Sunday, April 19, 2009

1. Synthesis for all - The digital oscillator

The oscillator is the most important element of any synth. An oscillator creates a wave of sound in verse waveforms for verse frequencies. For beginners, this phrase might make no séance. It's OK, try to understand as we continue and will see some examples. Another fact to remember is that an oscillator's waveform could be any repeatable waveform, for example watch the following:

Sine, Triangle, Sawtooth, and Square:

The Sine Waveform:

The sine waveform also called a "Pure harmony" or "The Fundamental Harmony". As we can see in the picture, the sine waveform has only 1 harmonic, which is the fundamental harmony for that particular note that I’ve played (A2 = 110hz).

The Square waveform:

Unlike the Sine waveform, the Square waveform assembled out of odd harmonies only. The only true fact you should know for now about the Square waveform is that it is very very rich of harmonies. It's very important to understand the uniqueness of the Square waveform and deal with it the right way.
Just as guitar with a distortion effect (which commonly is an odd harmonies amplifier) played within a mix, it can be sound full-body fat “ass-kicking” sound when using it correctly.

The Triangle waveform:

The Triangle wave is also one of the odd harmony waveforms and unlike the Square waveform, It sound is smooth, very similar to the Sine Waveform, but still assembled out of many harmonies creating a fat and rich harmonic sound.

The Sawtooth wave:

A Sawtooth waveform is the most wildly used waveform now days. It’s sound is rich and “pure” at the same time, mean the fundamental harmony sticking out and can clear be heard. You may ask yourself “why is that?” Wikipedia explains:
…A sawtooth wave's sound is harsh and clear and its spectrum contains both even and odd harmonics of the fundamental frequency. Because it contains all the integer harmonics it is one of the best waveforms to use for synthesizing musical sounds…

And if you really insist to keep it simple then: “It just sounds great with filters!”. Later on, we will also learn about that.
Well, there is a lot to come over this subject but for now, it will be enough.

I hope you enjoyed it. Elad.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Thank you for your great article.

Looking forward for more... :)