Making sounds

This blog will be about a pretty important part of making music with a keyboard. Getting sounds out of them. As I mentioned before, the Casiotone MT-100 only has 20 different sounds, excluding accompaniment, which consists of another additional 4 chord sounds and 4 bass sounds. (Actually they are 2 sounds each, but just in different patterns when used as accompaniment)

To these 20 different sounds you can apply vibrato or delayed vibrato and sustain or reverb. Reverb is something I prefer to add afterwards, because the onboard reverb just doesn’t sound great, doesn’t have adjustable decay time and can’t be changed after recording, which is kind of a hassle. The sustain however can add a really nice touch to leads and basses.

Vibrato is something I use on nearly every sound, I like the way how subtle it can be, especially combined with sustain. The delayed vibrato is only useful on longer notes, since it takes quite some time for it to kick in.

Now on to the onboard graphic equalizer. It offers five bands, 350 Hz, 500 Hz, 1 KHz, 4 KHz and 10 KHz. The graphic equalizer can be on 3 modes. Off, only on melody and on for both melody and accompaniment. The EQ for both melody and accompaniment seems to remove a lot of high end compared to the melody EQ, which can be nice from time to time.

After making your sound, you record it and after that you start making the next layer of sound. There is a big problem though, once you start changing things you’re gonna have a hard time recreating the sound you originally had. There are simply too many parameters to remember. This is a common problem in the world of synthesizers without presets as well and it can be really frustrating to not be able to record another melody using the same lead sound.

Those are sort of the limitations I have to work with, some people circuit bend their MT-100s so the EQ can be used as a filter more or less, but I don’t plan on doing that, because it ruins the point of the ‘challenge’ of making this album.


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