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Boring synth stuff

Faking Stuff in Sytrus

Sytrus has additive oscillators that let you do pretty much whatever you want with the waveforms. Sytrus can also analyze a single-cycle audio file and construct a waveform from it. This opens up a lot of possibilities for faking things like complex real instruments inside of a subtractive synth. Most decent samplers will let you do the same thing, but whatever. I’m going to make a cello sound in Sytrus, and then do crazy things to it with the filters.

So, to start off, I loaded up my favourite cello soundfont and recorded a single note into edison. It doesn’t really matter what note it is, since I’m going to only be using a single waveform. Looking at just the waveform of the recording, each cycle looks pretty much the same, but zooming out and

Zooming out

looking at the spectrum of the recording, I can see that the harmonics are morphing around, pretty much between two different states. I zoomed in on the waveform of each slightly different section, copied a single cycle and pasted it into a new instance of edison. After fading the beginning and end in and out to make sure they begin and end on zero-crossing points, I’m ready to drag them into Sytrus.

Once I have Sytrus open, all I need to do is drag the waveforms from the edisons into an oscillator. So now I have two oscillators making cello-ish sounds, but they’re completely static and it sounds bad. I’m going to put an LFO on the each oscillator’s volume, but have the LFOs completely out of phase. This way, when one oscillator fades out, the other one fades in, and the sound will morph between the two. Each LFO needs to have the same rate, or weird things will happen.

Drag n Drop

 I set the volume LFO on the first oscillator, and then copied the state into the second oscillator’s volume LFO. To set them 180 degrees out of phase, I just dragged the handle thing to the bottom in the second oscillator, instead of the top. Global LFOs might work better because the phase of the ‘oscillator morphing’ would be pretty much random between each note, but maybe not.

That’s pretty much it. Sending both oscillators to the same filter and putting an envelope on the volume of the filter with a slowish attack and sending the filter to the FX section with some reverb n stuff will make it sound pretty okay. I decided to mix it with some detuned+distorted s


aw waves, and it sounds freaking cool.


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