Installing your own software synthesizer

In the previous section we have shown how to install a simple free soundfont player for wavetable synthesis. Here we describe a different software synthesizer that uses physical modelling synthesis. While this method produces a more 'artificial' sound, one big advantage is that is more accurate in playing specific frequencies.

Software Requirements

Installation

  1. Download the two files above. The given
    links were working as of April 2009, but since we have no influence
    over these external sites, they may stop working at any time. Please let us know if these links are no longer valid.
  2. Install the Maple Virtual MIDI Cable by downloading and installing MapleVMCv356.exe.
  3. Install ZynAddSubFX 2.2.0.
  4. Start ZynAddSubFX and select the advanced user interface mode. You should now see something like this:
    ZynAddSubFX
  5. Click on the "Panel Window" button in the top right corner, just below the "Panic" button. Select at least the first eight channels on the panel window:
    Panel Window
  6. In the "File" menu, click on "Settings". Under "Main Settings", ensure that "Maple Midi In: Port 1" is selected as Midi In Device.
  7. Now open Overtone Analyzer,
    press F3 to open the device options dialog, and select "Maple Midi Out:
    Port 1" as Midi Output Device.

This concludes the installation of the soundfont player. If you press
the piano keys or overtone sliders in Overtone Analyzer now, you should hear the electronic sound of the software synthesizer.

Other Instruments and Effects

ZynAddSubFX offers many different effects and settings to play with. To get started, try changing the system effect preset from "Cathedral 1" to some of the other types and see what happens.
For more advanced changes, you could look at the ZynAddSubFX web page, which has links to further documentation and some instruments to download.