top of older parts; using an additive process to create music.  However, subtractive synthesis is also starting to be explored in great depth, and has been found to be a useful approach to music creation as well.  Rob Papen has released a DVD instructional set that explains the basic of subtractive synthesis and ways to explore this method.