Spring 5-20-2016

Document Type

Capstone Project

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts (B.A.)


Music & Performing Arts

First Advisor

Lanier Sammons


“Soft Sound” is an examination of software synthesis, the act of using computer software to create audio signals from scratch. It begins with the basics of sound, a prerequisite for understanding any form of synthesis. Then, it delves into a quick history of analog and digital synthesizers before jumping into the heart of the paper: a look at the forms of synthesis that are commonly done in software rather than analog hardware. These forms include wavetable modulation, frequency modulation, and granular synthesis. Different environments for implementing such techniques will be discussed, ranging from user-friendly virtual synthesizers to low-level programming environments. The paper draws material from a variety of sources ranging from books on computers and music to manufacturer manuals and online magazines. Ultimately, it will be argued that the computer has revolutionized music creation by providing an affordable and convenient way to realize a virtually infinite number of sounds.

Included in

Other Music Commons