Three or four oscillators

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Putte
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Three or four oscillators

Post by Putte » Fri Aug 16, 2019 4:36 am

Perhaps just making conversations here, but I´s also like to hear your thoughts. This is something I get back to, every now and then, when I have some extra time on my own.

My modular usage is mostly based around lead sounds, being a member of a progressive rock band. Before getting my first bunch of .com modules, a Model D provided all solo sounds. That ment I got used to three oscillators, the third slightly detuned for maximum fatness.

Yesterday I poked around with with three Q106s through a Lower west side Discrete ladder filter, when I got that rare feeling that I had achieved a perfect Minimoog sawtooth sound. I compared with the original, and couldn´t help being quite satisfied. Both equally fat and smooth, at the same time.

After enjoying that for a while, my eyes came to focus on my only krisp1 MU-TX-VCO. Pehaps not meant for Minimoog like sounds, but it sits Close to the three Q106:s. Therefore, I added it to the the patch, thinking maximum fat could be even fatter. It didn´t, no matter which oscillator I detuned or how much/less.

I´ll probably test this with a Corsynth Odyssey or a Krisp1 Mu-S-VCO too, but I´m thinking three oscillators is the limit of fatness. Any thoughts on that?

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trentpmcd
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Post by trentpmcd » Fri Aug 16, 2019 6:46 am

I don't know about "fatness", but for harmonic complexity, try osc 4 at an octave and 5th higher. or an octave and a 4th. two octaves and a third. Mix it in so it doesn't sound like a chord, but as part of the same sound. When I have more than 2 osc going I usually have one tuned to an interval, even for lead sounds on my model d clone.

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Post by kindredlost » Fri Aug 16, 2019 7:26 am

trentpmcd wrote:I don't know about "fatness", but for harmonic complexity, try osc 4 at an octave and 5th higher. or an octave and a 4th. two octaves and a third. Mix it in so it doesn't sound like a chord, but as part of the same sound. When I have more than 2 osc going I usually have one tuned to an interval, even for lead sounds on my model d clone.
This is good advice and works well for me too. Also a blend of the waveforms from oscillators is a great way to enrich the timbre. I like a blend of saw and pulse width even if the PWM is not modulated. Adding modulation really animates it but then you are not in the MiniMoog realm anymore.

More vco's doesn't necessarily translate to fatter sound, but does open the door to more harmonic interest. As trentpmcd said, mix the vco's pitched to an interval to where you can just barely detect the added harmonic. Works like a charm. Your filter sweeps can be the source of the animation at that point and will boost or cut those harmonics.

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Post by josaka » Fri Aug 16, 2019 9:07 am

no.. you can add sub for 4 and sync for 6 say.. also depends what you are after.. if you want big hit sounds ..more is bigger!.. if you want a p-funk bass it starts to lose clarity after 2 but is good up to 5..

using different waves is a bigger enemy.

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Post by daveholiday » Fri Aug 16, 2019 10:50 am

I have found that 3 is a pretty good number, but have experimented with 6 per patch. I am not as well versed many here but I sometimes feel that after 3 oscillators it gets a bit fiddly to keep them all behaving nicely together. I think mixing different (manufacturers) oscillator can be hit and miss sometimes as well, but that may just be slight tuning/tracking issues.
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Post by Putte » Fri Aug 16, 2019 12:21 pm

In the same tone. Perhaps a bit detuned, but no thirds, fifths or octaves.

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Post by josaka » Fri Aug 16, 2019 4:44 pm

OVERKILL..
Last edited by josaka on Sat Aug 17, 2019 12:21 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Post by MindMachine » Fri Aug 16, 2019 9:40 pm

I like to have two voices going at once (many times) in my MU rig. I can either split them 2 VCO and 2 VCO or 1 and 3 per voice. Either the bass voice/sequence or the lead/effects voice can be 1 or 3 VCO's. I find for a system my size 4 VCO's is keen. I have 3 of the SSL VCO 1200 and now just 1 Q106. Having the ability to add a sub-octave is a huge add when you have just a few VCO's like I do.
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Post by Putte » Sat Aug 17, 2019 2:57 am

Sure, everything depends on what you´re after, but in this case it´s a fatter lead sound.

So, just to be clear, I wonder what you think about adding a fourth oscillator to make lead sounds fatter. I´m leaning towards the sound getting a bit blurry, more fuzzy. It´s like they, more or less, cancel each other out. Also, no sync. used and all oscillators are patched to the same filter. In my case, I´m almost allways using sawtooth, but I guess other waveforms could be interresting too.

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Post by hamildad » Sat Aug 17, 2019 1:04 pm

I've had the best results from 30-50 feral oscillators.
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Post by hsosdrum » Sun Aug 18, 2019 6:47 pm

Putte wrote:Sure, everything depends on what you´re after, but in this case it´s a fatter lead sound.

So, just to be clear, I wonder what you think about adding a fourth oscillator to make lead sounds fatter. I´m leaning towards the sound getting a bit blurry, more fuzzy. It´s like they, more or less, cancel each other out. Also, no sync. used and all oscillators are patched to the same filter. In my case, I´m almost allways using sawtooth, but I guess other waveforms could be interresting too.
Instead of adding oscillators (3 should be plenty for just about any lead sound), to make the sound "fatter" I would instead experiment with mixing different waveforms (for example, switching one oscillator from saw to square adds harmonics that fatten the sound), experiment with how they're tuned (octaves, fifths, etc.) and most importantly, experiment with the ratios the different oscillators are mixed together. Tuning one oscillator to a fifth (with a modicum of detuning) and mixing it at a lower amplitude than the tonic can make a big difference in the timbre of the resulting sound.

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Post by EPTC » Mon Aug 19, 2019 5:08 pm

just for counterpoint ... pardon the unintended poem, but:
one single oscillator, beautifully whistling on its own, is a beautiful sound!

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Post by kindredlost » Mon Aug 19, 2019 10:46 pm

Putte wrote:In the same tone. Perhaps a bit detuned, but no thirds, fifths or octaves.
I get the question about adding more of the same identical vco to get a "fatter" tone and that after a few (3 or so) there is a diminished rate of return and actual cancellation.

That all makes sense, so what is the question beyond that? Are you aiming to create a bigger sound with more oscillators, or perhaps just a fatter sound regardless of the amount of vco's? There is an ensemble or chorus effect which can help too but is more akin to what happens in string machines.

Since you wish to only use sawtooth waveform and only one pitched interval, there seems to be a built-in limit to the exercise. Are you searching for the supersaw sound?

You can achieve similar results with wavefolding too but in a different manner and not exactly as thick. A sawtooth wave has all the built in harmonic content you need but it is a matter of boosting harmonics and adding in animation to the motion of the detuning to achieve the fattening. Still, the original Roland supersaw is a different beast.

Ives Yusson (Yusynth) made a nice Saw Animator module in 5U. I have one built by someone (I can't remember - it has been too long ago).

http://www.yusynth.net/Modular/EN/SAWANIM/index.html

Happy Nerding makes a Super Sawtor module which is similar and does a very good job at helping to create this huge sawtooth sound. It is highly recommended for the classic giant saw animation effect. I think Mr. Rice (JLR) has a good demo.

http://www.happynerding.com/category/super-sawtor/

[video][/video]

Either of these might be a good solution rather than piling on numerous vco's without sync or wavefolding. Just trying to help.

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Post by Putte » Tue Aug 20, 2019 5:13 am

Thanks, kindredlost, you got the question right. I almost allways use sawtooth, which is why I kind of focused on one waveform. I think it is the fattest too, in itself. Triangle, on the other hand, I tune as synchronized as possible.
The super sawtor has its place in my to-buy-list, not sure it´ll remain there. It´s kind of a hang up I have, to never use less than two oscillators in a patch. It´s stupid, I know, but probably not even a super sawtor could keep me from having two or three oscillators in every patch. Don´t know, I might get one anyway.

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Post by cornutt » Wed Aug 28, 2019 1:31 pm

daveholiday wrote:I have found that 3 is a pretty good number, but have experimented with 6 per patch. I am not as well versed many here but I sometimes feel that after 3 oscillators it gets a bit fiddly to keep them all behaving nicely together.
I've had the same experience. As far as oscillators in unison, it seems that there is a point of rapidly diminishing returns after you go past 3. Even with just 3, it is sometimes difficult to get them to not have occasional points where they all phase together and you get huge momentary excursions in volume.
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Post by josaka » Wed Aug 28, 2019 2:18 pm

i like the phase and volume changes myself..(the 921 are killer for this.)
if you dont like it just touch the tuning a microdot.. all gone.
set 3 to the same foot
then one a foot higher ..one lower.. mix to taste..

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Post by wiredK » Wed Aug 28, 2019 6:07 pm

So many interesting suggestions already! :-)

If you like changing timbres, you can use a module such as the SSL Segwencer IV. There are four inputs for different waveforms. There are two modes; the 1st one blends the waveforms, while the 2nd one alternates between the four inputs.

In order to expand the harmonic content of a given waveform you can try
the Ian Fritz 5 Pulser.

Good luck! :tu:

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Post by josaka » Wed Aug 28, 2019 11:03 pm

changing the timbre.. get a mult..
feed the output of an osc (saw?) into your mult(via attenator works well)
feed the outs to the inputs of your osc .. (>lin fm or AC/DC in)
tune and mix to taste.. using Sync is good here as well.. sweep your (synced saw) osc feed for interesting results.. (or use an LFO(very slow?))

why we have modulars :)

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Post by Savage » Thu Aug 29, 2019 4:25 pm

EPTC wrote:
one single oscillator, beautifully whistling on its own.

Fixed it for you. Now it's haiku.
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Post by Savage » Thu Aug 29, 2019 4:55 pm

Oh, and I agree with kindredlost et al. regarding using additional VCO's tuned to a fifth, an octave, etc. as well as the idea of mixing up waveforms, with a mixer. It's an idea that's hundreds of years old. Adding stops on an organ, or pulling drawbars on something like a Hammond, can add not only fundamentals but harmonics and octaves, too. Combining organ voices is like mixing waveforms. Of course, a modular offers many additional considerations; that's why we're here! I've used up to six VCO's before, but with a single pitch source supplying them all and using non-buffered mults, any more than that and I'd start experiencing 'voltage droop' sometimes. But using that many VCO's, I was usually trying to replicate additive synthesis using multiple sine waves at various harmonics. But more than two VCO's? Absolutely! If ya got 'em, use 'em! The worst thing that could happen is you start over! I only use a single VCO when I want a thin unmodulated lead when it's called for in some pop songs, and I just don't play that many pop songs. Well, unless you consider my latest post of my rig...
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Post by MindMachine » Sat Aug 31, 2019 11:34 pm

josaka wrote: microdot
Ah that brings back memories... I think. :mrgreen:

Now with this new STG VCO, I am thinking I need a total of five VCO's in my system. Nice they go into LFO range.
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