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#31 Various features for drum sound programming

Dario Straulino

I have tried to model some drum sounds with ZynAddSubFx (the results can be found here: www.straulino.ch/zynaddsubfx/). Although ZynAddSubFx offers great possibilities for doing that, with some additional/enhanced functionality it would become an even more powerful tool. My feature requests are:


An accurately modelled transient is decisive for drum/percussive sounds. Therefore it is necessary to have a fine enough control over the first few milliseconds of the sound generation. In ZynAddSubFx this could be achieved by:

- increasing resolution of envelopes (x-axis and especially y-axis)

- introducing curves for envelope composition (instead of only straight lines)

- allowing different modulators to control the envelope amount (e.g. velocity controls frequency envelope amount -> necessary for modelling a realistic kick drum beaten with different strengths)


- allow more than one SUBsynth instance per instrument, similar to ADDsynth (some of my drum sounds consist of more than one SUBsynth instance for modelling different drum components, e.g. one instance for the snares and one for drum resonances of a snare drum)

- allow non harmonic overtones by allowing the user to manually change the multiplier (floating point) of each overtone (drum resonances consist of non harmonic overtones; this feature would by the way overcome the restriction of the actual overtone range of 6 octaves [= first 64 harmonic overtones], which is not enough for modelling overtones of metallic instruments like hihats or cymbals)

Other useful features

- "trigger" mode for envelopes and sound generator (once triggered, run through the complete envelope regardless of "note off" events -> necessary for drum sounds)

- scale units for several controls would make programming easier (e.g. volume control in [dB], y-axis of envelopes in [dB] respectively [octave], harmonics magnitude and bandwidth of SUBsynth in [dB] respectively [octave], ...)

- allow more than 16 instruments in a kit (some of my drum sounds consist of more than one SUBsynth instance -> it is not possible to put together a complete drum set with only 16 available SUBsynth instances)

- more modulation possibilities, e.g. allow any modulator to control any parameter of the synth (e.g. velocity controls bandwidth of SUBsynth -> necessary for dynamic playing of hihat or cymbal; or key number controls pan -> spread tom-toms in the stereo field)

It would be great to find some of these features in a future version of ZynAddSubFx...

Kind regards,