Subtractive synthesis   

The basic principle of subtractive synthesis is the use of complex waveforms rich in harmonic or inharmonic information which are then spectrally shaped by filters and dynamically shaped by envelope generators The term "subtractive" is used because the steady state, harmonically rich waveform is attenuated in amplitude and frequency content to the desired level. 
See Also:
additive synthesis     FM synthesis
 granular synthesis     wavetable synthesis