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Do Hordijk Oscillators Have Something Special Going On?
MUFF WIGGLER Forum Index -> 5U Format Modules  
Author Do Hordijk Oscillators Have Something Special Going On?
Gringo Starr
I’ve listened to so many demos from Rob Hordijk himself and many of the clips posted on the long Hordijk thread. Almost every demo I hear from Hordijk modular systems seems pure and crystallized in a very good way. Is it just me or do the oscillators have a sound to them that is very unique to Hordijk? I trust my ears most of the time but sometimes I’m not sure.

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Neovintage
Gringo Starr wrote:
I’ve listened to so many demos from Rob Hordijk himself and many of the clips posted on the long Hordijk thread. Almost every demo I hear from Hordijk modular systems seems pure and crystallized in a very good way. Is it just me or do the oscillators have a sound to them that is very unique to Hordijk? I trust my ears most of the time but sometimes I’m not sure.

.


I agree with you.

There are 2 oscillators right now, the OscSync and the OscHRM.

The OscSync is more right in your face than the OscHRM, the saw is beautiful as the square and the synced osc. It works really well for sequencing with either filters but the real genius is the internal normalisation that creates randomness and chaos. For me that is the best oscillator available anywhere (with the 259).

The OscHRM combines the 3 parameters to modify in synthesis : pitch, timbre and amplitude. The linear feedback technique that creates waves is brilliant and it really shapes the waves not crossfades. The sine is very pure and the waves seem to have presence, headroom, not as right in your face compared to the OscSync. Also the FM/AM/timbre modulation between 2 OscHRMs is just wonderful.
josaka
the sound you are hearing could well be just the modulation..
Hordijk designed his modules to be modulated FM/AM sounds more brittle as is cancels a lot of the bass frequencies(this is also personally a big part of the reason why I think a lot of people say euro doesn't sound as good as 5u.. Hyper modulation)
Hanz
When talking about the OSC HRM, it's important to know that the harmonic spectrum slightly rolls off on the higher frequencies, i.e. what people often perceive as a 'warm sound'. This due to the recursive generation process used by this oscillator.
When asked into this, Rob described this (to me at least) as also better fitting in a 'natural' soundstage, esp. when playing with other instruments.
sundog
Love these oscillators - both incredibly rich and musical. And of course completely complementary.

One thing that intrigues me that I never got round to asking Rob - is there a reason neither has a Linear FM input? Not a problem as they feel 'complete' without it - but I wondered if anyone has any info or insight.....
ear ear
Osc HRM -- the space; Osc Sync -- multi-functional.
Dave Peck
In case you haven't heard these, here are some OSC HRM sound clips I did a few years ago showing the module used in some more traditional 'east coast' type synthesis applications:

https://www.gearslutz.com/board/modular-mania-all-things-eurorack-and- modular-synths-effects/588172-hordijk-harmonic-oscillator-sound-clips. html

This is fun!
milkshake
I've done quite extensive ABC/HR tests with the oscillators I had at that time. System 100, 800DV, TB-303, MacBeth dual, AS RS-90, 258 diy and the HRM.

Very difficult to set up, took over half a year, the HRM won.
josaka
I am not sure what tests you did.. but the HRM does not sound better than the system 100 or 800DV ..close I am sure(most osc are) I have 2 HRM and both these synths.. robs stuff wins in the modulation area.. but pure tone.. I am not hearing really that.. and the OSC Sync even less so.. brilliant moulation .. I know there is a huge worship of rob here and I love what his modules do ..but I wouldnt say they sound "heavy"
milkshake
josaka wrote:
I am not sure what tests you did..

As stated in the post: ABC/HR
[url=https://www.itu.int/dms_pubrec/itu-r/rec/bs/R-REC-BS.1116-1-19971 0-S!!PDF-E.pdf]Info on subjective listening tests.[/url]
Simplified general rules:
-Test only 1 difference.
This means you need to make sure all oscillators have the exact same tuning. All files should have the exact same RMS level. And so on.
-Remove all possible biases.
This means double blind testing. This doesn't mean that you must close your eyes when testing, it means you or anyone else in the room is not allowed to know what sound file is being played for testing.
-Use the proper test.

josaka wrote:

but the HRM does not sound better than the system 100 or 800DV ..

Based on what kind of listening tests?
For instance, what methods did you use to prevent bias?
Grumble
Link in post above this one does not compute MY ASS IS BLEEDING
MrNezumi
Grumble wrote:
Link in post above this one does not compute MY ASS IS BLEEDING


It is a test that compares B and C against A (a standard or original) to find out which comes closer to A. In this format A is always known and B and C are unknown (double blind). The test is designed to give subjective results; it is based on trained/skilled listeners giving their opinion based solely on listening (no oscilloscopes or other standard audio test equipment).

What I don't understand with milkshakes test is what is used as A, the standard. If by "won" he means the HRM is the best, what exactly does 'best' mean? Who decides what is best? How can biases be removed when formulating the definition of "best"?
josaka
dont really want to get into some huge debate about it.. recently I have done some direct comparisons with quite a few raw single osc (SAW/PULSE only)...
901/921/Q106/Krisp TZ/Kobol/SE ATC 1/SE1X/
also might add in some more..
Omega 8/CS80/Hordijk HRM+OSC SYNC/Corsynth 104/Korg 800DV/ EML 101+500/Prophet 10+600/Obi Xpander/Roland System 101 + some others.

I love west coast ..but I mostly make east coast.. been doing it for quite some time... I think the synths you gravitate toward(after 30 years) naturally when you are doing a bassline tends to be self explanitory.. I am not saying robs stuff sounds bad in any way.. just not better.. my tests A/B'ing the System 101 vs Synth-werk 901/921 the results were very similar .. but even then as we know even the same synth from same company can sound quite different.. (I have 2 system 101 at some point I may test this theory more smile )
milkshake
MrNezumi wrote:

What I don't understand with milkshakes test is what is used as A, the standard. If by "won" he means the HRM is the best, what exactly does 'best' mean? Who decides what is best? How can biases be removed when formulating the definition of "best"?


It was a preference test of square waves. I just wanted to know what sound I preferred without knowing what was what, simply be as objective about it as possible. What I like best is different from what others might like best, so the same test can have a different outcome for a different person.

Biases can be removed by "testing blind".
Example:
Osc A costs $1000, osc B costs $100.
Because we are human, A must sound different from B and most likely A must sound better than B. Same thing for saw core vs tri core, people have pre existing ideas on how things should sound. And therefore we do hear these things even if they don't exist.
By testing blind, you don't know that you are listening to that very expensive or cheap oscillator. Now you can find out which one you like better.

ABC/Hidden Reference.
Practical ABC/HR info.
milkshake
josaka wrote:
dont really want to get into some huge debate about it.. recently I have done some direct comparisons with quite a few raw single osc (SAW/PULSE only)...
901/921/Q106/Krisp TZ/Kobol/SE ATC 1/SE1X/
also might add in some more..
Omega 8/CS80/Hordijk HRM+OSC SYNC/Corsynth 104/Korg 800DV/ EML 101+500/Prophet 10+600/Obi Xpander/Roland System 101 + some others.

I love west coast ..but I mostly make east coast.. been doing it for quite some time... I think the synths you gravitate toward(after 30 years) naturally when you are doing a bassline tends to be self explanitory.. I am not saying robs stuff sounds bad in any way.. just not better.. my tests A/B'ing the System 101 vs Synth-werk 901/921 the results were very similar .. but even then as we know even the same synth from same company can sound quite different.. (I have 2 system 101 at some point I may test this theory more smile )


Arguing about personal preference is pointless, it goes without saying.

But we can argue about tuning stability, spectral content and how it changes over time. Just one minute long files of raw oscillators can reveal a lot about the sound quality of an oscillator. Example: Harmonic X is Y dB below the fundamental, therefore it will sound warmer/darker/colder/brighter than that oscillator.
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