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Modulation

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Modulation

Postby Folderol » Thu Apr 02, 2020 6:09 pm

Well, as concerns the Mod wheel on most synths.

Do our expert synth-ists know of any actual synths that allow the modulation envelope shape to be anything other than a sine wave?

If so, what options have you seen?
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Re: Modulation

Postby desmond » Thu Apr 02, 2020 6:29 pm

Folderol wrote:Well, as concerns the Mod wheel on most synths.

Do our expert synth-ists know of any actual synths that allow the modulation envelope shape to be anything other than a sine wave?

I'm not sure I understand. An LFO can have various shapes, including sin wave, but the modulation from the mod wheel (which is just a mod value) has the shape of, well, however you wiggle the mod wheel...

Or am I misunderstanding you?
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Re: Modulation

Postby Folderol » Thu Apr 02, 2020 6:33 pm

desmond wrote:
Folderol wrote:Well, as concerns the Mod wheel on most synths.

Do our expert synth-ists know of any actual synths that allow the modulation envelope shape to be anything other than a sine wave?

I'm not sure I understand. An LFO can have various shapes, including sin wave, but the modulation from the mod wheel (which is just a mod value) has the shape of, well, however you wiggle the mod wheel...

Or am I misunderstanding you?

OK, to be more specific, and I mean for the mod wheel only, does it always use a sinewave LFO? That appears to be true for the two hardware synths I have here.
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Re: Modulation

Postby Hugh Robjohns » Thu Apr 02, 2020 6:37 pm

The mod wheel only controls the amplitude of the modulation signal, but that signal can and usually does have any desired waveform shape -- sine, square, pulse, ramp, saw, or more complex shapes created by the envelope generators or other stored wave shapes.

Okay, so perhaps the most common application is to use the mod wheel to introduce vibrato/tremolo effects in the oscillator/filter/amplifier with a sine wave LFO waveform... But it can be used for so much more with a little though and flexibility!

I'd have thought the most typical options could be found by examining the manuals of any of the more versatile hardware or software synths.
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Re: Modulation

Postby IAA » Thu Apr 02, 2020 6:38 pm

The reissue Moog model d has square as well, the Moog one has more LFO shapes than you can wave a stick at, is that what you mean?
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Re: Modulation

Postby desmond » Thu Apr 02, 2020 7:00 pm

Exactly as Hugh say. Common LFO shapes are Sin, Triangle, Square, Pulse (with varying pulse widths), Random/S+H, Saw Up, Saw Down, and some synths can have custom waveshapes (ie, you can draw an envelope, either ADR, ADSR, or complex envelope, and use that shape as a mod/LFO source).

The mod wheel has nothing to do with the LFO shape, it just controls the *amount* of LFO signal (if that's what the mod wheel is controlling - it doesn't have to be) that is modulating whatever it's modulating...
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Re: Modulation

Postby Folderol » Thu Apr 02, 2020 9:21 pm

OK Thanks all.
I did say the only two examples I have were rather old :tongue:
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Re: Modulation

Postby Rob Kirkwood » Thu Apr 02, 2020 11:06 pm

I have Yamaha MX49 where on many of the presets the mod wheel sounds like it opens up a filter, or boosts resonance - the further you push it the more they open/boost.

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Re: Modulation

Postby desmond » Thu Apr 02, 2020 11:13 pm

Rob Kirkwood wrote:I have Yamaha MX49 where on many of the presets the mod wheel sounds like it opens up a filter, or boosts resonance - the further you push it the more they open/boost.

Sure, the mod wheel is just a modulation source, among many. The patch programmer can set it to do whatever they want. I frequently will have it modulating multiple things at once to give the player some performance and timbral options within a sound.

Lazy programmers don't bother thinking about the mod wheel, velocity, key scaling, aftertouch etc etc but good ones will make those things all do interesting, useful and *musical* changes.
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Re: Modulation

Postby Arpangel » Fri Apr 03, 2020 6:25 am

Folderol wrote:
desmond wrote:
Folderol wrote:Well, as concerns the Mod wheel on most synths.

Do our expert synth-ists know of any actual synths that allow the modulation envelope shape to be anything other than a sine wave?

I'm not sure I understand. An LFO can have various shapes, including sin wave, but the modulation from the mod wheel (which is just a mod value) has the shape of, well, however you wiggle the mod wheel...

Or am I misunderstanding you?

OK, to be more specific, and I mean for the mod wheel only, does it always use a sinewave LFO? That appears to be true for the two hardware synths I have here.

The simple answer is that the wave shape can be anything, normally selectable from the modulation menu, the wheel is only a controller, that you can assign to anything, depending on the synth you’re using this will vary.
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