Master Pitch Unit
The PITCH module sets the global pitch characteristics for all oscillators; each oscillator can then have its own pitch settings. The PITCH module also contains a global MODE list.
Selects overall polyphonic/monophonic mode:
- POLY : Most often, MODE is set to "Poly" so the instrument plays fully polyphonically.
- MONO, LEGATO : All the notes from envelopes and MIDI are combined into one monophonic playline. In legato modes, a new trigger while the gate for the last note is still high causes a pitch change without retriggering envelopes. In multi modes, a new note also retriggers the envelopes regardless whether their previous state.
- HIGH, LOW, RCNT - These set the pitch when there is more than one MIDI. If HIGH, the highest pitch is played. If LOW, the lowest pitch is played. If RCNT, the most recent pitch is played. RCNT also remembers the order of played notes, so, if the most recent note ends while others are still playing, the pitch shifts to the next-most recent note (RCNT will not shift to another pitch if the released note is not the most recent).
Note that the poly/mono settings only affect the envelopes. The LFOs and S&H module are still polyphonic.
Applies microtuning after pitch shift, but before fine tuning and glide, for global pitch and osc1/2. The default mode is equal tempered. Descriptions of the other microtune scales are available in the B panel. Microtuning is applied after pitch transposition. Microtuing sets the microtonal scale before fine-tuning, voice spread, and glide.
SHIFT, SCALE, KEY
The SHIFT knob applies a semitone transposition. SCALE MAP and KEY remap pitches to a keyscale. Remapping is after SHIFT, but before fine tuning and glide.
For example, if pitch shift is +6, then a C3 would normally transpose to F#. However if the scale is C Major, then the C3 note would remap to G.
- For a glissando effect, you can enable scale remapping and send a large modulation from the LFO saw waveform (or other source) to the SEMITONE destination.
- For large smooth transpositions, with remapping enabled, send the pitch modulations to the oscillators instead.
SPRD applies a small pitch offset to each voice, useful for adding breadth in monophonic modes. Spread is applied after microtuning and scale remapping.
Glide is fully polyphonic, occurring between the last note and the current note. Moreover the synthesizer calculates glide for each envelope, and for notes from the unisono module, separately. See the snaps for an example.
The top glide list selects the envelopes (ENV1, ENV2, ENV3) to which glide is applied. For example if set to 1, then notes from env1 have glide, and notes from the other oscillators do not. Set GLIDE to -- in either list box to disable glide.
Glide is not applied to global pitch. Rather, it is routed to the oscillators. Glide can also be disabled in each oscillator set individually with the GLIDE buttons in the oscillator panels.
- NOTE: the PITCH panel sets the glide source; the oscillators also have little buttons labeled GLI to enable the glide destination. To make glide audible, both a source envelope must be enabled in the PITCH panel, *and* one or more destinations must be enabled by turning on the GLI buttons in the oscillators.
For example, if two envelopes are playing one oscillator through different filters: you can turn on glide for just one of the envelopes (and turn on glide for the oscillator). Then only notes from one of the filters and envelope combinations will have glide.
Alternatively, you could enable glide for only one of two oscillators, which is especially useful for FM modulation and effects.
The lower GLIDE list sets the glide time as a tempo value. All notes have the same glide time no matter the distance between the notes.
Matrix modulation can attenuate glide time to create detuning effects during glide, or to enable glide selectively from a foot pedal or sequencer.
Filters receive global pitch (P) pre-glide. Sometimes you do not want the glide to affect the filter pitch tracking, and sometimes you don't. To apply glide to filter pitch tracking, select an oscillator which has glide enabled as the pitch tracking source. Note the oscillator itself can be turned off, so you can apply glide from a deactivated oscillator to filter pitch tracking but not the oscillator pitch itself.
The unison module (also called CHORDGEN) lets you generate two or three additional notes from each note passed to one of the envelopes 1-3. As a result, sequencers, MIDI and so on can generate chords from single notes.
In the module controls, you can apply a transposition, detune, and velocity offset to these extra notes.
Matrix 2 can modulate the pitch and velocity values for each unisono note, individually.
Note that the modulations are polyphonic. Unison works slightly differently depending on the poly/mono setting in the global pitch panel. Internal logic ensures that polyphonic glide is applied correctly to notes generated by the unison module.
In polyphonic mode, unisono pitch and velocity values are sampled when a note is received from the env1-3 source. Each enabled unisono note plays one voice.
for example, if unison is set to 3 for env1, then three notes are created for each note passed into env1, the latter two using the pitch and amplitude offsets from the unison panel. However, notes from env2 and env3 still only create one note. This means, for example, a sequencer can generate chord pads on one envelope, another envelope can play a bass sequence, and the third envelope can play live notes from MIDI.
When subsequent notes arrive, and the maximum polyphony is already playing, then the unison notes are deallocated before the source note, so that the best possible effect is preserved.
MONO and LEGATO UNISON
In monophonic mode, the unisono effect is applied to as many voices as available. For example, if unison is set to 2, then odd voices play the original note, and even voices play the unison note. Similarly, if unison is set to 3 and there are 6 voices, then two voices play each unison voice.
In mono and legato modes, pitch is applied immediately, so that polyphonic matrix modulations can be applied to individual voices in the unison. Velocity modulations are only applied when a new gate-on event arrives, in the same way as for polyphonic unison.
The oscillators are designed to use the lowest possible CPU while providing every possible mode. For FM and SYNC oscillators, internal logic automatically switches the oscillator module for the lowest possible CPU usage. The lowest CPU utilization is for "F" mode oscillators without FM or SYNC enabled.
An "F" suffix indicates that FM and sync are available (only soft sync is available for wavesets). A "W" suffix indicates that width modulation is available.
The WAVE switch selects the audio waveform:
sawtooth (varying to triangle for width-modulated form)
Waveset. The name of the current waveset is displayed in a separate field.
Ramp with slope modulated by contour.
Different kinds of noise with first-order filtering by pitch
Noise with second-order filtering by pitch and resonance set by contour.
A ramp waveform drawn in the shaper panel. See the SHAPER help for more information.
Matrix modulations can be panned between each of the oscillator pairs. For example, for osc1/2 matrix pan:
- CENTER: full modulations are sent to both osc1 and osc2.
- LEFT: modulations go to osc1 only.
- RIGHT: modulations go to osc2 only.
Intermediate pan positions provide linear downscaling of osc1 modulations (to the right) or osc2 modulations (to the left). For example, if the modulation amount is 12 semitones, then a setting at 3 o'clock sends 6 semitones to osc1, and all 12 semitones to osc2.
The AMSRC switch enables AM modulation by an audio source, also selecting the source.
- If AMSRC is on, the AM knob controls the amount of AM modulation. Internal switching reduces CPU usage if AM is turned off
- If AMSRC is off, the AM knob attenuates the amount of amplitude modulation by any modulation sources that have been set up in the modulation matrix.
If you modulate AM with an oscillator, the result is ring modulation. If you modulate AM with LFOs, the result is tremolo. You can also use envelopes to modulate oscillator amplitude by different amounts, so that different oscillator levels are passed into other units. Note that matrix modulation of AM is fully polyphonic, so for example different levels of tremolo can be generated for each voice.
The FMSRC switch enables FM modulation by an audio source, also selecting the source. If FMSRC is on, the FM knob controls the amount of FM modulation. Internal switching reduces CPU usage if FM is turned off. FM depth is set in semitones around the oscillator's current output pitch.
The PH/WSRC switch enables audio-rate modulation of phase (for Sync oscillators) or width (for audio oscillators). If enabled, unity-gain audio modulation adds +/-1 to the values of the phase or width knobs, and values exceeding the +/-1 range of these parameters are mirrored.
Typically the audio source would be a one-input submixer so that the audio source can be attenuated to the desired value.
If the FM switch is on, the SYNC switch additionally enables sync for FM sources.
- HARD and GATE sync set the oscillators to the phase set by the PH/WS upon sync.
- SOFT sync reverses the waveform upon sync.
Hard sync is not available for the Waveset oscillator. For wavesets, the Ph/WS knob instead selects the waveset. Wavesets can be changed during a note (most implementations can only change wavesets at the beginning of a note). This means, when using a waveset oscillator, you can twist the WS knob to change oscillator types dynamically, without switch interruptions.
WIDE sets the width ratio for width-modulated oscillators. It also sets the ramp slope for the biramp oscillator, resonance for the Noise Q oscillator, and startpoint for the waveset oscillators. For this reason WIDE is also called CONTOUR.
TRACK sets the amount of pitch tracking. For linear pitch tracking, set to midpoint value 1. At 0, there is no pitch tracking. At 2, pitch tracking is double the source pitch.
Typically TRACK is set to 1. If you just want to modulate oscillator pitch by an LFO and/or envelope, then set to TRACK to 0, set SHIFT to the pitch offset; then either use FM or Matrix1 to apply the LFO/envelope modulations to the pitch.
FINE applies a detuning offset in cents to the oscillators. Fine tuning is applied after microtuning.
SHIFT transposes the oscillator pitch in semitones.
Enables glide from the global pitch module. See the description of the global pitch module for more information.
Here are some tips on using various waveforms:
- Square: panpipes, recorders, especially with two very slightly detuned oscillators or voices.
- Pulse: guitars, electric bass (30%), oboes, clavinets (10%)
- Triangle: flutes, clarinets, xylophones, soft pads
- Sine: stringed bass, wind organ. Add mirror distortion, pre filter, for rich string sounds.
- Harmonic Wavesets: bright electric organs, full strings
- Disharmonic wavesets: oriental and metallic sounds
- Impulse: trigger for acoustic modeling (with comb filter)
- Noise: percussion, waves, thunder, etc.
- Add a sub-octave oscillator to wavesets for fuller sound.
- Square+triangle: useful synth sound, rich in harmonics.
For symmetry oscillators:
- Use a decaying envelope as a negative modulation source with high initial contour to give a plucked string effect.
- Use a midpoint contour and high contour modulation for wide sweeping effects.
With semitone offsets:
- Use a pitch offset of +7on a second oscillator to add fifth harmonics, for example for organ zounds.
- Leads and solos can sound interesting with a quart (+5 semitones).
- Disharmonic pitch offsets of +6 or +8, for example, are useful for AM and FM bell-like tones.
- Low values of 1 cent result in slow and soft flanging effects
- Mid range values of around +8 make fat sounds
- High values of >15 result in detune for accordions, and orchestral effects.
- Use envelopes or shaper to modulate the pitch of one or more oscillators for changing detuning over time.
- FM modulations at +/-12 increase sonic depth without introducing new harmonics.
- A triangle or sine wave usually sounds best for the modulated oscillator. Other oscillators contain so many different harmonics that the result is usually noise.
- Use pitch tracking of <1 for modulator, to reduce FM at higher frequencies.
- Set pitch tracking to 0 and use semitone setting to set a fixed frequency, perhaps modulated by envelope or LFO.
- A pitch tracking of 0 to 0.5 for a high-pitched modulator can create nice electric piano sounds.
- Use sine for the FM source, for clear harmonic textures
- Use lower-pitched noise for the FM modulator. At lower FM settings the sound is light and airy, at higher settings it creates interesting colored noise sounds. Use the matrix to modulate FM depth dynamically
With AM modulation:
- Slowly modulate the pitch of one oscillator with an LFO or decaying envelope for spacey ring modulation sounds.
- Use ring modulation with one oscillator having reduced pitch track (say around 0.5) for electric pianos.
- Use very low pitches (midi 20 or lower) of square or pulse waves as an input to ring modulation for rhythmic effects.
- Use slow AM modulation for vibrato effects.
- Hard sync for lead and solo sounds, with sync source at +19 semitones.
- Arpeggiate or use a slow LFO to modulate the pitch of the sync source.