|MadSci Network: Computer Science|
There exist two items under the name Creative Music Synth. One of them is the driver to access the FM on chip synthesizer of early models of Sound Blaster cards. The other is a Sample based General MIDI software synthesizer that allows a user to play Standard MIDI Files without the need for an On Chip synthesizer or a MIDI interface, by just using the audio playback capabilities of the sound card and the CPU for synthesizing sounds. The FM synthesizer in the early sound blaster cards consists of a special chip originally made by Yamaha which allows synthesis of simple 2 or 3 operator FM sounds and has limited number of simultaneous voices. FM synthesis is a way to generate sounds by using oscillators whose base frequency can be modulated by other oscillators. An oscillator in FM synthesis is also known as an Operator. The frequencies of those oscillators are expressed as multiples of the fundamental pitch of the tone being played, and can sometimes be fractional numbers for enharmonic sounds. Although FM synthesis is far from intuitive or easy to understand, a common attribute tends to be that the amount of modulation being applied to the carrier operator tends to vary the amount of "brightness" of a sound. The gain level for each operator is controlled by an envelope so that the brightness and loudness of a sound can be independently controlled over time. The Creative Music Synth that appears in modern operating systems (i.e. Windows 2000) is a sample playback synthesizer. Like all other sample playback synthesizers, it uses a collection of sound recordings from actual musical instruments at various pitches, and its able to play those recordings at different speeds in order to achieve the entire tonal range of a keyboard. This collection of sounds is normally reffered to as a wavetable, and many sample playback based synthesizers are also called wavetable synthesizers. Hope this answers your question! Your mad scientist, -Aurelio R. Ramos
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