The Lovely LFO


Greetings once again feller synthesis seekers! As the Summer of Synths comes to an end and as we look ahead to the Fall of Filters (which really isn’t the case since I already did a post on filters, but one must embrace the power of alliteration), we’ll wrap up August with a short post on LFO’s.

The big reason for the brief post is threefold: first, my wife and I were totally absorbed by the Rio Olympics; second, preparing for the school year (new schedule for my piano students, getting my entire year set up with the bands/orchestras/choirs I accompany, etc.); lastly (and most important to you, the reader), Lindby has a lot of new content on the horizon.

In fact, to accommodate this new content, Master Claset’s Theory Corner and Synth You Asked will now be posting once a month rather than every other week. If you want to be totally up to date on all these new Lindby endeavors, make sure to subscribe to our monthly mailing list by going to our homepage and scrolling down to the bottom! With that said, let’s return to LFO’s.

LFO stands for Low Frequency Oscillator. It functions just like the oscillators we discussed in the second ever Synth You Asked post. (I’d definitely recommend checking it out before reading the rest of this post!) The main difference is that the LFO is very slow and thus at a very low frequency. In fact, they’re so slow and low that we can’t even hear them!

Because of this, the LFO isn’t used for the sake of generating pitches. It’s used as a means of modifying and modulating aspects of the sound: pitch, waveform, filter settings, etc. This is accomplished via two main waveforms: a triangle wave and a square wave. The triangle makes the changes nice and smooth while the square wave is direct and instantaneous.

For the LFO section of the Minimoog Voyager, there are only two parameters to consider: LFO Rate and LFO Sync.

LFO Rate refers to how fast or slow the oscillations occur. It ranges from 0.2 Hz (one oscillation every five seconds) up to 50 Hz (50 oscillations every second). Since the human hearing range does go down to 20 Hz, we could technically hear the very high end of an LFO, but it’s hardly practical given what the main oscillators can do.

The LFO Sync provides four (technically five) methods to start/restart the oscillation process. They are as follows:

Off/Sync: The LFO runs independently unless something is plugged into the LFO Sync jack on the back of the Minimoog Voyager (this will be covered at later time).

MIDI: The LFO can be controlled via MIDI signals (once again, this will be a topic to discuss later with MIDI in general).

KB (Keyboard): The LFO resets whenever a new note is played on the keyboard. This can be useful when you want a new pitch to correspond to what the LFO is doing.

ENV. GATE: This will allow the LFO to be reset via an external gate plugged into the Envelope Gate Source jack (like Sync, this will be covered when we discuss physical inputs/outputs).

Lastly, the LFO plays an integral role in the S&H circuit (Sample & Hold), but I’d like to save that for the next post where we discuss Modulation Busses and the wealth of options entailed there.

As always, here’s a video that properly demonstrates everything discussed above.

We’re closing in on having covered all the basics. Next time, we’ll harness all of these ideas and put them to work!

Conifer Loves Music!


Happy Olympics, everyone! This time of year always reminds us of the time The United States took on the world in MXC, emerging victorious by a unanimous vote at Takeshi’s Castle, but that’s besides the point. We’re here to share some exciting news with you-Lindby is going to be traveling to the town of Conifer, Colorado this November to play at the Conifer Loves Music music festival! But before we talk about that, let us take you back a few years *insert Wayne’s World “Beedooladoo Beedooladoo Beedooladoo” time traveling sound FX and gestures.”

Back in Lindby’s college days at UTA, before Kyle was whooping the bass and Ali was belting/keyboarding it out and for Lindby, the makeup (and not to mention the sound) of Lindby was vastly different. The lineup included Spurrier on keys (and occasionally guitar), Goodrich on guitar (and occasionally bass guitar), and one of our close friends, David McGinnis (currently a writer for Fellowship of the Screen), was playing drums. ALL of us sang, which became our pseudo calling card when we would call venues to play-we’re a three piece group with a keyboard and 3 vocalists! Nifty!

Anyways, when we met David (through his awesome girlfriend and now wife, Jackie, who studied in the music department with us, lived across the hall from Goodrich, and also played viola on some of the earlier Lindby tracks), he told us about a long-time friend of his named Tyler Phillips, who was (and still very, VERY much is) a musician, and that we should totally meet him at some point.

Our chance finally came when we were invited to open up for Tyler’s band at The Cove down in San Antonio. We were to play a normal set, and then join Tyler for a few songs onstage during his set. We went up, did our thing, felt pretty good about it, and then settled in to watch Tyler’s band.

We were blown away. Tyler and his band were all on point, they were all having a blast onstage, and each song was as unique as the one before it. Not to mention the energy and emotion in each tune was through the roof, so when it was our turn to join Tyler onstage, we had the time of our lives!

No to mention, a few years down the line, Spurrier and Goodrich joined Tyler onstage yet again, but this time for David and Jackie’s wedding! Huzzah! Tada, Tada forever! Watching David cut the wedding cake with The Flame of the West, Andúril, will always be remembered by the three of us for sure. And singing “You Ain’t Going Nowhere,” “Don’t Let Me Down,” “Helpless,” and so many other awesome tunes at the wedding reception. And Spurrier paying Ben Folds as Jackie walked down the isle…SO MANY MEMORIES. Needless to say, David, Jackie, Tyler, and even David’s immediate family (what with how often we crashed at their place/played games with them when paying in San Antonio) are like family to us, so we cannot WAIT to have good times again with a member of the “San Antonio crew” this November!

But that’s enough reminiscing about the old days (old Lindby fans may even remember when the five of us were three). We’re here to tell you about…THE FUTURE!

As said before, Conifer Loves Music is a music festival that the aforementioned Tyler Phillips is putting on in Conifer, Colorado. Here is a little bit about the festival (from the website):

The Conifer Loves Music Series is a collaboration between Tyler Phillips, owner and operator of Water Pig Music, and StageDoor Theatre. The series features the best of the Denver Metro Area’s musical talented paired with award-winning and critically acclaimed acts from other parts of North America in a highly curated season focused on offering both musicians and audiences with a comfortable and music-focused alternative to the often noisy and over-saturated club scene. StageDoor’s theatre-style seating is limited and puts the audience member face to face with the provocative storytelling of the artists on our 2016-17 CLM roster. While finding its heart in the resurgence of folk and Americana, CLM’s inaugural season includes genre defying acts like Terri Hendrix and Lloyd Maines, The Will Owen-Gage Trio, and Chris Velan whose unique sounds have been enjoyed by international audiences.

Lindby will be playing with Tyler’s band, The Winchester Local, on November 18 & 19 at 7pm. It is going to be an amazing evening of fun, friends, and music, so if you or anyone you know are going to be in the Denver (more specifically Southwest Denver) area around that time, stop on in and catch the show! It’s going to be a blast and we cannot wait to play for everyone up in the ol Rockies!