INSTRUMENTS / GENERATORS
The Generator Page contains the Additive Synthesis controls for Morphine. As has been discussed in the introduction, Additive synthesis builds more complex waveforms from a harmonic sequence of sine-waves. Better yet, Morphine can interpolate a series of these harmonic 'snapshots', that may be manually programmed or derived from samples, to re/create infinitely complex sounds. In other words, Morphine can generate synthetic 'samples'. There are four main features of the Morphine architecture -
The aim was to provide the sound designer with a rich palette of evolving sounds that can be mixed, real-time, in response to modulation parameters time or tempo. By now the Morph in Morphine should be clear.
This section describes the synthesis controls and their operation.
The 4 GENERATORS in Morphine have the same set of properties that modify the response of 128 harmonics per voice. Further, in combination with Keyboard Zones, Generators can contain multiple, independent, 'sub-voices' assigned to play over unique keyboard ranges. The components of the Generators are described, starting from the bottom of the Generator Page (as shown above) working upwards:
Each Keyboard Zone contains one Spectrum. The Spectrum Editor allows you to edit the Spectrum of the currently selected (highlighted) Keyboard Zone, as follows:
Pausing a Breakpoint - To stop at a given place in the envelope, make the loop start and end positions the same. If RELEASE LOOP mode is on, the envelope will continue past this point when you release the note.
As shown above there are 5 properties that can be accessed by selecting the switch along the top of the Breakpoint Editor window. To change the values Left-click at the partial to be edited and move your mouse up/down. To reset/delete values Right-click (or Alt + Left-click) at the partial to be edited. The functions of the various properties are described below:
NOTE: When the Breakpoint Menu is in Window and Velocity edit modes, has no copy/paste values as these are already global functions for the Spectrum. To reset, copy or paste go to the spectrum menu and click the desired Spectrum menu option.
Limits the Detune and Pan range of the 128 harmonics for all Breakpoints. NOTE: If these are set to zero then the Detune and Pan values set in the Breakpoints won't have any effect, conversely, if the Breakpoints don't have Detune and Pan values set, then these sliders will have no effect on the sound.
This quick tutorial will show you how to morph between two simple harmonic spectra and give you a feel for working the controls of the Breakpoint Editor window, see the instructions below the image.
You may be wondering where the ADSR envelopes are for the Generators (A to D). Since the volume envelope of a Spectrum is defined by the height of the Breakpoint Markers a separate ADSR envelope is unnecessary. To set the ADSR of a Spectrum simply draw the desired volume curve. To set a Sustain Level (a constant volume while a key is held) you can either use the last Breakpoint or, if you also need to have a release envelope, then use the Loop Markers to trap the Spectrum at the desired Breakpoint (or set of Breakpoints) and so define the Sustain level. In the example below, the Loop Start and End Markers are placed on the third Breakpoint in the sequence, trapping the Spectrum at that Breakpoint. On release the Spectrum will continue to the last Breakpoint and so the portion after the loop end will define the Release envelope. Don't forget, there is also a Master Envelope, that applies to all Spectra, however bear in mind that this is imposed over the sound of the Generators so it won't add a fast attack to a Generator with an inherently slow attack.