Voice Copying

This is a tutorial about voice copying. This is an effective technique that I use a lot, and is very useful, but it is simple and easy.

I'll be using the "unused" patch for this example. You'll find this at the end of the presets menu in Crystal. It is like the "blank slate" that thoke referred to when he uploaded his virgin bank. So, if you're playing along at home, bring up Crystal and choose "unused" from the presets menu.

Crystal offers three "Voices". A Voice is the source of a sound. Other synths often refer to the sound source as an oscillator, but in Crystal the oscillator is just one element of the voice. You can turn the individual voices on and off with the Voice buttons under the logo on the Crystal window, and you can visit the parameters for each voice by choosing the Voice tabs at the top of the window.

With 3 voices, there are countless interesting ways to blend sounds. You can blend contrasting sounds to make intricate patches. For example the "Swept Away" preset uses 3 very different voices to get an evolving sound. Or you can blend similar sounds. The "Bigness MW" preset blends 3 similar voices, but varies them in ways to get a full sound.

One technique for blending multiple voices to create a fuller sound is detuning. In this technique, you employ multiple voices which are identical except that the tuning varies slightly.

This is where voice copying comes in. We want to take the "unused" and give it a fuller sound by detuning multiple copies of the same voice.

If you listen to "unused", it is a very simple sound, which is the whole idea since it is intended to be the starting point for patch creation. Let's beef it up a bit by making a second, detuned voice. Choose "Copy Voice1" from the utility menu, next to the "Poly" button. Then choose "Paste to Voice2" from the same menu. This copies all the parameters from the "Voice 1" page and pastes them into the "Voice 2" page. If you flip back and forth between those two pages, you'll see that they are now identical. If you play a note, it will sound the same as before, only louder. Now adjust the "Fine tune" parameter on Voice 2 slightly, by turning it up to 0.12. Watch the parameter display under the "Poly" button to see the value you are selecting. Now play a note and you can hear that it has a fuller sound.

You can choose "Paste to Voice3", and adjust the "Fine tune" for voice 3 to -0.12 to get a sound that is fuller still. As you can see on the utility menu, there are also options for copying voices 2 and 3, so you can copy/paste between any pair of voices.

Voice copying is very useful when working on a patch where the voices are similar. Note the parameters of the Mixer page are not affected by the paste, so if you're working on a patch where the only differences between the voices are the routings on the Mixer page, you can copy and paste the voices without overwriting those settings.