serge/buchla complex fm synthesis

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jtclicker
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serge/buchla complex fm synthesis

Post by jtclicker » Mon Apr 06, 2009 7:22 am

How does serge handle complex - i.e. 3 or more operator - fm synthesis? I know buchla has some extra trickery via the 291e, but how can you do this kind of thing with serge? I'm thinking 3/4 op synthesis with each op enveloped and modulated separately with the mod is some cases being handled by pseudo random events? This is my interest when using MAX/MSP just wondered how these different systems handle this. Is the Buchla restricted to the 3 op offered by the 391e

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b3nsf
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Post by b3nsf » Mon Apr 06, 2009 10:51 am

The serge has lots of potential for FM. There's the 1/volt per octave inputs, that are on almost every function block, and most have variable CV FM inputs also. you have function blocks like the xfade and active processor, that will scale CV's by another CV. DSG's can act as osc's if they are patched in a loop.

SO for example, OSC1 FM'ed by DSG1, easy... then OSC2 FM'ed by DSG2, then FM the OSC's by each other.... ok, now take the ouput of this, scaled by active processor by an env gen DSG3, then take that output and FM OSC3...

very complex. 5 operator FM with envelope...

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Post by daves » Mon Apr 06, 2009 10:56 am

The Serge NTO (its a VCO with lots of unique extras) has a voltage controlled linear FM index. That means that the amount of FM can be voltage controlled right on the module. Its definitely made for FM and sounds great.

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Post by b3nsf » Mon Apr 06, 2009 11:30 am

yep, daves, thanks for mentioning that....

The FM input on the serge osc's (PCO, NTO) is linear in the sense that it doesn't change the fundamental pitch of the osc, but modulates it both upwards and downwards from the zero point... osc stay in tune, while FM is slowly and gently added...

all other modules have to be re-tuned after FM is applied to compensate for the shift in pitch. :hail:
its like saying you experience michaelangelo because there is a picture on your happy meal
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jtclicker
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Post by jtclicker » Tue Apr 07, 2009 2:23 am

thanks for the help guys. I'm quite intrigued by the different ways these two systems seem to work. The buchla filter is a really versatile unit, but it looks like with patching the serge does the same. The other unit I like the sound of with the buchla is the 256e which seems to give the ability to manage control structures in a way difficult to achieve with other systems, although I think individual patching with serge modules will do something similar. thanks again

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ndkent
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Post by ndkent » Tue Apr 07, 2009 4:51 am

It's pretty obvious that nothing except budget ought to stop one from getting several 291e modules if the goal is more operators.

That said the more traditional method of achieving FM is with Linear VCO inputs like Serge has. As mentioned the NTO has a built in VCA which saves the need of an external one which you do need. Buchla's 261e has linear FM though you will likely need a VCA to adjust it. I think some people have complained about the input knob not being ideal for subtle adjustment, but that is solved by some sort of patched in VCA

Using exponential FM can not be substituted with retuning as someone implied to get the same effect. You'll get FM with both but it's not the same sounding FM. The thing with the exponential FM is that the bottom swing of the wave is a different pitch amount from the top so you get different harmonic content to begin with and then the timbre will change further as the frequency changes even with the vcos all tracking.

I believe the Cyndustries Zeroscillator is the only VCO to go a step further. The problem with analog VCOs doing FM as I understand it is that at lower frequencies you hit a wall at 0 HZ if you are FM-ing an already lower frequency pitch with a greater frequency or some combination along those lines not giving you the otherwise expected result. The Zeroscillator takes it's name by letting you modulate frequency through zero into a negative space that outputs audio.

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Reptil
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Post by Reptil » Tue Apr 07, 2009 2:53 pm

ndkent wrote:...snip... zero into a negative space that outputs audio.
that is pretty wild :grin:

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