Modular Diary – 090

As I mentioned yesterday I was intrigued by the placement of the sawtooth between the triangle and square waves in the new Ableton Wavetable synth, and I spent a little time today exploring the results of changing the order of the oscillator shapes in one of the Audulus µVCOs. In the case of crossfading between oscillators, that placement, along with shifting the phase of the sawtooth to match the edge of the square, results in the octave harmonic of the sawtooth appearing before the fundamental when shifting between the sawtooth and the square. With the Wavetable synth the interpolations don’t appear to be the same as would occur when fading between set waveforms and I guess this is what opened up the possibility of arranging them in that order. When simply crossfading between waveforms a (co)sine–triangle–square–sawtooth ordering with all the waves sharing the same phase provides the smoothest transitions.

While a change from sine to triangle is fairly subtle, the square and sawtooth waves are more tricky when attempting to morph smoothly between waveforms. It’s an issue that Jerobeam Fenderson touches on in the third of his Oscilloscope Music tutorials. He explains the discrepancy between perceived loudness and the actual amplitude of the waveform in terms of our not hearing positions, but rather changes in positions – referring to the explanation of DC-offset in his second tutorial. The discrepancy might also be explained in terms of the higher overtone content of the sawtooth and square waves and the increased sensitivity of our hearing in the ranges in which the overtones of mid to lower tones appear.

Modular Diary – 090: As I mentioned yesterday I was intrigued by the placement of the sawtooth between the triang…

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<a rel="me" class="p-name u-url" href="">Rudiger Meyer</a> is a composer interested in the play between traditional concert music and new media.

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