fun with Emulator X and filter response

I have been experimenting lately with Emulator X as a synthesizer rather than a sampler, i.e., using only primitive sources (impulse, noise, etc.) and generating new timbres based on the filter section and other features of synth engine.

In one such experiment, I have built several patches based purely on the impulse responses of filters. By setting the Q of each filter (or each section in the Morph Designer), a highly tuned impulse response is produced. The center frequency can be controlled by keyboard input, thus creating a primitive but “playable” instrument. The following example uses a cascade of tuned two-pole filters on a single voice:

click here to play example

The more complex Z-plane filters can also be used to generate interesting impulse responses, though they are more difficult to control in terms of pitch:

click here to play example

In each of the examples above, the responses decay very quickly, yielding short percussive timbres. Longer decays require narrower-band filters, and even though the E-MU filters have very high Q (resonance), most are not narrow enough when compared to the filters used in resonance modeling The exception is the rarely used Contrary Bandpass filter:

The impulse response of this filter is a nearly pure exponentially-decaying sinewave. Combining several voices with different center frequencies, complex resonance models can be generated.

click here to play example.

Of course, these examples are far less efficient than the resonance-modeling tools Open Sound World, but by combining the models with Emulator X's modulation features, effects and voice management, some more interesting instruments can be created.