How to Hook up a Noise Synthesizer

by Matt Gerrard
Different cables are used for various models, but the procedure for connecting a noise synthesizer should remain the same.

Different cables are used for various models, but the procedure for connecting a noise synthesizer should remain the same.

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Synthesizer sounds are ideal for creating polished textures and shimmering lead sounds. The high resolution of modern synthesizer technology lends itself to these clean sounds, but that doesn't mean that synthesizers are limited to well-behaved tones. Originally designed for testing audio equipment, noise synthesizers can create a cacophony of dirt and fuzz, ideal for fattening up nasty electro music or industrial metal.

Items you will need

  • RCA or 1/4-inch jack cables
Step 1

Turn off the synthesizer's power. The amplifier or mixer to which you plan to connect the synthesizer should be switched off as well. Turn the master volume control on the noise synthesizer, and the input volume on the amplifier or mixer, down to zero. When the synthesizer is turned on, it can produce a sudden spike in voltage which can damage your equipment if everything is live.

Step 2

Locate the output sockets on the rear panel of the synthesizer. There will be either a single mono output or a pair of stereo ones labeled "Left" and "Right." They could be RCA, "phono" connectors or 1/4-inch jacks. In some rarer cases they may be XLR or SPDIF connections. Insert the cables into the output sockets and run them to the amplifier or mixer. Connect the output of the synthesizer to the input of the amplifier or mixer.

Step 3

Switch on the synthesizer first. Double-check that the volume of the amplifier is turned down to zero before switching it on. Turn the master volume of the synthesizer up to around 50%, and select a patch that constantly produces a tone. If your synthesizer doesn't have such a patch, ask a friend to hold down a key while you gradually increase the volume of the amplifier until the resulting sound is at a comfortable level. The initialization patch will likely be a basic "sine" tone, a clean and rounded sound resembling feedback if the note is held down.

About the Author

Matt Gerrard began writing in 2002, initially contributing articles about college student culture to "The Gateway" magazine, many of which were republished on the now-defunct Plinth blog. Since then, Gerrard has worked as a technician for musicians, educators, chemists and engineers. He holds a Bachelor of Arts in music technology from DeMontfort University.

Photo Credits

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