WhySynth LFO WhySynth Oscillator 1 WhySynth Envelope Generator 0 WhySynth Voice-Block-Diagram



The screenshots above show a few of the parameters of WhySynth, designed by Sean Bolton. (He has also provided a useful voice-block-diagram.) WhySynth is a linux-based softsynth powerhouse. It is available in most linux repositories. It can be run as a standalone synth by using Ghostess by entering in a terminal: ghostess I also run WhySynth in KXStudio's "Carla" plug-in manager. It can also be used as a DSSI plugin in your favorite linux-based DAW, such as Ardour or Rosegarden.

When opened, WhySynth will show the small initial startup window. This window provides patch selection as well as patch editing.

WhySynth has 4 oscillators, each one with 2 voices which can each select from among 11 oscillator "modes." These modes are: minBLEP, wavecycle, chorused wavecycle, asynchronous granular, waveshaper, noise, PADsynth, phase distortion and 3 different FM modes. In minBLEP and wavecycle modes, the oscillators can hard-sync each other. Phase distortion is based on the CZ-series synthesizers made by Casio, and can reproduce single and dual-wave waveforms. The wavecycle mode allows selection from among about 160 different waves, everything from analog to FM-type to waves dedicated to LFO use (the LFOs utilize these waves for modulation). Chorused wavecycle produces 5 simultaneous waves which can be chorused to gain width, and pitch can be adjusted between them. The full list of these waves can be found at Sean Bolton's website (at bottom).

This softsynth was inspired by several hardware synths, including ESQ-1 and Matrix 6. The PADsynth mode is none other than Zynaddsubfx designer Paul Nasca's bandwidth-enhanced additive synthesis algorithm.

Five envelope structures are available in WhySynth: ADSR, AAASR, AASRR, ASRRR, and One-Shot. These are available for each of the 5 envelope generators. The first envelope generator, denominated EG0, controls the overall (master) amplitude profile.

10 filter modes are also provided, and filter 1 can run through filter 2.Lowpass, highpass, bandpass and band-reject are all available, in different modes.

There are 3 Low Frequency Oscillators in WhySynth. One global, one per voice, and one multi-per-voice. These LFOs can oscillate in positive/negative mode, and 0-1 mode (always positive). The multi-LFO (MLFO) is really 4 LFOs working together, that can be offset or put at random with respect to each other. A mixer is included, which controls the 2 bus outputs, 2 filters, pan and master volume. Three effects are also provided: two types of reverb, and a dual delay.

Patches and Manual:

Bank2017b -updated August 25, 2017 My rolling bank of presets for WhySynth for use with Ghostess. (The previous bank, Bank2017, is now included in the latest version of WhySynth. Right-click to save.

WhySynth Carla Presets My rolling collection of all presets (152) --old and new-- in Carla's .carxs format. -Updated June 10, 2018.

Restivo Ken Restivo's preset bank for WhySynth. Click the "open bank" menu option and select a patch. It will be installed at the last empty slot by default. Opening all of them, you can then resave them as a single bank. :)

A manual is provided in the website link below.