Global parameters are often tied with the modulation matrix as part of a synthesizers functionality. Global parameters can control a collective group of functions or change the fundamental operation of modules. For instance, some synthesizers have a ‘time’ parameter that indicates the collective control of all time-based parameters relative to one another keeping things consistent. A basic example of a global control is the volume on a synthesizer which controls the master output.
Also found within global controls is the voice count controlling how many notes can be played at once. Referred to as polyphony, this is one way in which synthesizers were initially categorized. Monophonic meaning 1 voice or polyphonic meaning many voices.
A great deal of information regarding synthesizer functionality can be collected from the modulation matrix and global parameters alone. Fundamental understanding of basic concepts such as wave-shapes, signal flow and envelopes are essential before effectively using modulation matrices and global controls.