Sound synthesis is the process of using specialised audio synthesising devices to create sounds. Sound synthesis was originally intended to provide a means of recreating acoustic instrumental tones, but the resulting attempts were generally unrealistic and inadequate as a substitute for the original instrument. What resulted was the creation of new sounds, never before heard nor conceived.

There are many different types of synthesis in common use today:

  • Subtractive Synthesis (otherwise knows as Analogue Synthesis)
  • Additive Synthesis
  • Frequency Modulation (FM) Synthesis
  • Phase Distortion Synthesis
  • Granular Synthesis
  • Wavetable Synthesis
  • Physical Modelling Synthesis (a fairly recent development which does enable realistic recreation of acoustic intruments)

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