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Boring synth stuff

Additive Oscillators

Most people (maybe…) will start with the oscillators when they’re making a synth patch. They try to think of some interesting combination of shapes that will sound neat, or just flick the ‘supersaw’ switch. Sytrus has really fun oscillators. Since they’re additive, you can define the level and phase of each harmonic, making your own crazy shapes. One big advantage of this is that if you know what sound you want out of the oscillators, you can just make it in the oscillator, instead of trying to shape it out with a filter.

Aside from making sound designing a little more efficient, you can do some really crazy things with Sytrus’s oscillators, or operators, I’m not exactly sure what to call them. One of my favourite little tricks is to detune different parts of the harmonics separately. Instead of having two identical sawtooth waveforms slightly detuned, moving in and out of phase, I like to remove some of the harmonics from the second wave. This way, only some frequencies will move in and out of phase with each other. If you don’t want the fundamental to be all wobbly all the time, you can just remove it from the second wave, and  it’ll stay put, amazing! This is useful especially with bass patches, because you don’t want the fundamental to be wobbling around. Sadly, Sytrus will normalize the waveform when you mess with it, so removing the fundamental will increase the amplitude of all the other harmonics.

Each harmonic can be set out of phase from the rest of the wave, which sometimes changes the sound considerably. When there are two oscillators detuned from each other, the phase of each harmonic can have an interesting effect on the way that they go in and out of phase. Some frequencies might be in phase while others are cancelling each other out.  Each oscillator has an envelope, LFO, etc for the phase of the entire wave, which can produce some detuned-like effects, without the pitches of the oscillators being different.

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One Response to “Additive Oscillators”

  1. I’m jealous of your sweet waveform customization abilities.


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